Well, I guess the winners are all of those people who didn't want a summer election, which by all accounts certainly was the majority. Things didn't go as I would have liked, but that's true of many things in life isn't it? Am I happy with everything? No, not really, but I am willing to look at what is and move forward.
I wasn't around today when all of this came down, so I've been playing catch up. I've read some carping and I've read some praise. I guess if I were to chime in, it would be somewhere in the middle. That is to say, I would have preferred that we had felled the government, but failing that, ending up where we did will likely satisfy most Canadians and that in the end is what matters.
Now, I'm sure the first screams will be, but you got nothing for EI. True, there is nothing immediate for those who are struggling right now and I think that is a shame, but nor would there have been had we gone to an election.
Will the panel produce anything? I guess none of us really know but you have to admit that by Harper conceding that there is inequity in the system after having Diane Finley rise in the House, day after day, and say they had done enough and everything was rosy, is something. All I really mean by that is, you can be damn sure that there would have been no movement on that file without Liberal intervention. The proof however will be in the pudding. One advantage here is that the government will have to open the books on this file and that can only be good for the Liberals.
As to the other areas, it's really just more of the same. The stimulus money will flow, albeit not as quickly as the government had promised it would and we'll go through the summer watching announcements, but it will be important to watch the recipients and their reaction as time moves forward.
The arcane detail of getting a fixed opposition day will have no relevance to Canadians at large, but it does prevent the manipulation of those days by the government and under the right circumstances, that could mean a great deal to us come September.
I've also read that Ignatieff looks diminished by this. Well, I think that's an inside the Queensway talking point right now to be honest. If Canadians by and large were not looking for an election, he won't be diminished in their eyes, in fact, he may well have grown in stature for some.
In the end, we won't really know the success of this strategy until the Fall. The Summer may present some interesting situations, but for the most part I think you'll see lots of fundraising and many occasions where Ignatieff can present himself as someone who is doing what he feels is best for the country. It's important to remember how the media played all of this and where they directed the conversation. That is, what a potential mistake a summer election would be. Personally, I didn't see or hear one clip of Mr/Mrs Citizen saying they wanted an election. Of course, no one asked me!
Again today, some media is playing the opposite game, as I pointed out in an earlier post, taking whatever position is the most sensational.
I have to say that the NDP look really pathetic in all of this. My gawd, Mulcair sounded ridiculous in all of the clips I heard of him. They seem not to be players anymore at all, sort of kicked to the sidelines. By excluding them from any of the talks and the panel, they look like the tiny party in the background. With apologies to my NDP friends, I have to confess that I feel as though it serves them right at this point.
So, to those who were looking forward to a quiet summer, enjoy! Personally I'm going to have to come up with something that will keep me calm until the Fall.