Hello to all the Progressive Bloggers, and my thanks to the webmasters. I feel honored in such company. Newcomers might check out some of my attempts at satire like A Stephen Harper Christmas, or A Coalition Bride (in 4 parts).
I've been saying this on a few blogs lately, I thought I'd post it here to avoid repeating myself further.
I think the upcoming budget (update, whatever) is a 'hot potato'. The Conservatives don't want to be accused of spending on stimulus which turns out to fail, or to be blamed for a deficit.
They'd like the opposition to contribute suggestions, which they accept only under threat of a coalition. They can then blame the opposition for the deficit and any failure of the stimulus to revive the economy.
Iggy can see this too, and has tossed the 'hot potato' back to Harper: how can credible suggestions be made without a coherent model from which to develop them? As evidence, Flaherty has already revised his numbers once since the update.
Iggy figures if the Conservatives don't come up with numbers, he can paint them as uncooperative. If they come back with too optimistic numbers, the same applies. If Flaherty comes back with pessimistic numbers (I think this will be the case) then Iggy will beat him over the head with them. Partisan response to a partisan tactic - right back at ya.
I expect a partisan response to future budget suggestions from Mr. Harper - "OK, I guess we're forced into this, as my only alternative is to hand over the government to an undemocratic coalition." And he'll say this even after making any partisan changes he thinks he can get away with. I've totally lost all trust in this man.
So, if Iggy makes suggestions which are just a thinly veiled attempt to buy soft Liberal votes, I won't blame him (but remember I'm a Liberal). I suggest the NDP and BQ follow suit or get trampled. I wish it weren't this way, but you can't make peace with someone who won't parlay (e.g. Mr. Harper IMHO, and the meeting between Flaherty, MacCallum and Brison doesn't count).