Monday, March 19, 2007

Mindless Speculation

I know whenever anyone fires up the troops, it's perceived that an election is "imminent". I've said for a while that I don't think we'll see a federal vote until 2008, but the common consensus is certainly turning towards a spring vote these days.

So I'll toss the question out there for the comments section: Will we be having a federal election this spring?

Speculate away!


UPDATE: Libs and NDP to oppose the budget, Bloc to support it which puts Andre Boisclair in a rather uncomfortable position, to put it mildly.

I don't think this changes much vis-a-vis election speculation though since the Kyoto and Crime bills are the most likely roads to an election, not the budget.

Labels:

46 Comments:

  • It's becoming eminently clear that the Liberals have every intention of forcing an election on us over tomorrow's budget.

    They, and the MSM, seem to forget that the Conservatives plan to vote in favour of the budget, and all the Liberals have to do to avoid an election (which they "claim" to want to avoid), is to allow the programs announced which will benefit the Environment, Students, Hospitals, and Families ... to pass.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 1:45 AM  

  • Absolutely not. No election. It will be very hard to vote against the Conservative budget, nor would an election be in anybody's interest but possibly the Conservatives.

    The budget is Quebec-friendly, and comes during a Quebec election. If Boisclair wins by a hair, do you really think Dion wants to be campaigning as the guy who shot down that fiscal imbalance budget?

    Of course the Conservatives (and all parties) are getting ready in case a budget vote takes place. However, at least for the Conservatives, that readiness is aimed at discouraging the defeat of their budget and represents a very different approach from the Clark Conservatives in '79.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:59 AM  

  • When you look at the history of minority governments in Canada, it seems that the natural life span of them tends to be 15 months, so based on that I won't be shocked if we are voting in mid to late May, but I just don't see why we would becasue no one is going to break through with a majority.

    But like the Guns of August, once the teams start mobilizing for a battle, you can't do much to stop them.

    By Blogger Manitoba Liberal, at 1:59 AM  

  • I cannot see the Conservatives giving up the opportunity to catch the Liberals unprepared. The big blue machine has been mobilized and I simply think there is too much preparation going on simply to be 'ready' for an election.

    If it looks like an election, it smells like and election, then its certainly going to be an election.

    By Blogger M. K. Braaten, at 2:13 AM  

  • It is tough to say for sure, but I would suspect we will have one. Not so much because the Tories will call one, but simply because the opposition voting in favour of it could create more problems down the road, than voting against it would. A lot will depend on the Bloc Quebecois which is the only party I can realistically see voting for the budget.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 2:28 AM  

  • Didn't harper look discouraged at his party conference? And, baird took a lot of sh*t at the German meeting.

    Whilst, Conner is in Afghanistan trying to shore up human rights.

    Now, Flaherty is offering a budget that the opposition can't resist.

    Sounds like the neo-cons are getting desperate. Their chance of a solid minority govrnment is slipping away. Their moment is past.

    The latest poll show only a 2% gap between the blue and red teams.

    The PQ will want to take revenge for harper helping Charest. The NDP needs to show that they can take on the conversatives. Dion would like to get his green plan launched.

    The key question : can the opposition parties agree to attack harper instead of each other?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:44 AM  

  • Jimtan, the only party that benefits from the "beat Harper at any cost" mentality is the Liberals (Elizabeth may should take note). I've always wondered about that mentality on the left; do they not realize that they have as many differences between each other as they do with the Conservatives?

    By Blogger daniel, at 8:59 AM  

  • I've always said no vote til 08, and until one is actually called, I'll stick to that. No clever analysis to say why, except that there's no reason for Harper, pragmatically or strategically. He can keep running the show with general satisfaction/contentment from Canadians - he's not in a hostile House, I mean - and it's likely he'll end up right back where he is now. I just don't see it happening.

    And I don't think anyone is going to buy any "the Liberals have forced this on us" line, and I imagine the PMO realizes that.

    Nope, I just don't see it.

    I've been wrong before!

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:45 AM  

  • Although I'd add that if Harper wasn't such a conniving, cynical and cold PM, he could call an election and walk off with a sweeping majority. If he wants a majority as badly as Liberals like to tirelessly claim, then he really should learn how to win friends and influence people, because he's sure doing a peepants job of it.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:52 AM  

  • There won't be an election. The budget is one that no party could vote against, and maintain any credibility with the electorate. And no party wants to be labelled as the one that "caused an election", because they know the other parties would crucify them, just on that. Election? - not happening.

    By Blogger Terry, at 11:06 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:19 AM  

  • Three thoughts:

    1. The Tories have to wonder if they will ever create a large enough polling gap to launch an election, such that the focus becomes achieving other "winning conditions" for a campaign;

    2. The Tories have to wonder if, now being in government, whether their practice of adding to their poll numbers re final vote % will continue a) now that they are government, b) given that Harper is a strong campaigner and Dion a weak campaigner, and c) the *perceptions* of b) in the media and resulting expectations (high/low, respectively);

    3. As Wells mentions today, it's letting Canadians get used to the idea of a Conservative government, but that has to be weighed against the risk of letting Canadians start to dislike a Conservative government (how much did the summer scare them?).

    I have no idea how those three judgment calls come down and how they inter-relate. Deep polling data would tell us that. But, forced to make a non-professional judgment call, I would suggest that that nos. 1 and 2 above balance out and the Tories can expect 35% of the vote, which would make a majority dependent on major Dion errors; that's a not a good reason to call an election. Addressing point 3, I think that Tories feel they are getting better at governing, and doing so faster than the Liberals are getting better at opposing, such that the comparative advantage between the two will grow with time. Finally, even if the Tories can freeze the status quo (or be able to recreate the status quo), campaigning from this position of strength after double the time in power would be a much better position. All of that makes me think we won't see an election, notwithstanding the buckets of money the "conservative" government is promising.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:32 AM  

  • Budget will pass, but the writ will drop immediatly after the Quebec vote.

    By Blogger BenParsons, at 11:36 AM  

  • Yes. Ther BLOQ will support the budget. It will pass and the COnservatives will call an election anyways based on not having a federal mandate. They will ask Canadians to vote on their budget will will be full of goodies. The Libs and the NDP won't support it and we will go based on Cap and Trade for CO2 emmisions, Law and Order, Kelowna and pandering to Quebec seperatists in the budget, expecially if the PQ win. We will know March 27th.

    By Blogger s.b., at 1:16 PM  

  • Sorry that last comment was a little unclear. Harper will go for sure even with a narrow Charest win. He will probably go anyways. But with a PQ win his chances are slimmer in Quebec and the Liberals better. But I still think he is going. The more Dion speaks, the more people like him. Dion had amazing coverage and responses this week from Candians and the press. The longer Harper is in government, the more he has to defend and then less he can say Liberal record blah blah blah. The Liberal machine is almost up and running. He won't give us until the fall.

    By Blogger s.b., at 1:26 PM  

  • Our bad numbers a few weeks ago could be attributed to an inactive communications strategy.

    I dont know if it was engineered that way, or perhaps was just getting organized, but as soon as the PR machine gets cranked up, so does our polling numbers.

    Increased input yields greater results.

    By Blogger BenParsons, at 1:49 PM  

  • I just don't see it.

    The fate of the government still lies in the hands of the opposition and neither are in any position to improve their standing right now.

    Obviously, the Tories would love one and are ready for one. But how do they make it happen? How do they engineer a defeat that won't cost them votes? How do they table something that the rest of parliament can't stomach while at the same time not making them look bad?

    Rob Nicholson, you're up.

    By Blogger reporterbrock, at 2:13 PM  

  • Daniel said,

    “Jimtan, the only party that benefits from the "beat Harper at any cost" mentality is the Liberals (Elizabeth may should take note).”

    Not so!

    A poll said that 54% of Canadians would never vote conservative. This situation reflects the revolutionary nature of harper’s government. The Liberals, NDP and BQ prefer the status quo. Therefore, this is a chance to slap the annoying outsider (harper).

    Many Liberals are afraid that harper favors businesses (less regulations, self-regulation, no regulations) more than previous Liberal governments. The BQ will find it easier to get a referendum going if Dion is in power.

    The NDP played politics in the last election, and we have a harper government. The NDP are being punished in the polls. Therefore, the NDP need to regain their street credentials. This is their opportunity because Dion will not get more than a weak minority government. In fact, this is a better opportunity than under the Martin government.

    The Greens have no option other than to keep pushing the frontrunners. The only way is to be a player in general elections. Elizabeth May has to use her voters to influence the elections in order to get the strongest environmental policies passed.

    Baird has finally admitted that climate change is happening and is an imminent threat. Now, the debate is over how much to do. The government is vulnerable if Flaherty’s budget doesn’t reflect baird’s apparent conversion.

    It is the Liberal Party’s task to regain political momentum and public trust. Therefore, Dion has the opportunity to show that he should lead Canada for the next ten years. Pathetic communicator he may be. In fact, he would lose credibility if he accepts Flaherty’s budget.

    Dion’s platform must be clearly differentiated from harper’s. The Liberal Party has to create the basis for strategic voting in order to snatch power from harper. It helps that Dion is taking a leftist slant that puts pressure on the NDP to collaborate or sink.

    The question is whether Dion will pull the trigger. Does he have the guts? Does he have the party behind him? Is the party ready for another election? Can Dion pull the opposition together?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:17 PM  

  • Boys no one has to defeat Harper. He can legitimately drop the writ himself after a year in government, which is exactly what he plans to do next week. No manufactured defeat necessary. just a budget to go to Canadians on.

    He will go to the GG himself.

    By Blogger s.b., at 2:50 PM  

  • The Liberal Party has to create the basis for strategic voting in order to snatch power from Harper.

    Uh, doesn't that just agree with what I said in my post?:

    Jimtan, the only party that benefits from the "beat Harper at any cost" mentality is the Liberals (Elizabeth May should take note).

    If everyone starts "strategic-voting" to stop a Harper win, the Green vote will almost certainly be the first to collapse.

    By Blogger daniel, at 3:23 PM  

  • As it has in every election. Green polling is always higher than at the polls either because of strategic voting or lack of voter turnout. Always take at least 5% off the Green vote. Generally, the Liberals are the beneficiaries of this swing and will be even more so under Dion.

    By Blogger s.b., at 3:39 PM  

  • Sorry more clarification, the Green machne is a phantom. It doesn't exist. There is no Party machinery or money to get out the vote for the geens like the Liberals have. This has been pointed out by a few MSN columnists. They don't have the capacity to translate public opinion into actual votes. Most of their resources will be concentrated on May in her uphill battle.

    By Blogger s.b., at 3:41 PM  

  • Most of their resources will be concentrated on May in her uphill battle.

    Almost certainly true, and real pity. I'm starting to really wonder if idle speculation that she doesn't seek to win but remain in the spotlight raising money isn't at least half-true.

    I'd like to see a Green MP, it would be a nice addition to the House. This could have been their breakthrough election. It's a shame.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 3:57 PM  

  • Boys no one has to defeat Harper. He can legitimately drop the writ himself after a year in government, which is exactly what he plans to do next week. No manufactured defeat necessary. just a budget to go to Canadians on.

    He will go to the GG himself.


    Except that Harper legislated that there wouldn't be a vote until 2009, barring a non-confidence vote. So I don't see what pretext he'll try to call an election on. The GG could legitimately refuse to dissolve Parliament without an actual loss-of-confidence. In fact, that's exactly what she should do.

    All the same, I can't see how Harper's calling an early election for no reason will be received well by the electorate. We just had a bloody election! Apart from those hardcore Tory partisans salivating at the thought of the heralded majority, there is basically no reason for an election now.

    And, in that respect, I have two words for Mr. Harper: David Peterson.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 4:03 PM  

  • Josh certainly people have mentioned that name to Harper but there are many factors for them to consider. I'm not sure if the four year mandate legislation has passed the house and senate. not up on it that much, but certainly it doesn't apply to minorities anyways. You and I could talk about all the reasons not to go now and I would certainly preferr the fall personally. However, all the signs are within the next few days, unless catastrophe happens for the Conservatives. They are planning to call it themselves on this budget, probably on March 27th.

    By Blogger s.b., at 4:21 PM  

  • Liberals and NDP won't support budget surprise! BLOQ wont have a choice. Cons will go to the polls next week.

    Cheers

    By Blogger s.b., at 4:30 PM  

  • So the question is...

    Clark or Diefenbaker? (keeping in mind that Harper won't be winning a majority on the latter's scale)

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 4:40 PM  

  • BLOQ supports budget surprise! They can still call it themselves though.

    By Blogger s.b., at 4:46 PM  

  • the longer PMSH governs, the better things get, the Tim Horton's gang gets happier, the Libs & Greens & Dippers fight each other for the diminishing socialist vote.

    All & all . . a wonderful era for Canada.

    Go Steve go, the people are with ya all the way

    By Blogger Fred :), at 4:53 PM  

  • I won't want to be s.b. when there's no election call.

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:57 PM  

  • Daniel said

    “If everyone starts "strategic-voting" to stop a Harper win, the Green vote will almost certainly be the first to collapse. “

    Strategic voting has to work for everyone. Winnable Green and NDP candidates will get a boost too.

    Anyway, Dion didn’t pull the opposition together today. I guess he doesn’t talk too well to the BQ?

    Doesn’t mean that there won’t be a spring election. Once the budget is passed, the BQ can turn around and attack harper and baird on the Rodrigue Bill.

    The conservatives are really afraid of going to the polls because the election will come when it’s opportune for the opposition.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:01 PM  

  • I have to quibble with the statement "That the more people hear Dion speak the more they like him." Generally the more people here Dion speak the more they realize he's completely unable to communicate any ideas he may have. He makes Chretien sound like Cicero.

    By Blogger Chris, at 5:04 PM  

  • Paul, I've already said that I would much rather we went in the fall, so I'm not sure what you are speaking about. Since in fact the vast majority of Liberals know we would do better in the fall is the very reason why there will be an election call for spring.

    By Blogger s.b., at 5:04 PM  

  • So the Liberals claim that the budget is so full of Liberal ideas that they cannot possibly support it. Hmm.

    Still, nice to see, as was pointed out by the Media, that all three Quebec parties are supportive. (Although again, David McGuinty is claiming that there's less money going to Quebec than there might have been, and that therefore the process of announcing a budget somehow interferes with the Quebec election.)

    Can the Liberals at least get their story straight before they go to air?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:39 PM  

  • Seems a pretty good budget at first glance - sure, there's lots I'd change, of course, but I would in every budget. I'd rather the NDP and Liberals had supported it - as Dan points out, the real time for opposing the gov't is approaching with other bills. Meh, they just look silly to me right now by standing against an all-in-all decent budget with vague talk and no specific criticism (that I've seen).

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:30 PM  

  • Wow. Predict a spring election again, sb! At this rate you should be able to predict a spring election 30 or 40 more times before you figure out there won't be one.

    By Blogger Paul, at 6:42 PM  

  • It honestly seems like no one has anything to gain from calling an election right now. The conservatives aren't far enough ahead (yet) to achieve a majority and the liberals need to be more certain of a victory, or at least poll with the margin of error for a few more weeks.

    By Blogger Sandy, at 8:23 PM  

  • For what it is worth, and it probably isn't worth much, the election probability meter over at National Newswatch went from 92% this morning to 18% tonight.

    Could just be a bug in the software.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:23 PM  

  • For Jason Bo Green,

    This is what their 'green' plan is worth.

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/03/19/budget-environment.html

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:43 AM  

  • We'll see Paul. Election machines are a bit like freight trains, one they get going they are very hard to stop. The train is still going right now. Harper will get a lot of press on this budget, which will spike his numbers inevitably. If the Liberals even win by one seat in Quebec, its 100% go. People have been hired buildings have been rented, candidates are in place, advertising is in the can, and the Liberals are still just a little behind the eight ball right now but we won't be for long.

    80% if the BLOQ win in Quebec 100% if the Liberals win, maybe 100% either way.

    By Blogger s.b., at 9:01 AM  

  • PS Paul don't you think its a bit odd that BOB Rae was supposed to officially announce his candidacy with an application for Toronto Centre a week ago and hasn't???

    Do you know the answer. Candidates are going to be appointed because we are in election mode. Bob will be appointed in another riding and Meredith qwill be given Toronto Centre. Dion will not appoint Rae ahead of a female gay rights activist in T.Centre he can't.

    Look at all of what's going on right now and the answer is clear. Spring. Soon, like next week or the week after.

    By Blogger s.b., at 9:05 AM  

  • Somebody count up how many times s.b. predicted a spring election here. It's absolutely breathtaking. Now she'll do it two more times.

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:09 AM  

  • Here’s a good write-up about the car rebates/penalties.

    http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2007/03/20/fuel-incentive-reax.html

    “He cited figures from over the last four years that show when gas prices went up, sales went down — and when prices dropped, sales rose.
    Higher gas prices will encourage the drivers of the more than 19 million vehicles now on the road in Canada to drive less and better maintain their existing vehicles, DesRosiers said.”

    This is consistent with the evidence from other countries. It is usage that matters, not what car you drive. And, usage is sensitive to incremental costs i.e. fuel costs.

    I can’t understand what’s the matter with harper and flaherty. They don’t seem to be logical.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:21 PM  

  • Well Paul you keep challenging me, why wouldn't I keep offering you a thoughtfull answer. Besides, that is exactly what the Blogger asked us to do in his post. If you have more reasons why not this Spring please elaborate. I won't try to insult you for having an explaination for your position.

    By Blogger s.b., at 5:36 PM  

  • It won't work in actual fact, that is exactly what I suppose.

    By Anonymous muebles sevilla, at 8:41 AM  

  • By Blogger mmjiaxin, at 8:00 PM  

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