Ignatieff only wants to amend the budget to add a few progress reports, despite a long list of concerns he has with it. Clearly, he doesn’t want to defeat the government and lead a replacement. He is only asking for this small favour so it doesn’t look like he is doing nothing at all.
In his news conference he said it would not be appropriate for the opposition the amend the budget, although the NDP did amend a Liberal budget during the Martin years. I expect in a majority government, opposition parties routinely make budget amendments without expecting them to pass. He talked about the changes he would like to see, like having more people covered by EI, and he would consider them in the future votes. If he would consider voting the government down in the future over that issue, why not now?
Why don’t the Liberals what to form the government? In the past they have been willing to do almost anything to get their hands on power. Why are they avoiding now? The same reason they spent the whole of 2008 bending over backwards to avoid an election. They don’t want to be blamed for the recession we are now entering. They don’t want to help Canadians. Their first priority is to help themselves. They don’t care if their ideas will help Canada deal with the recession, they only care if their ideas will get them a majority government in the future.
Once again they have painted themselves into a corner. The Liberals may not to really amend the budget, but the NDP and the Bloc will try. Are the Liberals going to vote against the vary changes they have been calling for, or are they going to abstain, again?
Some people assume if the coalition forms a government, it will soon fall and cause an election While that may be true, a continued minority Conservative government is no more stable. In just a few months there have been two confidence crisis. The quarterly reports to Parliament will likely cause more over the next year. A coalition, where much have already been agreed on in advance, could hardly be any less stable.