Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Conservative party leadership watch

Harold Jansen, political science professor, University of Lethbridge on prorogation and the Conservative party leadership:
“It delays the inevitable,” Jansen says. “I don’t think it accomplishes much.”
That leaves Harper little chance of convincing today’s Governor General, Michaelle Jean, to allow him to prorogue Parliament or to call yet another premature election.
Prorogation usually follows a long Commons session in which much is accomplished, Jansen explains. After seven days of bickering, he says Harper has little evidence to support that kind of request.
“That would be very difficult for him to do.”
He’d likely fail if he requested another election, two before his legislated date in fall 2009.
Instead, Jansen expects the Governor General would call on another party leader to form a government, following parliamentary tradition. Rather than suffering public humiliation, he reports, some Conservative supporters are hoping Harper will resign before Monday’s confidence vote.
“It’s something he could do tomorrow if he wanted,” Jansen says. “He could take the constitutional high road and just resign.”
That would put the Liberals back in government at a difficult time — while they’re hoping to elect a new leader and heal their wounds — while allowing Conservatives enough time to select Harper’s successor.
“That’s what a number of Conservatives are saying,” he reports. “People have turned on Harper fairly quickly on this issue.”
But the Tories could get into deeper trouble, depending on who wins the party members’ support in the leadership run-off. Among cabinet ministers, Jansen says Environment Minister Jim Prentice could be a front-runner.
“He’s the most respected, the most competent.
“But he’s from Calgary and he comes from the Progressive Conservative wing. That opens all the fault lines within the party.”
There's also a very intriguing entry here, but without attribution, it's difficult to know how serious it is. It would help if such individuals were to come forward. As stated this morning, it's time for right thinking Conservatives to make their move and assert leadership in their party. The escalating rhetoric from Mr. Harper and his colleagues, citing "treason" of the opposition, is beyond the pale and taking us down a dangerous path at a moment when the Canadian economy does not need it.