Monday, December 13, 2010

Election speculation 2011

Ah, speculation is in the air!  Journalists love to speculate.

There is speculation that upcoming bills may be defeated by the opposition. And any one of them may be a matter of confidence. And the Conservatives set it up this way so they'd head to the polls before their Spring bad news budget, which, rumours say, is full of spending cuts and freezes.

There is also speculation that the Conservatives will get by the bills, but make the budget so sour and very fiscally conservative that the Liberals will be trapped and have no choice but to defeat it because it "just goes too deep", forcing an election.  Or it could be tainted with the removal of the party funding thing.

The Conservatives are polling quite well right now, some having them 13 points ahead, 2 to 1 over the Libs in B.C., 7 points ahead in Ontario, and virtually tied in Quebec with the Libs.  Despite the efforts of Iggy and Co. in "crossing" Canada this summer and yapping against everything (and he certainly wasn't in the House to actually vote for or against either though), the Liberals have difficulty staying above 30% and are constantly near their lowest numbers ever.

Let's also not forget that this is the longest running minority government in Canadian history and could very well continue as long as the Liberals keep pumping out weak leaders.

And just ignore anyone from any party who says, "Canadians don't want an election right now."  Canadians don't necessarily determine when elections are so it's a meaningless statement.  I doubt the Prime Minister will prorogue again and is more interested in simply governing, but has no problem in possibly going to the polls by being defeated by the opposition led by the Liberals.

So the question is not whether the Conservatives want to fight an election, it's if the Liberals are.  More so, is Bob Rae willing to have Ignatieff die on his sword in losing in an election for Bob to take the reigns.

On the Conservative side, if Harper fails to achieve a majority, which they are very close to doing, the knives will be out.  With Jim Prentice taking a break from politics, with Peter Mackay waiting waiting waiting, Jason Kenney having a chunk of quiet support, there is also an outsider in the name of former New Brunswick Premier, Bernard Lord, who was recently opted by Toronto Star Harper-hater journalist Jim Travers. 

Lord apparently wants to run for MP and be a cabinet minister after the next election.  He's young at 46, so there isn't a rush to go for the prize.  He would simply need to wait, as the others have done. 

And let us not forget Quebec conservative crusader Maxime Bernier who's been giving speech after speech trumpeting core conservative values. He'd certainly be competitive.

But then again, never underestimate Mr. Harper's ability to relegate any seemingly competitive members to the sidelines, as he's successfully done with his cabinet ministers and Liberal leaders for that matter.

And if that's the case, we'll be reading in the headlines "Prime Minister Stephen Harper" for years to come.


Anonymous said...

Heaven help us, the good Lord is going to save us! He's over-rated and he under-performs.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that Iggy will be under a lot of pressure to take a walk in the snow. I can't imagine Bob Rae waiting for another election cycle.

Anonymous said...

Iggy is still about thirteen months away from qualifying for an MP's pension so look for him to bob and weave in an attempt to keep credible while avoiding an election. The rest of his caucus will be trying to force an election to trigger the automatic leadership review that follows a loss.
This would make a great CBC reality show: tragedy, comedy, backstabbing, slow motion car wreck

Anonymous said...

Please, not Maxime Bernier. The guy is a decent MP but he seems too self-indulgent to be Prime Minister. Let's not forget the Julie Coulliard affair and his irresponsible management with confidential documents.

Anonymous said...

They have it backwards, likely a tough budget will lead to an election. (real conservative)

Luke said...

I think the Tories would welcome being defeated on an issue like border security. It would be seen as a gift for the CPC.

Think of all the new Canadians who Jason Kenney has been working hard to attract to the Conservatives. Could there be a better issue to use to seal the deal than human smuggling and refugee system abuse? I don't think so.

A bad news budget is something that I would rather do at the beginning of a new mandate, rather than at the end of the previous one.