Monday, June 27, 2011
Defining The Government
The outcome was inevitable. The mail will be delivered on Tuesday. But the parliamentary filibuster was worth it. What we finally had in this country was a genuine debate. And the "Harper Government" -- remember that's the phrase they themselves chose -- is finally being defined by the other side.
As Tim Harper notes in The Toronto Star, the Conservatives "have left no doubt they will use legislative muscle to blunt the inalienable right of workers to withdraw services as their last bargaining tool, even going as far as demand that workers accept less than their employer had offered."
It is true that 7 of 10 Canadians wanted their mail delivered. But it's a safe bet that the government's path to that objective isn't going to sit well with a significant number of them. Likewise, the government's decision last week to stand alone on the side of the asbestos lobby will also alienate another significant portion of voters.
For years, Conservatives have declared that it's all about money. Government, they say, spends too much of it. But, once in power, it becomes clear that it's all about power -- the concentration of it. The Harperites were willing to legislate the employees of a private company back after one day. The have dictated the terms at Canada Post. They no doubt are congratulating themselves.
Voters in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida have discovered that they were played for chumps. If the opposition continues to successfully define the new government, it won't be long before some of its most ardent supporters begin to doubt the party of "free choice."