There's good news, and bad news, in the Harper government's manipulative Machiavellian approach to M-P pension reform, confirmed yesterday in Ottawa.
By including it in another "omnibus" budget implementation bill the government ensures it will pass. Cutting the excessively generous M-P pensions will occur. No Conservative M-P will vote against the Conservative budget implementation bill.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that opposition members who must vote against the budget for any other reason...as one would expect them to do...will be portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as resisting the Conservatives' heroic efforts to correct an anomaly that outrages taxpayers. I see no reason other than embarrassing opposition M-P's, for the government to refuse to address M-P pension reform as a stand alone item, subjected to specific debate and vote in the House.
This political gamesmanship, which the Harper Conservatives have used before, is a tactic unbecoming a Parliamentary democracy where consensus should rule the day as often as possible. The Conservatives seem intent on emphasizing divisions rather than building bridges.
I for one am getting tired of it.
This is Frank Stanford