Wow, who would have guessed that Canadian politics could be this exciting? For the benefit of my American readers who are enjoying Thanksgiving holidays, here’s a little update from Canada.
It seems the opposition Liberals, the New Democrats and the separatist Bloc Quebecois aren’t happy with a fiscal update from the ruling Conservatives that contains no fiscal stimulus to help jumpstart the economy. The opposition parties have all said they will vote against the package. If they did, it would be a vote of no confidence and the Conservative government would fall.
Now, there are two scenarios if that happens: Either the Governor General calls an election, which would be a ridiculous situation given that we’re in the middle of an economic crisis and just had an election six weeks ago; or, the Governor General asks the opposition parties if they can form a coalition government.
And guess what? The Libs, NDP and Bloc are in serious discussions about the coalition option, and the normally confident and cocky Conservatives are finally getting nervous.
This is an important development, regardless of what happens. If the government falls, we get a coalition government that would be in a position to push through a stimulus package that, given all three parties’ interest in the green economy, would include investments in green infrastructure and green job creation. If the Conservatives back off and reach some sort of compromise, it’s also good news, because they’ll know that moving forward they’re on a short leash — that is, the opposition parties aren’t going to take crap anymore.
Will be interesting to see how this one unfolds…
UPDATE: The Conservatives, getting more worried by the day, have backed off two elements of its plan. But as of Sunday evening the opposition parties appear more committed than ever to push forward with a coalition.