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November 14, 2005
Liberals Still Playing Monty Hall

In a stunning display of sheer cynicism, the Liberals have now decided to offer a budget bill with a number of tax cuts in order to dare the three opposition parties to torpedo it for their no-confidence motion. Martin, who last avoided a no-confidence loss by coughing up $5 billion for NDP programs last spring, all of a sudden has more cash to spare for Canadians as long as they keep him in power:

The federal government unveiled $39-billion in tax cuts and spending Monday in a mini-budget whose life expectancy could be measured in days as opposition parties threaten to force an election within a week.

The document, released by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, also includes a heavy emphasis on reducing Canadians' anxiety about their economic future by investing billions in post-secondary education and work training programs while making cuts to corporate taxes. ...

"It's about people living fulfilling lives, the kinds of retirements we can expect to enjoy and the opportunities our children will have."

That will be how the Liberals will want this to be seen. However, everyone who has followed the recent career of perhaps the slipperiest politician ever born will see it as a bit of a political bomb for the tri-party coalition. The Liberals have no love of tax cuts, but they don't inten on seeing them through anyway. These proposals merely act as an election issue for the time after the Tory/BQ/NDP no-confidence motion topples the government.

The coalition can either introduce their own no-confidence motion or vote down the budget, which has universal recognition as a confidence measure. In either case, the tax cuts disappear and must get reintroduced after the election. The Liberals can then argue that they had a plan to reduce taxes while maintaining government services -- but the Tories blew it by rushing into an election. However, what Martin really wants is for the business interests which align with the Conservatives will pressure them into accepting the budget and postponing any push against Martin's government.

Martin's Monty Hall impersonation got pretty good this spring when he showed Jack Layton as a mercenary for hire when a $5 billion health-care outlay bought the NDP for Martin, or at least leased them for a critical few weeks. Now, not even showing how he intends to pay for that boondoggle, Martin coughs up $30 billion in tax relief for the other side of the political spectrum. While Martin tries to make the need for political parties non-existent, his constituents get whiplash watching him do whatever he needs to keep his feeble grasp on power.

Now that's a deal that even Monty Hall would decline.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 14, 2005 8:53 PM

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Tracked on November 17, 2005 9:11 PM


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