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We have the election trigger. Will all 3 opposition parties agree to pull it?

With all due respect to Impolitical, if the government ignores or fails to meet the guidelines set out by Bill C-288, I’d rather leave the court challenges to the public or the environmental groups. The opposition parties can use the failure to comply with the law’s guidelines or the ignoring of it (defying the will of Parliament in the process) as a reason – and with justification – to vote non-confidence in the Conservative government, bring it down, and take it to the people.

Other issues can be discussed within the course of an election campaign, but I believe this bill on the environment and the refusal of the Conservatives to meet our Kyoto targets is the trigger for the opposition to use if they want to take the Conservatives on in a campaign with an issue that plays to the opposition parties strengths.

15 comments to We have the election trigger. Will all 3 opposition parties agree to pull it?

  • Canadians are foolish to let go of a Minority Government.NOW is the time to make our demands HEARD & drive the Harper Gov't to implement our demands:  – a sustainable, robust alternative energy economy…- OUT of Afghanistan… – proper supports for Green economics… Its not time to mess about with distractions like fundraising, elections… putting in a new Cabinet.We can get what we need, if we nag the bejayzus out of them to do OUR bidding, not KreepyKorporations:  CONTACT YOUR MP, now.

  • ALW

    As I say Scott, I even wish you were right, but I just don't see it.  This is incidentally why I don't put much stock in polls (except for actual voting results) : because what people say and what they will actually do when they are faced with the hard consequences are often two different things.

    I know you are chompin at the bit for a writ but you'll have to wait six months or so at least.  Patience :p

  • We shall see ALW, but I think the environment and Kyoto and pointing out how pitiful Baird's plan and the Conservatives plan is as compared to the rest of the world will very much resonate with Canadians. 

    If it were possible to bring the government down over this, I'd do it in a heartbeat and go to the polls.  I don't however have that say. That's just my opinion on the matter. Others are perfectly free to disagree 😉

  • ALW

    Not gonna happen, Scott.  And while obviously "environmental issues" are front of mind for a majority of Canadians, I think you are overestimating the depth of Canadians' commitment to meet Kyoto targets.  They want to meet them alright, but they will balk if they have to bear any noticeable cost  (recall Elizabeth May's proposal to hike gas taxes – exactly the sort of policy we would need to implement to drastically reduce emissions and meet Kyoto targets)

    Also, I'm not saying this is a good thing!!!  I would much prefer Canadians were serious about the environment – willing to make necessary sacrifices – but any party that proposes to impose a financial cost on people is going to get killed at the ballot box, unfortunately.  (This is similar to the old "most people want tax cuts…and increased spending" paradox, where people "want" things that are mutually exclusive.)

  • I don't think we're in disagreement, Scott.  I assumed that when people read my post they would know it would have to be environmental groups or other entities with standing who would have to seek enforcement of the law in the court system, not political parties.  My post also suggested that the Conservative failure to meet the law would be good electoral positioning for the opposition.  Whether there will be an election triggered by this issue is another question.  On either front, judicially or politically, it's not good for the Conservatives. 

    If the Liberals can sell a pro-Kyoto plan and challenge Canadians, I think that's good strategy.  Baird/Harper on the other hand…with their "we can't do it, the sky will fall, etc." positioning…it's not resonating thus far. 

  • Dirk Gibson

    Dion was Environment Minister for 18 months… you can't lay the inaction at his feet.

    I never mentioned Dion's name. I spoke of the Liberal Party which signed us on for Kyoto but never made the tough decisions on action (other than hiring a comedian). Eddie Goldenberg pretty much covered that issue.

    I don't think you have noticed, but the Liberals don't have much cred on this issue, and for good reason. Dion has been flying the green scarf since Christmas, and there aren't many standing up to salute.

  • Hey Dirk, I hardly qualify myself being in "the minority" over a handful of commentators comments  on here (plus at least 1 of them being a known conservative partisan like wilson61 is.. she'll argue everything is good for the Tories no matter what the situation). 

    Dion was Environment Minister for 18 months… you can't lay the inaction at his feet. Indeed, he will contend his climate change plan would have made us Kyoto-compliant if the Cons. hadnt canceled it. You can debate that, but its a lot different then trying to throw "13 years' at him, because that simply is a specious argument – as Martin Lawrence of the Globe pointed out to some people in his chit-chat the other day at their website.

    When you have independent organizations panning Baird's plan – including the CD Howe Institute – pointing out his plan has so many loopholes in it that Canada probably wont even meet his modest and woefully underachieving goals, you can tell the environment is the very weak link for this government.

    Besides.. I spoke not only of the Liberals here… but all the opposition parties.. as it will take all 3 to bring the Government down. All 3 will need to believe that the time to take the government down is in the fall and the environment/Kyoto over Bill C-288 and the government's refusal to meet Kyoto targets is the trigger.

  • paul

    I would love to see it.
    This current make up of the house just isn't working for me.

    It would be interesting to see a Liberal government put in a plan and succeed in meeting kyoto.

    If they don't and/or they cripple the economy in the process, we will still get the kind of parliamentary fix the other way.

  • Dirk Gibson

    Well, it looks like the host is in the minority on this one and for good reason. Have you checked the latest Angus Reid poll on where the Liberals stand on the environment?

    The Liberal party cares more about the environment than any other federal party
    Agree: 22%
    Disagree: 64%

    The best thing that could happen to the Conservatives would be calling an election on this issue and having the Liberal Party all campaigning wearing their green scarves. The hypocracy displayed in the "60 days to deliver what we didn't bother to do in successive majorities" would be too delicious to even dream about.

  • KC

    Scott – No.  Not a majority, but at least some substantial change in the makeup of the House.  I'd also like to have a winning issue which we dont at this time.  The Conservatives are weak on the environment yes–but in the modern age of spin and obfuscation the Conservatives will make the case that we arent much better. 

    Now is not the time.  I agree that minority governments will likely be the norm for the foreseeable future which is all the more reason to keep Parliament moving forward unless some compelling reason emerges to have an election.   It has only been a year and a half since the last election. 

    I also think that more time is good for Dion as well because he still needs some time to grow into his role as leader.  Bringing up the nation resolution again as I read on Calgarygrit today is just stupid stupid stupid. 

  • wilson61

    IMO Canadians understand that the Kyoto target dates 2008-2012 are out of reach. 
    The new Governments plan to reach the Kyoto targets by 2020 could be sold as reasonable (UN approved approach), during an election campaign.
    As long as Baird files the required paperwork, the Government is in compliance, as this is not a money bill.

  • When do you propose having one then, Kyle? When you think the Liberals can be assured of a majority? There's no guarantee that's going to happen even if polls are favourable – ask Jean Charest about that.  Furthermore, some polls suggest that minority government is fine with Canadians.. you may be looking at the new reality in Canadian politics.

    Also, if you're going to go on an election, you go with an issue that plays to your strengths and to the other guy's weaknesses, and the environment is certainly that. I don't think you can allow Harper to regroup after the autumn session comes back in and let him regain his footing.

  • KC

    Ugghhh I just dont want an election period.  Nothing will be gained, millions will be spent, the parties volunteer base will be further drained only to return to a House that is substantially the same as the one we have!

  • I disagree..  from polls I see, a strong majority realize Baird's Green Sham is inadequate, and a strong majority feel we should be trying hard to meet Kyoto targets.

    Everyone acknowledges that this issue is a position of weakness for the Conservatives, and any failure to comply with the new law or ignoring it gives opposition parties 2 lines of attack; The Conservatives are too weak on the environment,  and they failed to comply with or abide by a law passed by Parliament.

  • I really do not know if Canadians really want Koyoto, from what I read. Many ,(and there are plenty) are 100% against Koyoto.
    I think, calling an election on this alone, would be taking a huge chance.

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