- Too little, too late. The time for NATO to have acted in Afghanistan was right after the 9/11 attacks. The offers made recently by Poland and France are useful but we can't wait another year for another 1000 troops. To do the job properly, we need as many soldiers as there are right now in Iraq. In other words, not 4000 to 5000, but 130,000. Afghanistan is where they should have been in the first place, anyway -- not Iraq. We need a sabbatical -- and those troops should instead be providing security in Vancouver and Whistler for the Winter Olympics two years hence. Had the whole of NATO pulled its weight to begin with, there would be no question in my mind we should stay the course.
- Does every single thing the government is doing have to come down to a vote of confidence? This is the same Reform Party which once said that such an issue would never be considered one of confidence. And from the same guy who drafted much of the Blue Book. What a Harpercrite. Not only that, but realistically extending the mission would require the very machinery that both the Liberals and Conservatives continue to keep delaying. There is simply no way to procure all the orders and have all the equipment delivered in time -- unless we buy them off the shelf from the Russians, which would no doubt tick off our allies. Harper can't blame the Liberals any more -- he's two years beyond being the "new" government.
I can't help but wonder if this was the UK and Harper tried to pull this same stunt as Prime Minister, the Queen would fire her chief servant on the spot. But of course, this is Canada and that job is up to the Governor-General; and no GG has dared to pull the plug since the 1926 King-Byng Affair. (Note to Australian and American readers: The issue then was somewhat similar to the Kerr-Whitlam spat in 1975, when the Australian GG and PM fired each other -- and there was alleged American interference in that affair as well.)
To quote a famous comedian from the 1930, we've gotten ourselves into a real fine mess. I think it's time to get out of it.
UPDATE (5:19 PM EST, 2219 GMT): An analogous situation in the UK would be covered by what are known as the Lascelles Principles, an informal convention first discussed in 1951. It's never been used -- although it came close during the stalemate in that country in 1974. I'm sure Betty Windsor was glad that a second election was held that year rather than having her back against the wall; as Harper seems so bent on doing to Jean.