Over at Greg Staples place, OC and Greg S. have opined that Jack Layton was plotting against Harper and so no matter what Harper did, it is irrelevant because Layton was out to get him no matter what. I won't bother arguing about whether or not Layton was out to replace Harper, because I suspect it is true. Imagine a politician from one party plotting to replace the leader of another. What I do take issue with is the idea that Harper could have done anything and it wouldn't have mattered. There, I strongly disagree. Because without Harper and his disastrous, ridiculously clumsy, economic statement, Layton would be a man with a plot and not an about to be cabinet minister.
Harper, in his hubris, kicked the opposition once too often, going after the unions, women and (especially in the Liberal Party's case) the existence of the parties themselves. Without the economic statement's completely boneheaded partisanship, the Liberals would have found a way to support Harper. After all, they are broke and basically between leaders. It took as special brand of anger to get them to agree to follow Jack Layton into a constitutional gray zone. That anger was supplied to them by Stephen Harper. So, as I said to Greg and OC, Layton may have set the charge on this bomb, but Harper could have sidestepped it easily. But he didn't. Instead, he decided it would be fun to light the fuse.
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