For a couple of weeks now, political observers around Parliament Hill have been musing about the possibility that the Commons could rise early this year, maybe by the end of this month, and MPs wouldn't return to Ottawa until after the Ontario election on Oct. 10.
Under this scenario, it's believed Harper would simply dissolve this parliamentary session at some point during the long summer break and return in the fall with a new throne speech and blueprint for governing.
Parliament rises today for a one-week break and is to return on May 29. But since Harper is to leave shortly after that for a G-8 meeting in Germany from June 6 to 8, many observers say they won't be surprised if today turns out to be the last time Parliament sits for some time.
I thought the Liberals did nothing for 13 years? Following that logic, the government should be re-doubling efforts to make up for lost time. Instead, we have the spectacle of a government that calls itself new, needing new ideas.
A Tory Senator understands the problem:
The new script is a far cry from the phase one decisiveness. Others put a less gracious spin on things, saying the retreat to the drawing board has been forced upon them because they hit a wall. They threw out everything they had and wound up - in terms of support - barely at their starting line.
"We seem to have run out of ideas already," said a disappointed Conservative Senator, who criticized Mr. Harper as "a narrow boring individual" who makes the mistake of listening only to his own counsel. "We're left scrambling." Retrenchment is a good idea, the Senator said, as long as there's a fresh approach - this instead of having everybody report to the PM like frightened Boy Scouts.
"The PM has to learn that governing is about more than just vote-targeting."
And therein lies the idea void. Instead of governing, for the sake of a genuine agenda, this government focused all its attention on expanding the base. A marketing strategy was concocted, focus group tested and the government merely rolled out the script. Once the sales reports came in, the projections were meager, which left head office in disarray. If anyone questions my analogy, my inspiration was Conservative campaign co-chair John Reynolds, who's advice for the Liberals was they need unify as a "corporation" and come up with a "brand".
The Tories have nothing because they had election tunnel vision, despite the protests. If I were a Conservative I would accept that unflattering conclusion about governing style, rather than the alternative- you are philosophically bankrupt. Two choices, you were in campaign mode, or you are inept. Whatever the reasoning, Canadians now witness a parliament that may leave and not return until pumpkins ripen.
I thought we had to "get things done" and show the world Canada "is back". It would appear the master strategist has made some critical errors in thinking.