Political intrigue

I haven’t posted much on the drama unfolding in Ottawa these days.  To tell you the truth I see both sides of the thing.  An ustable coalition held hostage by the vested interest of the Bloc may not be the best model of government during these troubling times but a deeply partisan dictatorship with the threat of bringing down parliament as its only trump card is also not the best model.  If you are the opposition you are almost forced to try a coalition because continuous elections are in no one’s interest.

So, maybe the Harper Conservatives should try to govern like they are in a minority position and accommodate the other parties to get legislation passed rather than try and steamroll unacceptable (to the opposition) legislation through with the looming threat of election as the only grease.

But it may be too late for the Conservatives.  Why else would the Libs try to speed up Iggy’s coronation?  They may come back in January with a coalition government, wait until the public backlash subsides, hope they can govern successfully and they go back to the polls looking for a return to Liberal hegemony.

Regardless of who is in power, I would like to see a federal leader that would state unequivocally that federal economic development policies in the Maritimes over the past 25 have not worked and he/she is eager to start a new dialog about new models for growth.  Turning ACOA into a pure play inward investment agency (like the Irish IDA) with some trade development functions would be a good place to start.

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4 Responses to Political intrigue

  1. nbt says:

    You said, “Regardless of who is in power, I would like to see a federal leader that would state unequivocally that federal economic development policies in the Maritimes over the past 25 have not worked and he/she is eager to start a new dialog about new models for growth. Turning ACOA into a pure play inward investment agency (like the Irish IDA) with some trade development functions would be a good place to start.”

    Wasn’t that Ignatieff’s stated position in the last leadership race when he hit the trail in NB?

  2. I don’t remember. I was a little concerned when Ignatieff said that the economic problems in the Maritimes were no different than Northern Ontario or rural Quebec. In relation to the federal government, there is a huge difference. New Brunswick is a province that interacts directly with the federal government. Northern Ontario is a jurisdiction in a province called Ontario. That’s not just parsing – that is a huge difference. But I would be interested in Ignatieff’s Atl. Canada economic development policies. If you have any links send them along.

  3. nbt says:

    Good point. Although, that’s the problem with regional development programs, they are held hostage by regional politics within provinces. Remember back in the 70s when DREE was introduced by the Trudeau government. Just when it seemed to be working (well at least statist think it was) for slow growth regions in NB and Quebec, areas on the island of Montreal, suffering from high unemployment, demanded they be included. And b/c the minister, Jean Marchand, was from that area, he decided to cut funds to the program in the maritimes to accommodate his own area of Montreal. Purely political, and purely damaging to the programs end results elsewhere.

    Simply put, you can’t win with these things.

  4. richard says:

    “that’s the problem with regional development programs”

    The main problem with regional development programs is that they have never been regional development programs. Instead they have been job-creation programs, generally put in place when one important regional industry goes belly-up. They always have short lifespans and rarely put money into long-term R&D efforts. Until that changes, regional dev pgms will have little impact. If Iggy want my vote, then he will have to show that he will invest massively in R&D.

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