Wilfert proposes an unusual tactic of partial abstention by the Liberals if they have the deciding vote among the opposition parties on a confidence motion over the government’s Oct. 16 speech from the throne. “We could register our displeasure without bringing down the government,” he said.
“You need three things to win an election: money, organization and money,” he added. “We’re doing better now with money after that lengthy leadership process, but if anybody tells you we have all of those things, they are obviously deluding themselves.”
Wilfert’s proposed tactic to avoid defeating the government would have Dion and other front-bench Liberals vote against the throne speech while the majority of the 96-member Liberal caucus remain in their seats, abstaining from a vote.
Does Wilfert think no one will notice as Liberals sit on their hands and perpetuate the myth that they stand for nothing? Good grief, you let Duceppe off the hook and provide Layton with a powerful tool to argue Liberal irrelevance. Abstaining oozes weakness and solidifies the idea that the Liberals are running scared.
Wilfert also makes a cute comment about money, which is irrelevant. Realistically, the Liberal fundraising isn't competitive with the Conservatives, and shows no signs of anything close to parity in the future. If we are waiting on that "winning condition", the train will never arrive. As it relates to organization, if that fundamental piece isn't already in place, particularly within the volatility of a minority, then I have more concerns about competence.
You don't get to run and hide, especially when Dion has already put out his demands. Dion's bread and butter issue is the environment, how the Liberal Party can endorse this sham of a plan, the further erosion of the international movement is beyond me. Abstaining isn't an effective way to "register our displeasure", its a copout and everyone but the spinmeisters will view it as such. Wilfert also references Harper's 2005 abstaining, and his present position, as evidence that the tactic can work. Don't expect Harper to be the scandal ridden reeking mess we saw from the Martin campaign.
If the Liberals abstain, provided the throne speech doesn't meet the conditions, then it serves as another example of weak, irrelevant leadership, a party more concerned with survival than principle, which will be exploited at every turn. It isn't getting any better, anytime soon Mr. Wilfret, especially with a government bathed in surplus, the winning conditions you crave will never come.
Fall or Bust