Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Loyal versus Effective Opposition

During Stephane Dion's reign as the leader of the Liberal Party the NDP lay claim to the title of "Effective Opposition". They opposed government confidence no matter what. They even declared their intention to vote against the budget without even reading it. This forced Dion to explain why he was going to be against legislation he would allow to pass. At the same time Liberals were digging through old closets for scandals, the NDP were bringing up current issues that were relevant to the current Government.

Michael Ignatieff was supposed to bring change with the Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition performing their duties to keep the government in check. With the threat of an election as the spring session wrapped up, the Liberals reached a deal for government compromises on EI in order not to take down the government. Things appeared to be back on track.

With the return from summer break the Liberals were not satisfied with the promised changes and Ignatieff declared they would bring down the government at the first oppurtunity. It seemed like a simple turning the tables on the NDP to make them look bad the same way they had been battered by the NDP.

Jack Layton turned the tables on the Liberals by declaring their support for the EI changes. They would keep the government afloat until they are delivered. Other government funding would not face being lost in the shuffle of another election. By voting in favour of popular legislation they have once again demonstrated they are able to be the effective opposition. Canadians have noticed as the Liberals have once again started dropping in the polls. In the long run effective government will trump a constant change in government. Ignatieff better tread carefully or he may find himself on the losing side of an election he could have avoided.

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