Prime Minister Stephen Harper "strongly advised" Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff Wednesday against bringing down the Conservative government.
"I've had three elections in four years," Harper told reporters in Quebec City. "I think that's more than enough for the Canadian public. I don't meet anyone … of any political persuasion who wants to spend the summer fighting an election."
The country doesn't need the "political stability" an election would trigger just as it begins to emerge from a recession, Harper said.
"So you can certainly count on this government being against any kind of election in the near future. I would strongly advise the Opposition of the same thing."
Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Harper was in British Columbia threatening the opposition, something about going to the voters? Wasn't it a few weeks prior to that, where Harper said he was ready to go to Canadians over something or other? Now, all of sudden, when Harper has finally realized that his opponent is formidable, he can't bully his way anymore, he's suddenly found salvation. Canadians have never wanted an election, and they never have EVERY time you've threatened one in the past. So PLEASE spare us all this nonsensical routine, that insults our most basic comprehension.
Here's the bottom line, with the new "strongly" advising Stephen Harper, he sees himself as a LOSER. The new posture isn't Harper's organic predisposition, he only reverts to it when he sees it all slipping away. When he was faced with a coalition he caved, because he had no choice, but Harper's natural state is to be aggressive, to sabre rattle, to appear resolved and strong. More than the polls, Liberal optimism, the most telling evidence that the math looks really bad for the Conservatives, the sombre conclusions they've voluntarily made, as they try at avoid an election at all costs.
Stephen Harper has used the election threat to his advantage time and again. It's really been his chief club to get legislation passed, to force his agenda. Quite interesting now, to watch Harper without his former bravado as he now reacts to something which appears more compelling than anything he could return in kind. It's sort of like watching the transformation of a bully, when the other kid just completed a growth spurt and now has a swagger of his own.