Thursday, November 27, 2008

Harper wants an election for Xmas..

This article stresses the fact that there is no stimulus package and a plan to do away with public support to political parties but there are other quite important parts of Flaherty's update plans which deserve more attention:(
But that may not be the Conservatives' only source of opposition. Noting that huge salary hike expectations aren't reasonable right now, public sector pay increases will be scaled back to 1.5 per cent. And perhaps more importantly, the unions' right to strike will be "curtailed" for the next two years.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada has already agreed that desperate times require desperate measures and has said its members are willing to scale back their demands.
But how they and other collectives across the country will feel about having the right to walk off the job scaled back is another matter that doesn't just affect salary.
What else was in Flaherty's announcement? He confirmed that the feds will also sell off some government and Crown corporations, netting the treasury $2.3 billion. But with two exceptions, the names of those assets weren't revealed.
"We have no intention to sell either Canada Post or the CBC," he declares. But nothing else is off the table. "[We'll] look at the value of what we own and whether it should be part of a public/private partnership."
Other moves:
Government programs will be cut wherever possible, with an eye to saving $2 billion.
Equalization payments will be scaled back, something that could hurt the new have-not Ontario.

Imagine selling off crown assets into a buyer's market. Apparently the main stream media sees nothing wrong with this as most articles say nothing about it or just mention it in passing. The whole package is a right-wing monstrosity that uses the recession as an excuse to get rid of whatever they dislike.
The opposition should give Harper an election for Xmas and Canadians should ring in the New Year by turfing out those old crafty Tories. Perhaps the governor general will be more sensible this time around and ask the opposition parties to form a government if they can before allowing Harper to have an election. After seeming conciliatory to the opposition Harper comes up with this stuff. His strategists must think that the Liberals will swallow anything at this time. Let's hope he is wrong.

Opposition parties won't support Tory economic update
Dion says PM must 'look at his options' to avoid fall of government
Last Updated: Thursday, November 27, 2008 5:29 PM ET CBC News
Canada's opposition parties said Thursday they will vote against the Conservative government's fiscal update, sparking speculation the country could face another election in the midst of a global economic crisis.
The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois said they would not support the update introduced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty because it contained no stimulus package to spur Canada's slumping economy and protect Canadian workers during the crisis.
The update is a confidence vote on Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government and could be voted on as a ways and means motion as early as Monday evening.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the parties' decision to reject Flaherty's proposals means it's up to the prime minister "to look at his options."
"We will vote against this plan," Dion told reporters outside the Commons.
NDP MP Thomas Mulcair also said his party would "do what this it's done in the past, stand up to the right-wing agenda of Stephen Harper."
Moments later, a fuming Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe told reporters his party "will categorically oppose" the update.
Dion did not respond when asked whether a handful of his MPs might be absent for a vote on the update, a move that would give the government enough numbers to survive. In the last Parliament, the Liberals used the tactic several times to prevent triggering an election.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Liberal finance critic John McCallum promised his party's MPs would not be offering a "token vote."
" It will be all members voting against," McCallum said.
Coalition talk 'premature': Brison
Should the update be defeated, Mulcair said the constitution allows room to avoid another election only weeks after Canadians returned the Conservatives to power with another minority government.
"There are a lot of other things that will happen before we would have an election, especially so soon after the last one," Mulcair said.
Among other options, the opposition parties could try to form a coalition government or reach agreement to give the Liberals, who came second in the Oct. 14 election, a chance to govern.
But Liberal MP Scott Brison told CBC News parliamentary editor Don Newman that any talk of a coalition government is "premature," because opposition parties were surprised by "how bad" Flaherty's update was.
"These are pretty early days," he said "Today ought to have been about people, not politics, but about people who are losing their jobs."
Proposed party funding cuts 'attack democracy': Layton
The parties have also assailed Flaherty's plan to eliminate the $30 million in public subsidies all political parties receive, saying the Conservatives were more interested in playing politics than protecting Canada's threatened economy.
Flaherty told the House the proposed cut, to take effect on April 1, 2009, would ensure there is "no free ride for political parties."
"This is the last stop on the route; there will be no free ride for anyone else in government, either," Flaherty said.
"Canadians pay their own bills, and for some Canadians, that is getting harder to do. Political parties should pay their own bills, too, and not with excessive tax dollars."
NDP Leader Jack Layton said the Tories were trying to "attack democracy" and protect their financial advantage over other parties.
"I’m asking the prime minister how such an attack is going to create one job or protect one pension," Layton told the House. "Why are they protecting the Conservative party?"
The prime minister replied that the government had acted "early and strongly" to deal with the economic crisis and ensure Canada's fiscal position remains the strongest of all G7 nations.

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