Friday, February 15, 2008

Canada's Election Clock Moves Closer to Midnight

Liberals, Conservatives both expect 2008 election

According to CTV, the governing Conservative party has turned the ignition key on their campaign machinery as Liberal leader prepares to defeat the government over the upcoming budget, whether party brass wants to go to the polls or not.

"All the senior people, including the people who run the campaign ... they don't want an election right now. They do not want an election because they do not believe the party is ready to go into an election," said CTV Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, are already in the process of staffing their election headquarters. "They're getting their planes booked," says Fife. "The campaign workers have been told to get ready for an election campaign."

Among those who don't want an election? Reportedly, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Ralph Goodale.

Dion should probably be listening to them. When Ralph Goodale, in particular, isn't ready to ride off on a glorious crusade against the dark spectre of neoconservatism one knows the time isn't right for an election -- at least not for the Liberal party.

In the long and short of things, it seems like the Liberal party could use an election as an opportunity to reevaluate its leadership, and perhaps replace Dion as leader. "One senior member of parliament said to me, either we're going to get [Dion] to change his mind or maybe we're going to have to push him off the ledge," Fife said.

One thing is for certain: for the Conservative party, taking to threatening elections lately in order to help push their agenda through, this may turn out to be a case of wanting something badly enough that they just might get it.

Prospects for their reelection as the government may not be all that different now than in two more years.

An election now may be just as good as an election in the future. Now, it's only a matter of whether the election clock strikes midnight or not.

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