If the economy continues to sour over the summer months and the Liberals see an opportunity to force a fall election, the Prime Minister may exercise his option to prorogue the House of Commons rather than face defeat.
That option was making the rounds of the Parliament Hill rumour mill last week before the House adjourned for its week-long Victoria Day break. As the story is spun; Mr. Harper would seek prorogation from the Governor-General to avoid a vote of non-confidence in the House of Commons. A renewed Conservative mission statement would be elaborated in a late fall Speech From the Throne. As well, an economic statement would follow by winter...too late for an election to be held in 2008.
Doubtless the Liberals are salivating at Canada's worsening economic problems. The summer driving season hasn't yet begun, and gasoline prices top $1.30 a litre. Ontario is teetering on the cusp of a recession, an effect which will not only be felt nationwide, but exacerbates the threat of the Tories slipping the country back into a Federal deficit.
The much touted and frequently criticized multi-million dollar "spin facility" in Ottawa's East-end, the Conservative War Room, is churning them out at breakneck speed. Both the Parliamentary Secretary to Treasury Board, the young Pierre Polievre, and Government House Leader, Peter VanLoan, are the principle mouthpieces for much of the Party spin, and they've done a mighty fine job. As witnessed an impressive short list of their accomplishments keeping a tight lid on a plethora of otherwise unsavoury issues. To wit: The "Cadman" Affair, the "In and Out" election spending scheme, Maxime Bernier and the "biker" chick, untendered contract to friends of the Finance Minister, Newfoundland Premier Williams' frequent rants, Premier McGuinty and the "have-not" Ontarians, the medical "isotopes" fiasco at Chalk River....the list is near endless, and each of almost catastrophic implications for a minority government. Bravo!
The scorn has been heaped aplenty on the Media, the critics, and of course the opposition Liberals. Doubtless the unrelenting attacks on the Liberal Party Leader, Stephane Dion, have hit their target and damaged both his reputation and standing amongst Canadians. Just what the cost is may only be determined when Canadians are finally called to vote. For sure though, despite two and half years of Tory Government the Public Opinion polls haven't moved sufficiently to put neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals within the margin of a majority government.
It isn't that the "Blue Spin Machine" is not trying. It's jut that its success reinforces the view of many Canadians that the Conservatives are relentless political hit-men. This strategy works well from the opposite side of the House where the Conservatives sat far too long. In Government it's not the Canadian way, and its unpleasant to non-partisan observers.