Thursday, January 20, 2011

On disagreement

I try not to spend too much time on reading tea leaves trying to determine the timing of the next federal election. But it's worth correcting the bizarre argument that Jack Layton's focus on seniors should be seen as reason to think the NDP would end up supporting the Cons.

After all, Layton's message is entirely consistent with the NDP's list of policy priorities, which include one issue (pensions) which applies solely to seniors, another (home heating expenses) which can be seen as particularly important for those on fixed incomes, and only one (home retrofitting) which can be seen as primarily applying to other age groups. So Layton's focus on seniors doesn't look to reflect any change from the NDP's starting point.

But it does seem to serve as a thorough rejection of the Cons' list of approved discussion topics, which includes a couple of issues relevant to older workers but absolutely nothing with any effect on seniors.

So if anything, Layton's choice of reference points makes it less likely than before that the NDP will see enough of value to make it worth passing a budget. Which means that it may not be long before the Libs are back in the position of deciding whether they'll support another budget based on nothing more than the desire to avoid an election.

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