Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Election 2009 (Part 2)

In yesterday's blog, I looked at the reasons why the various political parties may be interested in a fall election. After all, we went through a whole summer without being bothered by them and I guess it's inevitable. According to one article, a vote of confidence could happen by the 30th of September, which would mean an election some time in early to mid-November.

That could be exciting although most pundits think the result will be more of the same, so you have to wonder, why? This is not the worry for this blog but to consider some of the thinking which might inspire the various parties not to pull the plug on this 40th Parliament since Confederation.

I'm not posting too many links since a lot of them are on yesterday's blog.


The Conservatives: Stephen Harper is probably getting tired of being nice to those people in the House of Commons. He has to entertain the likes of Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff and Gilles Doucette. I believe he would rather cut their heads off and drink their blood. But because he has a minority government, he has to smile a lot. He desires to have a majority government. This is his dream and could become his obsession. If he is not careful, this could be his downfall. Perhaps instead of dreaming about a majority, he should read up on the life of Lester B. Pearson, he served five years as PM and never had a majority. Yet he was able to have a successful career.

So why wouldn't they want an election? One word: the Economy. The great meltdown of 2008 took place during the election and he managed to avoid having to deal with an election when the bottom falls out. Think a governing party wants to have that on their plate, just look at the campaign of John McCain, the economy killed his chance of election.

While things may be starting to look well, the recovery is still fragile. It could just as easily go south and sideways all at the same time. I suspect the Conservatives would like a couple of quarters of growth before dropping the writ. If you noticed they have been very careful about the recovery, no great crowing from any Minister. They have been very cautious about saying good things about the end of the recession. I think Stephen Harper is a master tactician and he likes being Prime Minister. With the autumn coming he wants to enjoy watching the colours over in the Gatineau's.

The Liberals: if this party has the most to lose in an election, then its leader Michael Ignatieff has the most to lose of everybody. If you recall he was crowned leader of the Liberal Party, I suspect a number of potential leadership hopefuls are angry and are keeping their anger within, if Iggy slips up, trust me it will be a nasty few months. If the Liberals have learned one thing its this; they hate losing and they hate losers. They dumped Dion because he was a loser. They thought they were getting the new Pierre Trudeau instead they may have gotten the English clone of Stephane Dion.

Consider their platform, they want to reform EI and make it standard across all reasons. They want to lower the requirement to 360 hours. So consider what their platform is all about, they want to make it easier for Canadians to get on the dole. Now that's a profound and moving policy, you can almost hear the Liberals on the stump trying to sell that to the average Canadians: "Vote Liberal and get onto EI sooner". Mind you it probably won't help anybody already on EI and doesn't seem to include topping up the percentage you receive or the length of time you can receive it. It will probably cost the average worker and average employer more in EI deductions. Let's face it, this is not scintillating stuff. This isn't the "National Dream" or "Just Society". Got news for you, Gordon Lightfoot isn't writing any songs about 360 hours to the dole, nor is the late and missed Pierre Berton writing a two volume definitive history on the EI reform. May be an epic fail.

Iggy tried to challenge the PM but blinked. He could have pulled the plug but couldn't. He knows the Party is not ready to take on the Conservatives.

The NDP: Jack has trimmed down his goals. The last election he was going for Prime Minister, this time he wants to be a coalition partner and a cabinet seat with his junior party, the Liberals. The problem is, some in his party are attacking Ignatieff as much as Stephen Harper, not a good move when you wish to be nice to each other after the election. That will make things interesting around the cabinet table, you will have two forces trying to stick it to each other at every second. That will make a stable government.

The are bolstered by reports from themselves about their successful convention. They love Obama and hope it will rub off on them, as long as they don't make mention that Barak wants to stay in Afghanistan and the NDP doesn't. An election could give them some problems.

The Bloc Québécois : again, meh. Who honestly cares what they think.

So this is my thoughts. Will there be an election this year? Hard to say.

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