Will Harper Face Spring Election?

March 14th, 2011 at 8:00 am | 13 Comments |

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Even if most Canadians don’t want one, it’s going to be pretty hard to avoid a general election this spring.

Speaker Peter Milliken’s ruling that the Tory government was too stingy with information about corporate tax cuts, and that International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda was not candid (read untruthful or misleading), about her role in cutting funding for the religion-based Kairos aid group, is catnip for those seeking an election.

Whether the Liberals will move for a vote of confidence remains to be seen. If they do, it’s likely an election will be called.

In normal times (assuming any times are “normal” in politics) the Harper Conservatives would be in a mite of trouble. Not only has Ms. Oda become a liability, but a number of other Tories are in the soup. Some have been nailed for exceeding election spending limits, and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney committed the dastardly crime of using his office letterhead to appeal for money for the party. Zzzzz.

While Canadians might tut-tut the above indiscretions, it’s doubtful they match the indignation of Ethics Commissar Christiane Ouimet getting some $500,000 for being fired – on condition she shut up, and not poor-mouth the government. If, indeed, that was the deal.

More than the other stuff, big payoffs to failed bureaucrats is offensive.

Again, it’s thanks to Auditor General Sheila Fraser that we learned that Ouimet had investigated only seven of 228 “whistle-blower” cases in three years, and resolved none of them.

Fair enough for the government to make a mistake in appointing someone, but why pay that person off? Is it really a bribe to shut her up?

Anyway, Ouimet’s case more than, say, Bev Oda’s may hurt Harper.

All that said, if the Opposition parties force an election, common sense dictates that Canadian voters should return the Conservatives  –  with a majority.

The reason? Canada’s economy, and the overall performance of the government has, arguably, been the envy of the rest of the world.

True, Stephen Harper may not be as loveable and cuddly as some would like. He may be more secretive and controlling than he needs to be. But what cannot be disputed is that under him Canada has performed well.

There is no reason to vote Tories out of office – and a lot of reason to return them with a majority.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff gives the impression of wandering in the wilderness. He hasn’t got much of a common touch, and while he seems more conservative in some ways than many conservatives, there’s no persuasive reason why he should be PM.

Our banking system can be credited with saving Canada from the ravages of the recession that struck America and Europe. And now TD bank and BNS are raising their dividends, with all our banks being profitable and secure. To us that’s normal; to the outside world it’s amazing.

At the moment, both the NDP and the Bloc aren’t saying if they’d support a Liberal no confidence motion. At least not before the budget is tabled. That’s sensible.

Reduced to basics, it’s mostly politicians who agitate for an election, not the Canadian people. Despite the sequence of embarrassments to the Tories, one doesn’t get a feeling that Canadians want a return of Liberals – not under its present leadership, at any rate.


Recent Posts by Peter Worthington



13 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    There’s probably going to be an election in Canada in the spring and if there is one the Liberals are probably going to be returned to office. That’s about the best one can say. Even if Harper were to win he’s unlikely to win an absolute majority so would be forced to continue as a minority govt. Since Worthington is a conservative his comments need to be treated with a pinch of salt.

  • Tony_42

    LMAO!

    Harper will never get a majority. He has committed treason in my opinion. He wants to sell us out to his corporate masters down south. He wants to break the unions. He wants a private for profit prison industry on the backs of non violent people. He wants to undermine democracy even further. He wants absolute power in his hands alone. He wants to perpetuate a US style “war on drugs” to further his pet prison industry.

    People are waking up to what this traitor stand for and they realize that it is not in their or Canada’s best interests. And the “religious” that Harper claims to represent are starting to understand that they are just being used for Harper’s ends.

    Adios Harper. Bring on the election.

    ABC

  • Tony_42

    And Harper is on record many times saying he wants to privatize health care. Welcome to Harperland AKA the United States of America. There lies his true allegiance. War and suffering is what he deals. Vote for him and you will get what you deserve.

    ABC

  • dante

    Interestingly enough, opinion polls are showing Cons in the lead by a fair margin.

    http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/polls.html

    It’s amazing what a booming economy will do to placate people who disagree with just about everything else that the ruling party is doing…

  • Tony_42

    Dante,

    I will wait for the poll that counts. The one on election day :)

    I have more faith in Canadians. They will not give Harper a majority. He is untrustworthy and an extremist.

    Bring on the election!!!!

    ABC

    • habsfan

      Here is the kicker! It is the libs who are pushing for an election in order to dump IGGY who is going nowhere and is generally thought to be a liability.

      Some numbers to consider: Tories raised nearly 8 million$ last year. Libs about 3 and NDP just under 3. The libs will lose Ontario and possibly some seats deemed as safe in Quebec (western part of Montreal) They are in a lose-lose scenario, regardless of your political leanings. The polls have been consistently showing between 10 to 15 points spread between the Tories and Gritz.

      Canada works well with two strong federalist parties. The problem is the Bloc, which has a strong hold on Quebec, is the root behind the dis-functionality of the Canadian polity….Then again, Quebeckers may be tired of being outside the decision making process of government….Who knows.

  • iveyguy

    Peter,

    One small correction: the Speaker’s ruling was not that ” the Tory government was too stingy with information about corporate tax cuts”, rather the refusal to produce documents related to the cost of changes in the justice system.

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/03/09/the-rulings/

    Rather than a trite argument, this goes to the very heart of our democracy: the Supremacy of Parliament. Having said that, it seems that the government will comply, as it did with the earlier issue of the Afghan detainees.

  • Lewig

    Mr Worthington, your argument doesn’t seem logical to me.

    Wasn’t it Stephen Harper who wanted to dismantle out banking system, weakening regulation and opening it up to foreign speculators and putting it at risk?

    If so, why should he get credit for our (relatively) healthy economy if, as you say, “Our banking system can be credited with saving Canada from the ravages of the recession…”

    Each time someone calls Mr Harper an “economist” I grow more and more upset.

  • PatrickQuint

    I think another minority is in the cards. Harper hasn’t messed up in any big way, and there’s no compelling case that Liberals would do a better job.

    Harper might not be great at governance, but he doesn’t have enough power to screw up.

  • DFL

    I would guess that the Tories would come up three or four seats short of a majority. Tories 150, Grits 80, the Bloc 45 and the Reds 33. Probably another minority government lasting three years or so.

  • Jamie

    “Harper will never get a majority. He has committed treason in my opinion. He wants to sell us out to his corporate masters down south. He wants to break the unions. He wants a private for profit prison industry on the backs of non violent people. He wants to undermine democracy even further. He wants absolute power in his hands alone. He wants to perpetuate a US style “war on drugs” to further his pet prison industry.

    People are waking up to what this traitor stand for and they realize that it is not in their or Canada’s best interests. And the “religious” that Harper claims to represent are starting to understand that they are just being used for Harper’s ends.”

    Leftwing attack on Harper Checklist:

    Call him a traitor… check
    Call him a puppet of America… check
    Cite a desire for various “US Style” programs… check
    Question his motivations by highlighting his Christianity… check
    Compare him with Bush… check

    Don’t you find repeating the same nonsense boring? I mean why even bother? I found more substance in arguments presented by 19 year olds in a first year Canadian politics course.

  • DFL

    I’ve always wondered why obvious lefties toil away at this site, an allegedly conservative site. Don’t you have anything better to do? You are entertaining and are windows to the lefty soul but it does puzzle me why you would waste your time here.

  • John Frodo

    Harper is the only economist in the world who thinks personal taxation is better than VAT. He cut the VAT and raised personal taxes before the recession, Canada had a $13 Billion strucktual deficit before the stimulus. Harper has hidden this in stimulus spending. Canada wants and Election and Harper is toast.