Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Four To Go


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As Lawrence Martin sees it, there are four scenarios in Stephen Harper's future. The first is to hold an election at the prescribed date, set in place by a law he passed:

The thinking here is that he needs the time to make up ground on the leading Liberals. Also, he doesn’t want to risk alienating voters by changing the set October date. The timing of the Duffy trial, slated to run from April to June, is troublesome, but it’s better than being seen as forcing an early election to avoid it. The image of being morally bankrupt (see last week’s Paul Calandra fiasco) is already hurting the government. It doesn’t want to fuel that perception.

Then there's the possibility of a spring election:

Mr. Harper brings in a February budget that contains highly controversial measures, then triggers an election on it for the end of March. Many would see this as blatantly opportunistic, coming just ahead of the Duffy trial. But Mr. Harper would rely on the hope that the timing is an issue only for the campaign’s first few days, as we’ve seen in the past. Not to be ignored in these calculations is the chance that the Duffy charges could be settled out of court, or that the trial’s timing is pushed back. No doubt, the Prime Minister’s men will be pulling all strings possible to bring about such outcomes.

A third possibility is that Mr. Harper might call an election this fall:

If Justin Trudeau’s popularity numbers start to slide, Mr. Harper may pounce right away. There is concern in Liberal circles and hope in Conservative precincts that the reason Mr. Trudeau is rushing an autobiography into print (it will be released in three weeks) is that there are embarrassments from his past that he wants to disclose on his own terms, instead of leaving the deed to the Harper attack machine. The Conservatives have a budget update to deliver, and if they’re gaining ground, they may use it – with some big tax-cut promises – as a springboard for a snap election. It would be 31/2 years into a majority mandate. Jean Chrétien went to the polls twice on a similar time frame.

And then, of course, he could resign:

The PM reads the tea leaves/billboards and concludes that it’s time. He calls a Conservative leadership convention to be held in February. The option has much to recommend it. He goes out as one of the big winners in party history, having moved the conservative agenda appreciably forward in many policy areas. He avoids the distinct possibility of a humiliation at the hands of a Trudeau.

Mr. Harper always holds his cards close to his vest. So predicting which scenario he might follow is not easy. Reports are that the party is clamouring for him to leave.  But this is a party which grovels before its leader. And despite the fixed election law, we should all know by now that Mr. Harper believes he can break rules with impunity.

So which route will he take? Your guess is as good as mine.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve and his unrealistically over sized ego will continue because he really does think he can pull another rabbit out of a hat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRW7pITY5Cg

Owen Gray said...

But this time, as Bullwinkle says, he may just have the wrong hat, Anon.

Anonymous said...

And here I was thinking we had a 'fixed' election law in Canada.

I guess the Cons have fixed 'fixed' too.

Owen Gray said...

What we have, Anon, is self interest -- pure and simple.

Kirby Evans said...

Mr. Martin forgot two scenerio - one is where Harper not only holds on but waits until the spring of 2016 before he is forced by the constitution to hold an election. Two is where Harper doesn't call an election at all but uses his GG (a man who has demonstrated that he thinks that he works for Harper and not for the Queen) to hold on to power for years without elections. All he needs is the GG's agreement and that is a reality.

Owen Gray said...

I know you increasingly see your second scenario as a distinct possibility, Kirby.

And, as I have said before, given who Harper is, you may be right.

Kirby Evans said...

Perhaps I am just turning into my father who tended to over-blow such things. It is just that Harper and his lot seem so sinister and so desperate in their persecution of others that it is just hard to imagine them simply giving up power.

However, extreme opinions aside, I do think that Martin should have considered the idea of Harper not calling the election until the last possible moment. That is what the Liberals did in BC and it worked for them even after not recalling the house for months and months.

Owen Gray said...

There is something to that scenario, Kirby. In the past, Harper seems to have assumed that he can ride out any scandal.

But it's also true that, in the past, he never had so much rot pile up on his watch.

The Mound of Sound said...

No, Kirby, if Harper tried to overhold with the collaboration of the Governor-General, it would spark massive, widespread civil disobedience. People of all persuasions would go to the streets. As a people, we're not susceptible to Reichstag Fires.

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're right, Mound -- that we would still have the courage to take to the streets.

Kirby Evans said...

I would like to think you are right Mound but after a lifetime of political disappointment, I am not so sure. Also, someone like Harper would never just do it, rather he would concoct a huge scandal like fabricating evidence that the two opposition leaders were spying for another country and then claim that he is "saving" the nation etc.

On the other hand, a cynic can simply say ask 'why bother with a coup when the Liberals essentially have the same policies as the Tories anyway.'

Rural said...

There are some real scary scenarios in both the post and the comments..... unfortunately with a want-to-be dictator in charge anything is possible.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope, Rural, that -- as Mound suggests -- we will be ruled by our better angels.

Anonymous said...

All dictators have very alike characteristics. Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini refused to step down even as their countries, were turned into rubble. Dictators have an ego, as vast as Mount Everest. Dictators are arrogant and paranoid. Although not as extreme, Harper has the same typo personality.

As of Oct 1st, Harper has sold Canada to Communist China. If anyone tries to block China's takeover? Harper has given Communist China permission to sue Canada. Harper has said, Canadian tax payers will pay for China's lawsuits.

It is far too late to save Canada. Harper and Communist China's evil stranglehold on our country? Canada will become a polluted wasteland, just as China is.

The opposition have done absolutely nothing about Harper. They have stood by, while that evil monster Harper, is killing this country.

I have no idea why Harper isn't in prison, as a traitor doing acts of treason.

Owen Gray said...

Whenever the next election finally comes, Anon, we can send Mr. Harper back to Calgary.

mogs moglio said...

Under the criminal code section 46 unfortunately Harper has not committed an act of treason anon 3:56PM.

But the entire Harper government is guilty of willful dereliction of constitutional duty.

There is a fascinating trial about to take place starting this October Owen. In the Federal Court, Court File No. T - 2225 - 12 Edgar Schmidt v. the Attorney General of Canada dated December 13, 2012. Link:

http://www.slaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Edgar_Schmidt_Statement_of_Claim.pdf

Edgar is a former Department of Justice general counsel, who was suspended without pay because he is a whistle-blower who noticed that the Attorney General of Canada was not doing his job which is to prevent the Harper government from making laws or entering into agreements that violates either the constitution or the bill of rights or the charter. We are eagerly waiting for the out come of this trial.

Further reference:

http://voices-voix.ca/en/facts/profile/edgar-schmidt

http://www.slaw.ca/2013/01/23/documents-in-the-edgar-schmidt-whistleblower-case/

http://m.yorktonthisweek.com/article/20140716/YORKTON0304/140719856/-1/yorkton/is-eroding-charter-rights-government-policy&template=JQMArticle

http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2014/07/judicial-activism-canada

The link for the last one is broken so paste this into google search and it will bring you up to date on how we can end the Harper regime reign:

The Executive Branch: Defender of Canadian Liberties by Simon V. Potter and Emily MacKinnon

I have ben working long and hard on a way foor Canadians to get rid of the Harper government in its entirety and this is it.

Cheers

Owen Gray said...

That will make for an interesting case, Mogs. It will be interesting to see what the court does.