Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bad day at Rideau Hall

The Canadian Governor General has given Harper exactly what he wanted, a delay until late January, and thus no need to face a non-confidence motion until then. This is a bad decision. I assume she made it as she feared the Conservative-controlled media would claim she refused Harper's request on partisan grounds. She thus denies the clearly expressed will of Parliament, apparently without even meeting the leaders of the coalition. If Canada ever abolishes the office of Governor General, this is the kind of bone-headed move that will be cited.

Now Canada will receive the full court media press, regurgitating every talking point Harper can produce. He'll table a terrible budget, but with enough quasi-stimulus provisions in it that he can argue that it would be counterproductive to upset the government in order to meet the ambitions of the coalition leaders. He'll try to sway some of the more weak-willed Liberals, and probably get Ignatieff on his side, as Ignatieff fears that the coalition would interfere with his plans for his coronation as Liberal leader. Harper's not out of the woods yet - for one thing, the Liberals will lose just about all their credibility if they don't go through with the coalition - but this is not a good day for Canada.