While fliping to "Crossing Jordan" last night, I caught a few minutes of a CTV interview with Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Diane Finley - I think it was Pamela Martin interviewing her on the proposed Conservative tax credit based childcare program. After getting over the distraction that Ms. Finley never blinks, the interview was pretty much the BS that I expected it to be. However right at the end of the interview, Ms. Finley indicated that initial indications from both the Liberals and NDP were that they would not vote against this legislation. This was a bit of a surprise for me. Pamela Martin then confirmed after the interview that she had spoken with both Bill Graham and someone from the NDP who had confirmed that they were not going to vote against the governments first major legislative initiative.
Between the Liberals, the NDP and most of the Bloc, social progressives still control Parliament. Parliamentary committees are also generally representative of the make up of the House of Commons. We really do not have to accept this crap from the Conservatives. While the government controls the legislative agenda, once a piece of legislation is out there it can and should be amended. In fact in this case, if NDP, Liberal and Bloc work together, they should be able to completely rewrite this bill to resemble a childcare program that we can actually support.
This of course means that the opposition parties would have to coordinate their opposition and work together more than we are accustomed to seeing in Canada. While I would not advocate a unite the left movement, I could see a progressive caucus forming in this Parliament around shared social objectives such as healthcare, childcare, environmental protection etc. I can also see such a united opposition being quite frustrating to the Conservatives. Perhaps I am just naive.