Saturday, May 21, 2005

Captain's Quarters -- Is Harper Finished?


"Captain Ed" has a post up with a lot of interesting comments on it but regarding the post itself, his last para caught me;

[...]

Harper may or may not survive this lost gamble. The real losers from a historical standpoint will be those who literally stood to keep in power a party that has so corrupted Canadian politics that it's impossible now to know whether their power has ever been legitimate.


I don't think Harper is in any danger of losing his job. Technically, Harper lost the confidence vote but it is noteworthy that he lost it, not because people didn't think he was right but rather, because of treachery within his own party. Personally, after reflecting on the situation a bit more I continue to feel that Belinda's move was a good thing because it happened now rather than in the middle of an election campaign.
Martin, for short term gain, wasted a "magic bullet" that should have been saved for later and he may come to regret that decision in the fullness of time.

Update:
Stephen Harper should step down


If ever the time was ripe to banish the Liberals from power, that time is now. This is not to say that given the makeup of Parliament the government should have fallen during the budget votes. If an election was held today, given the credible allegations of Liberal Party corruption and a government unable to function while it desperately clings to power, the Liberals should be looking to take a drubbing like they did when John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney came to power.

Yet the polls indicate that the Liberals and the Conservatives are running neck and neck. Depending upon the day and the poll, one party or the other is always slightly ahead.

Under the most optimistic of circumstances, Stephen Harper has not been able to convince enough Canadians that his Conservative Party of Canada is anything more than a Western-based party. Despite the deep anger in Quebec over the sponsorship scandal, the Conservatives are not poised to win any seats in that province. And since no one will ever believe that a Canada governed by the Conservatives will be as generous with Atlantic Canada as the Liberals now are, the Tories would be hard pressed to make significant gains east of Quebec.

[...]


Here we go again...conservatives doing what conservatives do best...tearing each other to pieces. This article is breathtaking in it's lack of foresight -- and "dead wrong".


David Frum -- For Martin and Stronach, It's Lose-Lose


David Frum has his column up regarding the Stronach betrayal.

[...]

We've been hearing for a month how popular all that new Liberal spending is. We've been hearing too how little the public wanted a new election. If that were true, would not Paul Martin have been smart to let the Conservatives and Bloc force a vote upon him?

This deal suggests that none of those things were true: that Martin's pollsters were warning him that the new spending was not working, that public reluctance to return to the polls would not translate into Liberal votes once they got there. And as members of Martin's own caucus absorb the implications of this unsavory deal, they are bound to wonder: Has Martin been misleading them about anything else?

A number of newspaper columnists have been asking whether Stephen Harper can survive Belinda Stronach's defection. That's a silly question. The Conservative party is more united this morning than it has been at any time in almost two decades. Belinda never had any supporters in the party, only employees. And those Conservatives inclined to agree with her views are the very Conservatives who feel the most outraged by her betrayal: She has made them all look potentially disloyal, and they will rally to Harper in response.

No, the leader whose survival is now in question is Paul Martin. His ruthless party now understands that it is in deadly trouble, trouble that is getting worse every day as Martin moves left, left, left away from the taxpaying Canadian middle. Some of those Liberals in vulnerable seats have to be wondering: Might we not be better off with a leader who doesn't lurch from crisis to crisis? One whom Canadians trust and respect?

They are bound to wonder too: If the editorialists are right that Canadians want Liberal-style policies--but dislike the all-pervasive corruption of the Liberal leadership--maybe the solution is to find new leaders, leaders untainted by the fraudulent wheeling and dealing of the past 12 years? Stronach may well be right that her story demonstrates the need for "renewal" in Canadian public life. But I'd bet that the leader who just took a giant step closer to being "renewed" by his own party is not the leader she treacherously deserted--but the one who just rented her services.

I'm certain she'll help our friend "Big Pauli" OUT (if you get my drift).