Sunday, February 18, 2007

Liberals Weakness

The environment will NOT be the key issue in the next election. It will have an impact but not what Dion and the Greens hope for.

Harper has made it clear that the next election will be about Law and Order and Afghanistan. And this is where the Liberals are weak, a house divided.

And this is where the NDP is strongest in holding principled positions directly opposed to the Harpocrites. Sure their positions are at odds with pundits and pollsters but in the end a clear stark line of demarcation between the NDP and the Harpocrites leaves the Liberals out on a limb. As centrists they have failed to appeal to either the right or the left, and all Dion has done is paint himself green.

Meanwhile on issues of Law and Order and Afghanistan they suffer from the political baggage they carry from having been the government in power that introduced Anti-Terrorism laws and troops in Afghanistan.

Thus the Dion Liberals skate all over the ice trying to coordinate their right wing and left wing. And like the Oilers, they are not scoring goals.

Challenged this week on his judicial agenda, Harper opted for a schoolboy counterattack. Without much connection to anything relevant, the Prime Minister accused Liberals of not liking the police. That tactic echoes this government's response to skepticism about Afghanistan: To doubt its purpose or progress is to undermine troop morale


Despite growing opposition within Liberal ranks, party Leader Stephane Dion says Grits will "absolutely not" revisit their decision to oppose an extension of two controversial provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act on civil liberties grounds. Dion's spokesman Andre Fortin made the statement Friday as a potential mutiny appeared to be shaping up among Liberal MPs, some of whom argue that one of the measures, investigative hearings, are vital to an RCMP probe into the 1985 Air India bombing. Among Liberal MPs citing the Air India case are justice critic Marlene Jennings, Stephen Owen, Keith Martin and Don Bell.

While the party may have put its bickering behind it, the NDP said yesterday Mr. Dion has yet to make clear his position, refusing to back a withdrawal of troops but also opposing the extension of the mission to 2009. "If Mr. Dion is looking to blame someone for the current state of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, he might want to start with his own caucus," the NDP said, noting that several key Liberals did not turn up for a vote on extending the mission.



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1 comment:

Ken Chapman said...

Hi Eugene - the next election will be about Law and Order for Harper and his base. Our military role will be an issue because it goes to how we see ourselves as a nation.

The big issue is going to be the environment...the shift in priority and the intensity felt on the issue will make it the big platform winner.

The ballot question will be interesting and it will not by Kyoto yes or no. It will be influenced by the malaise over do we trust Harper versus do we know Dion. The answer to both right now is no. Harper will have a tougher time gaining trust than Dion will have becoming known I expect.

Layton will be down but not out. May will be included and may win a seat or two but will do well in popular votes as a parking stall.