We have all been told many, many times a federal election will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars, and, despite the cost, we will wind up with the same parliament that we already have. Minority, Conservative-led, and loud.
After a lot of thought about it, I’m willing to risk it. Maybe well luck out with change.
We have had nearly seven years of minority parliaments, five of those led by the Conservatives, and while there have been years of compromise, haggling, horse-trading, threats and ultimatums, something was bound to give at some point.
With opposition sharks smelling blood in the water, that point was now.
Our MPs may be political animals bent on survival, but they’re also a couple hundred partisans, with competing interests and ideologically-different bases to appease.
Stephen Harper may have been willing to bend to the wishes of Jack Layton, or Gilles Duceppe to a degree, but it’s not surprising that the prime minister may at some point decide what the opposition wants doesn’t mesh with his government’s vision for the country.
So Harper presents a budget that isn’t all that bad, but isn’t all that great, depending on who you ask, the opposition say they won’t support it and it’s assumed we’re off to the polls in May.
And at the risk of all sorts of hate mail, I’m hoping the projections are wrong, and Harper manages to eke out a majority, if only to see a change in the way business is conducted in Ottawa.
One of two things will happen:
The Conservatives will continue governing as they have been, trying to maintain or gain support in vote-rich Quebec or Ontario and will wind up looking like any other centre-right government.
Or, as we’ve heard so many times over the years, he will unleash a hidden agenda worse than we could ever imagine, becoming our dark lord once and for all — and in the process he’d alienate enough voters to see himself turfed when the next fixed election date rolled around.
It may just be minority fatigue setting in, but I say bring it on.
In the past Harper has talked about bringing change to Ottawa, and if that’s the will of the people and means an end to the current shenanigans, then I’m willing to see where that takes us.