The rest of us pretend to believe him
If one takes Stephane Dion's words at face value, one would believe he really doesn't want an election.
"We have not been obstructionist and we do not intend to be," Dion insisted. "We will assess very carefully how well [the speech] addresses what Canada needs. If the prime minister wishes to reduce Parliament's role to a rubber stamp, he alone will be responsible for bringing Canada into an election. ...If there is an election, we'll be ready, we will win this election."
Of course, the election speculation is centred around speculation that the Conservative party may be trying to engineer an election by making the throne speech as unamicable to the opposition as possible.
But anyone who believes Dion doesn't want an election must have an awfully short memory. In fact, no sooner did Dion win the leadership of the Liberal party than was he clamouring for an election. "Stephen," he said to the sitting Prime Minister, "If you're listening, we are counting the days until the next election."
In fact, if there's anything Stephane Dion has done exceptionally well, it's pledging himself and his party to opposing legislation that he has yet to see. He promised to oppose the last federal budget months before it was scheduled to be tabled, parting ways with veteran MP Joe Comuzzi over the matter.
Now, he's pledged to oppose the upcoming throne speech, again, before he's even seen it.
For a man who doesn't want an election, Stephane Dion sure spends a lot of time promising to vote against motions and legislation that are necessary to ensure the continuation of the current parliament.
Most comicly, Dion insists that Canadians don't want an election. Whether or not that has anything to do with the most recent polls placing the Conservatives once again ahead of the Liberals, at least partially due to the Liberals' recent state of disarray. But one has to wonder if Dion believed Canadians wanted an election any more when he was trying to defeat the government at every opportunity.
Yet, if one took Stephane Dion's words at face value, one would suspect that Dion at least believes he has some sort of sixth sense regarding the opinion of the Canadian electorate.
But like so many things, Dion seems to be confused about what his presumed "sixth sense" is telling him regarding whether or not Canadians want an election. When it would benefit him for Canadians to want an election, he seems to want one. When it doesn't...
As for the Conservatives, there's probably a reason why all of that prior election speculation has come to nothing, even when the party had cracked open a lead that placed them on the verge of a majority government. While some of the usual suspects have denounced the Conservatives' so-called ploy as mere bullying or sabre-rattling, it all comes across as a little less than convincing.
Of course, there has been a good deal of sabre-rattling in the course of the present parliament. But when one makes an attempt to acertain the source of the offending noise, it always seems to be Stephane Dion's hand on the grip, even while he tries to pretend otherwise.
Stephane Dion is once againg pretending he doesn't want an election. Frankly, it's getting awfully hard to pretend to believe him.