Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Federal Election or Not?

The Conservatives have spent the past two weeks subtly signalling in most ways that we should not expect an election. There is one conspicuous exception: they need to repass the Fixed Election Dates Bill because the Senate made some minor amendments. The opposition says it is willing to speed it through but there is no sign of the legislation. It means the government is keeping its options open. The last few polls report relatively modest Conservative leads, not nearly enough for a majority. So the Ottawa zeitgeist is now saying no election this spring.

In more pre-election skirmishing, the Liberals have produced an effective ad, one, however, that responds to the Conservative commercials attacking Dion as a weak leader. It does so effectively but clearly the Liberals felt a need to respond, which means the Tory ads must have had some impact.

If Harper wants an election he must get one going within two weeks. After that he risks running into a June heatwave, not the sort of thing you want if climate change is going to be a major campaign issue. So we will know one way or another quite soon.

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