NDP supporters will think this is just bashing, but honestly as a political junkie, the evolving NDP budget capitulation is simply breathtaking. The other day I noted that Flaherty seemed to outright reject that "core" NDP demand on home heating taxes. I mentioned that we should look to see if the NDP drops the heating demand and looks to bear hug something else, to rationalize propping up the government. In fairness, CPP has always been ONE NDP demand. However, with the government signalling they want CPP reform as well, it is fascinating to see the NDP quickly move to this item as the "make or break". Last year at budget time we had almost daily NDP press releases demanding an end to corporate tax breaks. This year it was a list of paltry NDP demands, which has now been peared down to one apparently, ONE the government has already signalled they intend to reform. In other words, the NDP have transitioned to people who don’t read budgets to people who will chain themselves to a paragraph, in a budget to avoid an election? It’s starting to sound likeit:
“If the government said to us ‘look we want to spend the next four months working on CPP, we want to work with you. If we can get you onside, will you consider supporting our budget?’ The answer to that is yes. And that is what I’d rather be doing,” said Christopherson.
All of Hamilton’s NDP MPs stated they would follow leader Jack Layton’s support for the Conservative budget and prevent an election if the NDP could get something substantive in return.
Pretty clear language- if we can get an agreement on one item, the government is already floating, we will support the budget. There is also mention of what the NDP did in the past when an election looked possible, namely the EI reform. An interesting reminder, because if you were paying attention, you would remember Min Finley telegraphed the EI reform in the summer, the NDP then mirrored and adopted as their own, knowing full well the government was already on board. Bingo, bango, the Conservatives brought forward EI reforms that were ALREADY in their bluebook and the NDP claimed victory. It was all such utter nonsense, but hey, optics rule and the NDP had their talking point to justify. It would appear we are in the midst of a similar manufactured deal, find something the government already plans to bring forward and make that the ONLY consideration, everything else is secondary. NDP supporters can roll out "making Parliament work", the rest of us can gag.
I’m not sure what will happen, this NDP desire to avoid an election could all fall apart easily. However, one thing is painfully clear, the NDP really, really, really don’t want an election. I wonder if the Liberals will bake them cakes and whatnot?