Prime Minister Paul Martin yesterday released
the 2006 version of the Liberal Red Book, the party's official platform.
Typically, just about everything that could go wrong, did.
A copy of the 86-page document, called Securing Canada's Success,
appeared in advance on the website of the right-wing Western Standard
This reignited speculation a Jean Chretien-era mole is working from
within Martin's campaign to sabotage it.
However, Liberal blogger
Akaash Maharaj offered up a less sinister explanation. He noted
the Liberals mistakenly loaded the document prematurely onto an
easily accessible server which, while not visible on the party's
web pages, was readily available to anyone with "Internet access,
a web browser and a modicum of ingenuity."
In any event, the platform doesn't even mention Martin's bombshell
announcement during Monday's leaders' debate -- that if re-elected
he will introduce legislation to end Ottawa's power to use the Constitution's
notwithstanding clause. This fuelled speculation that Liberal MPs
There was only one new policy. Not content with his meaningless
promise to ban handguns in Canada, Martin is now making a meaningless
promise to ban guns in space!
He'll push for an international treaty at the United Nations to
prohibit the use of weapons in space -- an idea Canada failed to
rally support for two years ago.
Meantime, while the Liberals continue to accuse Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of making reckless spending promises, their own platform
reveals the Liberals have committed to spend all but $14.2 billion
of what they say will be a total of $96.8 billion in surpluses over
the next five years.
This is because they have made $65.1 billion in promises since their
budget in the spring of 2005 and have committed another $17.5 billion
to reserves, intended, ultimately, to pay down the federal debt.
Despite the fact there was nothing in the document to reignite the
apparently stalled Liberal campaign, the Conservatives must remember
they haven't won anything yet and that the Liberals are at their
most dangerous when wounded.
Regardless of Liberal mistakes, the Tories must take nothing for
granted and run hard (even scared) until Jan. 23.