Since the tumultuous days of late November/early December, I've grown less and less enthusiastic about the idea of a Liberal-NDP coalition government in Ottawa, backed by the Bloc Quebecois. Many friends and family members contacted me during that period to express their outrage at the prospect of Stephane Dion, having been so thoroughly trounced at the polls, seizing power with the help of the NDP and the sovereigntists.
Since Michael Ignatieff's ascendancy to the Liberal leadership, the Canadian public has not warmed much to the idea of a new coalition taking over in Ottawa.
Today, we've got a fairly decent budget that puts Canada in line with other G-8 countries in terms of combatting the economic downturn. We've got the Prime Minister on the run. Why would Liberals vote down this budget and attempt to take power now?
It's possible, should the government be defeated over this budget, that the Governor-General could ask the coalition to form a government. Then the Liberal Party would wear this recession and all the downsides of being in cahoots with the NDP and the BQ. Suddenly, Grit times would be tough times.
As there is a little something for everybody in this budget, I expect that the vast majority of Canadians will support it. Forcing an election now over this would be dangerous, as would the alternative of forming a coalition government. I say the Liberals should let this budget (with amendments) live and prepare for an election later in the year.