University of Toronto
2 min

Conventions abound

Two federal party conventions took place this weekend in Nova Scotia over the weekend, and both give some idea of things to come.

First up was the Green Party’s policy convention in Pictou, where Elizabeth May leadership’s was endorsed, even though they didn’t make a Parliamentary breakthrough in the last election. Nevertheless, she plans to run again in Central Nova – unless a more attractive by-election happens before then. In the meantime, they plan to start preparing for a much more professional campaign the next time around.

Not far away, the Federal Liberal Party’s Nova Scotia wing held their convention, and Michael Ignatieff was there to speak to the party faithful. A couple of key messages emerged – that he will be running candidates in all 308 ridings, including Central Nova the next time around. (Elizabeth May, by the way, said that was expected so she’s not bothered). Ignatieff also reaffirmed that the party is committed to a national childcare plan like they had started putting into place under the Martin government.

Elsewhere, Transport Minister John Baird said it’s out of “frustration” that Stephen Harper was threatening an election over the $3 billion “slush fund” provisions hidden in the main estimates. Err, the Liberals are already going to support you, just like all the all of the opposition parties are going to support your crime bills (for all the good it’ll do, which is pretty much none at all). They’re cooperating – so why are you ramping up the election talk again?

Oh, right – it’s because you feel like you need to be looking tough again, because your base is starting to get a bit restless. They don’t see a Stephen Harper on the offensive, and it makes them nervous. Never fear, the Conservative war room says – we’re busy scouring all of Michael Ignatieff’s many public musings in order to come up with a bunch of new attack ads, and hey, look at us getting up to our old tricks of using the last few minutes of Members’ Statements to start making accusatory and inflammatory statements, hoping to rattle Ignatieff before he rises for Question Period. It hasn’t worked yet, mind you, and it’s only making the Conservatives look petty and partisan during a time when people are supposed to be putting aside their partisan differences to focus on the economic crisis at hand.

Up today is the report stage on the budget implementation bill now that it is past committee. By mid-week it should pass its final vote in the Commons before it gets sent up to the Senate for further review.