Adding my voice to the chorus
The CPC already has much of the so-con vote, but doesn't enjoy a similar command of the economic conservative vote. So what's their strategy to make inroads in this critical demographic?
The Opposition Conservatives are willing to support the NDP's $4.6-billion budget amendment, but only if the Liberals agree to delay same-sex marriage legislation.
On Wednesday, Conservative House Leader Jay Hill said the trade-off has been subject of discussions between his party and the minority government.
"There's been some negotiations," Hill said. "If we were to get a delay of C-38 (the marriage bill) until the fall and perhaps some other concession, we'd be happy."
In exchange, Hill indicated the Conservatives would be willing to quiet their criticism of the budget legislation. That would be a dramatic about-turn from the 90 speakers the Opposition is reportedly prepared to have filibuster in an effort to stall the budget vote.
You can't see it, but I'm shaking my frickin' head here. A more stupid move they could not have made. Here's a sampling of the majority opinion from across the political spectrum: Declan, Skippy, Andrew, Paul, and Aaron. I especially like the title of Aaron's piece: "Oh Look - We're For Sale, Too." My feelings exactly.
My favourite post so far, however, comes from The Flea:
What a difference a poll makes. May 19 of last month, that would be less than thirty days ago, Conservative leader Stephen Harper is reported to have called the NDP budget grab a "deal with the devil". Now it turns out that principled Conservative opposition to wasteful government spending is just as moral, just as imperative and just as consistent as last month's moral imperative to topple the government, a moral imperative that vanished along with a hiccup of support in the polls. Now it turns out that the C$4.6b so shamefully offered to the socialists as a bribe to prop up a tottering Liberal minority will be just fine so long as the Liberals forestall same-sex marriage. That "deal with the devil" turns out to be a bargain for Conservative party leadership provided it prevents gay people in Alberta from getting married for a few more months.
Those Conservatives gamely trying to defend the gambit as "worth a try" or "something for nothing" need to pull their heads out of the sand. This was nothing but a loser from minute one. I mean, play it out for heaven's sake. If the Liberals had accepted the offer, they look like they're in firm control of the House, and they gain a tool with which to bash the CPC at a later date ("They don't like Liberal fiscal management? Hell, they voted for it! And just so they could keep their homophobic bigotry alive a few months longer!"). By refusing, which they have, the Liberals come out looking even better: they're the national defenders of minority rights, the Conservatives ship is being steered by the so-cons who are willing to trade billions of dollars away for a short delay in passing the SSM bill (way to endear the fiscally responsible, socially liberal voter), and - by the way - the NDP budget passes anyhow.
The only option you should ever give an opponent is a fork: the choice between bad and worse. This was just about the opposite of that time-honoured tactic. The choice they offered the Liberals was between winning and winning BIG.
I'll say it again: the Conservative Party of Canada needs new strategists. The current bunch would manage to get swindled at a church bazaar.