If you’re a Canadian with a television or a radio, you surely know that the opposition parties do not like the fiscal update the government put forth last week. The Liberals promised to introduce a motion of non-confidence on Monday. Then the Prime Minister cancelled the session during which they’d do this, delaying the possibility by one week. He did this presumably to make enough changes so the opposition parties won’t bring down the government.
The opposition parties aren’t sitting on their hands right now. The Liberals and NDP are talking and say they’ll be ready to propose a coalition government to the Governor General, rather than triggering a second Federal election just six weeks after the last one.
But the Prime Minister doesn’t like the idea. On Friday, he said:
While we have been working on the economy, the opposition has been working on a backroom deal to overturn the results of the last election without seeking the consent of voters. They want to take power, not earn it.
Given his position, this opinion is understandable. At the same time however, the way politicians change their beliefs depending on which the side of the street they find themselves is abhorrent to me. For example, before Harper was our current Prime Minister, he was merely the leader of one of the three opposition parties. As such, he was one of the three authors of a letter to the Governor General in 2004, the others being Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton, part of which read:
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program. We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority. Your attention to this matter is appreciated.
Busted, Stephen! Hypocrite. I love it.
Hat tip to Jay, via Alan.