Ottawa ON – The latest rumour de jour is that the Liberals will try a snap nonconfidence motion before the Conservatives can deliver their budget. This is an interesting thought, but it is very high risk.
Such a move reflects the desperation of the Liberals to try to get back into power at any cost and it will appear to the public to be exactly what it is- a self-serving attempt that has none of the interests of the public in mind.
Most Canadians are also smart enough to know that forcing an election will also solve the Liberal’s leadership woes in the short term. Either Ignatieff will win or he will be gone. Solving the woes of the Liberal Party with an election won’t attract votes
It will be interesting to see how the Liberals explain to Canadians that they brought the government down because the Conservatives aren’t transparent enough and that the Conservative government didn’t give the opposition the information they wanted. The Liberals must have a very short memory or they are hoping Canadian voters do, because a generation of Canadian voters grew up watching a Liberal Prime Minister and his ministers avoid answering questions, it’s a way of life in politics. Lumping Bev Oda and Jason Kenney into any motion as further proof of the lack of government transparency is too inside baseball for the average voter to care about. Is the average voter more concerned about his job or what letterhead Jason Kenney used?
If the Liberals waited for the budget they would at least have something solid to attack rather than simply saying “Liberals good…Conservatives bad”. By bringing the government down before the budget, the Conservatives can still trot out a long list of positive initiatives that would have been in the budget and attack the opposition for preventing their delivery. A similar strategy used by the Liberals in 2004 was quite effective.
There is also the Canadian sense of fair play. To do this when one of your opponents is on the sidelines recovering from an operation will not be seen in a positive light. If I was the NDP I would be playing up their attempts to get some concessions from the government and playing down Layton’s recovery speed. At least they could show Canadians that unlike the Liberals, they are in it for Canadians.
For the Conservatives what a gift this would be. It proves beyond a doubt that their attack ad line on Ignatieff “That he didn’t come back for you” is 100% correct.