According to some, that master strategist, the Kasparov of politics, Stephen Harper has duped the opposition into forcing an election. The theory requires one disregard almost every single public comment, from almost every single Conservative, but apparently conspiracy and deep intrigue trumps glorious blue sky. To often, people prefer to torture reality to fit their pre-determined bias, rather than just letting events tell a clear story.
I don't doubt for one minute the Conservatives aren't prepared for an election. I also don't doubt that through this entire budget lead up, many Conservatives have concluded if the opposition pressed, they wouldn't hesitate to go to the people. However, that stance is far different from this idea that the Conservatives have actually goaded the opposition into an election. Apparently, the Conservatives have always wanted an election, itched for it, but wanted to appear kicking and dragging, wanted to let the opposition own the call, while quietly high fiving each other at their strategic brilliance. Oh bullocks, use your eyes and ears, not you imagination, again sometimes things are actually as they appear, as hard as that may be to believe.
When I saw Flaherty on television, I saw GENUINE disappointment that the NDP was so quick to reject the budget. When I saw Tim Powers on television a day or two prior, I saw GENUINE disappointment that the NDP were poised to reject the budget. As a matter of fact, I can't think of one Conservative I've seen that has come close to articulating any GENUINE desire to go the polls- not fearing an election by any means, but also not particularly enthusiastic. In fact, the body language has been clear, this is not a Conservative strategy that unwittingly trapped the opposition. People are free to articulate whatever they want, but I would submit the normally absent BRAVADO coming from Conservatives (as we've seen in the past, every single time an election has been threatened by the way) is more telling that bastardized theories, that rely on suspicions, rather than the on the record materials at hand.
If this was some master plan, I think we all need to reaccess the supposed strategic prowess of this PMO. Afterall, does anyone actually believe there is one Conservative in Ottawa, who would PREFER the opportunity to head to the polls with scandal and negativity story lines swirling all over? Can anyone point to a single time when so many unflattering issues broke in such a short time frame? And YET, we are supposed to believe the PMO plowed ahead with their plan, while the hapless opposition did nothing but accomodate. I fail to see how a PMO that prides itself on controlling the message thinks the current state is optimal. Rather, I see more resignation than GENUINE want. A majority is a reach a this stage, high water polling touches the holy grail, but the medium makes it look improbable. SO, when a government says it would rather continuing governing than have an election, maybe we can dispense with the over analyzing, sympathetic spin and just take it all at face value.