Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Seeds Are Planted

Now Stephen Harper needs to see if the plant will grow

With the summer slowly drawing to a close, Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems content to continue to push Liberal leader Stephane Dion toward defeating the government and triggering an election.

"I think that Dion will have to make up his mind and I think quite frankly I'm going to have to make a judgment in the next little while as to whether or not this Parliament can function productively," Harper mused during a visit to Cupids, Newfoundland.

"I do think it's fair to say that in the past few months, and particularly over the summer, we have seen increasing signs that this Parliament is really not working very well anymore, it's becoming increasingly dysfunctional," Harper announced.

Of course, the opposition parties don't agree over who is making parliament "increasingly dysfunctional".

"A major part of whatever is dysfunctional is coming from the government side. He is choosing to cover over that, which is another reason why people don't trust Mr. Harper," asserted NDP leader Jack Layton.

"It's Mr. Harper and his house leader and his whip who have been orchestrating the dysfunctionality of this particular parliament," added Ralph Goodale, the sole Liberal MP in Saskatchewan.

Of course, there's plenty of blame to go around. Harper is absolutely correct to note the legislation currently being stalled by the Liberal majority in the Senate. Then again, plenty of people remember the sad, sad tale of their infamous obstruction handbook.

But even while the party struggles to stay ahead of the Liberal party in most polls, a recent poll has given some hope to the Tory faithful, showing that Canadians prefer the Conservative party to their opposition on a number of matters.

First off, leadership. Once again, Stephen Harper edged out Stephane Dion by 21 points in the question of who would make the best Prime Minister (43 to 22).

The Conservatives were judged to be the better of the two parties in addressing the economy (40-22), taxes (41-20) and crime (29-18).

The survey concluded that Canadians prefer the Liberals to the Conservatives on two issues: the environment (36-24) and poverty (32-25) -- both of which are addressed in Stephane Dion's "Green Shift".

If the Conservatives can find a way to convince Canadians to place more trust and faith in their agenda, they just might be able to parlay these numbers into another government -- possibly, if they're savvy enough, a majority.

The seeds for another government have been firmly planted. Now, the Conservatives need to water them -- and fast. If Stephane Dion follows through with some of his recent comments, they may not have much time.

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