Saturday, October 04, 2008

What Did Harper Really Want when he Called This Election?

What did he really want? In the words of Sherlock Holmes on PBS tonight, I wonder what Stephen Harper really wanted from this election. Why did he call it when he did? His reasoning made no sense as he had managed to keep his minority government going up until September, partly because of St├ęphane Dion's reluctance to bring him down. Nothing had changed; the meetings between him and the various leaders were just a show. Had he run out of agenda as some alleged? I found that hard to believe as there was so much business yet to do, and he's not a stupid man.

The only two reasons I could think of was that polling had shown him that a majority was in his grasp if he struck now, or that the economic statement normally given out just after this election will be over, would show an imminent deficit or an actual one and thus make him lose the government and the succeeding election.

The media are repeating their mantras from Harper's first election as leader of the Conservatives -- that the leader of the opposition was weak, should be tossed out when he loses, can't win. Only this time, they're saying that about Dion. Strange how in the space of only a couple of years they've gone from calling Harper ineffectual at winning an election and should lose the leadership to calling him a shoo-in for a majority. So, perhaps Harper did call the election because he saw absolute power so close to being in his grasp that he decided to go for it. And the media's insistence on Dion's so-called weak leadership are helping Harper along to his goal. Clever.

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