As I wrote last week, it looked as if the perfect storm was brewing and Harper was orchestrating the demise of his government.
By instructing committee members to be as disruptive as possible this week and throughout the session, he was given a platform on which he could claim that parliament is dysfunctional and he'd have to consider his options.
By going to the Governor General, he'd be going against his own law and word but details such as those have no impact on Harper. But shouldn't he have to really make a case? Can he? Not according to this article.
Now, I have no doubt that the GG would grant his request, but should she? I can hear the howling now if she were to decline. She like so many before her who have only sought to follow the rules, would be labelled a partisan appointee, etc. I don't know the full mandate for the office, nor how it applies to this particular situation, but it is an interesting proposition.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still all for an election in the Fall and it's interesting to consider whether the Liberals would benefit more from Harper calling it or Dion.
By Harper calling it, it would be yet another example of him flaunting the rules and that could be exploited initially, yet it would likely fade into the background during an election. Additionally, if it is clear through articles such as the one I referred to, that the need for an election is wholly manufactured by Harper, that too would cause resentment and point toward waste of taxpayer dollars.
Conversely, if Dion were to pull the plug, presumably he'd do it on an issue/bill that he could honestly claim he couldn't support. Additionally, if Dion were to call it, he obviously would use the timing to his advantage, meaning capitalising on all the problems facing the Con's.
It's pretty clear that Harper is not interested in having his party exposed any more than it already has been, but he can't have it both ways.
He's right on one count. Parliament isn't working, for him. He has no interest in working in a minority parliament. Given that he is musing out loud that parliament is dysfunctional, doesn't it stand to reason that he'd have to claim that he requires a majority mandate in order to make it work? Is the country ready to go along with that? 32% maybe, but there is no evidence that the rest of us are and in fact, the suggestion of a Harper majority is enough to make most of us shudder and do anything to prevent it.
I think if he goes to the GG, it will say quite a bit about how Harper has deluded himself into believing that he's duped the country. His arrogance will be on display and it will provide an interesting backdrop on which to fight an election, that hopefully will be fought on issues.
Harper's vision for Canada, versus Dion's. Quite a contrast.
New Development - I guess Harper wants some real polling before he decides.
More - Steve wrote about this too.
And more again - Another version of the story here. Best line?
"I don't think there's any grand strategy to it," said the Tory insider.
Yeah, right. Harper just does things predicated on principle or on a whim, Tory insider. BTW, he knew when Godfrey was resigning. Was there anything preventing him from including that riding from the beginning?