If we give in to Harper now, do you really think there will be no consequences? If he let him be dominant dog he's not going to improve his behavior - he's going to get even worse. This is a guy who has let it get around that he has a plan to drive the Liberal party into bankruptcy.
He never promised not to try to abolish the political subsidy again. He never acknowledged that subsidies are required when you have campaign finance rules. He hasn't promised to implement a fiscal stimulus to help Canadians. He removed a few things from his economic update, but he hasn't made one real concession. If we roll over for him now, do you think we'll have any ability to stand up to him the next time he tries to pull this crap? If we give in now, do you think there will be any fiscal stimulus in the January budget?
The Globe - which supports the Conservatives - has written about the damage Harper is doing in Quebec and has even published columns urging the Conservatives to replace Harper as leader. Where do you think that sort of reform is going to go once Harper learns he can subvert our democracy by forcing the Governor General to create a dangerous new precedent - and get away with it? Once he realizes he doesn't need the confidence of the House - that he can act as a majority PM even with a minority?
This absence of leadership in the Liberal party is having huge consequences. While Dion implodes and Ignatieff smirks on the sidelines (his campaign had the nerve to send out a fundraising email today), we are in one big unholy mess. Thsi isn't going to go away just because we want it to.
Update: In his statements on December 5, Harper was even more careful to say that his retractions are only temporary. He said he wouldn't move to abolish subsidies or ban civil service strikes now, and similar careful weasel-words. As soon as he can do it, everything in the economic update is going back on the table.