If there's one constant at all conventions, it's that it gives political hacks a chance to indulge in their favourite activity: mindless speculation. It always amazes me how confident political junkies are when they start speculating ahead. Be it on leadership candidates, election timing, or electoral results, everybody is always absolutely positive about exactly what is going to happen. But the thing is, politics are so unpredictable that this exercise is futile. Especially in minority governments. Who knows what's going to happen?
But, seeing as how I'm as guilty as anyone else, I might as well throw my useless opinion into the topic of the next election. The talk in Liberal circles is that Martin is going to bring in a tax cut budget next year and then engineer his own defeat. My hunch? There's no way we make it to the next budget. The Gomery Report is set to wrap up in November and I think it's a fairly safe bet we're heading towards a December election (And living in Calgary, the prospect of door-knocking in December has me giddy!). The Bloc is where they are because of the sponsorship scandal so it's the perfect issue for a campaign. For Harper, what else is he going to run on? Banning abortions? Corporate Tax Cuts? Pure Charisma? If the rumours of a tax cut Liberal budget in 2006 are to be believed, Harper would have a tough time running against that budget. And he'd have a tough time supporting the Liberal budget...again. Adscam is all the opposition parties have right now and they'd be foolish not to use it one last time.
And, I should add, this is all irrespective of what Gomery says. He'll come out and say, as we've known all along, that neither JC or PM knew anything or directed the file. He'll say the actual amount of money mis-spent was far less than 250 million, or even 100 million. But he'll say that some bad stuff happened, and that will be enough for the opposition to run an election on.
But, then again, like I said, speculation like this isn't worth the value of the paper it's printed on. And this speculation isn't even printed on paper.