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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

6/08/2004

Harper's Gambit

Listening to the 5:00 CBC Radio news I heard this rather brilliant stroke. (Actually, the link is to a watered down version of the story.) Harper has challenged Martin to promise that if he forms a coalition (great hot button)with the NDP he will not implement inheritance tax on estates over one million dollars which is part of the NDP platform.

How brilliant is this??

This sort of question sticks Martin with a coalition which he does not want and someone else's platform.

Turnabout is fair play. Martin has been trying hard to stick Harper on abortion and other social issues. But the scope of the Harper attack is so much broader.

Harper now has the opportunity to paint Martin as an extremist so power hungry that he is willing to swallow the NDP's platform whole. And, by putting all of this in the form of a question for Martin, Harper seizes control of the agenda.

The really fun moment will come when Harper asks Martin, "Mr. Martin, in light of your sidelining Spephan Dion, will you support your coalition partner's position that the Clarity Act should be repealed?"

Any second now Harper will let loose with the response to the "Alliance/Conservatives" he has been preparing for months; "Will the Martin/Layton Team...."

Let's face it, there are enough looney policy planks in the NDP platform to keep Harper in ammunition for the next three months much less three weeks.

Rout.