In today's editorial on the Liberal musings about triggering an election over the Conservative Government's inadequate EI reforms, Spectator editor Howard Elliot writes, "partnering with separatists to force an election would be political suicide."
This is unfortunate. Newspaper editors, of all people, must resist the convenience of adopting - and hence reinforcing - the insincere, politically expedient Rovian weasel words of a given partisan ideology.
The Conservative Government used the pejorative "socialists and separatists" aggressively and indiscriminately in their full-spectrum propaganda assault against last December's proposed coalition between the Liberals and the NDP, supported by the Bloc Quebecois. The purpose - to de-legitimize the Liberals by association with radical and insufficiently patriotic fringe parties - was an irresponsible and grave insult to Canada's Parliamentary system of government.
The Bloc MPs, like the NDP MPs, were elected democratically to represent their ridings, and they are all legitimate members of Parliament. No government can operate legitimately without the confidence of the House - and that includes MPs of all political stripes.
Pigeonholing and vilifying a given party with catchy insults merely cheapens the overall political discourse and lends succor to those who stand to gain from the disgust and disengagement of concerned citizens.
Finally, the rank hypocrisy of the Conservatives went on full display when, after decrying the Liberals for agreeing to cooperate with the NDP and the Bloc, the Harper government responded to the resurgence of the Liberals in national polls by a carefully crafted campaign to ... cooperate with the NDP and the Bloc and avoid losing a confidence motion.
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