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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday February 13, 2008
The Conservatives and Liberals moved yesterday toward a compromise on Afghanistan that would give troops a changed mandate after 2009 and allow them to stay in Kandahar until 2011, but the drumbeats for a spring election were not silenced.

Liberal MPs walked out en masse before a vote on a confidence motion demanding the Senate pass a crime bill by March 1, as the Tories kept alive a threat to trigger an election if the deadline is not met.

And the Feb. 26 budget still has the Liberals contemplating their own vote to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservatives, which would pitch the country into a campaign before a deal on the Afghan mission is sealed.

But both Mr. Harper and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion made clear they do not want the dangerous mission of Canadian troops in Afghanistan to spark a general election.

The Prime Minister seized upon a Liberal proposal to redefine the mission after 2009 as grounds for compromise, and sought to blunt Mr. Dion's opportunity to campaign against him on Afghanistan by declaring that there are now two parties who favour extending the military mission. Source...

Harper and Dion extend olive branch
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