Federal budget passes

July 3, 2020

There was never any doubt about the budget passing, despite all the uproar from the opposition. The press was already full of reports that opposition leaders had instructed party members well in advance not to fight the finance bill in the House. So while the government was well within its right to celebrate the passage, this wasn’t really one of those contests that could have gone either way. And it’s not as if the government is out of the woods just yet. In fact, one reason the opposition really didn’t need to make much of a fuss about the budget, beyond breathing fire for the gallery as usual, was the already compromised position of the ruling coalition as well as cracks within the ruling party. That means the next few weeks and months will be very interesting, to say the least, as the opposition will try to exploit
as many of the government’s weaknesses as possible. For the briefest moment it seemed that such concerns were weighing somewhat heavily on the prime minister, and even led him to soften his tone somewhat in the National Assembly. Yet the PM himself rubbished all such speculation and went back to his attacking ways even before analysts had gone through his apparent change of tone properly. Imran Khan’s confidence was reflected at the dinner he hosted for his allies recently which some crucial allies chose not to attend by the way – where he seemed to really believe, and went on to say, that his government would complete its term simply because there was no other choice for the country. This mindset raises two very important questions. One, that there is no other option seems to imply that there is some power that chooses between options, etc, which the opposition is naturally interpreting in only one very obvious way; that the party
was installed by some other power and the PM is indeed, as they have implied all along, ‘selected’. And two, even if the prime minister meant there is no other option for the people to bring to power, not any
other force or institution, then it implies loss of confidence in his own party. For, if the only reason one believes people will keep him in power is because there is no other option, then there is an inherent admission of failure in matters like good governance. Either way, it gives opposition parties something to play with. The budget may have passed, but the troubles are only beginning. For the briefest moment it seemed that such concerns were weighing somewhat heavily on the prime minister, and even led him to soften his tone somewhat in the National Assembly. Yet the PM himself rubbished all such speculation and went back to his attacking ways even before analysts had gone through his apparent change of tone properly.

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