Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Going To The Polls

Despite what Harper says, it is becoming increasingly clear that he will orchestrate his own demise this spring. The Tories are going to school:
Stephen Harper's Conservatives have put their candidates on election footing by scheduling a campaign training school for March, in time for a possible vote after the next federal budget.

Party officials and candidates were informed of the conference, to be held March 15-18 in Toronto, in an e-mail from Jenni Byrne, a senior adviser in the office of Mr. Harper's chief of staff, Ian Brodie,

Candidates and local officials will be asked to attend a number of tactical training sessions. They include a candidate preparation seminar, which would include everything from how to dress to preparing for an all-candidates debate.

"It's not extraordinary to do this prior to when we assume an election is going to be taking place, either by our hand or someone else's," said another former Conservative candidate who asked not be identified.

Quite an admission, especially when the leader says he will not force an election anytime soon.

I take the above as a clear sign, but what is more striking, the new sense of urgency on the environment:
The Conservative government will attempt to convince Canadians it is serious about fighting global warming by making a flurry of policy announcements on the environment in the next few weeks, including short term targets for greenhouse gas emissions and the repackaging of a number of Liberal initiatives that were cancelled when the Tories took office.

Sources said the government will soon announce a short-term target of 2015,

Why the hurry? I thought we were all working together in committee? Clearly, this committee won't have time to get its work done, because we are heading to an election. The Conservatives are so desperate, they will re-introduce the dreaded Energuide Program and the Liberal renewable strategy- cough, hack:
Meanwhile, sources in Ottawa suggest the Conservatives are also set to release a plan aimed at boosting the use of renewable energy. The plan is said to be a repackaging of a $1-billion renewable power strategy introduced by the former Liberal government in the February, 2005, budget.

Bureaucrats at Natural Resources Canada were conducting consultations and in the midst of developing eligibility criteria, for release last April, when the Conservatives came to power. The program was put on hold as part of a government-wide review of climate change initiatives. But with the Conservatives now facing criticism over the environment, the renewable scheme is back on.

Sources also believe a new version of the former EnerGuide plan will be unveiled. EnerGuide was a retrofit program that offered financial incentives for improved energy efficiency in homes.

I'm not defending the Liberal record, but considering they did "nothing", how is it that you can steal their nothingness? Strange. Anyways, the "flurry" is clearly motivated by the looming election call, with Harper hoping to neutralize his achilles heel. I see the urgency on the environment as proof positive that Harper is taking us to the polls in short order.


Anonymous said...

Harper doesn't have enough votes to engineer the demise of the government. You could foil his dastardly plan by voting with the government and propping it up. If you don't, it is more your decision than his, presumably he and his party will vote with the government.

Stephen Harper has said many times that he is in favour of fixed elections, and in, I believe, introducing legislation to make it so. I think he and the Canadian public would see his taking the CPC government to a full four years as a massive triumph. It could do nothing but boost his position in the polls, and I think that is why the Liberals will do ANYTHING to avoid that. That they blame someone else for their actions is just habit, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that anon 9:22. BlastFurnace has a post about Harper engineering his fall himself:

Harper himself said we wouldn't recognize Canada when he was done with it and I believe him.
Why wouldn't Harper table a budget so terrible that the other parties would have no choice but to vote against it?
Harper is afraid of Dion, and Harper's recent machinations re: Khan and the mysterious and likely anti-Con report have let him set himself up for a non-confidence vote.
Why would Harper choose now? Several reasons:
He's got potfuls of money; he's been in election mode from Day 1; people haven't done their 2006 tax returns yet; winter has kept things cooler in Afghanistan; the CWB hasn't tallied its success for 2007 season; hockey is consuming the minds of many people; Spring is too soon, Summer is too good; and he knows he'll get his butt kicked in the Fall.
What will it cost? Who cares? Harper doesn't. What will be gained? Likely another minority government for him, plus the chance to browbeat the opposition for wasting taxpayers' money on unnecessary elections.
I say put a wrench in his works by forming a coalition government to guide Canada through another year before a general election.
If the opposition parties put their heads together they could probably come up with a workable plan that moves Canada forward on environment, resource management and fiscal balance.
Sidestep Harper's manufactured squeeze-play.

Susan said...

Good post and I also agree with anonymous #2. Only one problem the NDP won't form a coalition with the Liberals - they should but they won't - they'd have to get rid of that awful Wasaleesaleesk and Pat Martin and maybe others who are fixated on their anti-Liberal thing.