Sunday, September 09, 2018

A Snap Election?

For the last couple of months, pundits have been speculating about a snap election. Robin Sears adds to that speculation. There are, he writes, several reasons why Justin Trudeau might call an election:

The Federal Court and Donald Trump have both just stuck a finger in the Prime Minister’s eye. This is an opportunity to return the favour with a much harder counterpunch, a strong new political mandate.
Tragically, the court has just heightened the prospect of a just-elected Premier Jason Kenney stumping Western Canada next summer on behalf of the federal Tories, blaring a searing message on Western alienation. Single-handedly, he may attempt to return Canada to the angst and disruptive regional tensions in which we languished for more than two decades.
This fall the economy is in good shape, a year after a blow-up with Trump with key Canadian economic sectors staggering under heavy U.S. tariffs, maybe not so much. A swaggering new right-wing Quebec government may have been elected, keen to challenge Ottawa on every front. Premier John Horgan may have called — and probably have won big — a B.C. general election between now and then, strengthening the federal NDP in that province and giving him a stronger anti-pipeline mandate.

Trudeau faces tough decisions and he might seek a mandate to support him in those decisions. He might decide to launch "a legislative counterattack on the Federal Court decision to allow work on the Trans Mountain pipeline to relaunch immediately. They could also ask voters to support a tough pushback on Trump on cultural protection and dispute settlement under any NAFTA deal."

And with NAFTA headed for rough waters, "do not be surprised if Trudeau orders his negotiating team back home soon — just as Brian Mulroney did on the FTA. Ironically, the breakdown is on precisely the same issue: American refusal to accept a genuinely neutral legal structure to decide trade disputes."

Theresa May tried the same tactic not long ago. It did not end well. We live in interesting times.



the salamander said...

.. Trudeau.. and a 'legislative counterattack' ? Against who exactly ! First Nations, A small pod of Orca, The Federal Court ? Scheer plus Jason the Alberta Dilbit Smear ? Del Trumpo the daily braying serial liar ? (who seems to have his hands full with an overflowing bag of shite that is way over his pay rate or thievery rate) The pus sack president has problems just wiping his own arse, much less his incompetants, leakers, losers, fellow liars, families, eascorts, sex workers. No wonder he hides out at his private country clubs behind the Secret Service on their golf carts.

Yes, why wait, Justin.. take it to the tottering Scheer & his shrill n mealy war room, walk away from Trump & his collapsing house of cards. Singh and his NDP are lost in existential space, and the so called BC Liberals will be lucky not to end up in jail. Kenney will lie his ass off on everything under the sun.. hardly Trudeau's fault eh ? Ontario and Quebec will implode, Maritimes will keep on keeping on. Sask and Manitoba ? Anyways, Scheer is off rearranging his precious 'shadow' cabinet, boasting of his dimpled prowess once elected PM and/or over in India on his self annointed n appointed diplomatic mission, to mend Trudeau's fences..

Yes.. the time is likely right - nobody else is anywhere near 'ready' or electorally useful to Canadians, other than to build Site C. Trudeau pulling a legislative endaround for Trans Mountain is an explosive disaster seeking a fuse & smoking hole to hide in, in regard to First Nations 'consultation'.. and the rest of Canada will hide their heads in pure shame. Trudeau et al will roast and toast any species, habitat, environment as an experiment in 'Nation Building' for LNG, Dilbit or recreational tailings ponds.. so goodbye wild salmon, whales, goose, boreal caribou, orca, herring, marine and inland wolves, coastal shellfish, wolverine, trophy bears, polar bears, , beluga, eagle, moose, beaver, sea otter.. Harper could not do it better !

Toby said...

Trudeau doesn't do well with tough decisions. Expect him to dither. Maybe he'll pull petals out of a daisy. Oh, guess I'll have to wait until spring and a fresh crop of daisies. Oh, what to do?

Owen Gray said...

It's not an inspiring future, sal.

Owen Gray said...

I find it increasingly hard to predict the futre, Toby. I've been tempted to write about a snap election before now. But with the Trumpian circus around NAFTA, I thought today was the day.

The Mound of Sound said...

I would like Trudeau to dispose of Scheer and I believe with an electorate given an 'either or' decision he probably would. He also has the advantage of an NDP largely dead in the water, broke and too disorganized to stage a Layton-style campaign.

That said, imagine the mood of the nation the day after Trudeau was returned to power. Dispirited, demoralized, frustrated and angry because all they would face is more of the same.

What would the campaign be fought over - a pipeline or a future without NAFTA? How would Trudeau paper over his litany of broken promises with a fresh batch of promises? In my part of the world there are many who will no longer believe anything out of his mouth.

I would hope our countrymen are sufficiently astute to see through Scheer but after watching Ontarians put Ford in power my confidence is waning. Perhaps we should dissect what went wrong in your province before risking a similar outcome nationally.

Owen Gray said...

All I can add, Mound, is that the general public in Ontario do not seem interested in reviewing what happened to give us Mr. Ford. The courts may cut him off at the knees. But the people are bored. Perhaps that's the real problem.

John B. said...

I've been surprised by the level of unawareness in the rest of the country of the stupidity of the voting public in Ontario. Never mind pandering to the crazy one-issue clods who clutter the process in every region; politicians in Ontario are better off without having a real issue of any sort because the no-issue guys dwell here in abundance. It's their town. Look, but don't touch. And don't look too long or too hard. It's easier on the forehead; it keeps it nice and flat. If you think too much, you might try to untie that knot in your brain that's driving you to the voting booth.

Ford knows they're stupid, but he thinks they're just stupid like his siblings. But Harper's boys get the whole drift of it. It would have been fun to see them smirking after he came grinning for their approval with his buck-a-beer brainwave. They'll have to take their time filling him in on the stupidity that really put him in office.

Owen Gray said...

I'd like to post your comment, Anon, but it needs to be initialled. If you re-submit your comment with some initials, I'll post it.

Owen Gray said...

Stupidity put Ford in office, John. But the courts aren't stupid. Just a few minutes ago, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that's Ford's plan to slash the number of seats on Toronto City Council is illegal.

Score one for Wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the lack of initials on my first try at this comment.

From Elections Canada:

"Since May 2007, the Canada Elections Act provides for a general election to be held on a fixed date: the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following the previous general election. As the last election took place on October 19, 2015, the next fixed election date is October 21, 2019."

So, are we expecting our Majority Liberal Government to lose a confidence motion anytime soon?

And, from Wikipedia, "When introducing the legislation, Harper stated that "fixed election dates prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage. They level the playing field for all parties and the rules are clear for everybody."

So, while the next wiki sentence goes on, "However, despite the amendments to the legislation, the prime minister is still free to request an election at any time.", fixed election dates are to keep governing political parties from taking advantage of their power to call snap elections.

Regards, RSL

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, RSL, that the prime minister who brought in fixed election legislation was the first to break it. And thereby hangs a cautionary tale.