Thursday, September 09, 2004

OPPOSITION SETS THE TONE

The three opposition parties today released a joint proposal to reform the day to day operations of Parliament.

Stephen Harper said their plan, "will make Parliament a more meaningful place for debating and deciding issues and it will make the government more accountable between elections."

Their ideas, in principle, seem like good ones. We'll have to wait and see if 1) they are enacted, 2) they actually become effective.

The quote to remember from Stephen Harper in The Star: "I think we have put forward here some changes that are reasonable. These are things we would be prepared to live with if we were in government."

Write that one down.

What is telling is that the opposition parties are taking more initiative than the government on addressing one of PM PMs primary election promises (i.e. the 'democratic deficit'). Opposition parties that put forward concrete proposals and show that they are ready to govern don't stay in opposition for long. Of course, the three parties may not be able to show this type of unity for very long either.

Therein, I think, lie the essential characteristics of the upcoming parliament. If the opposition parties can collectively keep the pressure on the government, Martin is likely headed to defeat, to the benefit of all three other parties, but mostly the Conservatives. If the Liberals can keep the opposition divided, they'll govern longer and have a better chance at coming back with a majority.

Lets get this Parliamentary show on the road. Why are we waiting until October?

More (15 minutes later):
Alan draws my attention to one of the opposition suggestion/demands that I somehow missed. "The three leaders also said that they should be consulted by the Governor-General if the Liberals seek the dissolution of the Parliament."

As Alan says, this strikes me as "a wee bit nutty." But he also asks of the G.G: "could she... would she?"

Posted by Matthew @ 11:13 PM