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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cooler heads prevailing

Listening to senior Liberal MPs John McCallum and Scott Brison yesterday one certainly gets the impression that their new leader, Michael Ignatieff, has encouraged them to tone down their rhetoric. Out is their mock outrage and hyperbole directed at the Tories; in is their more thoughtful, conciliatory reaction to recent bilateral talks with the Tories that seem to be finding common ground.layton

Socialist leader Jack Layton has apparently sniffed the changing  winds and is preparing an escape route from the bring-down-the-Conservatives chant of the past couple of weeks. Jack seems to get that the Liberal-NDP coalition is a non-starter with Ignatieff and with the majority of Canadian voters. He now sounds more conciliatory himself.

All of which leaves separatist Gilles Duceppe to carry the banner for a coalition of which his party is not even an official member.

Such are the vagaries of Canada’s political scene. A scant few days ago, Jack Layton was all set to take a seat in Stéphane Dion’s Liberal cabinet; today, events have shunted Jack and his puffery to the sidelines, totally irrelevant in this latest Tory-Grit rapprochement. And that is where an overwhelming majority of Canadian voters would like him to stay.smleaf

6 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I don't know what bilateral talks you're refering to.
    Both Brison and McCallum have simply stated that they want to 'see the books' before any recommendations are made by them.
    That seems to be the mantra now and I will agree that it's better than calling someone a liar and accusing them of having a hidden agenda.
    Still, the only party to supply Harper with economic suggestions so far is the Bloc.
    Go figure.
    McCallum said that the deficit could be as high as $50 billion or maybe as low as $5 billion or maybe there's no deficit at all but he won't know until he has an opportunity to 'see the books'.
    These guys are still playing games and have absolutely no intention of providing suggestions yet if they like the economic package they'll lay claim to all that is good and scream about anything they don't like.
    Even Mike Duffy is being taken in by this 'new tone'. He asked McCallum yesterday if it was a good idea for the Liberals to be seen to have had a hand in the budget process.
    What hand!
    They want to 'see the books' first.
    NeilD

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  2. Liberal finance critics John McCallum and Scott Brison met with Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Dec. 15. Their meeting lasted about an hour.

    See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/554006

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  3. Nothing Flaherty will do will satisfy Huey and Dewey. They are just going through a charade to validate their position when they vote down the budget. Their demands will be so ridiculous no responsible government will accede to them. If the Cons do or if they don't accept them they will still be to blame when everything goes into the shitter.
    A no winner.
    I hope Canadians are smart enough to realize this. (Brison makes my skin crawl.)

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  4. Until all Liberals denounce the coalition,
    all things lead to a coalition.

    It's just a game, because of the polls, libs want to 'appear' to be at least sitting at the same table as the government.

    Iggy was consulting 'experts' so as the liberals can present their own budget on Jan 27....the 2 Iggy shoe shiners just want some actual figures to proceed with that.

    Goodale and Jennings and Rae and constitiutional lawyers are in a backroom somewhere,
    trying to figure out how to make attempt #2 at a coalition successfull, next time.

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  5. It was after the Dec.15th meeting that both Brison and McCallum said that they wanted to 'see the books' so they can make informed suggestions.
    What books?
    Does Canada have a set of books the government can trot out to show the opposition where all the money is coming from and where it's going? Why haven't opposition parties in the past demanded to 'see the books'?
    Shouldn't the public have ready access to 'see the books'?
    The Liberals have no intention of making any suggestions yet the media continues to sing praises about the new spirit of cooperation.

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  6. Being an Albertan I have a hard time believing the Libs about anything but being also a Canadian I am sure that the Libs got an ear full from their supporters about the direction the coalition will take their party and Canada.McCallum and Brison are two people that will say anything .I don't trust either one of them,until Iggy says the coalition is dead I don't see any input from the Libs. They will take credit though.

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