Since the blogosphere and mainstream media are awash in speculation and prognostication about today’s Throne Speech and the expected Liberal response, I thought I might as well toss my $0.02 ($0.021 US) into the fray as well.
We’ll know in a couple of hours what the Throne Speech actually says, but I expect there’ll be a few little nuggets in there that will be designed to force Stéphane Dion to squirm in his seat. Harper is nothing if not predictable.
So here’s my suggestion to the Liberal Party – call his bluff and force an election.
I say that for the following reasons:
1. The Liberal Party is years away (at least) from being able to form a majority government, so the best they can do in the short term is to keep the Cons at a minority and hope to retain the balance of power in the House.
2. If an election were held right now many, many Canadians of all political stripes would vote Liberal even if for no other reason than to keep Stephen Harper from getting his majority (and make no mistake, it’s viewed as Harper’s government, not a Conservative government).
3. Standing up to Harper on a point or two of principle would give Dion a boost that he could carry into an election. Imagine that, an election fought on principles!
4. There’s nothing like a major crisis to bring a family together, and perhaps the best thing that could happen to the Liberals right now is an election to force a redirection of their attentions outward and unite against a common enemy.
Of course there’s always a risk, and probably none bigger than that faced by the Liberals if they do trigger an election. But I for one would much rather see a loss on the battlefield than meek capitulation.