Cry Wolf

If there is one thing that the Conservatives should steer clear of for a while, it’s predicting the downfall of the Martin Liberals. They’ve been rattling the sabre so much lately that it’s starting to look more like it’s rusted in the scabard.

In their mind, I’m sure they didn’t come off looking too bad following Belinda Stronach’s exquisitely well-timed change of allegiance this spring, but I don’t think most of us give them much credit for playing the martyr role. First of all, even if they could have pulled it off, who wants a victim in government? Others felt it was just cynical politics as usual, and some, like myself, never bought the line that MPs should be bound to the party they were elected under.

All we see is a leader who can’t keep high-profile MPs on-side, a party that urges social moderates out the door, and an opposition so inept it can’t topple a minority government in the middle of one of the worst scandals in Canadian history.

But of course, all of this is ancient history on scale of politics. So why do the Conservatives keep reminding us of it? We don’t need any more predictions. They’ve probably used up their quota of headlines of that nature anyways, and may soon be forced to resort to standing on streetcorners with signs reading “The End (of the Liberals) is nigh!”. So how about they keep their mouths shut until the headline reads “Liberals Lose Confidence Vote”?

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5 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Monday, 31 October 2005 at 12:21 pm

    “So how about they keep their mouths shut until the headline reads “Liberals Lose Confidence Vote”?”

    I’m afraid that is too much to ask. I’n surpized the rheteric is as benign as it is, considering we’ve been in a virtual election campaign since PM set the election date, or range of dates.

    Could you imagine the Conservative line on the Gomery report being anything other than the straw that breaks the Liberal government. It is their job, especially if the report is not particularily damning, to make fire out of smoke.

    Gomery party at my house tomorrow, starts at 9 AM. There will be chips and dip.

  2. Manatee said,

    Monday, 31 October 2005 at 12:34 pm

    Make that 8 AM, there will be cereal and juice.

  3. Gnomes said,

    Monday, 31 October 2005 at 1:07 pm

    I fully agree that they should continue to hammer away at Liberal credibility, and they should keep trying to topple them. The thing they should avoid is predicting the future, when it makes them look mistaken and ineffective.

  4. Manatee said,

    Monday, 31 October 2005 at 3:53 pm

    I’m afraid you’ve caught me referring to the Conservatives’ job as getting elected, rather than the more honourable task of holding the government to account.

    Conservative posturing in the spring did make them look ineffective and not politically astute. However, now when they claim Gomery outrage will lead to a change in government they do not have to worry about winning a confidence vote, they can simply wait for the promised election.

    As annoying as it is, the Conservatives are and will continue to campaign as though they will form the next government. And in the pragmatic (and dishonourable) definition of a political party’s job, they should.

  5. O'Smiley said,

    Monday, 31 October 2005 at 5:09 pm

    If the Conservatives want to keep in the spotlight they have to continue pounding the Liberals on Gomery. Gomery is quickly becoming the only thing left for the Conservatives to critique.

    I believe, though, that the time of a possible Conservative government as come and gone. I hate to say it but as a minority government the Liberals have begun to redeem themselves. Their stance on rebuilding healthcare (rather than reform – a PR nightmare), their ability to deal with the NDP ‘demands’, their strong stance on the softwood issue (listen to the PM radio address here), the booming economy, and the recently proposed new plans for dealing with budget surplus’s and proposed tax cuts; – it is getting easier and easier for the Canadian public, of all political affiliations, to look past Gomery (which is looking more and more like old news).


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