Little Fish in a Giant pond

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Is a Federal Election Looming?

Ask just about any political junkie and most of them will tell you that a federal election was all but a sure thing for this spring, myself among them. After all, the Harper government has been in power for two years now, which is quite ripe by minority government standards. What caught me by surprise though, was the likely trigger. I always kind of figured that the Conservatives, who have a little more control over the matter, would rather fall on a budget bill that was laden with tax cuts and other goodies than on something as controversial as Afghanistan.

It seems to me that for the opposition parties, little could be of greater tactical importance than starting out on the offensive. The first thing that the opposition parties will have to do is justify their decision to bring Canadians back to the polls, and frankly it would be far easier to justify bringing down the government over a controversial issue than to do so because of popular tax cuts.

Even the Liberals, who have been through a change in leadership since first having sent troops to Afghanistan have begun to speak more and more with one voice. Dion seems quite steadfast that troops are to be pulled out of combat operations in the province of Kandahar by 2009. While Jack Layton is still demanding that troops be pulled out immediately, in spite of commitments that Canada has made to NATO. Gilles Duceppe is demanding a pullout by 2009.

Whatever you might think about the mission in Afghanistan, it is a controversial subject and it's not likely anyone is going to gain ground on this issue. Perhaps that is what the PM is counting on, but then again he knows that if he wants to gain power he needs to win seats in Québec, which has a reputation for being somewhat more pacifist than other provinces. At this point though, it's all just speculation because as far as I'm aware, the PM has not yet publicly declared that the motion will be one of confidence so they could well choose to engineer their own defeat over something completely different.

Who knows? I might be completely wrong, and the election may be stalled for a while longer. After all, there is a provincial election going on right now in Alberta. Just the same, these next few weeks promise to be interesting!

5 Comments:

  • Steve Harponey is making a classic Neo-con move of offering the plebs a feel-good choice which is bundled with a whole bunch of stuff that goes against what's really important.

    The Harponey basic premise is that 40% of Canadians are dumb enough to be fooled. He may be right.

    The Canadian forces are spit in an Afghan summer wind. We are an armed force of 2500 in a hostile land of 29 million that is run by warlords, drug dealers, and bum-seeking police and prison wardens.

    By Anonymous Xenos, at 5:59 PM  

  • I'm curious as to what "bum seeking" connotates. homosexuality?

    Regardless, if I was a liberal (and avoided killing myself in despair) and stephan dion was my party leader, I'd be quaking in my boots at the prospect of an election.

    When the fiberals were in power I never really noticed much. The tories made all the shit I buy 2% cheaper. So I say let the good times roll.

    Unless the greens get off the fucking socialist pulpit they've climbed up on and start talking environment/energy again, then I say blow winds of change blow. But that ain't likely to happen.

    By Blogger Darcy, at 8:49 AM  

  • Just a little update, I read in the news today that Harper has now officially come out and declared this a confidence motion. I have a feeling that we will be in for the beginning of an election within weeks!

    And yeah Darcy, all the Liberals ever did while they were in power was eliminate a huge ass deficit, fended off a referendum, and gave you the biggest income tax cut in Canadian history, so you could buy more shit. Reducing the GST was about one of the only promises he kept!

    I'm a big fan of Stéphane Dion, and I say that Harper is in for one Hell of a fight, whenever the elections are called!

    By Blogger Fish, at 2:10 PM  

  • Here's how I read your previous response Fish:

    Liberals eliminated a huge-ass ( Trudeau created) deficit using the Tory Mulroney's tools ( GST, cutbacks in services and transfers ). They sleewalked through a referendum that theyhelped contributed by opposing Meech Lake and Charlottetown, and they didn't gives ANY of us the "biggest tax cut in history", unless you count cutting zero by zero as "historical".

    Perhaps the Harper tories need a bigger agenda, but considering they are more than just " big talk, little action" working under a minority parliament, I'll give them some slack.

    By Blogger Marc-André Mongeon, at 8:25 AM  

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