So the Tories have furiously begun to back-peddle away from their budget, nixing the controversial cut in public subsidies for political parties and ban on public servant strikes. They’ve also scheduled an early budget announcement in January in attempt to assuage this coup. Doesn’t appear to be enough though- the opposition smells blood and is going for the jugular. It’ll be interesting to see if Harper will be willing to make the ultimate 180 and introduce some sort of stimulus plan. It would amount to a huge loss of face and might not even deter the opposition’s non-confidence case.
Thankfully, the coalition leader will not be Dion (who probably regrets resigning at this point). Smart move, considering we just voted 6 weeks ago AGAINST HIM. So the question of the hour… who will it be? It certainly won’t be any of Ignatieff, Rae or LeBlanc- the liberals will wait until May to hold their leadership convention. It looks more and more likely like Goodale or McCallum will hold the coalition leader position if this thing comes together. I’d be more inclined to support McCallum, as he’s the current opposition finance critic- plus he has a solid economics/finance background from his days as an economist at RBC and an econ prof at McGill.
As exciting as this is for arm-chair amateur pundits such as myself, I can’t help but think this is horrible timing. Stability in a time of crisis is essential- and this type of turmoil detracts from every politician’s ability to actually do his job- i.e. run the country. In addition, if this coalition is successful, we’ll be essentially introducing a “lame-duck” interim Prime Minister to a newly minted President Obama. Not the best way to start an important relationship. But, I suppose the blame has to lie at the feet of Harper et al. for their hilariously bad miscalculation. This also makes the liberal leadership race all the more important… as it becomes the election for the next PM. There’s something so very undemocratic about that.