Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Harper wants Election

The ongoing foolishness in the House of Commons is only contributing to the reasons why I don’t hold a membership in any political party. Currently, there are three important issues our politicians are attempting to address on behalf of all Canadians. They are the war in Afghanistan, the economy and the crime legislation. Progress on these issues is pitifully slow. More importantly, the way in which the government is handling these issues is unsettling to all Canadians.

The House of Commons is incapable of arriving at solutions that secures the support of the House of Commons regarding these important matters. Rather, the debate rages over whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper can engineer a federal election. Why Harper wants to burden Canadians with an expensive election they don’t want is beyond me.

Harper backed himself in a corner when he laid claim to having elections on four-year cycles. In a minority parliament the opposition historically has brought down a government on the budget, which is considered a vote of non-confidence in the government. Now Stephen Harper is choosing to declare almost anything a non-confidence vote in an attempt to provoke the opposition into defeating his government and forcing an election.

His latest gig is an attempt to provoke an election by demanding the Senate rubber stamp the government’s crime legislation. In so doing he has only added credibility to the Senate by exposing how the Senate is independent from the House of Commons and is there to assure that legislation is given a thorough review before it is passed back to the House of Commons for final approval and passage into law. Stephen Harper continues to ignore and disrespect the process of Parliament and the Senate. He seems to have no respect or concern for any process or anyone who chooses not to agree with him. Canadian voters seem to be aware that Harper is a man to be held in check and giving him a majority government would be hazardous at best.

The conservatives and liberals are fairly close in recent polls and an election is most likely to give us yet another minority government. Even if that is not the case, most Canadians seem quite satisfied with the current balance of power in the House of Commons and are more inclined to support Stephen Harper’s plan of elections every four years. The failure of the conservative government to deliver good government rests on Stephen Harper’s shoulders. We have a minority conservative government that seems more interested in having another election, which will cost Canadian taxpayers millions, than they are in providing good government. Harper can try and blame the opposition parties, but I don’t think Canadians are buying that argument. He is finding that it is a hell of a lot easier in opposition and if he doesn’t get it together he will be back in opposition and we will never hear from him again.

Finally, if I were in opposition I would do everything within the rules of parliament to avoid causing an election over a non-confidence vote. If Stephen Harper wants an election then let him call it at his own peril.