Monday, May 05, 2008

Why Not Now: Hon. Ralph Goodale Presents A Succinct Perspective

A lot of us have been going back on forth on these blogs, debating the right time for an election. I've been on both sides on the issue. It would be good to wait a bit to hear more about Conservative scandals and corruption, but it would also be good to pull the plug on the matter of the immigration secret agenda Harper has tried to slip into law.

James Curran has a very interesting take on whether there will be an election this Spring, or not (well worth reading)...

I received one of Ralph Goodale's "Weekly Commentary" emails today. I was going to "quote" from it, but decided to just post the whole thing lock, stock, and two smokin' barrels... Ralph does a really good job verbalizing the Liberal position, and highlights why having A strategy, is more important than firing off "non-confidence" votes like the Dippers. A party that aspires to power has good reasons to employ some strategy, and also has to realize that the public trust is more important than just a "media-attention-grab" vote of non-confidence.

Here's the Hon. Ralph Goodale's take (put succinctly - as only Ralph is known to do):


For more than a year now, Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government has been trying to engineer its own defeat on a long string of “confidence votes” in the House of Commons.

They clearly want a fast election – before voters become more familiar with the worsening scandals that are exposing Conservative corruption, and before the economic slowdown in Ontario and Quebec becomes an outright recession, exposing Conservative incompetence.

But to date, the government’s trickery has failed, because the Liberal Official Opposition has exercised disciplined, strategic patience. We have refused to be suckered into every technical opportunity to vote “no confidence”.

Why? Because we want to make sure that the issue and the timing ultimately selected for an election will line up with what Canadians want – not just reshuffling the status quo, but actually changing the government. Otherwise, what’s the point?

That’s how Liberals in this Parliament are different from the NDP.

We don’t want a permanent role in Opposition, while such a role is all the NDP can hope for. Unlike the NDP, the Liberal strategy in Parliament will not only force the Harper government into an election, but also result in that government being replaced. Liberals can do that; New Democrats cannot.

Three factors are coming together to create a compelling rationale for change.

First, there’s that disturbing pattern of unethical Conservative behaviour which reinforces a strong feeling that this government cannot be trusted.

Secondly, Mr. Harper’s short-sighted and ideological mismanagement of the economy has destroyed Canada’s fiscal security and is bringing the nation to the brink of an unacceptable deficit.

Third, Liberals are laying out a generous, ambitious vision for Canada’s future – all within the bounds of fiscal responsibility – providing powerful reasons to vote for a new government, and not just against the old one.

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