Friday, February 15, 2008

two cents

Personally, I think the Liberals would have done well in an election on Afghanistan, but Harper avoided that one. I’m really surprised that he chose this moment to work with the opposition.

Saying that the election will come over the budget before we even see the budget is bad optics, and could backfire. I’ve got a feeling that this will be a careful budget, which will be hard to pull the trigger on.

That leaves the passage of the Tory crime package; this poses some interesting problems, and could be dangerous for any party to use as election fodder.

Much would depend on who could manage to successfully frame the argument to “Joe and Jane Front-porch”

So far, the Conservatives have tried to use the “Red Senate holding up the bill” line, and this hasn’t worked. Everyone knows that the Senate doesn’t sit over the holidays, and shouldn’t have been expected to work then.

The Liberals have also countered by bringing up the repeated offers to fast-track portions of this legislation last year, which were declined by the Conservatives.

Some questions the public might end up asking:

• Why is the legislation taking so long to pass through the Senate? Is this an unreasonable delay? When will the Red-chamber complete their review?

• What are the perceived benefits of the package? Are they really that important?

• Is this really an issue worth driving the nation to the polls over?

Answers to these questions could help determine the winner of an election triggered over the crime bill.

I was surprised to see that Harper could be so pragmatic over Afghanistan. Now I’m thinking that if this trend continues, we may not be seeing an election as soon as might have been expected.

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