All the election talk revolves around strategy and timing. We will have an election when a party, or coalition of parties, decide it is in their own self-interest to pull the plug. Procedure and posturing aside, on principle, an election looks more and more a necessity.
There is no question that the environmental rhetoric has ramped up to unprecedented levels. The divisions move in concert with a piece of legislation tabled by the government, re-worked by a majority in committee, that is soon to be rejected. I don't want to debate the semantics of what constitutes a confidence motion, but it would seem that an inability to deal with an issue that Canadians have selected as their number one concern, classifies as failure of government. The Conservatives don't enjoy the confidence of the parliament on this issue, and the government rejects the majority opinion articulated with the new Clean Air Act. The chasm between the two positions is extreme, and given the priority that the opposition parties have attached to environmental legislation, how can they continue to support this government?
Dion has made the issue the cornerstone of the entire Liberal platform. Layton has consistently argued that the NDP have always had this issue as primary. The Bloc sounds the "alarmist" rhetoric, reflecting the views of Kyoto friendly Quebecers. How then, can these parties continue to keep this government afloat? I suppose we need to wait, but we already know where Baird is heading. The Conservatives might not even introduce legislation, and just make more eco-announcements, to avoid a showdown that they know they can't win.
We have legislation, it is sitting there, after careful consideration, supported by the vast majority of parliamentarians. If there is no election, then that effort dies on the vine, an opportunity is missed and we waste more time, on an issue that they all argue is "urgent". It would seem if principle has any bearing, the opposition must bring down the government. The Clean Air Act was rejected, we went through a process, and now that is rejected by the minority. Confidence? It probably won't happen, because principle is largely an afterthought, but we really should have an election on such a self-described "critical" issue.