Friday, June 12, 2009

The other parties wish they were in the Liberals' position

Do the Liberals force an election in the Summer or wait until the Fall?

Those who say summer point to the recession and the current troubles with the Conservatives and say strike while the iron is hot. Do not let the Conservatives have the summer to recover, perhaps along with an economic recovery they say.

There is some merit to this argument. The Liberals have been rising slowly but steadily since November. The Conservatives on the otherhand have become unglued and have proven once again that when they go off script they are hopeless. You would think at least one of the Conservative Party elite would be able to think on their feet.

We are beginning to see some positive trends developing for the Liberals. They have virtually solidified their status as the Federalist option in Quebec while the Conservatives are fighting with the NDP and the Greens to stay out of the basement. Now we are seeing what could be the beginning of Ontario trending Liberals and by a wide margin. Under these conditions the Liberals would probably win a minority government.

Others say the Liberals should wait. They should take more time to fill their coffers, to prepare for the next election and to allow the current trends to grow and solidify even more. They say Canadians do not want to have an election over the summer.

There is some merit in those arguments as well, although the Liberals would not be punished for triggering an election. Stephen Harper triggered one over the Christmas holidays and it did not cost him and he called one despite breaking his own law and it did not cost him. Simply put, if an election is called people will come out to vote.

You cannot disagree with their arguments about fundraising and election readiness. By most accounts both are much better than in the past but those improvement are still new so a little more time to maximize their impact would not be a bad thing.

As well, in all likelyhood the current trends will continue. Recessions are government killers. You just need to see what happened to previous government that governed during recessions to see that. Many believe that signs of recovery will help the Conservatives. I doubt it. Recessions have a life cycle. Part of that lifecycle is the immediate recovery period after the recession. At that point economic growth increases, albeit not by much, the stock markets begin to perk up and businesses begin to show profits but those on Main Street do not share the recovery. Indeed, it is during these periods that governments suffer the most because voters can see the contrast between businesses, the wealthy and themselves and their resentment of the situation becomes more pronounced leading to a more negative reactions to the government. (Whom all but the most ardent free marketer expects to prevent such inequality in the economic recovery and who are usually helpless to meet that expectation). If you do not believe me you only need to look at the experiences of Bob Rae, Brian Mulroney and George Bush Senior. All of their governments had the misfortune to govern and to fight elections during this period and we all know how that worked out.

So, the need for an immediate election is not urgent. Indeed, there is a very good chance that waiting a few more months will solidify the current trends so that the Liberals could win even bigger than they might this summer.

So, Michael Ignatieff has a very happy choice. Both carry risk but both could very well see him as the next PM of Canada regardless of which one he chooses.

I am curious to see which one he chooses.


Blogger Lizt. said...

What the Liberals do need to do, is look like they want an election and vote against the government. That will look better, for a change. I do not think the NDP and the Bloc really want one..the NDP need to raise money.

June 12, 2009 10:03 PM  
Blogger RuralSandi said...

One of the journalist panel members on CBC/Newman said last night that Layton told him that he was ready to make a deal but Harper has returned his calls....hmmm.....

They were at a party (I think it was Newman's retirement party) and the journos were talking to different MP's, leaders, etc.

June 13, 2009 8:02 AM  
Blogger RuralSandi said...

Whoops, meant to say Harper hasn't returned his calls yet.

So, there you have it, Layton AGAIN, trying to wheel and deal. Unbelievable.

June 13, 2009 8:03 AM  

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