Harper thought that he could get the Liberals to eat anything. His economic update was little more than an ideological wish list: bankrupting the Liberals, attacking wage parity, attacking unions through wage caps and abolition of the right to strike for public sector unions, selling of crown assets at firesale prices and in a buyer's market, and cutting back on equalisation payments. Surprisingly the Liberals refused to roll over and play dead or snarl and sit on their hands. The opposition parties managed to strike a deal to form a coalition. Harper finally was forced to wake up and realize that he had a minority not a majority government.
First Harper backtracked on a few items in his smorgasbord of right wing planks in his economic statement. When this didn't work he asked that parliament be prorogued. It took two hours but the Governal General agreed. So in the middle of an economic crisis Harper has closed down parliament as his only remaining means of keeping himself in power. Harper has so poisoned the political atmosphere by this move that it is unlikely that the opposition will pass his budget unless they are consulted and has a lot of the opposition planks in it and perhaps not even then. Perhaps he will be able to buy off the Bloc. This would be ironic given Harper's scathing criticism of the opposition for making deals with the Bloc. But this could very well be Harper's next move.
It is always possible that the Liberals could split on the coalition with Ignatieff and others recoiling at the thought of Dion being prime minister. It is true that there is only one thing worse than Dion being prime minister and that is Harper remaining as prime minister!