The Ignatieff Liberals have once again poisoned the well of cooperation among opposition parties by putting their tired partisanship first.
The Conservatives never counted on a reaction like this. Weeks after Harper turned off the lights on the House of Commons, not only has the outcry and criticism continued – but it now appears to be snowballing. From Tim Hortons to call-in shows, Canadians – particularly small c-conservatives - are venting their disbelief with how indifferent Harper has become towards our national institutions. Today, a group of academics are weighing in with 200 of them slamming Harper’s heavy handed decision to silence parliament.
Now it’s the opposition’s turn. For their part, the Liberals have decided not to work with the New Democrats and Bloc, but instead have planned to gather in Ottawa to hold hearings with “experts” this month on what House Leader Ralph Goodale calls “an agenda that would guide a future Liberal government”.
It’s so typical that it barely needs mentioning, but yet another national crisis is upon us, and the Liberals have defaulted to deciding that this about them and their nostalgia for government - not the broader public interest. Why on earth would New Democrat or Bloc MPs want to participate in hearings to "guide a future Liberal government”?
But Liberals don't care about that. On their chess board, their entitlement beats every other piece. Just like they did in the coalition period a year ago, Ignatieff has seen the opportunity to work with other opposition parties, but is rejecting that to instead focus on himself and tinkering with his broken political machine.
They are missing the point that it's precisely this hyper-partisanship that has been killing our federal politics. It is this this hyper-partisanship that has gotten us to where we are. It was Harper's own partisanship that resulted in the Conservatives shuttering parliament in the first place. How does Ignatieff responding with even more partisanship help?
It doesn't, which is why more and more, the Liberals aren't the answer to Stephen Harper.