This is not the hill to die on
The main purpose of budget lockups is to provide people with instant opinions to pronounce when the budget is released.
We here at the Star have reached two, it seems. (And for the record, it took about a couple of hours inside the lockup for the impressions to settle in.)
First impression – this budget is complicated; an accountant’s dream.
Second impression – this is a status-quo budget, politically. Though there’s not much in here for non-Conservative voters to love – not much on the environment, no big measures to get that elusive women’s vote for the Tories – there’s not much for Liberals to hate either.
And that, as all political junkies know, is the whole end game of this budget day. Is this the budget that will provoke the Liberals to bring down the government and plunge Canada into an election? Probably not.
If the mood in the lockup is any indication, reporters don’t seem to be planning now for an election. Some were even overheard saying they could now make vacation plans for March.
But the instant opinion we need now is from Liberal leader Stephane Dion, who is due to pronounce on the budget about a half hour after Finance Minister James Flaherty starts speaking.
I’ll be live blogging here as soon as Flaherty gets up to speak.