(originally posted at http://www.greenparty.ca/)
Haven’t we seen this film before? A fall session of parliament is scheduled, and the opposition parties have signalled, in advance, that they’ll bring down the government at the first opportunity. In a pre-emptive strike, saying that parliament is not working so what’s the point of reconvening the house, the Prime Minister makes the trek to the GG and requests dissolution and a new election. The Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Greens are all caught with their pants down, and the only story worth reporting on for the first week and a half of the election is whether or not the Liberals are able to find an airplane to fly around in. Thus about 10-15 days of the 35 day campaign was lost to the opposition, leaving the Conservatives to control the flow of the campaign.
That was September, 2008.
Fast forward to September 1st, Sudbury: Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff makes his clearest signal yet that the Conservative government will be toast at the first opportunity (Time’s Up, Ignatieff Tells Harper, September 1, 2009, Sun Media).
Sure, Stephen Harper has been telling Canadians that the Conservatives don’t want to go to the polls, that the economy will suffer further if there’s an election. Sure, that’s what he’s been saying. But now that he knows that this next session of Parliament is doomed, wouldn’t it be irresponsible of him NOT to call an election? I mean, why bother with a month and a half more of having Canada poised on the brink of governmental collapse? Why not just get it over with now, and call an election?
It’s not like the Conservatives aren’t ready. The Pundit’s Guide reports that they have over half of their candidates already nominated, versus the Liberals with only 19%. If an election was called next week, most Liberal EDA’s would lose a week of campaigning just trying to find a warm body to move forward.
Of course, we Greens are at a dismal 10% when it comes to nominated candidates. But at least we’re ahead of the NDP, which has only 2%, according to the Pundit’s Guide.
In all seriousness, what does Harper have to lose? There may be a little backlash from the public about his calling an election, although it didn’t hurt him the last time he did it. Given that Ignatieff has stopped playing coy, really, what does Harper have to lose by facing the inevitable on his own terms?
Get ready for it.
Suicide, for the Conservative government right now, is painless. Let’s hope, though, that it might actually bring on many changes.
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