February 24, 2011
Kamloops MP Cathy McLeod insists the Conservatives don’t want an election, and would in fact like to hang in there to pass the budget that will likely be presented to Parliament March 22.
If the budget fails, an election would likely take place in early May.
I tend to believe the Tories would like to avoid an election, if only because the polls continue to show them unable to muster enough votes to gain a majority. While surveys typically show the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals, their lead is never wide enough to be decisive. Canadians seem to be content, for whatever reason, with a government that’s constantly having to watch its back.
Even so, the appearance of election preparations is unmistakable — just have a look at the blitz going on right now with the Economic Action Plan. Tory ministers, senators and MPs have fanned out across the country to preside over some 80 events publicizing the stimulus program.
With the deadline for completing projects coming at the end of March, it’s no secret that the Conservatives want to showcase their accomplishments. But let’s not be hasty in concluding that this a pre-election campaign being paid for by taxpayers. The real agenda may be more subtle.
The Tories have consistently portrayed themselves as being the party best suited to guide Canada through troubled economic times. Banging the drum for the stimulus program serves that end. The more likely we are to believe this message, the more likely we are to want to stay the course.
And that means no election at all.