The bully has now become the bullied. Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty's unprovoked and cynical attempt to use the economic situation as an excuse to beat up on labour rights, democracy and the other political parties, has created the wherewithal for the opposition parties to work together. The three elected opposition parties know that they need not worry about causing another unwanted election -- the Governor General has the option of handing the reigns of Government over to a coalition of the opposition parties, as Lord Byng did in 1926. Given that Canadians are in no mood for yet another election, and that we went to the polls less than two months ago, it is difficult to see how Michaelle Jean could not give the opposition the chance to govern. Harper's arrogance has become the curiosity that hangs the cat (cue to a sigh of relief among the 60 plus percent of voters that cast their ballot for somebody other than the Conservatives).
Public election financing is literally peanuts in comparison to the entirety of the federal budget. It also helps to foster a thriving democracy, because it ensures that political parties are more than lobbyist groups for Canada's wealthiest. Meanwhile here in Manitoba, Premier Gary Doer has finally revealed that he is a Conservative wolf in Orange Wool, when he let it slip that he seems to be following the Conservatives lead in scrapping the public election financing that his government recently introduced. The NDP have always fancied themselves as 'the defenders of the little guy'. But the little guy votes with a ballot rather than a chequebook. Perhaps Gary Doer and the NDP should consider all Manitobans before they bow into Conservative pressure, lest they follow the path of the faltering Harper Government.