At this point, I’m not sure if the threeway opposition love (or at least not hate) train can be stopped, but I think this constitutes a prime ministerial blink:
Conservatives back down on controversial party funding changes
November 28, 2008 – 11:29
THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA – The Conservative government says an incendiary plan to strip political parties of their public financing won’t be included in a confidence vote on the fall fiscal update.
Government sources say only tax measures will be part of the ways and means motion that parliamentarians will vote upon on Monday.
It’s a sharp reversal for the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
When the fiscal update was delivered on Thursday, government officials and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressly stated the party financing measures would be considered matters of confidence.
But with the Liberals and New Democrats in deep discussions about a potential coalition government should the Tories be defeated, the Conservatives are pulling back.
The party financing measures would effectively gut the opposition parties, who are far more dependent on public subsidies than is the Conservative party.
UPDATE: Okay, the latest CP update pretty much scotches the idea that backing down on political financing (which they’re not actually doing, you’ll notice, since it was never going to be in Monday’s Ways and Means motion in the first place) will kill off the New New Spirit of Cooperation (NNSOC):
A government source now claims the elimination of the $1.95-per-vote subsidy was never intended to be part of the ways and means motion, which will be voted on Monday evening.
But Liberals and New Democrats say that dropping the financing measures will not influence their decision to vote against a fiscal update they say provides no economic stimulus at a time when Canada is entering a recession.