Keep calm and carry on painting

A couple excerpts from Bob Rae’s scrum this afternoon.

Q: Do you think the government is likely, given that he seems to be ruling out working with either the Bloc or the NDP, do you think the government is likely then to move this ways and means motion up into that first week just to catch you guys two weeks earlier than you were intending to go?

A: Well, look, we’re ready for whatever. I mean, the thing about the tax credit is, that is, that is a total non sequitur. Everybody knows… first of all, you don’t fill out your income taxes, last time I looked, until the new year. We’ve all committed to maintaining the tax credit. There’s no need, by the way, to move a ways and means motion, I’m reliably informed by our House leader, unless you’re going to raise taxes, this is a reduction in taxes. So the ways and means motion is a classic red herring. I’ve had a couple of talk show hosts shouting out to all their listeners that this is a cause for panic, you can put down your shovels now and stop painting. And it’s ridiculous. You know, carry on painting, carry on renovating. Those tax credits will be fully recognized… by whoever the government is in 2010 and this is absolutely nothing to do with anything. It’s a complete non sequitur.

Q: Mr. Harper is scheduled to meet with Mr. Obama on Sept. 16, which puts him right in the middle of the return of the House and all of this wrangling. What kind of impact do you think that could have, what’s happening in the House, could have on the meeting between Mr. Harper and Mr. Obama? Should that meeting go forward?

A: Absolutely… I mean, the Prime Minister… I mean, life goes on. We meet with people. The prime minister and president meet. I met with the president of Colombia last week. I mean, life goes on. I don’t see this as a, I mean there may or may not be an election. If there is an election, Stephen Harper’s still the Prime Minister until he’s defeated. And he meets with people and he goes to the G20 and he does his job, that’s his responsibility as the Prime Minister of Canada. You see, there’s an effort here on the part of the Conservatives to create an atmosphere of total kind of instability and to say, you know, this is all very bad for the world. Well, you know, we’re not a banana republic. We have votes and we have… you know, Mr. Harper’s not a generalissimo yet. He has to get used to living in a constitutional democracy and so he can put his medals and his cap aside and just come to work everyday like the rest of us.

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