Wednesday, January 24, 2007

When Does Harper Want An Election?

At the end of a fairly even-handed assessment of Harper's first year, Deirdre McMurdy drops this little bit of insider wisdom:

It's an open secret Harper would like an election in the next six months, but he needs the other political parties to set it up for him.

This seems plausible for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the glory days of the CPC government as a minority government are gone. With a new leader in place, the Libs won't be nearly as easy to splinter. And this isn't due in particular to any magical qualities of S. Dion either; its just a function of having a body in the leadership position. Further, with three parties to the Left of them in a minority situation, what kind of agenda could the Tories get through Parliament? Sissy stuff: green plans, motherhood initiatives. Whereas the Tories are Tories and want tax cuts, want to shovel wealth up the social scale. Its no fun to rule in a minority parliament when your agenda is at odds with opposition parties representing a good 70% of the Canadian electorate. So right now the game is all about converting this minority into a majority.

And that has got to happen soon if its to happen at all. The bloom is off the rose. Nothing the Tories have thrown at Dion (he's a Frenchy out to punish the oil-patch) has stuck yet, and Canadians are finding that, beyond being minimally competent, the Harper government has very little to recommend it policy-wise. Furthermore, wait another year and there will be Quebeckers getting shot at in Afghanistan and the "fiscal imbalance" talks will have ended in tears.

If this line of reasoning is actually what's going through the mind of the CPC braintrust, look for a straight-arm from Harper at budget time, and see if Layton is desperate enough to prop up the Tory government for peanuts.


Anonymous said...

Methinks you underestimate the lean and hungry Harper. His budget will give Quebec billions, as part of the fiscal imbalance Trojan Horse framing, and taken from the other provinces. He will also offer restrictions on federal spending power, and less federal taxes, so that most premiers will support this, as they get more money, and can be heroes back home when they spread it around.

This will give him a good chance of buying votes in Quebec and Ontario.

He is even betting that Dion will support his restrictions on federal power, as Dion has done so in the past, thus splitting the Liberals: Dion's views on the power and ability of the federal government to ensure national programs by intruding into provincial jurisdictions through cash offers to Canadians, is at odds with most Liberals and most Canadians.

Dion is against this power; he favours a minimalist federal government, which sticks to its constitutional division of powers. Most Canadians do not.

This will split the Liberal Party and allow Harper to win seats in the spring.

wilson said...

westmountliberal, a little seat re-distribution to reflect the huge influx of citizens to the West, would balance off the seats the Cons 'may have' lost in Quebec, since the election.

Quebecers fighting hard to keep their French identity is ok by me. What I don't approve of is those, like westmount, who enjoy national welfare and then laugh in your face about it.
But I guess that is part and parcel of the French identity since the Bloc came to be.
It must suck to have to pretend that you don't need the ROC, while checking that mail box for your welfare cheque.

Anonymous said...

So Citoyen Dion was against a budget, then for it, then against , then for, then . . .

What day is it ??

Maybe he should wait to see what is in the budget before he decides which way to change his mind.

Leadership, in action.

bigcitylib said...

Wilson, the West gets more seats than its entitled too if you go strictly by rep-by-pop. That's why Alberta wants to by-pass one-man-one-vote Democracy re. an elected Senate. Give it up.

Beside, when the boom goes bust, most of those people will go home.

Anonymous said...

What I don't approve of is those, like westmount, who enjoy national welfare and then laugh in your face about it.

Yeah, but you troll progressive blogs incessantly, thus guaranteeing that every 3.4 nanoseconds, you'll read something you object to.

So you're getting what you're looking for...*ahem*...Bring back the NEP! L'Alberta aux Québécois! L'Alberta aux Québécois!

Instead of being irritants, why don't you trollies go over to one your Blogging Trolly blogs and participate in the discussions to articulate a coherent set of Conservative policies?


Anonymous said...

Right on, TiGuy!

Exactly what the trolitariat is up to. Thanks, BCL, for a post summing up what I've been saying at home.