Stage set is exactly the right terminology. The curtain is now going down on the opening farce scripted by Harper. Harper knew that the opposition , even the Liberals, could not give him a blank check. Anything less than complete capitulation to the Conservative agenda is apparently an obstructionist opposition that is impossible to work with! We now go on to the rest of the play. Neither of the two main characters are deserving of our support as far as I am concerned. I will hold my nose and vote NDP. Vote for anyone but the two main characters. Don't waste your vote!
Monday » September 1 » 2008
Stage set for October election
Canwest News Service
Monday, September 01, 2008
'Yes, there will be an election. Yes, it's official,' Liberal opposition leader Stephane Dion said Monday after a 20-minute long meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at 24 Sussex in Ottawa.
OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a federal election because he has refused to give Harper a blank cheque to govern.
Dion met with Harper for about 20 minutes at the prime minister's official residence Monday afternoon. Both he and a spokesman for the prime minister said there is no common ground politically between the two parties.
"Yes, there will be an election. Yes, it's official," Dion told reporters gathered outside 24 Sussex Drive.
Kory Teneycke, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office, said it is clear the Opposition wants to force a vote.
"There are a number of things the government would like to move forward on. We are simply looking for broad areas of agreement where the government can proceed," Teneycke said.
But Dion said Harper should continue governing, rather than break the spirit of his own fixed election date law.
"It's a joke," Dion said. "Never will a minority government receive from any political party a blank cheque and he knows that. He's confusing two things: Does the Parliament work? Yes. Does the government have the certainty to survive? The answer is no. It was no two years ago. There is nothing new."
Harper has now met individually with the leaders of the other three parties in the House of Commons. Each one left the meeting convinced that Harper was looking for an excuse to call an election.
Advisers to the prime minister say the "first window" available to Harper to call an election begins Tuesday and ends Sunday.
Harper himself is expected to make a major announcement about support for the auto industry on Wednesday or Thursday. And an official in the PMO said there are some "loose ends" to tie up before a campaign begins.
Conservative insiders say Harper will likely wait until Sunday to ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, setting up an election day that could legally be held no sooner than Oct. 14.
The stakes for the election are personally high for both Harper and Dion, as well as NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe. Depending on the election's outcome, three of the four parties now represented in the House of Commons could be looking for a new leader after the election.
Harper's advisers immediately began positioning the prime minister as a leader who is a steady, trusted hand in a time of economic uncertainty. Dion will counter that claim, saying Conservatives wasted a healthy budgetary surplus left to them by the Liberals and that Harper's economic management has brought the country to the brink of recession.
Both Liberals and Conservatives agreed that the key ballot question for Canadians will be which leader is more trusted by voters.
"One of the issues will be trust," Dion said. "Can you trust a prime minister who called an election while not respecting his own law. The way he's mismanaging the economy, attacking our arts and culture, mismanaging food safety will also be some issues and I told him that," Dion said.
"I think it's a question of who do you want to lead this country in uncertain economic times," Teneycke said. "Who do you trust to lower crime rates? It's a question of trust and a question of leadership."
© Canwest News Service 2008