As the summer draws to a close and the Zucchini plants begin to wilt, their summer of producing delicious vegetable coming to an end, we now consider what has to be the topic at hand and that is, will there be an election this year. On one hand, we haven't had one in nearly a year and after four this decade alone that makes it one of the longest stretches we enjoyed in this new millenium. But before I say anything further, a word of thanks has to go to the leaders of all the major political parties for not subjecting us to a summer election. With this summer of either too dry or too wet conditions, either too hot or too cool with almost no weekend that had the right weather to be enjoyed, the last thing we needed to see was any of you clowns on our doorsteps. So thank you for not annoying us because if you had, we as a nation would have thrown all of you out and voted Rhino.
However all good things must come to an end and since Canada wants to have as many elections in the space of one year as there will be parts to the last Harry Potter movie, it seems the leaders are all beginning to drop the "E" word. Before you gather the pitchfork and light up the torches and march to Ottawa, perhaps we should consider whether an election will come to pass. To do so, I want to examine for the next few minutes, who would favour an election and why.
The Conservatives: their numbers are starting to climb in opinion polls. The latest shows them with an 11 point lead over the Liberals. Plus they are beginning to portray Michael Ignatieff as the new Stéphane Dion. As well, the economy is starting to turn around, it may be a weak recovery but it is a recovery. Plus with it being weak, it could easily go the other way may be best to strike while the iron is hot sort of thing. Stephen Harper had a pretty good summer both on the domestic and international front. He might just get his wish and gain that majority.
The Liberals: they are sick of propping up the Conservatives, they are sick of being seen as indecisive, they are tired of being in the Opposition. The "Natural Governing Party" has had it, they think they can win an election, plus they have Michael Ignatieff who probably doesn't want to be the answer to the trivia question, "what two Liberal leaders failed to become Prime Minister of Canada during the first decade of the 21st Century?" The party's debt is coming down and they are able to raise money, plus another opinion poll shows them tied with the Conservatives. As well, Iggy may be getting bored quickly with life as Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Harvard is starting to look real good. Better win now or its back to the States. He misses the intellectually stimulating discussions, something lacking in the weekly Liberal Caucus meeting, plus he has learned much to his chagrin, Canada doesn't believe in torture.
As an aside, Bob Rae is secretly hoping for an election because he knows the Party will probably lose and then he can do to his former BFF what Iggy did to him by manoevering the party to annoint him leader. I suspect Bob travels with his portable knife sharpener always close at hand.
The NDP: they want an election because they think the results will be a minority and they can force the Liberals into a coalition. Jack Layton wants a cabinet seat. The party had a great convention, at least in their eyes, most of Canada, if anyone really paid attention, remember it as the 'convention the NDP almost dropped the N in their name'. Plus they had a couple of people from the Obama campaign and think they can learn from that team how to win an election. Jack still will add you on Twitter, so he thinks he's got the social networking thing down. As well, the NDP now govern two of Canada's ten provinces. Even though its; Manitoba and Nova Scotia, it's still two. They think by identifying themselves with Barak Obama and the United States some of that success might rub off, as well, they know they must hurry before their kneejerk anti-Americanism surfaces. They can't smile around Americans all the time like that, it hurts their faces.
The Bloc Quebecois: meh, they will win the same number of seats as previous elections. They will have the same opportunity to complain how mistreated Quebec is in Confederation. Wants an election because they can't lose because they don't have to worry about winning.
So that's the reason why all the parties want an election in November, before the snow starts to fly. My next blog will examine who doesn't want an election.