Let's see... a $4 billion sop to Quebec, health care and education funding... billions more for transfer and equalization payments, tax credits for the middle class...
That's right everybody: it took the Conservatives to bring Canada the best budget of Paul Martin's career.
Or, as Andrew Coyne put it on CBC just a minute ago: Canada now has a party committed to spending more money, in real per person terms, than any previous government in history, and then it's got the parties on the left.
What a weird, weird time to be a headline junkie.
This should be the final nail in the "Stephen Harper wants an early election" nonsense. I think Paul Wells gets a lot of it right here, but more than anything it's clear that whatever else may happen, the polls don't yet support the notion that Harper would win a majority in the next election -- something he clearly wants to do. (Who wouldn't?) Harper needs some time -- maybe just another year, maybe less -- for Liberals to stop talking about his "hidden agenda" and actually try debating his policies on the merits. A hard thing, of course, when Stephen Harper is stealing Liberal policies.
And now, of course, I've gone on way too long for this to be a "shorter" anything post, so more later.