Thursday, October 8, 2009

There is a certain symmetry to Canadian politics

And it is playing itself out.The Liberals get some great poll numbers and muse about bringing down the government. There is both reward and punishment in this gambit. Pundits revel in election speculation and the Liberals poll numbers retreat. The reward is that it releases the Liberals from the corner the Conservative had painted them into by making almost every vote a confidence measure.

As the Conservative numbers rose in a concomitant fashion towards minority territory two things happen as they happened in the past. The Conservatives can't help but give Canadians a peek as to what we would see under a Harper majority (MEIB):
Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the House of Commons defence committee today Canada will not be leaving Afghanistan even after the combat mission expires in 2011.

The role will change from fighting a war to a development and training.

The federal cabinet has the authority to define the mission on its own, but Mr. MacKay says the Tory government is committed to the motion passed by Parliament in March, 2008, to withdraw the country's battle group from Kandahar, starting in July of 2011.

Until such time as there is a new motion before Parliament or a new decision taken, we will respect the guidelines and the direction from the existing motion,” the Defence Minister said after his committee appearance.

His remarks echo Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, who told the Commons in an impromptu debate on Afghanistan earlier in the week that the future mission will be brought before MPs.

But they are just taking their lead from the man who quickly changed his tune from needing a little help from his friends (as if he has any) to Mean Mr. Mustard.

And just as night follows day, information on the scandalous nature of this government continues to surface. Only now it starts to get more traction in the media.

The Liberals said today they have uncovered even more federal spending on the promotion of the Conservative government's economic action plan, taking the advertising budget into the realm of illegality.

Previous news stories referred to $34-million in media buys to promote Ottawa's recession-fighting budget this year.

But at a news conference Thursday, the Liberals said spending by all departments has reached $56-million, in comparison to only $6.5-million on advertising in preparation of a potential outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus.

“The Conservatives are buying voters with their own money. Not only is that unethical, we believe it's against the law,” said Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay. “This spending spree on taxpayer-paid partisan advertising is unprecedented. The Harper government is running roughshod over all of the rules established to prevent exactly this kind of abuse.”

And this is just one example from today's paper. More will surface. These guys have more skeletons in the closet than Donner and Dahmer combined.

The overdue focus on a Conservative leader's flaws has an obvious precedent. It wasn't until Stockwell Day began to be seen as a serious contender did the media begin to let the rest of the country in on what Albertans had known about for years. The guy, although amiable, has some kooky ideas.

This time the oscillation in the Conservative's favour has been very dramatic. As the public sees more of the Harper they suspect is underneath the Piano Lounge smile, the more they will consider their preferences. And the lead will evaporate. That will be the time to try and solidify the vote when the pendulum swings to the Liberal side.

(She Who Must Be Stetson Tipped)

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