After three days of reflection, the Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, has decided not to trigger an election this summer. He will announce today that his party will, reluctantly, the Harper government during the confidence vote on budget this week, Le Devoir has learned from reliable sources.
He consulted his advisers in recent days and found that elections in the middle of summer would be contrary to the interests of the country. Reportedly, Mr. Ignatieff believes that voters are more attentive to the issues this fall or next winter, rather than in midsummer. In addition, money to launch the site infrastructure is just beginning to happen on the ground, so call an election would delay the approval of projects and affect the economy, policymakers have concluded Liberals.So, we shall see if this is indeed how today's events will unfold and just how reliable those sources are.
The Liberal Party of Canada will support the Harper government in votes of confidence to be held this week in the Commons. Michael Ignatieff will be argued today that it is "responsible" to do under the circumstances.
Despite this support, the Liberal leader does not manage the economy of the Harper government and would express it today. Mr. Ignatieff believes that the funds for infrastructure are not delivered quickly enough, that some sectors are neglected by the government (including forestry) and the EI needs to be reformed to respond to the crisis. (emphasis added)
If this is how it unfolds, it will fulfill the expectations of those who've been decrying a summer election, so it will likely make many pundits and Canadians happy. The "bother" of a summer election, I've never understood. We just did it in 2004 quite well, thank you very much.
And if this is how it unfolds today, expect a piling on from other parties with the usual criticisms given their positions in the current configuration of parliament. Suspect the NDP and Bloc will be quietly very happy (for monetary and polling reasons), although they'll never tell.
And further, if this is the way it unfolds, a lot of Liberals will be disappointed that we're not able to work to pitch this government out on its ear - oh how it deserves it - but will still be ever enthusiastic and motivated about bringing down the Harper government...just say the word.
And one last point, that if this is the way it unfolds today, it will just continue the status quo. Liberals will have to bear some slings and arrows this week but in the background, work to quietly make progress in the polls and prepare to defeat Mr. Harper and his crew. I'll be OK with that, if that is, that's the way it unfolds.
Update (Monday a.m.): Maybe we'll have to wait until 11:00 after all...the Star has a different report from the above although no firm statement from "reliable sources":
Federal Liberals expect party leader Michael Ignatieff to steer clear of an absolute commitment to bring down Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government when he gives his verdict today on the Conservatives' handling of the economic crisis.
But there is speculation that Ignatieff will threaten to defeat the Conservative minority later this week unless Harper agrees to improve the government's response to the recession, possibly by immediately moving to enrich employment insurance (EI) payments or speed up infrastructure payments.