Thursday, September 03, 2009

It is a tear in the space-time continuum Captain.

Watching the desperate machinations of Mr. Harper and his party in trying to prevent an election I am struck by the similarities between now and the Fall of 2005.

In 2005 the Liberal government was on its last legs. Everybody knew they would lose the next election, including themselves, the only question was by how much. That made them desperate and they looked it.

One of the tactics they used to attempt to stave off their inevitable defeat was to point out all of the great programs that would be killed by an election. They trotted out all sorts of different and popular programs that had yet to be implemented or approved by Parliament and they claimed they would all turn to dust in an election. It was remarkable and in many cases it was untrue.

At the time the Conservatives just claimed that they would honour the more popular committments and then plowed on to defeat the government anyway. They did not suffer any electoral consequences of their decision.

Now we find ourselves in the same position four years later with only the position of the parties involved being changed. You would think the Conservatives would come up with a better line than the one they ignored with impunity four years ago. It really is not effective.

Of course, there are some differences. The media seems to be more willing to carry the Harper government's water than they were with the Martin government. In 2005 the media dismissed the Martin government arguments for the desperate ploys that they were. This time the media seems more willing to buy what Mr. Harper is peddling. Another notable difference is there is not as much of groundswell to "kick the bums out" as there was in 2005. However, another big difference is the Conservatives were about 6 points back of the Liberals at this point in 2005 and except for a week long period of time immediately after the release of the Gomery Report they stayed their right up until the writ was dropped. In 2009 the Liberals are tied, so they are starting from a much better position than the Conservatives in 2005.

Mr. Harper is now the new Mr. Martin. A desperate man who knows that his political career is coming to an end and is trying everything in his power to prevent that from happening. Mr. Martin had limits. We know that Mr. Harper does not. I wonder what he will do when he is finally backed into a corner.

Make a deal with the socialists and the seperatist? Prorogue Parliament? Cancel the sitting of the Fall session of the House?

Time to wait and see.


Blogger Political Outsider said...

The idea that 'everyone knew the Liberals would lose' is completely wrong.

The government fell on November 28, 2005. Here are the published polls from the week previous:

Strategic Counsel (November 27) - Lib: 35, Cons: 29
Pollara (November 27) - Lib: 36, Cons: 31
Environics (November 25) - Lib: 35, Cons: 30
EKOS (November 24) - Lib: 38.7, Cons: 29.4
Ipsos-Reid (November 24) - Lib: 34, Cons: 30,_2006

September 03, 2009 7:54 PM  

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