Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's All About the ...Stimulus Package

Liberal/NDP coalition talks are all about the Benjamins

With the federal government having speculated that they will end a $30 million program subsidizing Canada's political parties to the tune of $1.97 per vote, Canada's opposition parties immediately started crowing.

The Liberals and NDP announced would defeat the government and attempt to form a coalition government. Many conservative commentators are calling it a coup d'etat. The National Post's Kelly McParkland has even called the arrangement a junta.

Of course, matters were very different just days ago when Parliament passed the throne speech despite the lack of an economic stimulus package in the government's prescribed program.

Then the government talks about cutting the subsidies received by each political party -- including itself. Now the Liberals and NDP are ready to defeat the government and try to form a coalition.

Anyone who honestly believes that this scheme really has anything to do with economic stimulus is a fool.

When the Conservatives first moved to cut these subsidies, there was a great deal of ambiguity related to their motives. Yet various partisans from the Liberals, NDP and Greens vocally accused the government of having devious intentions. Admittedly, those motivations are part and parcel of the government's own proposition.

The Tories have since backed off on the topic. But there's little news of the opposition preparing to back down.

With the talk of a Liberal/NDP coalition, there is no ambiguity. The Liberals and NDP want to protect their subsidies. The Liberals want to govern, and the NDP wants its first taste of federal power.

When the government mused about eliminating party funding from the federal budget, the opposition parties insisted that the government was being self-serving.

Whether or not this is true remains a significant question. If the government was being self-serving it deserves to be defeated and replaced. But while the case can be argued, it's far from certain.

But in the case of the proposed Liberal/NDP coalition government there is no uncertainty. The Liberals and NDP are being self-serving to the extent that they are set to help themselves to power that they have not won.

All the talk about a Liberal/NDP government is about money and power. Nothing more and nothing less.

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