Will yet another Canadian federal election happen at last in 2010?Jan 4th, 2010 | By Citizen X | Category: In Brief
I don’t usually admire the Conservative guru Tim Powers. But his January 2 note of caution on recent Canadian federal election speculation — from no less than John Ibbitson, Don Newman, and Norman Spector — seems at least somewhat wise. (Even if he left Jim Travers off his list, probably because Travers published on January 2 as well!)
As Powers puts it: “The one predictable thing about the minority governments of the last six years has been unpredictability. From Belinda Stronach’s defection to the Liberals to Jack Layton’s recent support of the current government’s last few confidence motions nothing happened as was forecast.”
That having been said, alternate Conservative guru Norman Spector’s 2010 election talk is impressive for its precision. Spector specifies that early this coming March Mr. Harper will (or “could” at any rate) go “to Rideau Hall to request a vote on Tuesday April 12th.” (Well, Tuesday the 12th here is a typo. But the Globe and Mail editors get it right in their headline: “Mark April 13th in your new 2010 calendar as election day.”)
On this scenario what lies ahead is not an election triggered by the opposition majority, in a parliamentary defeat of the Harper minority government, etc, etc. It is a vote called by the Harper minority government itself, in search of a parliamentary majority. Odd how no one any longer even seems to consider that: “On November 6, 2006, the Parliament of Canada [on the urging of the Harper government] passed” legislation which “requires that each general election is to take place on the third Monday in October, in the fourth calendar year after the previous poll.”
Meanwhile, Susan Delacourt has just pointed out that, whatever happens with elections, the Harper minority government will very soon give the Canadian people an unreformed Senate in which appointed Conservatives outnumber appointed Liberals. (Who once said the Senate of Canada is “a relic of the 19th century” again?)
Le Devoir has made a vaguely related point on the Harper government’s latest throne speech, this coming March 3, 2010 (after the current prorogation of both houses of parliament ends), in the country’s other official language: “Le gouvernement Harper présentera alors un nouveau discours du Trône et déposera son budget dès le lendemain, soit le 4 mars. Il s’agira du 5e discours du Trône en seulement quatre ans pour le gouvernement conservateur.” The once alleged reformer Mr. Harper, it now seems, is determined to use all the old Ottawa tricks, as much as he can!