Friday, May 20, 2005

Where do we go from here?

The past ten days have been quite the wild ride, eh? Betrayal, dashed romances, secret audio tapes, backroom deals, health scares, Parliamentary shut down, and a tie vote. Heck, we even made the “political play of the week” on CNN. Since yesterday was seen as the climax, the real question becomes: what now?

The general mood is that we’ve passed the storm and have embarked on a 10 month election campaign. I’m inclined to agree that we won’t see any real threats to confidence between now and June despite the certainty that there will be several attempts by the media to create artificial drama. Mind you, if something really damaging comes out of the Gomery Inquiry, all bets are off and we might very well get a summer election. Come next fall, if the Conservatives are even remotely close in the polls, expect the drama to begin all over again.

In the meantime, each party has a few key things they need to focus on.


Liberals
There’s a lot of talk that Carolyn Parrish will be let back into caucus and that Judy Sgro will be brought back into Cabinet. I think both of those actions would be reasonable in light of recent events.

The last month has also shown that when it comes to winner take all dirty politics, Team Martin is still the best of the best. They showed it during the leadership race and they showed it by somehow outmaneuvering the Conservatives and staying alive. But can they govern? That’s the real question.


Conservatives
The Conservatives have one more silver bullet left with the name “Gomery” on it and their loss yesterday just means they won’t have to waste it this spring on an election they might lose. The party’s inability to pull ahead in the polls is really troubling and Stephen Harper will certainly do some soul searching as to whether or not he can, should, or wants to lead this party into the next election. With Belinda gone, being perceived as a moderate alternative to the Liberals just got a lot harder.


NDP
I know the Dippers were ecstatic over becoming relevant for the first time in years but the future of their budget is very much in doubt. The Conservatives/Bloc alliance holds a 6-5 voting edge on the finance committee so it’s difficult to see how the NDP budget will ever get Royal Ascent. And remember, if the NDP don’t think they can get their budget passed, all deals are off. At the very least, Jack Layton has looked extremely statesmanlike and Prime Ministerial in comparison to Harper and Martin over the past month. If the NDP keep doing what they’re doing, I think 40 seats is a very real possibility for them in the next election.


Bloc
Gilles Ducceppe will continue to hammer the Liberals on Gomery while he keeps one eye turned towards Bernard Landry’s embattled leadership of the Parti Quebecois. They’ll continue to try and cause an election at every turn.

11 Comments:

  • With Belinda taking over for HRSD and lightening the double load that Lucienne Robillard had to take on, what would Sgro get? Or who gets the boot.

    By Blogger Political Nobody, at 8:50 PM  

  • Well, a week ago, the rumour was they'd just make her a "minister without portfolio" but that was under the assumption that we were heading towards a spring election and before Belinda's defection.

    I guess the choice is either to split another ministry, create a silly position, have a big Cabinet shuffle, or just wait until the time comes when it's neccesary to boot someone else from Cabinet.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:32 PM  

  • You just put Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" into my head:

    Where do we go... from here?
    Where do we go... from here?

    The battle's done,
    And we kinda won,
    so we sound our victory cheer!

    Where do we go... from here?

    By Blogger James Bow, at 12:17 PM  

  • Calgrit:

    Sorta off-topic.. but did you see the story(s) in the Star and the Globe today about Belinda apparently partying hard at some downtown Ottawa Bar?

    Apprently dancing on top of a loudspeaker and singing to the tune of "Material Girl" and U2's "Beautiful Day"

    Man.. almost makes me want to get a Liberal membership to get invited to her bashes she's going to be throwing.. I'm envious of you CG! :)

    By Anonymous Scott Tribe, at 3:36 PM  

  • Gee, let's see now..

    The LPC has had to sink lower than at anytime in it's history.. to barely survive..

    had to court opposition people that it recently ridiculed.. and for which many of it's members don't like..

    and it still is not out of the rough..

    while fighting an election for 10 months that the PM went on national TV to say that HE WOULD ONLY CALL 30 DAYS AFTER GOMERY REPORTS..

    after going 9 days on a non-confidence vote with no right to sit in the house at all while engineering all the above..

    all in all a good week for Liberals.. par for the course.. business as usual.. nothing to see here.. just keep moving.. do what you are told.. it's not your business.. let the big people do their job.. take off eh!

    yeah I'm wondering when Canada becomes a democracy again..

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 10:52 PM  

  • Better Belinda was dancing as a Liberal than a Tory...

    I'd say the Grits have reached a clearing in a very dense wood. For perhaps a week they will be able to coast on their near death experience in the Commons - then what?

    Well more Gomery. Forensic audits and all.

    More spending? Maybe; but surely Ralph is going to say, "Enough" at some point.

    SSM - delightfully it has a good chance of passing (which I think is great and with the CPC would get in line with) and with it the Grits will earn the undying emnity of assorted Churches and ethnics.

    Further increases in soverigntist support in Quebec. The sheer scale of the subversion of Quebec law which the Grits undertook in the Referendum Campaign is alienating Quebec fast. So fast that there may be no credible federalist voice left by the time the report is out. Thanks Jean.

    And so on.

    By Blogger jc, at 11:41 PM  

  • There's no credible federalist voice in Quebec now. Charest's brief, flickering light in public opinion polls came when he was perceived as screwing Ottawa "asymetrically."

    What drives me up the wall about the "being in bed with the separatists" line is that the Bloc is so much part of the Quebec status quo that to vote for is not to vote for separation, but rather autonomy. The Liberals have legitimized the Bloc as a non-separatist option for hitherto "federalist" voters.

    The danger of separation comes from Charest's weakness and a perception that, under the current status quo (read asymetrical treatment) a form of sovereignty-association is accessible, profitable, and painless: the Bloc's line.

    By Blogger matt, at 2:17 PM  

  • Yeah where is the constant cry and hue of the poor unfortunate gays.. the most beaten upon people in the country.. living on a higher average salary than the average hetero, protected by the unions in the government jobs and the universities etc.,

    We must help the GAYYYY'SSS

    Let the starving children wait, to hell with them because we are liberals with loving hearts!!

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 5:44 PM  

  • I prefer to think of us as decent people to whom sexual orientation and ought not matter. Ever. Anywhere. WTF Bryan? Just woke up feeling hateful?

    By Blogger matt, at 8:49 PM  

  • If the NDP keep doing what they’re doing, I think 40 seats is a very real possibility for them in the next election.

    I disagree. Every single time the NDP has propped up a Liberal minority in the past, the Liberals gained seats at their expense in the next election.

    I believe that the Liberals were in enough trouble that if Layton had worked to bring them down this spring, the NDP had a decent shot at replacing the Liberals as one of Canada's two governing parties, like Labour did in Britain.

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 11:45 AM  

  • 350 million dollars taken "out of the mouths of babes". I cannot begin to fathom how many families and children struggle everday to make ends meet against rising costs only to be told there is no money to help them. For some even $20.00 makes a huge difference. As a result, I cannot believe that Canadians are not standing up for each other to say "never again". The greed, and arrogance of the Liberals is astounding.

    By Anonymous jcox, at 8:34 AM  

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