Monday, December 1, 2008



Developments in Ottawa have moved much beyond the National Capital's green-belt. Surely every Canadian elector is now, not just engaged but, somewhat riveted both by the pace of, and the historic developments in, the current Parliamentary session.

Whilst I understand the difficulties which would be involved in dumping early the legitimate leader of the Liberal Party, Stephane Dion, before his scheduled departure in May of next year. I must admit that I would be more comfortable if someone like Michael Ignatieff, perhaps even Bob Rae, had been the odds-on favourite to lead the new coalition government, as Prime Minister, should such be the case by Tuesday of next week.

Still though, I am buoyed by the prospect that a new government, headed by Mr. Dion, would appoint and subsequently presumably rely on the advice of an Economic Advisory Panel formed of seasoned personages including the former Prime Minister, Paul Martin, the former Deputy Prime-Minister, John Manley, former New Brunswick Premier, Frank McKenna, and former Saskatchewan Premier, Roy Romanow. Because while developments in Ottawa this week are unprecedented and of monumental significance; the root cause of the country's malaise is our collapsing economy and the apparent failure of Mr. Harper's Conservative Government to grasp, until it is now perhaps too late, the concerns of ordinary Canadians about the country's short term direction.

As things seem to be turning-out, it becomes somewhat obvious that the Prime Minister, Mr. Harper, pretty much like the rest of us, really isn't the superhero saviour of the country's well-being some would have wished him to be. Last week's Financial Update blunder which has sparked the current Constitutional crisis speaks sadly more about the volume of the Government's neo-conservative ideology than the country's real need for direction and leadership at this critical juncture in our economic history.

With four sitting days left to go before next Monday's unprecedented vote in the House of Commons, it is far too early to predict the outcome of the Parliamentary and Constitutional shake-down which may be about to occur. The anticipated $30-billion bail-out program for the economy: Including infrastructure spending, help for the forestry and automotive industries, and pension guarantees which the Liberal, New Democrat and Bloc coalition will introduce over the next few days may be a powerful antidote the the "Stephane Dion is no leader" mantra which the Conservatives are sure to resurrect during the next critical hours and days.

It is clearly much too early to predict the ultimate outcome. But regardless, students and practitioners of Political Science in decades to come will study, discuss, digest and dissect this week's developments in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. If, as many now anticipate, by early next week the Governor-General is forced to choose, as the Constitution mandates that she must. One of her guiding principles should be that the "coalition"...shaky, faulty, weak, as it may either appear, or in fact be,...still represents 54% of the people who voted in the October 14Th general election.



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