Monday, January 26, 2009

More pre-budget positioning

It is on. Noted tonight from this CTV report, Harper continues to do his usual thing:
...faced with the prospect of loosing power through a non-confidence vote, Harper urged his Parliamentary colleagues to "stop the political games and get on with the business of passing some of these economic measures."

Harper then hinted that he would push for another election in the event his budget is defeated: "We'll have to go to an election and the people will have to decide this."
That first statement, no need to say much, it's so clearly hypocritical. Secondly, on that election obsession he has, see Tom Mulcair's response:
Mulcair also painted as false spin the Tory claim that an unnecessary election would have to be thrust upon voters. The Conservatives have repeatedly claimed a Liberal - NDP coalition - especially one propped up by the separatist Bloc - would be undemocratic.

Citing the "unanimous view" of 35 constitutional experts from across the country, Mulcair said within a six-month period of the last election, the Governor General must give the official opposition - in this case with the support of the coalition partners - the chance to obtain the confidence of the House should the government be defeated.
That well-timed constitutional opinion may yet come into play (see excellent interview, here). Finally, note the nuance injected into the debate by John McCallum:
Liberal finance critic John McCallum repeated his party's stance that the "devil is in the (budget's) details," and they will study the document closely before making a decision.

"Should we decide to bring the government down, then the ball is in the governor general's court," McCallum told CTV Newsnet's On the Hill Monday evening. "The coalition is a possibility, but that is not our decision.'
I don't think that point is meant to agitate, it's just an option that's received little attention to date. If the Conservative position is that you need an election because the coalition was not presented to voters, then maybe the Governor General agrees. In the sense that we have to stick with the result from the election, in which case, the Liberals would be given the choice to form a government. Which may all be academic, depending on what wondrous news comes our way tomorrow, principally in the form of Conservative tax measures.