12.09.2008

two new, scary, cliched thoughts on a liberal-ndp coalition

The prospect of a coalition between my party of choice and an Ignatieff-led Liberal Party has got me thinking of two cliches.

"Be careful what you wish for."

and

"You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas."

I will still agitate for a coalition to stop Harper. But now it's quite a bit scarier.

12 comments:

richard said...

Surely the coalition signers knew going in that there was a better than even chance of this happening or did they just think their best case scenario would just pan out. I don't think this was particularly well thought through.

M@ said...

Although I share your reservations about Ignatieff, I still think the coalition is a great idea -- in fact, I think that especially because Ignatieff is now the Liberal leader.

We all know that the Liberals are a centre party at best, and their progressive values are almost by accident (though the country made great strides forward under the recent Liberal governments). But think of the Liberal party policies tempered by the NDP holding the reins.

The policies that the Liberals only lean towards but the NDP supports wholeheartedly -- protecting war resisters being in that class, I think -- would almost certainly be brought in. Policies that the Liberals lean towards that the NDP abhors -- business tax cuts under the Martin government, for example -- would not be passed.

The NDP won't be able to call the tune; they don't have the same weight or the same size caucus. But the Liberals would be beholden to the NDP and that would mean a real leftward shift in their policy. Add to that the Liberals' history of sane, sound fiscal management, and we could see some really good things.

Certainly not minimizing your concerns, but I would rather find out how Ignatieff does as leader in a governing coalition than as leader in a majority Liberal government.

L-girl said...

Certainly not minimizing your concerns, but I would rather find out how Ignatieff does as leader in a governing coalition than as leader in a majority Liberal government.

I could not agree more. Thanks for your thoughts.

ml johnstone said...

Harper will pad the budget with many of the Coalition's programs and proposals.
If they vote against it, he can say: "see.... they are unreasonable... we can't work with them.
He will get more Canadians on his side.
This guy knows how to win.
He will have a perpetual smirk.!

L-girl said...

He is very shrewd. But he is not invincible.

impudent strumpet said...

Harper will pad the budget with many of the Coalition's programs and proposals.

Which is fine. Then we'd have acceptable economic policy and the coalition could still keep the gov't in line by threatening to go all coalition on their ass if they try to hurt us.

If the coalition can get us acceptable governance just with the threat of their existence, they're still a success. To focus too much on getting the coalition in power damages their credibility.

L-girl said...

Usually I would agree with Imp Strump's take, that pressure on Harper to change the economic statement would be sufficient. But he is such a liar, so un-trustworthy, and so hurtful to ordinary Canadians on so many levels, that I think we have to focus on getting him out of there.

It's true that leaves the coalition open to accusations of power-grabbing. I think that's just the inevitable down side to trying to remove a bully and petty tyrant.

M@ said...

It's true that leaves the coalition open to accusations of power-grabbing.

there's one thing I've learned in the last few years about politics, it's that whoever defines the narrative usually wins. The coalition should be defining it as Harper clutching to power immorally and for its own sake. It's their responsibility to avoid being defined as "grabbing" power. I don't like that that's the game, but I've seen it so much over the last eight years I'm convinced it's the case.

This is where Dion's failure lies, too. Harper spent two years in full character assassination mode on Dion, and the other Liberals sat back and watched it happen. I certainly don't see Dion as incapable, confused, or stupid; I think he's a good person and very passionate about his country. But the CPC put a pic of Dion shrugging in everyone's face for a year and a half, and that's what ended up defining him.

It makes me sad for this country that a man like Dion is a political failure and people are looking to Ignatieff to save the progressive agenda in Canada.

Anyhow, not to get off on a tangent, but... oh. That was all really off on a tangent.

L-girl said...

I agree with you that defining the narrative is important, but I don't think it's in any party's power to control what happens to the story.

All you can do is put your story out there.Y ou can't control how the media will shape it (and different media will shape it differently), and that's the filter through which most people will get the message.

But the CPC put a pic of Dion shrugging in everyone's face for a year and a half, and that's what ended up defining him.

I agree. But I'd add that Dion cooked his own goose by acquiescing to everything Harper did, refusing to trigger an election no matter what. He showed his weakness, which only leads to a bully like Harper exploiting those weaknesses over and over and over.

Dion is obviously an intelligent man, but he was such a weak leader that he became Harper's handmaiden.

I don't think the Conservatives did that to the Liberals - I think the Liberals did it to themselves.

L-girl said...

Also, it's not really a tangent. It's just where the discussion went. :)

impudent strumpet said...

The big question that we don't have an answer to is how many people voted for coalition parties, but feel so threatened by the coalition for whatever reason that they'd change their vote to Conservative?

L-girl said...

The big question that we don't have an answer to is how many people voted for coalition parties, but feel so threatened by the coalition for whatever reason that they'd change their vote to Conservative?

Exactly. That's the big question and the big unknown. And, under our current system, how they'll be spread out vs grouped enough to swing a riding.