Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Time IS right for Grits

Globe and Mail and Metro columnist Lawrence Martin says the "time is right for Grits" to force an election.

I would have to agree. The economy and unemployment have likely reached their lowest point. The Conservatives have been mired in a mostly currently ineffective ad campaign against "duly elected" Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. The deficit misreads by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, massive bailouts for GM, and the very recent misteps by Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt--including the secret documents left behind at CTV news by her assistant, and her tape recorded conversation left behind, again, by her assistant, the possible lack of radioactive isotopes for cancer patients, AND the loss of gold at the Mint, could the news get any worse for the Conservatives. Perhaps.

Don't forget that the polls show the Conservatives in 4th place in Quebec and trailing the Liberals in Ontario. With opposition calls for dramatic EI reform and the Conservatives seemingly slightly compromising, while it's an issue no doubt, it's not an election issue.

But here's why an election isn't going to happen as Lawrence Martin speculates...

1. The economy. The last thing I think most people want, especially investors and bankers, during this time is instability.

2. Liberals need the NDP and Bloc to get enough votes in the House of Commons to force an election. The NDP have indicated they don't want to go to the polls, especially with them badly trailing the Liberals, they'd likely lose seats. The Liberals also lead the Bloc in parts of Quebec so the Bloc probably won't do any better than they are now.

3. No one wants a July or August election. In fact, this would favour the incumbant as many are away on holidays.

My bet is by October, when the House resumes, the Liberals and Bloc will assess the polling data, and if the Conservatives don't have a big enough scandal to lose confidence, we might not see an election until Spring 2010.

But by that time, the economy will likely have recovered, and the main reason to go to the polls will no longer be the issue.

Also, Michael Ignatieff will have flip flopped on so many issues that more and more people will want to know what he really stands for. And I bet that will be the next salvo of Conservative Party attack ads.

And the Liberals will have missed their chance.

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