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This is more like it.

Yesterday, I wrote a blogpost lambasting the Liberal caucus leaders for reportedly considering giving up one of their committee seats without a whimper and handing defacto majority party status on those committees to a minority Conservative government, merely because the Conservatives were being loud and blustery about it. So, today, I’m going to write a post giving credit where it’s due; I’m applauding the Liberals for appearing to not be willing to back down over the Conservatives threatening to make their draconian new crime bills a confidence motion:

Opposition MPs, including Liberals who have worked on justice issues, say they would plunge the country into another federal election before agreeing to a slate of Conservative proposals that would see convicted criminals treated more harshly..The Conservatives are not backing down from threats to make the measures matters of confidence.

My praise is conditional of course; if they say all this tough talk now, only to back down later. I’ll be even tougher on them for following a strategy that failed them last Parliament. But, it appears for now, some of them have found some spine:

Brian Murphy, a Liberal from New Brunswick, said it would be wrong to oppose bills that have not yet been seen by Parliament and they could be crafted in a way that the Liberals support. “But I would say very clearly that abstaining as we did was not helpful in this election for me,” he said. “And I would be very reluctant – given that I ran on the idea of being a fighter, being very strident, and having 16 years of always standing up for people – I would be very reluctant to abstain.” Larry Bagnell, a Liberal MP from the Yukon, said the question for both his party and the Conservative government will be whether these issues are serious enough to fight another election over. “I can say that we will be making a strong case in our caucus against this bill, for sure,” Mr. Bagnell said. Derek Lee, a Toronto-area Liberal, said “there is no way I am going to sit on my hands. There is no way that these guys are going to get their way…I couldn’t allow myself to vote in favour of such ill-advised legislation, whether they call it confidence or not.”

I am willing to bet The Governor-General would not accede to an election request in the first few months of this new minority. If Harper wants to take the gamble over whether she would accept an election request, or reject it in order to ask other parties to see if they can form the government or not by making thes crime bills a confidence motion and falling over it, (when there’s no need to make it a confidence motion – these aren’t money or supply bills) I say let him roll the dice, and I say to the Liberals, make the onus of supporting the government fall on the other opposition parties.

The Liberals and the rest of the opposition parties are right not to back down on this bullying. It is going to keep occurring until it’s shown by the other parties – particularly the Liberals – that it isn’t going to be tolerated any more.

6 comments to This is more like it.

  • Gayle

    Ted – you have not met enough victims of crime. Many victims actually believe we need to be proactive, not reactive.

    Not to mention the fact that many criminals are themselves victims of crime.

    I suggest the “tough on crime” group is not overly populated with victims.

  • Gayle

    wilson – why don’t you ask them if they are willing to pay another 300 million dollars to get those crime bills enacted? You will then have to ask them if they are ready to pay the hundreds of billions of dollars it will cost to implement them.

  • Ted

    People become Conservative when they become a victim of crime. The crime bill should pass, my hunch is that the Liberals will huff and puff and not show up.

  • wilson

    Maybe the Libs should do a little polling in Ontario before they vote down these bills.
    Seems to me, with the exception of Quebec, the ROC responded very favourably to the crime issues the Cons campaigned on.

  • The Fwanksta

    Damn straight.

  • tdwebste

    Good to see there is some people willing to stand up for justice.

    I remember my brother and I remarking in the spring how much we hated the Liberals for their spineless support of the Conservatives. We are both decided at that point not to vote Conservative or Liberal in the election.

    In the end we both did through vote trading. If the Liberal caucus does another spineless serious of abstains votes I say the days of the Liberal party are over.

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