It's the economy AND democracy
For weeks now, political junkies have been wondering which was the issue that would provoke the collapse of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government. Would it be the economy (the budget)? Would it be democracy (the Speakers' ruling on contempt)?
It seems to me that Jack Layton has just managed to fuse the two issues into one big rejection of the Harper government. Yes, he didn't like what was in the budget, but he also didn't like the way Harper treated the parties in a minority Parliament. That latter point is what seemed to make Layton look truly outraged in his post-budget interviews.
And Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is only likely to have inflamed that anger even more when he said, in his post-budget interview with CBC, that the government didn't believe it was its job to work with the opposition parties in crafting the budget. The government consults with Canadians, Flaherty said, not political rivals. That sounds an awful lot like the back of the hand to Parliament -- the same thing that prompted the historic Speaker's ruling against Harper's government.
So in the end, what will be the death of this Parliament? It's the economy AND the democracy stuff, all in one package.