Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:49 pm Post subject: Dion, P.M. In Waiting? Shame on the Wpg. Free Press
Mr. Dion's choice
Fri Oct 19 2007
THE leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition has two serious and sometimes conflicting responsibilities. One is to his political party and its hopes to form the next government after the next election. That is no small thing in a democracy.
The other is a far larger thing in a democracy. It is the responsibility that the Opposition owes to the nation and its people to say publicly that if the government's policy is wrong and hurtful to the country, then the government should be defeated, an election called and the voters asked to change it.
When the governing party has a majority, that charge may become moot; the opposition can only object. With a minority government, however, that responsibility becomes onerous if the opposition can defeat the government, as the Liberal party under Stéphane Dion can do today. Faced with the choice between those two responsibilities this week, following an aggressive throne speech from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives, Mr. Dion opted to do a little side-step.
His Liberals will propose amendments to the throne speech that the other opposition parties cannot support and then abstain from voting on the throne speech itself, thus enabling the Conservatives to continue for a while but also, more to the point, avoiding an election that Liberals do not want to fight given Mr. Dion's dismal political condition.
The Liberals, of course, do not phrase it exactly like that. It is Canadians, according to Mr. Dion, who do not want an election right now and so he and his party will bite the bullet, stand back and permit Conservative mismanagement in order to spare voters the punishment of having to go to the polls for the third time in just over three years.
It may be true, if the polls can be believed, that Canadians don't want an election now, but when do they ever? -- only in the most comfortable of democracies can voting be regarded as an inconvenience. What is unquestionably true, however, is that Mr. Dion and the Liberals do not want an election now. He has condemned the throne speech and the agenda it sets out in harsh terms. That agenda sets out policies that he and the Liberal party have condemned in even more compelling ways. He is, however, willing to allow Mr. Harper to inflict his agenda on the nation because he says Canadians don't want an election that his Liberals probably can't win. What Canadians truly don't want is to watch their prime-minister-in-waiting relying on so obviously frail an excuse as that, looking after his own political interests rather than the nation's.
Anyways my household gets the Winnipeg Free Press everyday (to be honest the Brandon Sun is pathetic) and I always read the A - Headline section, and this editorial today - while it did criticize Dion - really PO'ed me.
So I guess the Editorial Board at the Wpg. Free Press is Liberal.
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Dion, P.M. In Waiting? Shame on the Wpg. Free Press