Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Master Chess Player

This is a fascinating time to be following Federal politics in Canada.

The most entertaining aspect of all is sitting back and observing Stephen Harper's shrewd machinations bear political fruit. We Tory backseat drivers tend to worry and obsess when we detect what we perceive to be a tactical error in policy or maneuvering, but rest assured that our Fearless Leader has a very far-sighted plan. He is always ten moves ahead of everyone else.

And this budget is no exception.

Chantel Hebert describes the breathtaking ten minutes during the budget announcement that PQ Leader André Boisclair held the fate of this Parliament in his hands. Dion had apparently already decided not to support the budget without even reading it and Jack Layton would only support it if given the political spotlight to rewrite it.

And word was out from the government that the budget would stand as is. No Liberal-NDP shenanigans this time.

So Duceppe called Boisclair to discuss the options which were obviously either to immediately go to the polls or not. Since they felt they couldn't explain the rationale behind voting down all that money to the Quebec electorate, they opted to support the budget. This has its own interesting ramifications because now they have to explain why separatists are propping up a federalist government. They are also forced to admit that federalism can have its rewards.

Brian Laghi of the Globe calls it a game of political chicken. It seems that even though Harper has a minority government, he also has carte blanche until such a time as the opposition parties decide they've had enough.

What will be the tipping point?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a pawn.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

- An awestruck pawn.

Gerry said...

I agree with you Jo. The more I look at the strategy and substance of the Budget the more I like it. During Queston Period yesterday the opposition looked silly with very bland questions regarding the Budget. It will be interesting to see the impact this will have on the Quebec election. Some very interesting days ahead.

Alberta Girl said...

I agree with you Joanne regarding the chess moves. All those decrying the budget as not "conservative" enough have not learned that our PM definitely knows what he is doing and like you said is always thinking 10 moves ahead. It isn't until that move is played and we all realize what has happened (usually it brings a flurry of lefties out crying "that's not fair" -hee hee).

To all those crying about this budget - do you not realize that if he had brought in a truly conservative budget, we would have been in an election as of today and the CPC would most likely lose. Leadership is recognizing what is important to the people you are leading. Most people forget that alot of this money is one time money.

Its all a chess game!

Anonymous said...

Sadly the Liberals still can't get over the fact that they LOST the election.

What's really funny to me is how, one week Dion complains that Harper steals Liberal ideas, then, when Harper presents a Liberal budget Dion cries foul.....doesn't say much for what Dion thinks of his own re-gifted budget ideas does it?

Anonymous said...

I think Harper's smarter than the Dionistas and Dippers combined.

He's going to weather this just fine. I also have to say that Flaherty's proving to be a very good and masterful Minister. I actually like watching this guy in Question Period. He's very relaxed and comfortable in his own skin and a good sales person.

Jimmy

Mr Ed said...

the big difference between this and a Liberal budget is this budget has exact terms attached... The money goes to the "insert provence" for "insert specific issue"... If the Provence doesn't spend the money on said issue then it's clearly that provences problem.

The best budgets don't make everyone happy...the same can be said for the best leaders... you can't please everyone all of the time and effectively lead a country anywhere... the "squeaky wheels" typically all the doom sayers, media, and "have not" provences that have been helped into helplessness will always scowl and complain.

Red Tory said...
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Red Tory said...
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Sandy (Crux-of-the-Matter) said...

Great post Jo. This is the fourth time I've tried to leave a comment. It comes up "your request could not be processed. Required field must not be blank." I have done as I always do. Puzzling. I will try as an anonymous this time to see if that works. Anyway, I agree with you. SH is definitely a master chess player and he has nerves of steel.

Gabby in QC said...

I was listening to L. Ian Macdonald's "Insider" program on Sunday, the day before budget Monday. Macdonald played a few clips of PM Harper's speech delivered at the "boot camp." In one of those clips, the PM is heard saying (paraphrasing): "We cannot worry about what they say about us around the *boardroom table.* We must care about what they say about us around the *kitchen table.*"

So what do I hear as reasons that Jack Layton is not supporting the budget? Jack Layton in a scrum after the budget is introduced:
"It's as if the *kitchen table* got a few crumbs, while the *boardroom table* got big corporate tax cuts." And I heard that line repeated quite a few times.

Ah, yes: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Red Tory said...
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Anonymous said...

Oooops!!!
Red Tory is back
didn't have much to say I guess he recognizes a good budget
and a good chess player

kudos to Joanne

Florence

Anonymous said...

Joanne
Have you checked TDH strategies
they are exposing a Conservative candidate for Newton-North Delta
as having two identities?
Sandeep Pandher alias
Sandeep Singh

I guess this warrants some investigation

Florence

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Florence, just ignore him. Maybe he'll go away.

Anonymous said...

The article at TDH has dissappeared
they had copies of application forms etc. allegedly filled out by Sandeep Singh who they claim is now Sandeep Pandher also stated he worked with Liberal party

I wonder why article has been removed?

Florence

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I wonder why article has been removed?

Florence, I saw that article yesterday. There has been a lot of intriguing items posted at TDH and then quickly disappearing. Chucker and I have been following this. Something is going on there. I have a mole who has been feeding us info, but nothing substantial or proven yet. Just nuances. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joanne

Florence

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I also have to say that Flaherty's proving to be a very good and masterful Minister. I actually like watching this guy in Question Period. He's very relaxed and comfortable in his own skin and a good sales person.

I agree Jimmy. Flaherty is a great asset to the party, and he takes QP in stride; almost seeming to enjoy it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

During Queston Period yesterday the opposition looked silly with very bland questions regarding the Budget.

Gerry, that's for sure. And I am tired of watching Karen Redman clap like a trained seal every time Dion opens his mouth.

I know, I know. It's not fair!

Anonymous said...

And I am tired of watching Karen Redman clap like a trained seal every time Dion opens his mouth.

...or Marlene Jennings chanting "Shame, shame...." towards the Conservatives.

Silly goil.

raz

PGP said...

As I said on monday and tuesday...this budget is a politicians budget! It has nada to do with good governance and everything to do with buying votes.
I don't like it when liberals do this and do not like it when conservatives do it.

Harper has a lot to answer for.

Anonymous said...

I just watched Question Period (I had it taped) and honestly, I felt a bit embarrassed for Dion. He just doesn't look or talk like a leader. Can you imagine him on the international scene, speaking for Canada? People would think that we are basically a french-speaking country. His questions/comebacks are quite lame. He just doesn't cut the mustard.

Don Newman made a point after that PM Harper answered all of the questions, and that he'd never seen that before (he admitted a few minutes later that Pierre Trudeau did the same a week before he left politics). Well, my first thought was, how could Paul Martin have taken all or any questions, because he never seemed to know what was going on. At least with PM Harper I have a good feeling that he is on top of things, and that he actually spends his time reading, thinking and discussing policies for Canada.

He's a good PM, and I, for one, am glad that he wrote a budget for Canada. As I mentioned elsewhere, Canada is a difficult country to govern, but hopefully once provincial jurisdictions are put back into the hands of the provincial governments (with the fiscal balance in mind), people can sit back and look to their provincial governments for programs, rather than to the federal government. Then, the federal government can put its mind to what is becoming more of an issue, security.....

raz

Mac said...

My impression is this budget was crafted to be a non-issue. It was absolutely political but chasing votes wasn't the goal. Exactly the opposite, I would say.

Look at it this way: is this budget one which Harper wants to fight an election over? Not likely. There's too many carrots for too many people and no tax cuts whatsoever; not a conservative budget.

There are a number of other more interesting issues on the horizon...

Stuff like legislation due to return from the Senate and committees. The Auditor General might be giving some preliminary findings from those programs which the Liberals used to protect from the A-G's scrutiny.

Jack of the Newswatch is right; patience and keep your powder dry.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jack of the Newswatch is right; patience and keep your powder dry.

Mac, that's right. One of his readers had apparently said that it's a marathon; not a sprint. What a great metaphor.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Can you imagine him on the international scene, speaking for Canada?

Raz - I dink da pea-PULS of CanaDA would be embarrASSED.

robedger said...

"This budget is good politics and it will be welcomed by people who dislike Liberals because it will make it less likely that the Liberals get back into office. And if conservatism is only a dislike of Liberals, then there's no problem." ~ Paul Wells

Ti-Guy said...

And if conservatism is only a dislike of Liberals, then there's no problem.

Rational people have been saying this for years. Conservatism at present constitutes little more than a sectary, the only interest of which is in power (for reasons I've yet to see fully explained). That is the only principle in play here.

Joanne, whatever it is you think you're doing, you're participating in a very immoral activity.