So the Federal Liberals have their political mojo back and are ready to be a political party and a political force once again. The key message from Michael Ignatieff coming out of the Liberal Caucus meeting this week is "Mr. Harper, your time is up!" Yes it is and it is about time too!
The Liberals are back, they have some buck and bravado to boot. So will we have a fall election? That depends on Jack Layton all of a sudden. The NDP have to shed their sheep's clothing of the past 4 years and now have to stifle their sanctimony. They loved to talk about how they were "consistently" not supporting the Harper government as if that was some symbol of political integrity. It was pure positioning and political opportunism, and a safe bet because of how weak an unprepared the Liberals were to face another election. But that was then and this is now.
Layton met privately with Harper recently. I am sure they are working on a deal to prop up Deceivin' Stephen for a while longer. Harper is hoping to buy some time by doing some Dipper pandering. He want to give the economy time to really turn around so his Con Artists can take credit for it. Layton will trade an early election for regulated credit card rates. Harper will give him an all-party committee to study the issues like with EI!
This gamesmanship is not new for Harper or Layton. Layton cut a deal to prop up Martin' s minority and even had the nerve to claim the Martin budget as an NDP budget in the bargain. Hyperbole and histrionics are part of the political game but Layton can go overboard. Harper was cutting a deal with the Bloc a few years back to force the non-confidence vote to defeat the Martin government. So Harper has proven that he will even hop into bed with separatists for the purposes of gaining personal political power. Old-time Reformers (are there any other kind?) must be fuming at the prospects of a repeat of that possibility.
So we have had at least two recent and really unnecessary elections - both caused by Mr. Harper's hubris. First, when he defeated the Martin minority when Canadians had just elected it. We were insisting we wanted our politicians to learn to work together for the good of the country. That was our political agenda in electing a minority government. But that was not the goal of Deceivin' Stephen. He cut a deal with the separatists and pushed us to the polls.
The next unnecessary and unwanted election was the last one. That was when Harper was too scared to face the House of Commons. Instead he shut down Parliament and prorogued the House then slithered off to ask the Gov Gen for an election. That too was and election that nobody wanted and to prove our discontent, we stayed home from the polls in record numbers.
Now Deceivin' Stephen is saying, rather sanctimoniously, that he "...hasn't met a single Canadian who's saying they want to see an election right now." As if that matters to him as some kind of foundational principled way that he stands by. The last two unnecesasry election were one that he caused. We didn't want or need them but that did not matter to Harper because he was on a mission to gain absolute personal political power.
So will we have an election this fall? Ask Jack Layton. It is in his hands right now. After the Bloc news conference today we may also see a different scenario emerging. Will Duceppe try to take the stage as the primary prop manager to keep the limp and languishing Harper government afloat? What price will we have to pay and what is Harper's price? What will he pay to Jack and/or Gilles to retain the Hill and preseve his personal political power?
The only federal party that will be talking to, for and about Canadians now will be the Federal Liberals. All the rest of them will be in back rooms "cutting up the cash" as Lyin' Brian used to say.
Remember when Mulroney was one of Harper's mentors and role models? Harper officially shunned Mulroney politically when he finally had to fulfill his promise to call the inquiry into the Mulroney/Schreiber affair. Speaking of cutting up the cash, Mulroney proved to be pretty good at that all by himself as he admitted in his inquiry testimony.
The next election is inevitable, it is only a matter of time. One thing for sure Harper's time is up! It is time for Canadians to shun Deceivin' Stephen just like he did over the Schreiber Affair and just Canadians did to Lyin' Brian in the 1993 election leaving his majority government with only 2 seats.
With some luck and an informed, activist and engaged citizenry maybe we can get back to some peace, order and good government with a Liberal majority. the only way to get it done is with an election So let's get on with it! Over to you Jack - or Gilles! What do you say?