News outlets are reporting that an agreement in principle has been reached between the Liberals and NDP. Both Jack Layton and Paul Martin have confirmed this.
Basically, it looks like the Liberals have completely caved in. These guys really are desperate.
Jack asks to increase Canadas’ Foreign Aid to 0.7 GDP as per International Agreements… done.
Jack asks to give more gas tax moneys to cities to improve public transit… done
Jack asks to increase education transfers to provinces for tuition reduction and EI employment training… done
Jack asks to increase the worker Pension Fund by 100 million… done (I’ve never even HEARD of that before!)
and finally… Jack asks to claw back the tax cuts for Canadas largest corporations to pay for most of it… while keeping the tax cut for small and medium business.
Is there anything there that Canadians can possibly disagree with? It doesn’t change the balanced budget.. the same money going into tax cuts is now instead going to social spending.
What’s hilarious is Paul is trying to take credit:
We agreed to it because we want Parliament to work.
Yes of course you did Paul, unfortunately for you Jack Layton had to propose it in order for it to happen. Without him, your name would already be written into the history books.
It looks like Mr. Dithers has once again taken a backseat to someone who is eminently more charismatic and decisive than he.
I realise that even if this deal is finalized and a budget brought in that it by no means assures that the Government will survive for even a month. The NDP is 2 seats short of the balance of power… however, there are 3 independants (and the House Speaker, who votes only in a tie) in the House, plus an empty seat and a couple seriously ill Conservative MPs. It all adds up to a the possibility that the NDP could hold the government together… but if even one Independant decides to go against the Liberals then all bets are off.
As an Aside.. this country REALLY needs Proportional reprensentation. I have really enjoyed the Coalition/Minority atmosphere. Not only is it more engaging, which I think is good for political apathy, I like the fact that the parties are forced to negotiate. I would be dangerous because I think Canadians value stability and certainty. They like a government that gets things done… but I think there is a certain apettite to see the governing party skirm, and nothing does that more than minorities.