Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Compromise is not a dirty word
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s press secretary Dimitri Soudas briefed national bureau chiefs this morning ahead of the start of the new session of Parliament. The economy and job creation, new trade agreements and making the streets safer are the government’s priorities.
Oh and by the way, the government doesn’t want an unnecessary politically motivated election. (That was what they wanted and got in 2008 so the Conservatives have been there, done that already, cough, cough.)
The prime minister will not call nor will he provoke an election, said Soudas. That means none of that hanky panky business of turning crime bills into confidence votes as the government has done and/or threatened in the past.
Well that’s a relief.
Here’s another novel idea. How about instead of pretending the only way to avoid an election is for the opposition to pass all your bills as you want them without debate?
And to the opposition, lest you think you can waltz in and demand everything and the kitchen sink, how about actually putting Canadians interest ahead of partisan interests and not deciding whether the budget is acceptable or not months before it has even been finalized?
Soudas said the prime minister is open to speaking with opposition leaders. Which is a switch from earlier this month when it was suggested Harper didn’t feel the need to meet with Jack Layton ahead of the budget because he’d heard the NDP’s ideas already.
For some reason politicians seem to fear compromise. It is not a four letter word and working with opposition leaders to incorporate some of their ideas into the budget actually would suggest to Canadians you really do want to keep governing and for all the people, not just the ones that elected you. Conversely it doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm to the opposition. Just as the government’s ideas won’t always win the day, neither should the opposition get everything it wants lest they have a temper tantrum and run away from the sandbox threatening to vote the government down.
All that said, when we do have an election, the Conservatives are ready to rumble. Soudas also announced this morning former Harper chief of staff Guy Giorno is the party’s election coordinator. Giorno left the PMO in December after spending two years as the PM’s chief advisor. It was said he was leaving to spend more time with his young family.
He replaces Senator Doug Finley who was the architect of the last two Conservative campaigns. Finley has been battling cancer and while he is undergoing chemotherapy, he will take on an honorary role as campaign director.
Giorno has just messaged me to say he was not among those who said he was leaving the PMO to spend more time with his young family.
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About Mia Rabson
Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.
Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.
She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.
Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.
Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.
In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.
She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.
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