Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I don't think there'll be a fall election

At first, I couldn't see how any of the opposition parties could support a Harper throne speech. But it probably won't come to that. I think that, when it comes time to vote, Liberal leader Stephane Dion will have a number of his MP's phone in sick.

Why? Well, because there is no reason for an election, nor are the Liberals anywhere near ready to have one.

While Dion needs to explain to his party the reason for the latter, the former is something that is becoming more evident as things move along.

Basically, if the opposition wants to prevent an extension of the mission in 2009, all they have to do is keep the current Parliament running as it is. There is no consensus for an extension. The only way there will be one is if Dion forces an election and gives Harper a majority.

Think about that for a second. Not only is a current election not necessary, but it might end up strengthening Harper's hand and extending the mission — which is exactly the opposite of what Dion wants.

What's the other apparently big reason to have an election? The environment. Well, does anyone really think that a party that had its chance for thirteen years will actually change much if they somehow get back into power again? Why would Canadians want an election to put Liberals in charge of a file that they squandered for a decade? No thanks.

You bring down minority governments so that you can sell a large theme to an electorate. In 2006, the Conservatives ran on a platform of clean government and getting certain things done. What are the Liberals going to run on in 2007? That Harper didn't follow their schedule? Please.

"Liberal leader Stephane Dion will have a number of his MP's phone in sick".

I think that you, like most of the MSM, have not thought this through properly. If every single opposition party goes against the Government, that would be 96+49+30+3 = 178. The Tories have 126, which leaves a difference of 52, which is the number of opposition MPs who would have to be MIA.
If they want to ensure against the Independents supporting the government, they will need another 3, bringing it to 55. And if they want to ensure a safety margin in case some of the Bloc or NDP don't show up, they are looking at having 60 or more sit out the vote. This is not just a few MPs having diplomatic flu, this is more than half the caucus. I'm not saying it cannot be done, only that it can only be done very obviously and very deliberately.

Also, I don't think either Afghanistan or the environment is an election issue. I think most people have made their minds up on both issues and there cannot be much movement. I do believe, however, that there are a growing number of Liberals who think it would be better to go sooner rather than later, and minimize the damage. They also think that they can hold Harper to a minority, so they would be rid of Dion and in a couple of years could bring down the Government and take over.

When you add in the Bloc, who can no longer support the government, and the NDP who have stars int heir eyes over Quebec, I think Dion haa only 2 choices, and as even Travers has pointed out, the pain of an election defeat may be preferable to Death by 1,000 cuts, which is what he has been enduring for the last 10 days.


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