Friday, November 7, 2008

Dion threatens quick return to polls

If Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion walks the talk, Canadians will be returning to the polls soon.

DION PRIORITIES Dion says his MPs no longer have the stomach for abstaining from, or not showing up for, confidence votes. Dion said Thursday:

opn-quote It's certainly the sense that the caucus gave to me today. It's very clear that we will be an Official Opposition, that we will be very constructive, that we'll look at each vote on its merit, and if we don't think there is a merit, well we’ll vote as a team, altogether.cls-quote


MPs return to parliament on Nov. 18 with a throne speech on the following day. And the first major test could come soon after when the opposition is faced with proposed Conservative legislation with measures which include life sentences for youths as young as 14 who are convicted of murder and fewer conditional sentences allowing convicted criminals to serve their time at home.

And the Tories have warned that the legislation will be brought before the Commons quickly, and that they will not back down.

If the Grits vote against this crime legislation, it could mean an election, assuming enough NDP and Bloc members join them. Neither of those opposition parties have much taste for this legislation, so who would blink first?

One wonders whether Dion is just bluffing as he has so often done since he became leader of his party. Would he really pull the plug on the government at a time when his party is in the process of replacing him?

One never knows. The Grits brought down Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservatives in late 1979 after Pierre Elliott Trudeau had resigned as their leader. The Liberal Party then persuaded Trudeau to stay on, and he, of course, defeated Clark in the 1980 election that followed—and the Grits won a majority government.

I can’t imagine the Liberals going into another election with Dion, though. But they could make a deal to appoint an interim leader (with consensus of the caucus) who would fight the election and go into a leadership convention afterwards. Hmm, but I doubt they’d do anything like that.

I just don’t see this boast of Dion’s ending happily for him.


  1. Even if Dion is serious it won't happen because:

    1. Dion is no Trudeau

    and because of 1:

    2. The various MPs who support Rae, Ignatieff, Kennedy, LeBlanc and any other leadership hopefull will not participate and have their guy, or gal, lose their shot at the throne.

    No matter how big of a whip the Opposition Whip has the MPs won't fall in line.

  2. I hope he pulls it off and defeats the Cons. Reason being the Grits will be wiped out, Duceppe will be ok in Quebec and Layton will lose a few. Harper can only lose 10 seats in Quebec which he will more than make up in the ROC. Three thing will be achieved, Grit wipe out, Quebec sidelined polotically and Harper will have a majority.

    Only downside is Dizzy Lizzy may get some Green in, but doesn't really matter as long as she isn't one of them.

  3. Just who is he going to be opposing FOR? Canadians want stronger laws and more severe punishments. PMSH should have gotten a majority, and the reason he didn't is not because majority didn't want it. It is because of other reasons. Too many parties for one. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would oppose giving rapists and child abusers more time in jail, especially repeat offenders.