Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Harper's big risk

This non-confidence motion will be moved by the Liberals on Friday:
That the House agrees with the finding of the standing committee on procedure and House affairs that the government is in contempt of Parliament, which is unprecedented in Canadian parliamentary history, and consequently, the House has lost confidence in the government.
Barring any last minute maneuvers or other motions, as of late this afternoon it appears that yes, Harper is prepared to go to an election having that verdict rendered on his government. An historic verdict at that. So ultimately he's prepared to live with that judgment being made - assuming it is - in order to proceed to an election that he thinks he can win. Electoral calculation prioritized over a contempt judgment. We have a Prime Minister who doesn't really care that such an historic verdict will be on his record. Not a surprise from this PM but it is fascinating to see it play out.

There is also some history here, which may be instructive. Saw this on Twitter last night, which may be subject to verification:
Interesting fact from friend- no government that has been defeated on confidence vote has won the resulting election - except Trudeau in 74.
(Cont'd) Martin 2005 lost election Clark 1979 lost elxn Trudeau 1974 won elxn Diefenbaker 1963 lost elxn Meighen 1926 lost election.
There is something intangible in the motion that brings defeat and its result that the Conservatives may be underestimating.

P.S. Big City Lib will indeed now eat his hat at a future Progressive Bloggers get together. He just couldn't take yes for an answer with all the election lights blinking.