Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Environmental politics staring me in the face

This is what happens when you engage in "glorious leader" politics. For both the Greens and the Liberals, some prominent party members refused to follow, and we're seeing some of the consequences of that now.

The Dion-May pact was not an exercise in political leadership. It was an example of leadership by fiat. Both leaders had no mandate to pursue their present course. Both leaders have no intention of consulting with their membership before proceeding, even though they went through recent leadership races.

Beyond the symbolism of the move, I believe its biggest failing is its clumsiness. We already have Elizabeth May trying to explain (h/t David Akin) to party members how they're still opposed to Liberals. Say what?

Frankly, I think Dion believed he was forced to make this move in anticipation of a deal between the Tories and the NDP on the Clean Air Act. If and when that happens, what the Liberals and Greens did this week will start making a whole lot more sense. Indeed, having both voices opposed to any environmental deal might be the only thing saving Dion from oblivion. It will also raise May's profile on the very issue she claims to have credibility.

Now, I've made the rounds on the blogosphere and have floated this idea in various places. No one is biting except Lance, who has shared my views on a Tory-NDP environmental deal for some time.

To me, especially given some of the evidence I've presented, the deal is staring me right in my face. Yet it seems that political observers believe that Harper and Layton are too far apart for an accommodation to happen.

Well, Dion's desperation suggests that maybe they're not that far apart.

We'll see.

If your political scenario between the CPC and NDP is correct that would mean the Harper government will not fall on the environmental issue because the NDP is propping them up on it.

How will Layton oblige Harper on precipitating a vote of non-confidence? What issue do you think the Harper government will fall?


That's actually a good question.

I believe that, on this one issue, it would be to both Harper's and Layton's benefit to get an environmental deal done and then NOT have an election.

That would get the issue off the table, avoid an election on the environment, and leave Dion and May twisting in the wind.

However, my reading of the tea leaves suggests to me that we're still going to have an election.

Everyone is talking about the crime issue as one on which the government will fall.

Yet I suspect Harper may have something else up his sleeve. Maybe a whole range of issues, and he'll use one as a primary example — maybe even a new terrorism bill.

Nobody keeps his cards closer to his vest than Harper.


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