Conservatives back down on controversial party funding changes (URGENT-Fiscal-Update-Vot)
Source: The Canadian Press - Broadcast wire
Nov 28, 2008 11:17
OTTAWA - The Conservative government says an incendiary plan to strip political parties of their public financing won't be included in a confidence vote on the fall fiscal update.
Government sources say only tax measures will be part of the ways and means motion that parliamentarians will vote upon on Monday.
It’s probably not incredibly surprising that the Tories blinked – these “crises” usually have a way of sorting themselves out. But if Harper really had wanted to go all in on this one, I think another election or an unstable Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition would have worked towards his end game.
I know a lot of people will call this a huge strategic blunder on Harper’s part but, I’m not so sure of that. It distracted people from a very unpopular fiscal update, and it may make it a bit harder for the opposition parties to borrow money for their next campaign, if the collateral of public finance dollars isn’t a certainly (you have to imagine they’re gone if we get a Tory majority). And you have to think the PR hit on an issue this complicated will be negligible.
This should also serve as a huge wake up call for the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP. If they don’t get their act together on fundraising soon, their very existence could be in jeopardy. If people didn’t recognize how important effective grass roots fundraising was before, they sure as hell will now.
"FISCAL UPDATE" UPDATE: Then again, maybe we'll get that election/coalitionofthewilling after all:
But Liberals and New Democrats say that dropping the financing measures will not influence their decision to vote against a fiscal update they say provides no economic stimulus at a time when Canada is entering a recession.
Now, as for the bill being broken off into a separate ways and means motion, to answer the question in the comments section - yes, I consider this backtracking on Harper's part. This is what you do to bills that you want to sit in purgatory for ever and ever. Maybe Harper brings it back to force an election at a later time but, for now, I think we don't need to worry about that bill anytime soon.
So the issue now becomes the Fiscal Update itself. And, as bad a fiscal update as it is, I really have a hard time seeing the opposition voting it down. My guess? The Bloc abstains.
UPDATE: Another ball to juggle:
MONTREAL — The Conservative government is set to announce details Friday of its hotly debated reforms to Canada's immigration system.
Labels: political insanity