The Liberal response to the budget will not be about "confidence" as much as it will be about responsibility for the economy and accountability for leaving Canada in such a weak position to deal with the recession. It is our duty to ensure that Harper does not slough off his responsibility for the lack of resilience of this economy. His minions have already began denying responsibility. They need to accept THEIR RESPONSIBILITY in things like "0 down, 40 year mortgages" - the primary cause of the worsening real estate conditions in this country. Harper's hacks made it possible for people who should NOT have been buying homes to do so - at grossly inflated prices.
I listen closely to financial experts and economists who claim this recession is going to get ugly (uglier than it is now). What will the "government about nothing" do? My bets are massive tax cuts, lip service to "incentives" (meaning infrastructure projects cities and provinces won't be able to claim), and talking up small numbers, convincing Canadians that 100 Million is a lot of money - when it barely covers one or two major projects. In essence, a "remedy for nothing".
In these conditions, and in these times, I ask fellow Liberals: Do we REALLY want to govern? It will get worse before it gets better - no matter what we do. Yes, we will help create the conditions for a quick recovery more effectively, but, we will have to go through the tough time.
Why not let Harper wear it a little longer? We know there is a legally mandated election set for October 2009. Should we not see what happens with the economy over the next few months, then strike? I'm not one to say we "sit on our hands" forever. If we're not ready in a few months of SERIOUS fund-raising, then we'll never be ready and may as well shut down our party.
We MUST "go" within 9 months. It is imperative for the party. If we choose not to vote down the budget now, and are asked "why", we simply need to answer, "because Steve has set an election for October 09 - let's see what this government intends to do to help Canadians". If we do choose to defeat the government, it had better be about something that is hurting Canada (more than the Harper government already has).
This thing isn't about confidence - it's about accountability. Accountability of a government - a government about nothing - which believes governments have no role in governing. A government that believes governments should be "hands off". A government that won't own up to "boondoggling" away 25 BILLION since they took over from the Martin Liberals. Time we hold them accountable. Time we put their feet to the fire. Defeat the government if necessary, but not necessarily "defeat the government".