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As for P&P, all I'll say is, I miss Don Newman, whether or not I agree with him.
And in fact, you'd be *more* offended by that woman who wants to end poverty because she thinks Jesus demanded it, than you would by, say, an atheist pro-life PM who opposes abortion because of her analysis of how the foetus evolves and grows in the womb before birth, right? Because unlike that do-gooding pverty activist, the aetheist pro-lifer doesn't represent "the church" intruding on "the state's business", right?
In more modern times, "Screw the west, we'll take the rest" came out of Sen. Keith Davey's mouth in 1980, long before Manning showed up in Ottawa.
Off the top of my head: New Zealand (ACT announced in advance of the last election that it was going to back the Nationals) and Australia, where the Liberals & Nationals have been in a coalition for years, but still run separate candidates. Also: Ireland in '07, where (a) Fine Gael and the Labour Party struck a deal in advance re: 2nd-preference ballots, and (b) Both Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrats agreed to keep their pre-election coalition going (though they had to change plans after the election because the PDs didn't win enough seats, the PDs certainly intended on being a part of a coalition government again).
In other countries where coalitions are common, what you DON'T see are possible partners, such as the CDP/CSU and the Free Democrats in Germany, swear up and down that they won't form a coalition only to do so at the first opportunity. That's what we had with Dion & Layton here in '08.
Ignorance is as ignorance does, I guess.
Brison was an effective Finance critic after '97 as well, which made it all the more galling to see him pal around with Paul Martin once he crossed over.
Perhaps that's because Harper has been sensible enough to avoid trying to revive SoCon-related debates that the public doesn't seem to want to touch (abortion, capital punishment), but has been willing to legislate on issues where at least a goodly share of the voters appear to be on-side (childcare). I think that's certainly something one could take from PW's article this week.
If the Libs want to go back to their boogeyman strategy, more power to 'em, but I don't think Iggy's current crew is that foolish. If they want to beat Harper, they'll have to do it on the issues (including the SoCon issues) where there's an actual footprint, and not rely on dragging out old speeches and hoping that we'll jump at the shadows.
No, Ted. What we learned in 2006 was that the Liberals' strategy of saying "Ooo, Scary Stephen Harper - look what he said back then" was getting old, and getting much less effective.