Drama in the House
Wednesday, December 3, 20087 Comments
The current battle for power was initiated by an official coalition agreement between the NDP, Bloc and Liberals. These three parties are hoping to have a vote of non-confidence on Monday that would install Dion as the leader of our country.
Harper is defiant and wants nothing more than to quash this can of worms before it gets open any further. Conservatives have given hints that Mr. Harper will ask Governor-General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue (to discontinue a session of) Parliament until January. If this happens, it will buy him time to try and sway public opinion in his favour.
But the coalition is also trying to muster support. Not only are those three parties in relative agreement on a plan, but they also now have the backing of Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
Harper has a fine line to walk if he wants to gain public support. The question period yesterday was characterized by lot of name calling and finger pointing. Harper slammed the pact as giving too much power to Bloc "seperatists" and NDP "socialists" - a move certain to cost him some support across the country. The Bloc responded by saying he didn't have nearly as much of a problem with them in the past when he needed their support.
Harper maintains that this move is "undemocratic" and could cause a crisis in national unity. But the Toronto Star cleverly pointed out today that Harper himself was behind just such a move less than 5 years ago (although it didn't get this far).
The coalition is displeased with Harper and his attempts to address the economic crisis. The coalition argues we need a bailout immediately (which Harper is not interested in), and likely carries elements of dissent over a proposal to suspend campaign financing through tax dollars until the ecomony stabilizes.
In a series of polls over the weekend it is clear the nation is split on how they feel about all this. Many don't feel Dion should govern, and about the same amount feel uncomfortable with the Bloc having a prominent role in national issues. But more than anything, 75% of Canadians feel we need an economic bailout ASAP - something Harper rejects. Where this will lead us, and which party will take the biggest public opinion hit is hard to determine at this point.
How do you feel? Please comment below.