Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quebec Liberals In Disarray

Anyone who bothers to read this blog knows that I am an election "hawk". However, even my commitment is tested, as I learn more about the disaster that is the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Last week, an emergency meeting of the Quebec executive committee, to discuss "non-existent" election preparedness. When I read that story, I wanted to chalk it up to jitters, an attempt to hash out organizational problems, a meeting to lay the foundation for a credible election fight. It turns out, the meeting was just the precursor for today's developments, namely an attempt to oust the President of the Quebec wing. What a mess (rough translation):
The president of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party, Robert Fragrasso, could be forced to resign today...

The grumbling continues for the Liberals, where active militants criticize the approach of the President Mr. Fragrasso and Dion's lieutenant Céline Hervieux-Payette.

The motion today would be presented by Marc Belanger and Francis Xavier Simard, the two instigators of the meeting of last week. According to the constitution of the party, it would be binding and could force the president to relinquish his post. In such a case, an interim president would be appointed until the next.



Six months after Outremont and this is where the Quebec Liberals find themselves? Mr. Fragrasso is expected to survive the vote of non-confidence, but the optics are dreadful. Instead of preparing for an election, there is a civil war occuring, and it appears NOBODY is in charge.

No contracts for election signs, no phone lines for offices, no offices for the phones, many ridings without candidates, a complete and utter clusterfuck. Membership is now 1/10th the number under Martin, despite a 50% off sale to sign up (5 bucks).

Somebody needs to get control of this situation, it really is ridiculous, and it actually makes me entertain my "nervous nellie" side.

UPDATE

Knb has a different perspective, worth considering.

70 comments:

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Hmm. Do you think it's actually Fragrasso's fault?

I mean, I sure wouldn't want a job like his, you know? And I can't imagine there are too many people standing in line to take his place.

James Curran said...

Having been in Outremont, and having many friends on the ground there, I can safely say it's worse than the the bad optics being seen.

Steve V said...

james

I saw your post on Duffy reporting that some Liberals asked Dion to resign. So much for the big by-election momentum we were talking about the past month. My goodness.

James Curran said...

Make no mistake. All this negative shit is jealous bastards inside that are firing off Blackberry notes to Fife, Oliver, Newman, Tabor and Duffy. We need a person there that searches, finds and eliminates the rats from the ship.

Steve V said...

Russo from CP said today, that he had talked to a couple Conservatives, who said they were glad the Liberals hadn't lost in Quadra, because that would have caused a revolt against Dion.

James Curran said...

Win or lose Quadra, they win anyway.

ottlib said...

steve:

The Conservatives saying they would not liked to have won in Quadra are just spinning.

A win by them would have caused all sorts of wingeing and cringeing in the Liberal Party virtually guaranteeing the channel changes from all of the stuff the Conservatives have been dealing with since Parliament resumed.

Of course the Liberal win has not stopped some rumblings within the Liberal Party but they have been muted. They would have happened anyway because there still appears to be a few in the upper echelons of the Liberal Party who profoundly disagree with the decision of the grass roots and are trying to undermine that decision.

As well, the Conservatives would have been able to claim that their ethnic outreach is paying dividends.

The Conservatives dumped alot of resources into Quadra with the goal of winning. They lost so now they are trying to put the most positive spin on that loss. To do otherwise would invite questions on why they lost and the Conservatives would not have any real good answers to those questions.

Steve V said...

ottlib


Russo's a pretty clever chap. I don't think he's just a conduit for lame Con spin. I could actually see a few people in the Con camp privately hoping to wound Dion, without killing him. Whether right or wrong, not a comment on Liberals perceptions, it is clear the Cons have concluded Dion is the achilles heel. That seems clear, which is why I bothered to mention Russo's comment, kinda fits.

ottlib said...

Steve:

It is true that the Conservatives believe Mr. Dion is the Liberals' Achilles Heel and what better way to take advantage of that than a victory in a "safe" Liberal seat.

Leaving aside the channel changing aspect of such a victory it could very well have spelt the end of Mr. Dion as leader, which would have lead to a Liberal leadership race.

Can you think of any government that would not drool at the prospect of its chief opponent going through the time, expense and turmoil of a leadership contest just 18 months or less before an election.

Then there is the prospect of facing a new leader who is barely in the job long enough to adjust his office chair.

Guaranteed Conservative majority.

However, with the results being what they are all of that is not possible. There will be some rumblings, like I said before, but they will not amount to much and they will not allow the Conservatives to change the channel away from their own troubles.

And more importantly, most ordinary Canadians will not be aware or care about the minute details of the by-election wins. They will have seen the Liberals win three out of four contests, included two in Toronto by huge margins. Indeed, the by-elections are already out of the news. All of the finely tuned analysis that we have seen on the blogsphere is not being disseminated to ordinary Canadians.

So going into the last part of the Winter/Spring sitting of the House the Conservatives will still be on the hook for Cadman, the economy and other problems. At the same time the Liberals will be seen to have three new members added to their caucus, including two very high-profile ones.

I cannot think of too many political operatives who would choose that situation over complete disarray in their political opponents.

As for Mr. Russo being a smart journalist, how many times have we seen other smart journalists ask questions of political operatives only to receive party talking points in return? Certainly the really smart and honest ones will probe but if the operative just sticks to the talking points the journalist will duly report them.

And come on Steve, when was the last time you have ever seen a politician or political operative not put a positive spin onto a negative situation?

It is SOP and those statements made to Mr. Russo are just following them.

Mushroom said...

As an aside, why the Cons are happy they did not win Quadra?

Let me ask a second question: where will the Cons run David Emerson? If you believe that Harper is going to sacrifice Emerson to the dogs by running him in Vancouver-Kingsway, then think again.

James Curran said...

There is a biennial convention in December in BC.

Mushroom said...

Judgment Day II for Dion is coming sooner than he thinks.

Harper may be smart to call the by-election for Saint Henri-Westmount over the weekend.

A loss of Marc Garneau to the NDP's Julius Grey will be one knife wound too many. If I am Dion, I would make sure the House falls before the by-election to delay the vote there.

Steve V said...

ottlib

I believe it. I think the difference here, your first instinct is too loyally defend the attack, immediately go on defence, whereas I'm trying (failing mostly) to express an opinion of what is happening beyond my allegiances. Never once, in any discussion we've had, have you acknowledged anything, without all these qualifications.

I don't see the guaranteed Conservative majority. I think, for whatever reason, they see Dion as best path towards a majority. Part of that calculation, and this gets back to my root point, the media just have no respect for Dion, none. I've never seen a leader taken less seriously, with the possible exception of Stockwell Day.

Steve V said...

"There is a biennial convention in December in BC"

I'm well aware of that date, and the longer we abstain, the more it looms, the more it will unravel.


That is why Mushroom's point should be taken seriously. IMHO Dion has a small window to go, because if he waits, and we head to summer break, just watch what starts happening.

James Curran said...

Having said all that...

...Ontario is still a safe-house in any general election and with Flaherty killing the CONS there right now it could only get better for the Liberals.

Steve V said...

"As an aside, why the Cons are happy they did not win Quadra?"

I should clarify, because I butchered it first off. The Cons said they would have loved to win, but losing had its advantages, because with what happened in Sask, a victory there and Dion would most likely leave.

Steve V said...

james

On the election, let's seperate that. I actually see momentum for the Libs in Ontario, so it isn't doom and gloom, just an acknowledgment that Quebec is a circus, and very concerning.

James Curran said...

Well Sask is all on Ralphie Baby. He f@cked up as usual. He's quite happy being "Mr. Saskatchewan"

James Curran said...

Believe me. Quebec is a Circus. Mushroom could attest. They have deliberately screwed over candidates by postponing nomination after nomination in some ridings. Hilarious really. Thats why chantal Hebert continues to laugh at Dion. She know the party is not doing what he's asked them to over and over again...be ready for an election

Mushroom said...

Steve,

With regards to possible by-elections, Brenda Chamberlin will not come back after the Easter break. So Guelph will be in play sooner than you think.

We will look forward to your role in the front lines.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

I think we have dirty tricks again like we had in the last election and Garth called it earlier with this post. It's happening in BC and big time. http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2008/03/04/lament-for-a-forest/

Not sure how to make that into a link in a comment Steve.

Steve V said...

mushroom

No problem with election readiness on that front, from what I understand.

woman

Here. :)

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Actually I meant the lament for a forest post at
http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2008/03/04/lament-for-a-forest/
but thanks for making the link Steve

Anonymous said...

If one wants to consider why there is chaos in Quebec, and has been since Dion became leader (and really before) one should look at who the people are that are running the show in Quebec, and where their leadership loyalties lay.

James Curran said...

Yes yes. We know. Their "leader" is starting to feel the knife these days as well.

Anonymous said...

It is a deliberate attempt to undermine Dion in Quebec.

The entire permanent committee and several riding association executives should be relieved of their duties, since they refuse to perform them.

But that should have happened long before Outremont and that was Dion's decision.

Dion needs to crack the whip. If he won't then he needs to step aside for someone who can.

You're either the alpha dog or you're not.

Joe Calgary said...

I often wonder whether Liberals ever bother to read the rules and charter of their own party.

To say the Conservatives wouldn't want to win Quadra, and embarass the living hell out of the Liberal party, is just silly.

Firstly, a win is a win, and it's not logical for a Conservative not to want to win a seat. An extra seat, an extra seat thought to be the exclusive realm of the Liberals to boot, is a good thing.

Secondly, even if the knives come out for Dion, it is impressively hard to remove a Leader of the Liberal party. In fact, short of a Leadership review, or the Leader resigning, it's impossible.

Thirdly, there is no loss in the Liberal party attempting to pull down Dion for the Conservatives. The process would take months, and most likely lead into 2009.

Were it Rae or Iggy, they will need time that they won't get in 2009 to pull the party together, so it's a default win for Harper anyways, and 4 more years if he gets a majority.

The best the Liberal party would hope for is to hold the Tories to a minority again in 2009.

I would suggest to you that the chances of Dion resigning before the end of the year are getting better and better, but don't think for a moment that the rumblings in the Party are enough to ace him.

If he wants to hold on, he can. Simple as that.

Either outcome, Dion staying or Dion going, at this point is a Tory win.

bigcitylib said...
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bigcitylib said...
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bigcitylib said...

The Duffy stuff I wonder about. CTV has been reporting all sorts of stories (Chretien advising Dion to bring down the government)that have gone totally unconfirmed by any other news outlet.

I can't say I really understand the internal politics of any party, but shouldn't there be some onus on the sitting Que. Lib. MPs to spank some of these people?

(Sorry, took 3 times to get this right)

ottlib said...

Steve:

Of course you believe what the Conservative stated to Mr. Russo, that much is obvious.

Suffice it to say that I do not believe for a second that the Conservatives pored a ton of money and effort into the Quadra riding just so they could lose it.

This was the first test of their ethnic outreach program and it failed.

They transported a rather large GOTV machine into the riding on E-day and they still did not win.

They had an opportunity to give the Liberals a knock out blow just months before an election and they did not succeed.

They had the chance to change the channel from the problems they have been having since before Christmas and that opportunity has been lost.

Another loss in a Liberal stronghold would have been manna from heaven for the Conservatives. Instead, it is status quo, which means they are a government without an agenda, fighting off allegations of ethical wrongdoings and facing an increasingly uncertain economic future. History has demonstrated many times that such conditions are the recipe for the erosion of support for a government.

Maybe the Conservative who made these statements to Mr. Russo really sees a silver lining in their loss but a victory would have given him and his party the entire ingot.

ottlib said...

joe:

It is still way to premature to predict the outcome of the next election.

The Cadman allegations touch Mr. Harper personally because of his voice on that tape. If it becomes part of the conversation during the next election the greatest strength the Conservatives believe they have will become its greatest liability.

As well election campaigns matter. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have strengths and weaknesses and how they shake out during a campaign will make all of the difference. Right now the next election is a crap shoot.

Anonymous said...

Don't hang your hat on Mr. Flaherty hurting Conservative chances in Ontario. A lot of people agree with him about Mr. McGuinty. There is no honeymoon for Mr. McGuinty.
Everyone is well aware it was Mr. Tory that lost the election. It wasn't anything Mr. McGuinty has done that won the election for him.
Just saying...

Steve V said...

ottlib


You missed my clarification. It was said that the Cons would have loved to win, but this outcome might have been better, because it weakened Dion without killing him. I believe that to be a reasonable closure coming out of the by-elections. If you think the Cons weren't happy about the results, then I think you are kidding themselves, and I use the smiles of every representative I've seen as evidence.

As for pouring resources, why didn't Harper make an appearance in the riding?


BCL

Let's not forget Dion already approached Coderre and Rodriguez to become his Lieutenant, which probably would have gone a long way to quelling dissent. They declined, which speaks to no desire to work as a team.

Anonymous said...

The Cadman story is done. It never was much.
If anything there may be embarrassment in Mr. Dion and the Liberal party's future over it.

Steve V said...

"Don't hang your hat on Mr. Flaherty hurting Conservative chances in Ontario. A lot of people agree with him about Mr. McGuinty."

Oh, I'm hanging my hat and my coat on that one. All the polls have the Tories down to their base support, when only a few weeks ago, they were overtaking the Liberals. Also, a poll of Ontarians had McGuinty receiving more than DOUBLE the support for Flaherty.

You are deluding yourself, some do agree, but it is down to rank and file Conservatives. You say people don't like McGuinty, I counter with obvious, look at who is making the case against him. Exactly.

bigcitylib said...

Steve,

Okay, but then what is the rational calculus of the Que. wing? They can't honestly be thinking that Ignatieff will magically be wafted into the leadership, can they

Steve V said...

"The Cadman story is done."

I find this a common retort from the Con trolls, almost like they are trying to convince themselves.

This story isn't over, for the simple fact that the media doesn't buy the excuses, and the opposition will not relent. Sure, Harper can put everyone underground, but there are lingering doubts, which have to be addressed at some point. I use history as my guide, these things have a way of wafting around, until people are reasonably satisfied with the answers.

Nice try though, keep hoping!

Steve V said...

BCL

Don't you find it strange that the party is a mess in Quebec, and yet many Quebec Liberals are hawks for an election? You're a smart guy ;)

James Curran said...

Actually in PQ that's exactly what they thought BCL. But now, Bob Rae circumvents the coup. It's Iggy theat is going to have to defend against the possibility of a cabinet shakeup whereby Rae becomes deputy leader. It would be a smart move by Dion. Puts and end to the bullshit with the Denis Corderres and Pablo Rodriquezs of the party.

James Curran said...

What these idiots in PQ don't understand is they should be worrying about keeping their own seats. They are not bullet-proof.

Steve V said...

james

Rae as DL, are you joking? That's like replacing Cassius with Brutus.

Besides, if you want to weaken Dion, start mixing up the deck chairs, then you will see complete anarchy.

knb said...

Besides, if you want to weaken Dion, start mixing up the deck chairs, then you will see complete anarchy.

No kidding! Can you imagine the organisation that would take place then to manufacture Dion's demise?

As to Flaherty not having an impact in Ontario, even Don Drummond, (no liberal he) said,

"They, (the con's) seem to be bent on making Ontario's situation worse at the moment."

The Star also rebuked Faherty this morning and while that is less of a surprise, the fact is Flaherty is making a big mistake and it's being pointed out.

Steve V said...

knb

I just hope people like anon have the Con strategist ear, and they continue on this "shoot myself in the foot" routine. If there has been a bigger tactical error for this government, than going after McGuinty, making it personal, I've yet to see it. It is actually quite staggering, and they keep coming.

James Curran said...

Watch and see. It won't surprise me none.

knb said...

Steve, the fact that Harper waded into this territory as well, makes it even more fascinating to watch.

Not yet up there with the 'culture of defeat' comment, but close,;).

Anonymous said...

The real threat of Rae taking the entire Dion wing of the Party is the only thing stopping the Ignatieff people in Quebec.

Why do they want an election Steve? Easy. They want Dion to lose then call for his resignation.

The garbage going on in Quebec is the real reason he hasn't called an election last fall or more recently.

As I have said, disband the entire Quebec permanent committee for not doing their jobs and replace them.

They are refusing to have an AGM that is long overdo, by Party bylaws, by the way as a way to stay in power.

Not having an AGM in the required time is enough to remove them and put in appointments.

Dion needs to take these people out of their positions now.

Anonymous said...

Dion also needs to line up the big Martin and Chretien backers in Quebec to help him.

If he cant do this he'll be playing MR Nice Guy on a campus somewhere soon.

Steve V said...

anon

"Why do they want an election Steve? Easy. They want Dion to lose then call for his resignation."

That was my point ;)

bigcitylib said...

"Why do they want an election Steve? Easy. They want Dion to lose then call for his resignation."

That was my point ;)
---

Okay, Steve, that bit I get. But doesn't it assume that Quebec Lib MPs will survive the general mayhem in an election? That doesn't seem a really good wager.

And if they don't, basically who cares what they think in the aftermath?

Steve V said...

bcl

That's the part I don't understand, they risk losing their seats. That said, Coderre's ego is the size of Harper's belly, so....

CuriosityCat said...

All hope is not lost.

We elected three very strong MPs - they will add a quantitative change in the performance of the Liberal front bench in Parliament.

More importantly, they will bring daily support of a very practical, very experienced nature, to Dion.

I expect a much better performance from the Liberal MPs from now on.

And so, I think, does Harper. He must be a little bit more worried about another election now than he was a week or so ago ...

Hold that thought, Mr. Harper: your days are numbered.

Steve V said...

cc

Point taken, and that may be getting lost in all the punditry. Never a bad development, having a bright light like Martha, with her refreshing candor, nor Rae, who seems quite able to come up with succinct retorts.

The problem, this stuff always seems to pop up, at the worst times, and it's pretty close to reaching a tipping point.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I didn't read all 53 posts so this may have already been said. However, this is certainly a potential problem if a party and its members cease being about political improvements and all about power. If the members don't see the door open to power, they will just walk about since they are not married to political ideas and policy growth.

Tomm

Möbius said...

My cheap advice.

Stick with the current leader.

The LPC should stop opposing everything for the sake of opposing, then abstaining. Accept what you can live with, and make reasonable suggestions for those you don't.

Stop constantly talking about elections unless you're willing to roll the dice.

There's going to be an election next year, one way or another. If Dion loses (either a CPC minority again, or a CPC majority, which I consider somewhat unlikely), then it's time for a new leader.

The infighting is not helpful to your party brand, unless you think forcing Dion to quit will help your chances. Stop being so GD impatient, and consider really rebuilding the party.

ottlib said...

Steve:

Your clarification is premised on the assumption that the by-election results actually weakened Mr. Dion.

That is a dubious assumption at the moment.

They could have but it is going to take a few weeks for any results of the by-election to be really felt on the broader political scene. That is if there are any impacts at all.

By-elections rarely have such impacts.

As well, the premise completely ignores the impact of the Toronto by-elections. To focus on the Quadra result while ignoring the TO results and then state Mr. Dion is weakened is dubious to say the least. Are Canadians really going to ignore the crushing victories by the Liberals in TO and just focus on the West?

The rumblings that we heard after the by-elections was just more of the same and seemed counterintuitive. Certainly when the Liberals lost Outrement there appeared to be something to the "Dion is not a leader" narrative but when they win 3 of 4 something seems out of place if that narrative is still advanced.

Yes I know that Quadra was only won by a small margin but the gory details of by-elections are really only fodder for political junkies. Anybody not falling into that category would have seen the headlines about the Liberals winning 3 out of 4 Tuesday morning and forgot about it by lunchtime.

As for the smiles on the faces of representatives of the Conservatives who advance the idea that the results were good news for their party perhaps they really do believe what they are saying. Or just a likely, they are just good at the job that they are paid to do, namely spin for the Conservative Party.

Gayle said...

This may be a first for me, but I agree with mobius.

Joe Calgary said...

James Curran, that's exactly the point... The Bloc are going to be cheerfully supporting everything Harper does for the fore seeable future. (Well, maybe not cheerfully) They have no choice.

Thanks to the resolution by the PQ stating they wouldn't seek a referendum in the next election, the Bloc has become redundant, and Quebec voters will rather see an MP with a hope of being in the ruling party, then vote Bloc in the near future.

Dion calls an election now, and it will be an asskicking to remember for the Liberals.

Better to wait.

Of course, shutting the fuck up about "pulling the trigger" on the government everytime there's a confidence vote might help his image a bit.

If your not showing up, just don't show up. Don't announce to the world your not showing up.

Steve V said...

"Your clarification is premised on the assumption that the by-election results actually weakened Mr. Dion.

That is a dubious assumption at the moment."

Well, apart from partisans I've yet to hear one presentation that reacts positively. It isn't whether joe blow cares about the gory details, its that the restless media can continue the narrative, turn over rocks, look for "signs". With all due respect, people are living in a dream world if they don't acknowledge the media's power, as though it is really irrelevant to what insiders want to believe. The reaction seems to be "headed for another rough patch", and if that's the mindset, expect a self-fulfilling reality. It's like when they post stories, on Rae being dogged by leadership questions- who's dogging him? Exactly.

Like I said earlier, I've never seen another leader, with the possible exception of Stockwell Day, looked upon which such a lack a respect. Unfortunately, there is nothing "dubious" in the final word from the by-elections as a shaky result, for someone already on shaky ground.

It seems now, the only defence, to dismiss anything that suggests trouble, comforting ourselves with wishful thinking. Dion has to turn it around, and soon, the irrelevant ones are framing "six months", don't think they won't see that through. If we pretend it isn't all bad, don't acknowledge where we are, then that stubborn pride will be the ultimate undoing. Recognizing a crisis for what it is constitutes half the battle, and is really the only way to get out.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, steve v - very good summary.

Tomm said...

There is a school of thought emerging that the easiest solution is to admit that the party continues to renew itself. And that it will continue to show "strategic patience" (h/t to Bob Rae and Jim Travers) until 09.

Keep it simple and focut on being ready for October 09.

If you do that Dion stays for 2 more years and the LPC continues to see erosion and bites taken out of its flanks.

But the party has to make a damn decision on this.

Tomm

Steve V said...

Rae's "strategic patience" was a frank and honest perspective, but it doesn't reconcile rationalizing abstaining, it doesn't take into consideration the damage done, by propping up the Conservatives. You can tell people you are waiting, until the time is right, but what passes in the meantime, what issues come up, wherein you sit on your hands? There is a cost to that, and in a way, you never get to the point Rae envisions.

James Curran said...

There is lots for Liberals to hang their hats nd coats on though Steve that would nulify the abstantions. Mulroney, Mexico, NAFTA, the Ottawa Mayorial race, the Elections Canada breach, the Interference in the nuclear fiasco, the Cadman Affair (which should really be called the Finley/Flannigan affair)...all of these things have yet to be resolved and Harper is the one running out of time. Canadians want anwers and these answers can't be stalled indefinitely. Hopefully al of them come during a general election...and, I'm certain some of them will. Not to mention Flaherty is an Ontario Liberal's best friend right now.

Steve V said...

james

It isn't getting any better politically than right now. Whatever benefit by waiting, is clearly offset by weakness in cowering. I'm speaking politically, election readiness aside.

James Curran said...

Much agreed.

Anonymous said...

There is one huge elephant in the room that will destroy Bob Rae's ambitions to ever lead the federal Liberal Party - It's the economy stupid!

While it is possible that Liberals and Canadians might have been willing to take a chance on Rae during a time of economic prosperity and growth when just being an eloquent foil to Stephen Harper might be enough - we all know that North America is slowly but surely sliding towards a recession. In fact by the time the Liberals lose an election, dump Dion and move into a new leadership race - I predict that the economy will be the big issue.

Something tells me that if the "ballot question" for the Liberals (and for Canadians as a whole) is "who do I trust to lead Canada through a time of economic and fiscal crisis?" - the answer most certainly will NOT be Bob Rae.

Mushroom said...

When Rae talks about "strategic patience", is he referring to Harper or the Iggy hawks that they may start to pull their daggers too early? I cannot see the hawks not demanding blood if Garneau loses the by-election in Westmount.

The problem in Quebec is exemplified by the LaSalle-Emard nomination. Dion is afraid to appointing anyone for fear that nobody will be happy with his choice. If it doesn't work out, then one faction would use the leader as a scapegoat to lash out.

Möbius said...

This may be a first for me, but I agree with mobius.

High-five!

I'm sure you've agreed with me before, you just won't admit it.

Unless the LPC is going to dump Dion, then it's time to stop whining and think about the future of the party brand, not the leader.

Möbius said...

Of course, shutting the fuck up about "pulling the trigger" on the government everytime there's a confidence vote might help his image a bit.

Exactly. It looks weak and stupid. What's wrong with behaving like a proper opposition, and try to make legislation better, by negotiation?

If negotiation doesn't work due to intransigence of the government, then pull the trigger, not threaten to do it, but actually do it.

Gayle said...

"I'm sure you've agreed with me before, you just won't admit it."

Nope. This is a one shot deal. :)