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tecmo wrote:
I never said I thought it [eliminating subsidies to political parties] was good for the country; only that politically (remember they are politicians) it seemed like a masterful way to bury the opposition.

It must have seemed tactically masterful: a chance to cripple the rival political parties, probably even kill 1 or 2 of them through economic means. The worst case scenario would have appeared to be that the subsidies would not be eliminated but the opposition parties would look bad in the media for supporting them.

I believe Harper did not anticipate two things: a) a significant portion of the populace recognizes that having only one functional political party does not make for a healthy democracy; and b) with extinction looming, the oppositions parties will do whatever necessary to defend themselves.

So the 3 opposition parties have formed a coalition. It's a rather unstable coalition, but I believe that it will hold together until the Conservative replace Harper as party leader. (After a new Conservative leader is selected I expect the coalition will collapse.)

It's interesting - political leaders must fulfill 2 roles: they must be partisan tacticians to battle political rivals, and they must also be collaborators who work together to govern the country. Harper is very adept a partisan tactics and very adept at crafting policy, so one would think he'd make a good Prime Minister. However, throughout his political career he has exihibited an inability to restrain the partisan portion of his nature. This has led to repeated self-sabotage, of which this is only the most recent (and most significant) example.

My bet is that once Jean returns to the country Harper will ask her to prorogue parliment. Then it will be up to the Governer General to make a historic decision.

Whichever way this plays out, I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Harper's political career.

Mathew
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