Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Budget Day

Last year, he ended the era of bickering between the provinces! What will Jim Flaherty deliver this year?

Truth be told, I was following NHL trade deadline closer than this today and won't be able to read budget reports until later tonight. Until then, it's an open thread.


RANDOM THOUGHTS:

-Dion calls it a "watered down Liberal budget" and "one mile wide and one inch deep". Hmm... Either way, I don't think there was anything in this budget that could easily have been turned into an election issue, even if the Liberals wanted to go to the polls.

-Andrew Coyne, surprise, surprise, thinks there's too much spending.

-1.2 billion in regional development, 2 billion for infrastructure, and 500 million for transit, is smart politics, since it will let Harper tour swing seats across the country announcing projects over the next year.

-Allowing all Canadians to, for all intents and purposes, put aside $5,000 from their annual income tax-free every year, could be incredibly expensive in the long run. It should also play well to middle class voters.

-I'm really not sure why the Tories don't try to cut off the opposition on the environment. If they could neutralize that issue, there would be little left for the Liberals to attack them on. And, as Gordon Campbell has shown, it's not hard to be environmentally conscious in a revenue neutral way.

-Paul Wells weighs in on his topic of choice.

-Hossa to the Pens, Richards to the Stars. Discuss.

26 Comments:

  • Flaherty today presented a ho-hum "thin gruel" budget, a clear sign that Harper is in no hurry to go to the polls, notwithstanding the fevered rhetoric of recent weeks. Harper's appetite for an election diminished when he realized that the parties were tied in terms of voter support and the best the Cons could hope for was another minority.

    See Dion blew his chances at cardinal47.blogspot.com

    By Anonymous Cardinal47, at 5:55 PM  

  • The media pundits on Mike Duffy talked about how Dion was going to have trouble with his caucus after this. Gloria G. at the Globe and Mail said that the Liberals were in trouble in 2 of the 4 bye-elections including Quadra. I don't know about that, seems like they should win there. If that happens though, he shouldn't let Iggy or the newly electe Bob Rae out of his sight.

    By Anonymous blue liberal, at 9:24 PM  

  • Dion supports the budget!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 9:26 PM  

  • It's going to be pretty hard for Dion to "oppose" the government on the campaign trail considering he's either overtly or tacitly approved everything they've done.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 10:29 PM  

  • After aquiring Richards I'm picking Dallas to win the Cup... oh, sorry, I guess I was following the trade deadline closer than the budget today, too.

    By Blogger Mike, at 10:55 PM  

  • Is it possible for the caucus to pick a new leader? At this stage, I'm willing to accept MI.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:51 AM  

  • I think the pundits are prescient on this one - Rae and Iggy are going to be jockeying for position on the Hill and Dion will be treated more and more like an interim leader.

    Already he has about as much authority as Bill Graham, the interim leader who led a splintered liberal caucus after Paul Martin's demise.

    Dion's a dead man walking.

    By Anonymous the athenian, at 7:49 AM  

  • can't wait for Rae in the House.
    more blow for the show.
    Iggy, Dion, Rae play who's the leader.

    By Blogger art, at 11:07 AM  

  • Time to think about what it means for Canada. Will a Democratic President and congress do the job that dion has failed to?

    “Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama threatened to pull the United States out of the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico unless it's renegotiated.
    Clinton and Obama, who have both been critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement during their campaign, made the comments in a debate in Cleveland Tuesday. The deal is wildly unpopular with blue-collar workers in Ohio where manufacturing jobs have been lost.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:36 AM  

  • "Gloria G. at the Globe and Mail said that the Liberals were in trouble in 2 of the 4 bye-elections including Quadra."

    Are there any supporters of Rae, Iggy or Kennedy who want the Liberals to do well in the by-elections? If they sit on their hands or quietly vote for another party, it hastens Dion's departure date. And will the supporters of Iggy or Kennedy support Rae in Toronto Centre knowing it will help Rae's leadership ambitions? I think the by-elections will be about Rae/Power Corp trying to take over the Liberals while others try to prevent that, while undermining Dion. Are there any Liberal partisan bloggers who think the by-elections should be used to dump Dion and have a leadership convention, knowing that there is a fixed elecion date for 2009?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 1:10 PM  

  • C'mon left leaning Libs, at least the NDP has a leader, just because daddy always voted Liberal is a shitty reason to stick with the Martin/Dion/Ignatieff? dynasty. Its time to do whats best for the country and abandon the Titanic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

  • Hey Grit:

    No offense but I can't picture you listing all the agreeable budget items if the Liberals were 50% in the polls and Dion was forcing an election. Pretty sure we might be seeing different "analysis".

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 3:24 PM  

  • you read budget reports ? Now there's some exciting reading ;)

    By Blogger dirk buchholz, at 5:18 PM  

  • I'm really not sure why the Tories don't try to cut off the opposition on the environment. If they could neutralize that issue, there would be little left for the Liberals to attack them on.

    They won't bother, because the LPC has no credibility on the environmental issue as well. They'd campaign on what they were "planning to do"?

    By Blogger Möbius, at 7:33 PM  

  • CalgaryGrit,

    You work at a poll firm now. Suggest that they run a poll to see what the numbers would be like if McGuinty/Kennedy/Iggy/Rae were leading the Liberals.

    By the way, I like the new look on GerardKennedy.ca and his work-in-progress CarbonBudget.ca

    By Blogger MississaugaJoan, at 7:35 PM  

  • This by-election may be another disaster like Montreal. I’m on the Quadra mailing list, and I have continually received emails asking for volunteers. Can the LPC live with losses in English Canada?

    Let’s be clear about why dion has to go. It isn’t that dion is the worse communicator in Canada, a poor leader, and doesn’t understand politics. I have said as much months ago.

    It isn’t that the caucus doesn’t oppose CPC legislature or won’t fight an election. Dion is being logical. He doesn’t have the issues to take to the people.

    Dion has to go because he is unable to create a winning edge. He has failed as a strategist to forge a green alliance with the NDP and Bloc. He could have given them Afghanistan to seal the deal.

    He has failed as a leader to create a new and better brand for the LPC. And, he has failed as an organizer to revitalize the LPC.

    Compare with Barrack Obama. He started as the underdog, and hopelessly outgunned. In six months, he has gained momentum and a movement. He has out-organized the Democratic Party establishment.

    He started as a brand and an idea, and firmed up his platform as he went. He started by marketing himself, and an organization now has life of its own. Is this a winning business model?

    On the other hand, Dion’s brand and mini-movement evaporated after the Montreal convention. He has not been able to transfer the brand to the LPC, or create a new one.

    He may think that he is conserving scarce resources for an election next year. The problem is that the LPC will be even weaker next year under his non-leadership.

    Dion has to go.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:11 AM  

  • "You work at a poll firm now. Suggest that they run a poll to see what the numbers would be like if McGuinty/Kennedy/Iggy/Rae were leading the Liberals."

    Great idea. The Liberals need more of their own doing everything they can to undermine the leadership of the party. Not nearly enough of them on the case as we speak.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 PM  

  • “The Liberals need more of their own doing everything they can to undermine the leadership of the party.”

    The harperites are trembling in their boots. Dion is the only one that harper can beat. A replacement for dion would be a bad thing for the CPC.

    To be honest! The CPC also needs to replace harper. This is a guy who can’t get a majority against a decrepit party like the LPC, and a twit like dion. He has to ‘compromise’ with the LPC on Afghanistan in order to avoid an election. How much more useless can harper get?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:48 PM  

  • "The harperites are trembling in their boots. Dion is the only one that harper can beat. A replacement for dion would be a bad thing for the CPC."

    I'm pretty sure he can beat McGuinty (Dalton, I'll presume), Rae, and Kennedy. The first guy has no appeal outside Southern Ontario, the second can't win in Ontario, and the third can't speak french.

    As for Iggy, he's alright. He's pretty much Harper except Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 PM  

  • “I'm pretty sure he can beat McGuinty (Dalton, I'll presume), Rae, and Kennedy.”

    Hmmm! I’m not sure that harper can really beat anyone other than dion. He’s managed to throw away all his credibility.

    Let’s look at the facts. McGuinty is a successful politician and premier. Rae has experience and organizational ability. Kennedy is young but is attractive to young voters. Can The-Fuhrer harper beat all three working as a team?

    Finally, there’s a big difference between Iggy and harper. Iggy isn’t pro-Alberta or anti-green.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:41 PM  

  • "Let’s look at the facts. McGuinty is a successful politician and premier. Rae has experience and organizational ability. Kennedy is young but is attractive to young voters. Can The-Fuhrer harper beat all three working as a team?"

    You Liberals need to lose the McGuinty delusions. He'll never run for PM because their is no one he can beg for money in that job. As for Rae, I don't think his "experience" is a plus on his resume. Unless of course he decides to do the opposite of what he think he should do (like that Seinfeld episode). Then he'd probably be good. Finally, if you think Kennedy can sell in Quebec, then you know absolutely nothing about Quebec. But we already knew that because you guys picked Dion of Iggy.

    "Finally, there’s a big difference between Iggy and harper. Iggy isn’t pro-Alberta or anti-green."

    So there's no pro-Alberta Liberals? Do you realize what blog you're posting on? As for Iggy not being anti-green, I seem to remember him wanting to look post-Kyoto much like Harper. Two peas in a pod.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 AM  

  • Dion of Iggy? That should read Dion over Iggy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 AM  

  • "So there's no pro-Alberta Liberals? Do you realize what blog you're posting on?"

    Liberals are pro-Canada. Do you remember what country you are in?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:53 AM  

  • "Liberals are pro-Canada. Do you remember what country you are in?"

    So, what are you saying? Being pro-Alberta (or pro-whatever province, say Quebec) and pro-Canada are mutually exclusive? Perhaps you should apply your litmus test to all Liberal candidates nation-wide. Purge the scourge of provincialism out of the federal party. Your Quebec candidates would support you 100% no doubt.

    Anyways, enjoy your weekend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:13 PM  

  • "So, what are you saying? Being pro-Alberta..."

    You must understand the difference between partisanship and leadership. All elected officials are partisan. They are loyal to their constituents in their ridings, regions and provinces.

    Leadership requires a broader and longer view. Trudeau (from Quebec) made the logical and obvious decision to protect the heartland (Quebec and Ontario) at the expense of Alberta.

    However, Chretien (from Quebec) exempted the oil patch from emissions control because he needed economic growth. He sacrificed the longer-term environmental interests of Canadians for economic gains.

    There are capable men who do well as ministers, but should not serve as Prime Minister. They are unable to overcome their partisanship. They cannot serve the wider community.

    Harper is such a person. His loyalty to Alberta is entrenched in ideology. He won’t slow the oil patch, though emissions control is in the interests of all Canadians. Climate change has become an immediate issue of concern.

    How is Iggy different? He is an intellectual and likely to take the wider view. He does not have a Western-orientation. He is a cosmopolitan and able to consider differing opinions.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:51 PM  

  • It cannot succeed in actual fact, that is exactly what I think.

    By Anonymous www.sillones.nom.es, at 11:59 AM  

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