Stephen Harper’s Gambit Gives Conservatives Effective Majority

stephen-harper-kitten.jpg

Stephen Harper: No Political Pussycat

For those of you who can’t be bothered to follow Canadian politics on a regular basis, let me explain briefly what has happened over the past 20 months since the Harper’s Conservatives won the last election with a minority government.

The official opposition party, the Liberals, went through a ten-month leadership-selection process in 2006 and emerged with a chief, Stephane Dion, whose political instincts make Joe Clark look like Machiavelli. Hated in his own province of Quebec, he has acted as a plunger, pushing his party’s fortunes in the former Liberal stronghold province further and further down the drain. Consequently, the Liberals are no longer a threat to win a National election.

The other two opposition parties – the far-left NDP and the Quebec-only separatist parties – also could never win an election. Consequently, the Conservatives are now in a situation where, at the very worst, they would emerge from another election with another minority mandate. They are also in a position where, if they pick up the majority of the federalist vote in Quebec that the Liberals have now thrown away, they will likely get a majority mandate in the next election.

Given these facts, Stephen Harper has pulled a Parliamentary power play, and has essentially asked the opposition parties to treat his minority government as if it were a majority, and agree to pass every piece of legislation in the upcoming session of parliament that relates to his upcoming throne speech. From comments at his press conference earlier today (via CBC):

“The choice is not an election or obstruction. The choice is an election or give the government a mandate to govern.”

Harper said he doesn’t want an election before 2009. But the prime minister added that he would consider any votes during the upcoming parliamentary session on items in the speech from the throne as confidence motions.

“If they get approval of the throne speech, we’re going to expect those things to be passed,” Harper said.

So what does this mean? It means that the Liberals, unless they want to risk a PC’s-in-93-style decimation, will be forced to support everything the Conservatives want to accomplish in the upcoming session of Parliament. Chess master Harper has just pulled off one of the greatest political gambits in Canadian political history. Confident that he would win a majority in an election against the current opposition, he’s just turned his minority government into an effective majority.

Harper’s press conference today, where he laid down the gauntlet, occurred within an hour of the first pitch of the Major League Baseball playoffs. For a guy who plays a brilliant game of political hardball, I’ll choose to believe this was no coincidence!

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Politicians, Small-c gains by Big-C Conservatives, The Sinking Ship Liberal

4 responses to “Stephen Harper’s Gambit Gives Conservatives Effective Majority

  1. Pingback: Stephen Harper’s Conservative Effective-Majority: Alive, Kicking, and Emboldened « Flaggman’s Canada

  2. Susan Fox

    Wise man.
    He is not given to combative dialogue. So he walks the talk with integrity, wisdom and methodic manner. He is truly a working prime minister, a thing noseen in Canadian history for a long time, since John Diefenbaker.
    Harper has lived up to all his promises. He works for the common tax payer, not into squandering foolishly, into unthought- of- projects to ‘make people happy.’
    He cares about people, and serves well.
    God bless Stephen Harper.

  3. Susan Fox

    Wise man.
    He is not given to combative dialogue. So he walks the talk with integrity, wisdom and methodic manner. He is truly a working prime minister, a thing not seen in Canadian history for a long time, since John Diefenbaker.
    Harper has lived up to all his promises. He works for the common tax payer, not into squandering foolishly, into unthought- of- projects to ‘make people happy.’
    He cares about people, and serves well.
    God bless Stephen Harper.

  4. wistar

    Harper is set to pull the country into the darkest of times. Integrity is the LAST word I’d use to describe him. He cares nothing about the common citizen and will screw us the first chance he’ll get. We can only hope his majority reign will be a brief one and that the liberals can (once again) rebuild the nation after a conservative government.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s