Comment 27785

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 04, 2008 at 09:51:14

Whether you like the conservatives or not, I think we can all agree that Stephen Harper has poor skills at managing a minority government. Even members of his own party are grumbling that this is his fault.

He spent his time in the last government mocking and daring the opposition to vote him down and call an election. Then he starts out this session of parliament with a proposal that all the opposition parties find unpalatable for a variety of reasons including:

Removing government funding of political parties, which is a trivial amount of government spending and helps ensure that all parties can compete on a more equal footing, regardless of whether they appeal to people with significant wealth or not.

Eliminating the rights of public unions to strike for a period of time.

Reducing the ability of women to sue for pay equity (this one wasn't reported much, and I've only found one reference to it so far.).

He backed off on these when faced with a coalition, but it seems to me that he is clearly intending to continue this parliament trying to push through a majority agenda with a minority parliament. That is exactly what made parliament unworkable before the election.

Minority governments are a careful balancing act of compromise, and Harper is not good at compromise.

Whatever you think of the coalition, I think many of us can agree on that.

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