Monday, December 01, 2008

Let's Roll

I'm not much for lofty aspirations, that fail to understand simple realities like self interest and the impermanence of union, there are simply too many innate forces which pull people apart. So, I approached today's news conference with a cynical eye, but I must say, by the end, I found myself buying in entirely. In this one instance, people will focus on similarities, they will emphasize common ground, rather than defining borders.

There was a singularity present today, a rarity in my experience, a common purpose that comes with a notion of compromise, far different than digging in your heels and finding identity through disagreement. I actually believed that all three men where working within the confines of the greater good, the primary consideration implementing policy which was devised with admirable intentions. Creating that environment, allows one to look at the positives in others, rather than fixating on conflict, that in itself is a bit of victory in this particular arena.

It won't last forever, but that's largely irrelevant at this point, entirely conceivable that this coalition can be overwhelming effective and potent for a healthy period. Instead of a fractured left, center-left, this accord means everyone has invested themselves, it is incumbent on them to make it succeed, we all have a stake, and that's when great things can occur. I actually had the dreaded word "hope" bouncing around my brain, and I didn't denote a whiff of cheese, it seemed a practical term, given the circumstances.

You know what? There is plenty of common ground, a spirit of compromise all that is required to navigate the rough patches. It's a good day, and people seem genuinely committed to what's important, the kicker being their personal fortunes now tied to that success, a fact that will propel progress. The Cons will roar from the sidelines, while serious people get down to work, no time for poison pills or sinister master plans, we will have a government thinking of the people they represent. It won't last, let's keep it real, but for a period, the prospects are simply intoxicating.

23 comments:

kheimbuch said...

The biggest example of hypocrisy is the Conservative supporters crying foul that the proposed coalition is "undemocratic".

It was after all Steven Harper's Conservatives who:

a) Proposed taking away the right to strike for public sector employees, which is blatantly undemocratic as this right was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada as per collective bargaining agreements.

b) Proposed taking away public funding from opposition parties, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the fiscal update package, but was necessarily aimed at weakening their ability to serve the people as the "Loyal Opposition".

c) The CPC themselves were in communication in a 2004 letter to the Governor General by then Opposition leader Harper that suggested he be allowed to form a coalition government if Paul Martin's Liberal minority government were to fall.

You can see how desperate the Harper supporters are getting when they hurl the "socialist" epithet. Harper and his supporters accusing the Oppositon of opportunism is the height of hypocrisy. "hello pot? its the kettle, did anyone call when I was out?"

Steve V said...

I say leave them to their misery. Harper will be a fellow at the Fraser Institute by summer :)

Gabe said...

I know this is far from over, but watching the coalition press briefing today did this 'average' Canadian's heart a world of good. For the first time in years I felt a breath of fresh air sweeping away the dark clouds of political oppression and divisiveness. Our elected progressive representatives are finally putting their differences aside and coming together to prevent Harper's version of this country from becoming a reality. However this all turns out, they and we have much to be proud of today.

jmnlman said...

NewsNet just had Ezra on screaming about "whores". Is this really the best PR that conservatives have?

Anonymous said...

Prentice vs. Ignatieff election in 2010-2011? :)

Kelvin said...

There are rumours Harper will resign tomorrow. Could that be a ploy of some sort? It's kinda sad though how distrustful we've become of him.

liberazzi said...

How would a transition take place and how long? I do not think Harper will resign this week, but do we think he will resign soon after?

olaf said...

How heart warming, Steve. Obama couldn't have written it better.

liberazzi said...

It will be a strange election next go round. How do you fight with someone you previously worked with?

olaf said...

It will be a strange election next go round. How do you fight with someone you previously worked with?

Also, how do you work with someone you previously fought with?

Miles Lunn said...

I agree the unity here is unusual and I suspect once Harper falls off the radar it may be a bit tougher to maintain. The main similiarity was all hated Harper as with each party there still are enough differences that a full out merger simliar to the PCs and Alliance is out of the picture at the moment. The NDP is too socialistic for Canada, the Bloc Quebecois is centre-left but too regionalistic. The Liberals are not a left wing party, but rather a centrist party. In terms of ideology, that sit right smack in between the NDP and Conservatives being about equal distance from both. The only reason they can work with the NDP and not the Conservatives is their NDP are more cooperative and more open to compromise. The Conservatives and Liberals have enough in common they could work together if the Tories had the right leader and were more willing to compromise. In fact in most European countries, Grand Coalitions are the norm where you parties on both the left and right as part of the government such as what you now have in Germany. The difference is those centre-right parties don't have big egos like the Tories and are willing to make compromises.

Miles Lunn said...

How would a transition take place and how long? I do not think Harper will resign this week, but do we think he will resign soon after

He won't have a choice. And besides I think he has for the first time opened up the splits in the party. Those from the Progressive Conservative side of the merger were willing to tolerate him as leader for the time being, but I think now they will be calling for him to go irrespective of the outcome. Never mind some on the Reform/Alliance side felt he was too willing to sell out his principles for the lust of power, so not all of them support him either.

liberazzi said...

Rex Murphy just blasted all the parties on the National. Still struggling to decide whether this is a good idea or not.

Steve V said...

"And besides I think he has for the first time opened up the splits in the party."

The most amazing scenes today, Day and Nicholson fail to rise in support of Harper. Liberals cry "leader" at Prentice, Harper visibily cowers and gives a defeated glance his way.

Steve V said...

Murphy was a hoot. Is it humanely possible to be more bombastic?

Gabe said...

It's people like Murphy, with a national audience, who contribute to the cynicism of so many Canadians.

Jerry Prager said...

Contrary to Conservative claims, the coalition does have a mandate: the majority of voters sided with parties who promoted an environmental economy and against the one party that thinks the Tar Sands are sound environmental economics. That is the keystone of the new government, the voters built the arch.

sassy said...

Question to those who think Harper might resign? Do you really think so?

I just can't imagine him going quietly. (stomping out and slamming the door behind him yes, but not quietly)

Mushroom said...

"The only reason they can work with the NDP and not the Conservatives is their NDP are more cooperative and more open to compromise."

Would Layton get cabinet posts if Dion did not stank the joint in the last Federal Election? The first few months of the coalition will all be Layton's glory anyway, with the Grit bigwigs more concerned about the transition more than anything else.

"Liberals cry "leader" at Prentice, Harper visibily cowers and gives a defeated glance his way."

I will support Stockwell Day as the new leader of the CPC. What this coalition needs to do is to irrevocably split the right as the ultimate aim.

Anonymous said...

This development is WONDERFUL.

A centre-left coalition.

A working majority in Parliament.

Cooperation with the Bloc on important economic and political matters.

Read the economic accord -- it is exactly what we need -- and would never get from the Conservatives.

Real leadership and compromise -- democracy in action by Dion, Layton, and Duceppe.

Jeff said...

I noticed during the signing that the coalition leaders were pretty jovial with each other at times. That in itself is a kind of primal breakthrough, if you ask me.

Jerry Prager said...

They knew they were making history and so did everyone in the room.

JimmE said...

Rex Murphy?
- Canada's most boring individual, who watches that?