Stéphane Dion and his Liberal MPs are plotting to let Stephen Harper’s agenda pass.
The incredulous, gob-smacked expressions from progressive people (and even those who just care about integrity in public life) across the land are entirely appropriate.
Dion’s plan is to give Harper’s agenda a pass when the Throne Speech comes for a vote next week by ordering all or some of his MPs to duck out on the vote.
As this CBC story says: “Dion can allow the policy-setting throne speech to pass and expose himself to taunts about having abandoned his principles by propping up a government that ignores Kyoto.”
Today, the NDP issued a challenge to Dion to have all of his MPs sitting in place and voting next week. As Jack Layton says “Throne Speech votes are a time to show leadership, to make a decision. You either stand with or stand against Mr. Harper’s agenda.”
The Liberals appear more and more the Artificial Opposition – pulling out their hair and berating Harper at every turn but then supporting his agenda.
A poll yesterday showed that 70 percent of Canadians don’t think Stephane Dion will ever be prime minister, and that a full 57 percent of Canadians think that the fortunes of the Liberal Party have either stalled or are in decline.
Their scheming around the Throne Speech demonstrates that the problem is more than just Dion; it’s about a Liberal Party that doesn’t know what it stands for. Dion’s weak leadership merely puts a fine point on it.