Thursday, September 20, 2007

No Fall Election

Some pundits are suggesting Prime Minister Harper, buoyed with his recent political success in Quebec's by-election, will be tempted to gamble and call a general election this fall.

Toronto Star columnist James Travers, for instance, suggests the Prime Minister will want to take advantage of the momentum the Tories now enjoy.


But after working with Harper for about five years when he was with the National Citizens Coalition, I know him pretty well.

And one of the things I know about Stephen, is he doesn't like to take risks or to make strategy on the fly.

He is no gambler.

What Harper does like to do is prepare carefully crafted, usually brilliantly conceived, long range plans of action.

And he will stick to those plans come hell or high water.

So unless an election is forced upon them (perhaps by Liberals eager for an excuse to dump Stephane Dion) don't expect the Tories to deviate from the script.

And the script is to hold onto power for as long as possible.


Iain G. Foulds said...

... Good assessment.
... I expect that it has been agreed, behind the scenes, by Mr. Dion to step down... the question is "when"?
... They will be looking for an issue that Mr. Dion can claim as a semi-triumphant legacy. Look for a romantic, unrealistic environmental proposal in the near future.

NB taxpayer said...

I disagree, Ian. He's not leaving before the next election. Yes, there are many behind the scenes who will be encouraging him to move on from the political arena, however, there are also those who believe he deserves his one election shot regardless of what happened monday night. Although, the latter group may want this to happen sooner rather than later so that the party can move on and reorganize.

Furthermore, as I said somewhere else, I believe that if the roles were reversed people would be calling for Rae or Iggy's head and saying that they should have elected Dion because of his Quebec roots.

Don't get me wrong, Dion has taken a serious beating in public from the "negative ads" run by the conservatives and is perceived to be weak, but do you really think they didn't have better ones waiting for Iggy and Rae? C'mon.

What happened to the Liberals in Quebec monday night is a combination of good political ads run by the tories coupled with a brand that is seriously tainted by Gomery and adscam. Nothing more, nothing less.

Iain G. Foulds said...

... However, why would the party wait for an election that they would 100% for certain lose with Mr. Dion?
... In that the party is philosophically bankrupt, a change of face is their only hope.
... N.B., you are right that any other leader would make no difference, but little hope is better than none.

Anonymous said...

My last bitter comment... Promise made, promise kept.

Who really cares about Federal elections anymore? Except those who get to share in the booty (political parties, pundits and back roomers)... The list grows shorter and shorter with each Federal election.

Let's see Canadians' real choices are currently liberal... or liberal-socialist... or socialist. The nanny state slowly draws nearer as the Canadian political mind closes, and we all know that there is little that we can do to resist it.

I also really don't care who collects my tax dollars to buy Quebec now or in the future.

Squabble about your comparisons of apples to apples all that you want.

What's in a name?

Some of you should need to re-read David Frum's oped, "Building a coalition, forgetting to rule."

Nothing will change until Canadians start to demand a real choice in politics.

Hopefully, Canadians will do so one day, but today, does not seem to be that day...

Over and out.

NB taxpayer said...

Good point, Ian. And things can turn overnight in this game. I mean, look how many tory leadership hopefuls backed out of the race in 2004 because they thought Paul Martin was invincible.

In other words, they let Harper have his shot at navigating the "new" conservative ship thinking that they would be picking up the pieces after he was soundly beaten by Martin. Didn't happen.

I think the same ethos exist within the Liberal party regarding Dion, although I still believe many of the future leadership hopefuls are wondering if it's worth navigating a ship with so many holes in it (even after Dion is gone).

Calgary Junkie said...

I agree Gerry. Harper needs time to get more of his ducks in a row. He needs to turn his attention back to his base, deliver some justice bills, Wheat Board legislation (to help his Saskatchewan MPs), get more tax relief, move the ball forward on Senate reform (a general election that allows voting for Senators is a big reward for his loyal base)

Let Saskatchewan voters get that minor thorn in Harper's side, Lorne Calvert, out, and a friendly Sask Party in. Use the Quebec gains to recruit more high profile candidates.

A large part of the next campaign will be bragging about all the stuff that Harper got done.

And of course, give the Libs more time to implode.

zolton said...

Yeah I don't think Harper will force an election he's subjugating the country enough with his minority.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I think the main reason we won't have an election is either the Bloc Quebecois or Liberals will blink and support the Throne Speech. After the by-election results, I don't think either one is keen on an election right now.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought that your upcoming debate with Flangan might be for real to correct where the CPC has gone horribly wrong in its direction, but seeing that you have adopted his exact tone in this post, it is quite apparent that it is likely a staged event.

Enjoy your time in the neoliberal party!

You don't need to post this one!