Sunday, August 17, 2008

What if you Go to the GG and She Says Prove It?

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?


ottlib said...

If Stephen Harper does call an election, against his own law and his word, I really hope the Liberals are ready for it.

If done properly they can make the first couple of days of the election about that.

Generally speaking, voters pay attention to elections at the very beginning and at the very end, with a possibility of paying attention in the middle depending on when the debates take place.

So, if the Conservatives can be foreced on the defensive regarding their decision to violate their own law, for the first couple of days, it would be a tough start to their campaign.

knb said...

I would agree ottlib.

I would think the Lib's are ready for it, as they seem to have managed hat it means to be in opposition, unlike the Con's who haven't quite mastered bein government.

Given that, I think the Lib's will be ready to exploit that reality at the beginning of the campaign.

btw, I just added that Harper has just called the by election in Don Valley West.


ottlib said...

I think it is going to be a tough September for the Conservatives.

Indeed, I think it is going to be a tough Fall.

Although I would like an election this Fall there is a part of me that would not mind waiting until the Spring of 2009.

The Conservatives have been a dismal failure at managing the voter malaise that always sets in a couple of years after an election. They are not showing any signs of improving that management and that malaise always seems to feed on itself if governments do not get a handle on it. So, time is definitely a friend of the Liberals.

I have to admit I am torn.

knb said...

It is a tough one isn't it?

My preference is still the Fall but I take your point on time not being on their side.

Either way, Dion has the opportunity to work with momentum and choose timing in a way that is logical.

Harper's timing on the other hand could only be seen to be opportunistic.

Anonymous said...

There is only one way for Harper to dissolve the House, which he will inevitably use this option.

To put a non-confidence notion and forcing the Con backbenchers to either abstain and not show up to the House.

This means making the House as dysfunctional as possible. It usually happens when all parties gear for an election. Party staffers need to trade their Parliamentary passes and stop being paid by the Government of Canada payroll. These things take time.

Note also that the Cons have a lot of money in their kitty that needed to be spent before the writ drops.

knb said...

Why did it need to be spent before the writ drops?

You're right, it's worth noting, but I'm not sure I understand.

Anonymous said...

To keep the long story short "In and Out".

Election spending limits.

knb said...

Oh, got it.

Sometimes my pennies are thicker than most so it takes some time for them to drop.

Anonymous said...

You know, maybe Harper is banking on the GG saying no, or even asking Dion to form a government. Then he can whip up his base about "unelected vice-regals," with a touch of racism and sexism probably thrown in for good measure. Sort of a King-Byng II, as it were.

jarrid said...

Harper is entering into the 4th year of his mandate in just 4 short months. The collective opposition have opposed his administration on the main, the only reason the government hasn't fallen is because the Liberals didn't have a leader until December 2006 and since then have been behind in the polls and didn't think they could win an election. Since when is the timing of the election to be decided by what is in the best interests of The Liberal Party of Canada?

Clearly the election timing isn't about policy concerns. It's about the Liberals regaining power. That kind of thinking is what put the Liberals out of power in the first place.

knb said...

jarrid, you can continue to spew nonsense, but it won't get your party further ahead.

The Con's don't want to regain power? They are not all about winning and getting a majority?

I'm not sure where you adorers come from, but if you cannot see what Harper is doing, you have a serious problem.

Argue the facts and I'll listen.

Until then, you're saying nothing usesful.

penlan said...

My concern is that there will be a so many confidence motions with trying to pass bills & if the Libs keep abstaining it is going to look terrible in an up-coming election.

I think it will take only one more abstention by the Libs & they will blow any credibility they have. Better to just bring down the govt.

And I also doubt the GG would go against Harp's wishes if he were to go that route.

Just my thoughts on this.

RuralSandi said...

KNB - do you not wonder if this Jarrid is actually Jonathon - they spew similarly and Jonathon had been deleted/filtered on most blogs now.

Just wondering - because he's suddenly all over the blogsphere spitting and spewing.

RuralSandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
penlan said...

OT, kind of. There are a ton of opinion pieces that can be linked to at National Newswatch online that are really lambasting the Cons.

Here is one of them:

I tried to do it the way you told me, knb, but I am doing something wrong as it wouldn't work.

knb said...

Not to worry.

penlan said...

Thankyou knb!

Perhaps you could re-explain it to me more clearly? If that is even

Omar said...


content word(s)here

..there is a part of me that would not mind waiting until the Spring of 2009.

And there is a growing part of me that would like to see these morons plod along until their sacred Fall 2009 election date. It is very difficult for me to imagine these buffoons getting their collective acts together even by then thus having them all the more exposed to the electorate. I'd like to see as many nails as possible pounded into the coffin of this strange and dangerous new movement.

Omar said...

christ, now I'm fucking it up...

paste this:

my resume

copy and paste page address over 'resumepage.html' then paste your content word(s) over 'my resume'

Omar said...

ok, I give up. someone more adept then me is going to have to explain it.


knb said...

Penlan, I don't think we'll see abstaining.

re' links replace these brackets [ ] with < >.

[a href = " http address"]LINK[/a].

knb said...

Sandi, it could very well be. They all say the same thing and it all amounts to nothing.

knb said...

Omar, lot's of nails in the proverbial coffin is a good thing. I'm just not sure my blood pressure could take the session going to '09.

Re' your links, you were probably using the correct brackets which created a false link.

penlan said...

Thankyou Omar & knb.

I will try it again next time I want to post a link.

Anonymous said...

Steve V has the latest poll results. Canadians were asked if they agreed with an election to clear the air. A majority agreed that it would be a good thing. It doesn't look like Harper will take much of a hit if he pulls the plug.