Wednesday Night Election Speculation
Regardless, this clearly shows the Liberals are worried. Every rumour we've heard over the past month has said that Goodale's update would only be turned into a mini-budget if the Liberals thought they'd fall. With the realization that they might not get a full fledged budget in February, as originally planed, the timeline had to be moved up.
As for Layton's gambit, it's now going to be an all out spin war for the next two weeks. The Liberals will try to convince the Canadian population that this is a meaningless resolution, forcing the opposition into the tough choice between a Christmas campaign they'll be blamed for, or a vote on Martin's timeline. The opposition will try to convince Canadians that this is a reasonable compromise and expresses the will of Parliament. If they do this, Martin will either have to go along with their plan, or be seen as power hungry, and he will be the one to shoulder the blame if the opposition brings the government down before the holidays.
Who will win this spin war? Well, after seeing the Liberal talking points on this, it should be obvious. I know they put these together on short notice but these are the worst...talking points...ever.
Jack Layton’s Muddled Election Proposal
· On November 9, 2005, Jack Layton said he will be proposing a motion on November 24 that would "call for an election to be called in early January for a voting day in mid-February."
· Mr. Layton's proposal is as clear as mud. He isn't saying what he's proposing. There is no wording to react to. It doesn't speak to the constitutional obligation of the Governor-General to seek her advice regarding elections from the Prime Minister alone. Ultimately, it's not an action, it's an inaction.
· Mr. Layton's proposal was immediately dismissed by Ned Franks, one of the nation's foremost parliamentary and constitutional experts.
· Even Mr. Layton seems confused: he himself said that the NDP would have to have "precise discussions with the other parties as to how [such a motion] can be done."
· Maybe the NDP and the other opposition parties will let us know what they're up to when they figure it out for themselves.
· This much is certain: It's hard to see how any leader or party can be taken seriously when proposing to vote confidence with the government on the spending estimates and then asking the government to call an election on the opposition's schedule.
· We'll let Jack Layton, Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe explain - or at least try to explain -what they're doing. In the meantime, the prime minister will continue to focus on getting things done: like creating good jobs, cutting taxes for the middle class, standing up to the Americans over softwood lumber and cutting wait times for patients in our public health care system.
Wow. Did anybody else read about four different ways of saying "I have no f'ing clue what's going on?" in there? The fact of the matter is, the Liberal story all along has been "let Gomery report". Layton's proposal will lead to a vote after Gomery reports. Since the Liberals can't publicly say "let Gomery report...and give the electorate two months to forget about his report" or "let Gomery report...and let Goodale bring in a budget", it's beyond me how they can hope to convince Canadians of the need to wait.