I Know What You'll Do This Summer
Last year, the spring session came to a close with a crash - parliamentary brinkmanship and an EI deal between the Liberals and Conservatives that set up a summer of heightened election preparations and speculation.
This year, we limp into the summer recess.
So what's in store for the political parties this summer after a miserably unproductive spring session of Parliament? Below is a quick look at how the party leaders will spend their summer vacations:
This week, Stephen hosts a modest garden party at the lake with 19 of his closest friends. For the taxpayers this will be a BYOB affair - bring your own billion.
The week after, he'll be showing the Queen around her colony. Presumably, after they've shared pictures and played Rock Band at 24 Sussex, the subject of her royal highnesses' representative in Canada will come up. After all, Harper will name a new Governor General this summer.
After that, it's possible the Conservatives will take a page from their 2008 playbook and prepare for a fall election. More likely, they'll stay relatively quiet, planning for the year ahead. After a meager year legislatively, they'll want to come back in the fall with some sort of agenda to implement (right?), and the summer will be a good time to map that out.
After being criticized as the invisible man last summer, Michael Ignatieff's summer 2010 calendar is filling up quickly, with a coast to coast bus tour and a trip to China. Presumably he'll be allowed a week off at some point, to think thoughts in Algonquin Park.
Unlike last year, I wouldn't expect any brash threats to topple the government this August. Rather, the Liberals will make sure they're ready for a campaign...just in case.
I'd expect a low-key summer from the NDP - Jack will get some well deserved rest to focus on his health. The one exception will likely be Canada Day - not because of the celebrations, but because the NDP hopes to make the HST their wedge issue in BC and Ontario.
Behind the scenes, the party will need to figure out how to handle the gun registry bill when it comes up for a vote this fall - with Ignatieff whipping his MPs, the registry's future is now in Layton's hands.
If I were Elizabeth May, I'd take this opportunity to door knock as many houses as possible in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Flip every burger that needs flipping. Tricycle to every mundane community event.
Have a hot dog. Sunbathe on the Plains of Abraham. Those are the perks of the easiest job in politics.