Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liberal Leader Ignatieff Seeks Fall Election in Canada

Michael Ignatieff, the leader of Canada's Liberal Party, is seeking a fall election.

This strikes me as a monumental error on Ignatieff's part.

If the Liberals compel an election it will be Canada's third since 2006 and fourth since 2004. The last three elections have produced three minority governments (one Liberal and two Conservative.) The last thing Canadians want right now is another vote.

The last election took place in October 2008 which gave Stephen Harper and the Conservatives another minority government. The government nearly fell a month later when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released an economic statement that offered a bleak picture of Canada's economy and offered little government action. Thoughts of a coalition government were dancing in the heads of the Liberals and the NDP.

But Harper responded by having Governor General Michelle Jean prorogue Parliament. This shifted the focus to Liberal leader Stephane Dion who had just lost the election a month earlier. Dion would remind Canadians why he and the Liberals lost the election with a poor quality video addressing the decision to prorogue Parliament. Within days Dion was out and Ignatieff was in. Any thoughts of a coalition government with the NDP or yet another election were put on hold.

Ignatieff threatened to bring down the Conservative government in June but a meeting with Harper put that threat on ice. Unfortunately for Harper, Ignatieff has him by the gonads. Harper and the Tories have been propped up by the Liberals. If Ignatieff decides to move a vote of non-confidence there's no way Harper is going to persuade either the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to stand in Ignatieff's way. They've opposed Harper from the outset.

In some way, I can understand Ignatieff's thinking. On one hand, it isn't in Ignatieff's interests to trigger an election and win it if he ends up inheriting a bad economy. On the other hand, if he waits for the economy to recover then Harper gets the credit. Ignatieff doesn't want to govern in a recession but he would if economic indicators pointed to a not to distant light at the end of a tunnel.

Of course, all of this assumes Ignatieff can beat Harper. It remains to be seen if Ignatieff will resonate with the Canadian electorate any more than Stephane Dion did. Ignatieff might be able to trigger an election but what if he triggers an election in which he doesn't prevail?


jeffkramerak said...

I think he would say---I don’t know what to tell you buddy, but stick with it….

Anonymous said...

If you think that now is NOT the time for another pointless federal election, while our economy is still weak and needs proper care, please print this simple non-partisan form letter (link below) and mail it to Michael Ignatieff. REMEMBER you don't even need to pay for a stamp to mail to an MP at the House of Commons. Please act for Canada's sake. Please repost and share through your Facebook status.