Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Smoke Screen

Whether or not Harper wants to prorogue Parliament is irrelevant to the calendar. Parliament was set to re-convene Sept 17, which begs the question- why do we have to wait a full month for the throne speech? The main reasoning, or spin, proposed by the government centers around the Ontario election.

The first excuse- the government doesn't want to sit during the election, for fear the opposition will use the opportunity to score points for their perspective provincial counterparts. That logic is decidedly weak, particularly when the government controls the agenda, to some extent, and therefore has the means to assist the provincial PC's. A manufacturing bailout, more money for urban infastructure, etc, etc... a myriad of options. If anyone thinks Harper is timid about flexing his muscles in a provincial election, I suggest a re-read of the Quebec election. The opposition can play games, but I don't buy the theory that Harper wants parliament on the sidelines until after the vote.

The other excuse, making the rounds- the federal Conservatives want to allow Ontario party workers full focus on the provincial election. This reasoning is mostly absurd, because it follows that Harper is effectively allowing the opposition the same opportunity, which nullifies any advantage.

Beyond the spinning, the date of October 16th is relevant, because it ensures that we can't have dual election campaigns, and in my view that is the rub with the calendar. If parliament were to return as scheduled, Harper prorogue's and a new session begins immediately, the government could be defeated and an election is called. That is a potential nightmare scenario for Harper, given that Ontario is key for his prospects, and a McGuinty victory could influence a looming federal vote. I believe the Conservative braintrust has already concluded an election is likely after the throne speech, and is really clearing the calendar to ensure no conflict. That seems a more likely thought process, than the two lame excuses provided to date.


JimmE said...

So much for the Accountability party and standing up for Canada.

JimmE said...

Perhaps it's time for Steve to go on Prorogue-ie!

Koby said...

>>>> which begs the question- why do we have to wait a full month for the throne speech?

If there is an election Afghanistan will be one of the major issues. By pushing things back a month, the chances of an IED ruining Harper's chances of a Quebec breakthrough are much less.

Steve V said...


I considered that too, which might explain the broader point of wanting an election. A December election is perfect timing.

Anonymous said...

Everything is dependent on the Outremont by-election.

A Mulcair win means it will be a quick trip to the polls. Harper wants to give Layton the ammunition to score major points off Dion and the throne speech will do this.

Koby said...

"A Mulcair win means it will be a quick trip to the polls."

No doubt.

I still think the Liberals will win that ridding. However, even if they do win, the Liberals badely need to change the channel in Quebec. What they are going with now is not working.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem appropriate for a PM to interfere with provincial elections.

This Harper guy is pure slime.

I think it's more about QP an bringing up the negatives this summer that our lame MSM have pretty much ignored.

Hey, what a job eh? Being an MP during Harper's reign means 4 months summer holiday, extra, extra time at Xmas, etc. and they make how much? Near $200,000 plus perks.

What about committees?