Buckdog for the great photo.
The Conservatives (at least under Mr. Harper) relentlessly game and spin. The opposition must prepare their defenses against this. Remember: (IMHO)
- How did this mess start? Unnecessary partisan games instead of economic action.
- Who started it? Apparently, Mr. Harper more so than other Conservatives.
- Depending on the response (e.g. assuming we hear a budget in January), Conservatives might have to share some credit for spending, and the opposition share some blame for a portion of the deficit (say, that part which exceeds the Liberal mandated surplus of $3B/yr.).
I fear the historical pattern of divide-and-conquer will design the January budget to pit Liberal, NDP and BQ against each other. For example, the budget could be acceptable to Ignatieff, but not to Layton or Duceppe. The Liberals could abstain and allow the budget to pass and (maybe) avoid taking any blame for it, while still taking credit for forcing the Conservatives to act.
Also, I think I have at least enough material for a part 3 and possibly part 4 of The Coalition Bride. Stay tuned!