Friday, August 01, 2008

Stephen Harper Steps Up to the Brink

Stephane Dion just might get his wish

Following a recent comment by Stephane Dion forecasting a federal election by October 2009, Stephen Harper has repeatedly indulged Dion's proclivity for political brinksmanship.

"Mr. Dion must decide to fish or cut bait," Stephen Harper told a party rally in St Agapit, Quebec. "Either let the current Parliament work and let us get on with our mandate, or the voters themselves will decide."

Speaking after Conservative Caucus meetings in Levis, Quebec, Harper continued to challenge his principal Liberal opponent.

"Either we govern or we go to an election," Harper announced. "We will not allow is a situation where Mr. Dion tries to say 'We won't to defeat you, but we won't let you pass anything either,'"

Harper promised numerous confidence motions in the upcoming session of Parliament, challenging Dion to either work with the government, or face an election.

While it might seem like Harper is imploring Dion to help Parliament function, the general reality underlying Harper's comments is this: working with the government is something that Stephane Dion simply cannot politically afford to do.

Dion has spent the last 18 months telling anyone who would listen how bad the Conservative government is, and how it must be defeated.

Not to mention the fact that, as often as not, it has proven to be the Conservative party obstructing Parliament as opposed to the opposition.

There's little question that both Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion want an election. Simply too much rhetoric has been invested in the proceedings of the current Parliament for it to continue until the promised election in October 2009.

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