Steve Harper has asked Michaëlle Jean, Canada’s Governor General, to cancel her scheduled Sept. 5th trip to China, signalling the likelihood that he will call a snap election. He’s trying to blame it on the Liberals, but he ain’t foolin’ nobody:
The only problem is, there’s very little evidence of that stalemate’s existence.
There are obvious reasons for the Tories to want to go to the polls. Regardless of whether Stephane Dion himself evolves, every passing day allows the Liberals to make up at least a little ground when it comes to setting up a campaign organization to compete with the Conservative one. And Harper could undoubtedly do without another few months of opposition MPs using the committee system – however clumsily – to raise unpleasant questions about his party’s ethics. But what’s much less clear is what’s convinced him over the past couple of years that it’s no longer possible to “get some things done.”
It may be – at the risk of repeating myself – that the Tories have simply run out of things to do, which is a different matter. But with the Liberals having caved even on policies they claim will tear the very fabric of the country, I’m hard-pressed to think of a single thing the Tories have been keen on that they haven’t been able to get done.
That may change this fall, if the Liberals choose to work with the opposition parties to bring the government down. But until that happens, the criteria Harper implicitly set for forcing an election himself really haven’t been met.