Friday, June 15, 2007

Liberal Senate could be Harper's Best Ally

The inimitable Chantal Hébert warns Liberals Senators that they may be walking right into a Tory trap; with their sabre-rattling about opposing the budget ("Beware, Liberal Senators").

So far, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, as the aggrieved provinces in the equalization dispute, have had the centre stage to themselves.

That could change in a rearguard Senate battle against the budget.

Seven provinces – accounting for more than 90 per cent of the population – are relatively satisfied with the new way the federal government proposes to redistribute its revenues among them.

Some have already factored the changes into their plans.

Moreover, she suggests that Dion may have less control over his non-elected counterparts than he cares to admit, and that he is obviously worried about the potential fall-out:

By virtue of the government's minority status, Harper's budget has already had to secure sufficient opposition support to have it adopted in the House. So, it's at the will of the Commons rather than just at a soft Conservative target that Liberals senators are currently rattling their wooden sabres. They court a boomerang effect.

With his differences with his senators already public, a blockade in the Upper House could do more damage to Dion's credibility than to the battered budget itself.

So we have a Liberal-dominated Senate angry with Harper for attempting to democratize and control their very existence vs. a Liberal opposition leader who is worried about his own political future.

We also have MSM pundits who are very anxious to start their summer vacations, and would be in a foul mood to have to scuttle those plans because of a snap election.

So, what do I think about it?

Go, Senators, go!!!

* * * *

Update: Alberta Ardvark links to an article where McGuinty backs the Federal budget.

This is actually quite interesting when you think about it. Those Ontario Federal MP's who voted against the budget (i.e. everyone of them except the now Independent Joe Comuzzi) actually voted against Ontario's best interests!

That is certainly good fodder for the next election - It works both ways, Rodney.

Update #2: Chuckle of the Day QP - John Baird got up to ask the Liberals to lobby the Senate to pass the budget, on behalf of his Premier!


tori said...

chess vs checkers

Joanne (True Blue) said...


Calgary Junkie said...

Who would have thought the Senate was a double-edged sword ? Certainly not Dion who must have thought that sword could only be used against Harper. You could almost call McGuinty a double-edged knife, now also pointed at Dion.

But here's a new revelation about Dion from Chantal's column ...

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion likes to fish in his spare time. That and a natural lack of inclination for small talk may explain why he spent part of an end-of-session reception at Stornoway Wednesday night trolling the media pool for opinions as to whether the Senate was likely to delay the summer adjournment over the Conservative budget.

Why would the media tell Dion what they really think ? I'd say the media is just as likely to stir the pot, create confusion, get even more conflict between all the actors.

Dion is more of an idiot than I thought.

Jeff Davidson said...

it is unlikely, in the end, that the senate will oppose a money bill. it certainly provides good entertainment.

i find it ironic to hear conservatives moan about senate interference and dirty pool though.

this government, along with their manual of dirty tricks, have shut down committee after committee as soon as they proved to tricky to manage.

tories shut down another commons committee

Joanne (True Blue) said...

this government, along with their manual of dirty tricks, have shut down committee after committee

Jeff, it's the only tool in their war chest against the unelected, Lottery-for-Life Liberal Senators.

However, in this particular case, either the Senate or Dion is going to look bad one way or the other. It's the perfect storm.

Calgary Junkie said...

Okay, just for the sake of argument, suppose a lot of this kerfuffle around the Senate is a carefully orchestrated plan by Harper, the master strategist ?
(Eg, Has Harper purposely stalled debate so that its taken three months to get to this showdown, forcing Dion and the Senate to act with very little time, and a huge amount at stake ?)

Little by little, over the next week, different Harper-friendly actors comes on stage. Each raises the temperature, just a tiny bit, forcing some kind of response from the anti-Harper actors. Dion is watching it all unfold, but unlike Harper, Dion has almost no control over the anti-Harper actors.

The temperature rises and rises. Positions get hardened. There's less chance for compromise. The anti-Harper actors, having gone too far, can't back down, without losing a huge amount of face.

The end result: An election gets triggered, with the Liberal Senators cast in the role of the bad guys. And Dion revealed to be the impotent, incompetent leader that he really is.

Checkmate to follow after the election results.

MrEd said...

Dion's out classed not being able to even play chess... Harper's looking at the end game 5-6 moves ahead while Dion's still trying to figure out how to move the little horsey's