2008/08/30

Harper to pull plug:why?

Stephen Harper is getting ready to dissolve Parliament and precipitate an early fall election. Speculation is rampant on why he is choosing a visit to the polls at this time. Harper himself offers the spurious argument that Parliament has become dysfunctional and he has no alternative. He has scheduled meetings with the leaders of the Opposition parties to see whether they will commit not to oppose the Conservative fall agenda, whatever that might be. Does anyone have a clue what that is? If you accept this specious reasoning I suggest a quick visit to the doctor to get your head examined.

The most plausible argument advanced so far is that Harper expects his government to fall this fall, having long passed its Best Before date. That being said, Stephen, who is a well-known control fanatic, has decided that he must be seen to be in control of events and hence trigger the inevitable election himself.

I have another theory. Recent polls show different stories but those I trust the most, e.g. Nanos, suggest that Harper could be in a fight to maintain his minority:

Ipsos: Con 33% Lib 31% Ndp 16% Grn 10%
Nanos: Lib 35% Con 33% Ndp 17% Grn 7% ...

Against this we have an Angus-Reid poll showing the Conservatives widening their lead on the Liberals and in reach of a majority. Frankly I don't believe the latter scenario.

The dead heat/tie scenario is much more likely, notwithstanding Dion's evident shortcomings as Liberal leader and rural voters' failure to embrace the Green Shift's tax implications. Harper's sheen has been tarnished.

Reading these entrails, Harper has decided to go to the polls now rather than later because the Conservative stock is falling and a Liberal minority becomes more possible the longer he waits.

Am I daydreaming or indulging in wishful thinking? We shall see, probably in October.

Update: Monday will be Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's turn to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper ahead of what is widely expected to be a looming election call. Dion had indicated he was too busy to meet with Harper before Sept. 9. After several attempts to set up a meeting, the prime minister suggested an election call could come with or without a Dion meeting. The two are now slated to meet Monday at 4 p.m. at the prime minister's residence.

A centrepiece of Tory democratic reform initiatives in the last election was a law fixing election dates to be held every four years, with the first scheduled for October 2009. Harper has argued that the law only really applies in a majority-government situation. "The election campaign, in some sense, has already started," Rae said, adding Dion will ask how Harper can go against his own law.

1 comment:

Down Easter said...

O Wise One, I think you may be right again. It's time to run Harper out of town....