This bored blogger is delighted with the insanity which has consumed Parliament. It’s the most exciting thing to happen in Canadian politics in six weeks. To re-cap:
1) The Prime Minister, extraordinary political strategist and middling leader that he is, decides the fiscal crisis would be a good time to end public financing for political parties. Completely coincidentally, this will hurt all the other parties more than his own. The cuts will be a part of the Fall Fiscal Update, a sort of mini budget and thus a matter of confidence; if it fails the government falls.
2) The Liberals and NDP, cornered and desperate animals that they are, begin talking about forming a coalition government when this one falls. This is ostensibly because the Fiscal Update doesn’t contain stimulus measures like every other respectable country is implementing, but it is more likely that the political pain of triggering a second election in as many months is not as bad as the fiscal pain of losing public financing.
3) The Prime Minister, who probably didn’t think the Liberals and NDP would even consider a coalition, backs down. The death of public financing will not be a part of today’s vote on the Fiscal Update.
4) But wait, this solves nothing! The other parties are still talking about replacing the government because there is no economic stimulus package in the Fiscal Update.
And this is where we stand at the moment.