Saturday, October 03, 2009

Harper's in

Somehow, I like this development: "Harper to call four byelections he doesn't expect to win, says official." It's all about the signal. Harper has decided to dip his toe in the election pool machinations with a move. He can't resist, he's starting to succumb...

Now to be fair, the BC riding of New Westminster Coquitlam needed to be called by October 13th so we were due for an announcement some time in the next few weeks. The three others needed to be called by October 31, November 18 and March 15th, 2010 respectively. So you can argue it makes sense to call them all and get them out of the way. The BC riding's deadline is looming.

But between now and October 13th, there's at least one other confidence vote coming up on softwood lumber. So they've decided to make this little move, sending a message that the innocent Conservatives are so darned confident there will be no federal election this fall, lets bring on the by-elections. The move acts as a shield against the accusation that Harper might be perceived as having manufactured an election. It's common sense, based on the master strategist's track record that something could be in the works behind the scenes for which this little announcement will help provide cover.

The framing of the announcement is a might laughable too. The Conservatives supposedly don't have any hope in all four. Right. New Westminster Coquitlam was held by the Conservatives last in 2006 and "...they were a reasonably close second in 2008." Secondly, the Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley riding in Nova Scotia was long held by Conservative Bill Casey and has been flooded with infrastructure funding, versus other Nova Scotia ridings. So let's not fall so easily for that spin.

Harper's in the mix, no doubt about it...