Finley needs to keep Harper and he knows it
No sooner has Doug Finley warmed his seat in his first session in Senate than he's put Canada's opposition parties on notice:
The Conservative party is aiming to win a majority in the next election.
Finley, who speculation had suggested would step down from his role as national campaign director for the Tories, insisted that he's going to hold onto that job for the time being.
"I anticipate that's what we'll do. And we'll go for that majority," he told reporters. "I have an excellent team. We're very well prepared, should there be an election — an election we don't want, an election the country doesn't want."
This should come as no surprise to anyone -- especially those who feigned shock at Harper's comments last week in which he told party loyalists that the Conservatives needed to finally win a majority. Although Harper had noted that he was very pleased with a stronger minority after the 2008 election, in order to continue judging his tenure as party leader as successful he needs to continue to improve his successes.
In 2004 he reduced the Liberal party majority government to a minority. In 2006 he won a minority government of his own. In 2008 he won a stronger minority government. At some point, Harper has to either win a majority or quit the game.
At least that's what Algoma University Political Scientist Tom McDowell says.
Another minority could be judged as a setback. Under those conditions "There may be a sense within the party that the party's not moving forward."
"That's the kind of thing that could cause him to leave."
For Doug Finley gaining a majority government may be about more than just majority government for majority governance's sake. It may be the only way for the Conservative party to keep the only truly successful leader it has had in more than twenty years.