Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Life of a Conservative Cabinet Minister:

Searching for exit strategies.
Other Parliament Hill insiders agree speculation about Mr. MacKay's possible departure, former environment minister Jim Prentice's resignation, a trial balloon from B.C. that touted Heritage Minister James Moore (Port Moody-Port Coquitlam, B.C.) as a possible contender for the leadership of the provincial Liberal party, and a trickle of Cabinet aides who have left the government are signals that all is not well under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) leadership.

"With these numbers, there is no way they can deliver a secure minority Parliament," Mr. Graves told The Hill Times. "I don't believe there is any way, if the Conservatives have less than 103 seats, that the NDP and the Liberals are going to let them form a government. There would be an immediate confidence measure within that slender a margin, within six weeks."
The conflict is irreducible: Harper can't win them a majority, he likely can't even win them another stable minority.  He's also likely the only person who can hold together the fractious big tent of far right Alliance members, moderate ceo/politician business conservatives and even a few lone red Tories.

They've peaked.  They got almost all the benefits of a majority with the cover of Liberal enabling of the neo-liberal agenda the two parties share but with the Tories taking the hit.  They have razor thin governing margins - enough so that they had to humiliatingly repudiate all their pro-business 'anti-trade barriers' rhetoric rather than lose Saskatchewan.  The next election is their Waterloo.


What happens when the Liberals are forced into the choice of governance with the NDP and a truly progressive agenda - or following the lead of their ideological soul mates in the British Liberal-Democrats and siding with the Canadian political party they've shown they have the most in common with?

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