How does Harper pull it off? How does the Prime Minister carry himself like he has a majority, when everyone knows he doesn't? How can this person say he doesn't want an election in one breath, and the very next say he isn't interested in "horse trading"?
Forget about the NDP's desire for an election here, the fact of the matter is they have offered a very reasonable set of "demands". One could say the laundry list is paltry, meaning if the Prime Minister really did want to avoid an election, the "out" is sitting in his lap, with little pain. And yet, we get this odd stance from the government, they have their course and while they will listen, nothing will make them compromise. Hello? That's the posture of a majority, not the Parliamentary reality of a minority government. The Martin government was forced to deal to survive. In fact, you look at any minority around the world and "horse trading" is an inherent GIVEN, not even a question.
Why has everyone forgotten the math? Why can Harper make these proclamations about not wanting an election and the contradict in striking fashion, without any dissent? The math demands compromise, it laughs at Harper's "we will do what we feel is right" posturing, it insults common sense and it deserves to be challenged. Instead, the almost unthinkable, Harper is able to pull out "horse trading" resistance as though a virtue!
This is a minority, which demands the government curry favour with another party or risk non confidence. The inability to reach a consensus is a testament to government failure, PARTICULARLY when faced with a scant list of demands from a party clearly read to "deal". You really, really want to avoid an unnecessary, opportunistic, damaging to the economy, election Prime Minister? Well look no further than in front of your face Mr. Harper, the resolution is staring at you with alarming clarity.
Again, how does Harper pull it off? How has Harper so easily manipulated intelligent people into giving him a free pass on the most basic considerations? How has Harper managed to make everyone forget the math, forget how our Parliamentary democracy works?
Perhaps a visual aid?: