I understood the logic of putting the ball in Jack Layton’s court to call the election. The guy seemed serious enough and did state unequivocally that he would not vote confidence in the government at the next confidence vote. Giving the NDP leader the ball so he could run with it also forced him to make the move.
Now, unfortunately, it looks like he’ll make the move (kinda sorta) but that he’ll do it in a motion that is vague in that it asks for the government to resign later and for it to continue business until a certain date. This is not a confidence motion! How can the NDP, the Conservatives and the Bloc have confidence in a government until it’s convenient for an election? That’s quite a contradiction!
So, here is my unsocilited advice to Mr. Harper. The Canadian public is sickened by Paul Martin’s inability to make a decision on any topic, they would be happy to see some leadership. Giving Mr. Layton the option of striking the death blow to the government is like giving a slegdehammer to a five year old boy: you know he wants to use it, yet you doubt his ability to use it properly or effectively without causing a whole lot of other damage.
Worried about the public blame for precipitating a Christmas election? It’s all in the wording of the motion.
How about this:
“The united opposition of this minority government, which represents the majority will of the Canadian people, do declare that they have lost confidence in the government which has failed provide good and moral governance. We call for the Prime Minister to consult with the Her Excellency, the Governor General, for the immediate dissolution of Parliament and recommend that an election be held at a time that will not interfere with the Christmas season, but at a time that reflects the earliest possible date thereafter. The date of the election, as determined by the Prime Minister, should reflect the urgency of the need to allow the electorate to render judgement upon this failed government.”
Therefore, as a united opposition (spreads whatever blame may come from defeating the government), Stephen Harper will still appear decisive while putting the onus on Paul Martin not to schedule an election that will interfere with Christmas. However, it also puts the burden on Paul Martin to schedule an election at the earliest possible date.
How can the press people blame Stephen Harper for that?