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November 28, 2008

Standoff could lead to Accord government

CANADA - While financial markets in India have jumped after the news a terrorist standoff has ended, meanwhile in Canada a new standoff is building.

The political standoff could spark an election has erupted as opposition politicians have rejected a Conservative fiscal package that delays help for the struggling economy, a ban on strikes by federal government workers for two years and proposes to eliminate funding for political parties, which would give the Conservatives an unfair advantage due to all the funding they get from the Alberta oil industry.

The move to kill funding of political parties is a marked change in tone from Harper who had pledged the day after the Oct. 14 election "to try and find some common ground to move the Parliament forward productively." Evidently he's decided to try and bully the opposition parties again by threatening another election.

The Liberals, NDP and the Bloc Québécois united in calling the Conservative plan "mean-spirited" and are now discussing forming a coalition or Accord government. Unless a compromise with the Conservatives is reached the minority Conservatives could be toppled in a confidence vote on Monday night, opening the way to a change of government or a snap election, less than two months after the Oct. 14 vote.

In October Stephen Harper wasted $300 million on an election just so the Conservatives could get a slightly bigger caucus.

The defeat of the Conservative government wouldn't automatically mean another election however. If the three opposition parties form an accord or coalition they could replace the Conservatives in power.

In the 308-seat Commons, the Conservatives hold 143 seats, while the Liberals have 77, the Bloc Québécois 49 and the NDP, 37. There are two independent MPs.

The lack of economic movement on behalf of the Conservatives worries many Canadians who are upset about the American recession and its effect on the looming recession here in Canada. During tough economic times Canadians need leaders that ACT and right now Stephen Harper is following a laissez-faire do-nothing approach.

If it does come to an election the Liberals haven't even decided on who their new leader is. Bob Rae or Ignatieff.

NOTE: We personally would like to see an Accord government, which might be the first step towards uniting the Canadian left.

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