Second Thots

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

Monday, May 07, 2007


Opposition surrenders on the environment?

According to today's Hill Times, all three federal opposition parties do not want to make the environment an election issue any time soon. On the other hand, as Liberal MP David McGuinty suggested, "There's no question the next election campaign, whenever it happens, the environment is going to be a top three issue."

Quite frankly, I don't understand this position, especially coming from a party led by supposed environmental champion Stephane Dion. If the environment is as important as they say, and if the Tory plan is as bad as they say, then wouldn't an election on the environment be paramount, and wouldn't Canadians agree?

Instead, all three opposition parties seem intent on letting the issue slide until at least the fall, if not later. That stance defies everything all the opposition parties have been saying on the file all along.

It also defies everything I have been predicting on the file all along, too. That is, I have been stating all along that the Liberals will push the environment as a matter of confidence, and the NDP will bail out the government. Yet, according to this article, the showdown won't happen. The Tory plan on global warming and the environment will stand.

So, am I backing off my prediction now? Well, no. No one wants to make it seem like they want an election, so much of this is posturing. The moment of truth on the environment is yet to come in Parliament. Until it does, and it has to come soon, we won't know for sure to what degree talk will be replaced by action.

There are a few things we do know for sure, however. The more the opposition lets this issue drag, the less credibility they maintain on the issue, the less change then can enact on it in Parliament, and the less urgent the entire issue becomes with the public.

Are they willing to risk all that because they don't think they can win an election on the environment against Stephen Harper? That would be quite an admission, wouldn't it?

All this begs the question: How and when will Harper engineer the defeat of his minority government on an issue of his choice?

What will that issue be, I wonder?


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