Sunday, February 05, 2006

You are sick of elections now, but in nine months?

Canadians are sick to death of hearing from electioneering politicians and the Liberals are leaderless; Therefore, the Harper Conservatives can do whatever they want until probably the spring of 2007. Or can they?

All levels of the CPC party believe they’ve exhausted the public’s interest in elections and that Stephen Harper has deflated their opposition. CPC party activists are chatting that they have a free pass to govern for the next 18 months because neither public sentiment will tolerate objections that will lead to an election nor are the Liberals capable of mounting an opposition.

Are you old enough for this to sound familiar? Minority government leader Joe Clark thought the same; but after only nine months as Prime Minister, a weakened opposition rose to force an election and form a majority government.

Nine months from today could take us to a Fall election – an eternity of eternities from now in political time – with a new Liberal leader and a public that has long forgotten about elections past.

If the Harper conservatives are wise, which neither myself nor the public are convinced they are, they would do well to remember that 64% of Canadians do not trust them. So, think not from your own perspective but from the point of view of those whose respect you still have to earn.

Mr. Harper, you were elected to a weak minority government. The only mandate you have is to cooperate and collaborate – not go it alone.

However, not even two weeks has passed since the Harper Conservatives won the weakest minority government in Canadian history and already CPC party activists believe they have a free pass for govern as they see fit. Of course, in the real world, a swing vote of 11 or more seats in any future election would change everything in parliament. So, don’t count on any kind of free pass from the opposition.

Mr. Harper you are still on a very short lease.

Harper’s Conservatives will last 18 months if they can restraint themselves from trying to use power they do not have for changes there is no mandate for. On the other hand, election timing is in the opposition’s hands, not Mr. Harper’s, and the first move Mr. Harper makes that the people do not like will make the opposition move – they out number Harper’s Conservatives nearly 2 to 1.

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