So the amendment just demands progress reports. That seems like an offer the Conservatives can't refuse, and the budget will pass. How could the Conservatives justify NOT giving these reports?
If the implementation falls short (I'm just speculating ;-) the opposition will beat down the Conservatives with each report. If a report is bad enough, a confidence vote will trigger an election. Sounds great for Iggy and the opposition, right?
Unless the reports are good.
If the stimulus works, then this is great campaigning for the Conservatives that could deliver that majority and rescue Mr. Harper. What am I worrying for, anyway - if the stimulus worked we should all be happy.
Although... what if the reports are good, and the economy isn't? What's the chance that Mr. Flaherty would deliver misleading numbers? I mean again, having been caught already?
This ploy to force Mr. Harper to expose any gaps in implementation of the budget may work. I hope it does. As each report comes out it must be scrutinized and verified. The Harper Conservatives have been less than truthful in the recent past, and it doesn't seem to hurt them at the polls as much as I'd expected. So, I wouldn't expect the Conservatives to lose much support if they exaggerate success in forthcoming reports.
The only good side to this amendment is a possible 'out' for Iggy to avoid responsibility for the budget, e.g. "I wouldn't have taken these chances, or screwed up the implementation," etc. But the NDP and BQ will (rightly?) point out the Libs had the chance to vote it down and didn't. It may work, it may not - it'll all depend on the mood of the swing voters when the time comes.