Well, I guess today brought out in high relief what this government is up to. They are desperate for an election and they are going to force one by hook or by crook.
Why do they want one? To my mind it's not because their internal polling tell's them they are in the lead but perhaps their polls tell them that the Canadians are worried about the economy and if it dives even a little, their inaction will be brought to bear. Maybe they feel they have to get out in front of that mindset but to those who have aleady been affected, it's too late. It's still hard to believe that Harper put Flaherty in Finance given his pathetic record, but here we are.
So, what are the Con's doing to provoke an election? Attaching confidence to the Afghanistan vote, the Budget (not unusual of course) and they took the time today to threaten the Senate just for good measure. Their disdain for the Senate is palpable but they look like toddlers when they go before them and exhibit their tantrums. I'm sure they felt they looked tough today, but imo they looked like idiots.
To begin with, they lied once again. If you haven't followed this, Stock Day came out of his caucus meeting and said that the Senate has held up the crime bill for 10 weeks and Liberal Senators are to blame. Same tactic, new year. It's BS of course because he left out the fact that the Parliament hasn't been sitting for 6 and 1/2 of those weeks. So, the Bill has been there 3 and 1/2 weeks. Weasel politics comes to mind and this guy is the poster child for that. He then laid down the threat that if it isn't passed by the end of the month, it's a confidence issue. Parliament hasn't had that sway over the Senate since 1867, but Stock probably doesn't think the world was created at that point, so what can I say. I jest of course, but come on. They are playing fast and loose with the truth and it's time that Canadians know that too.
Then we have the Budget vote. Fair enough. It's going to be a confidence vote, but this is one that intrigues me. What exactly are they going to do here? They know they are in trouble and to spend anymore will get them in more trouble, as will cutting taxes. My feeling is they will simply give more detail to existing plans and project them further into the future. So, a whole lot of flowery language that amounts to nought. I also believe they were so focused on their agenda that they gave no thought to the future. Who didn't recognise that Harper's buddy Bush had crashed that economy? Most economists, save Harper and his willing servant Flaherty have been pretty clear for a while now.
I tend to think this one issue, the budget, is what we should go on. They may have made it so neutral that it will be difficult to argue and perhaps that is their plan, but better to go on that than Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will still be an issue if we go to an election, but it won't be the issue if the government isn't felled on that vote.
Every pundit and reporter is trying to make Dion's position untenable, mostly because they mis-describe it, but I do not think it is. I saw a poll not too long ago and damned if I can find it but it's response echoed Dion's view.
Harper isn't brave enough to put solid terms of the mission in his proposal that will go to parliament. I think he'll leave it open and disregard the serious aspects that criticise them for not being transparent enough. Someone coined the phrase, Manley Light. I think that is exactly what he'll put forward. Heavy rhetoric on combat and no mention of all the other things that are wong with this mission...those things that require attention. The Lib's should focus on those omissions and when asked, focus on how Harper is content to have a never ending combat role in that country.
Oh yeah. We are going to an election because Harper has realised that a fixed election date doesn't work in this system and he now wants to find his opportune moment, not unlike any other PM. That law, (fixed dates) was one of his first moves and it's a dud. His arrogance thought he could conduct business as if he had a majority and though he's tried, he's been proven wrong.
The other reason to go? Well the scandals are building aren't they?
Bottom line. The Con's look bad right now and they want to shift that image. An election allows them to do that though given the amount of lying they do, they should consider some good lawyers as they venture forth.
See ya at the voting booth!