-THAT COALITION THING: At the end of the day, Governor-General David Johnston will be hard-pressed to decline an opposition offer to form a two (or three) party coalition government if, as polls steadfastly suggest, another Conservative minority is elected on May second. In the early going, though the motive to take away as many seats as possible from the NDP and Bloc is strategic; Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is wrong to categorically rule-out a coalition. To their disadvantage, this issue is not going away, and will continue to haunt the Liberals right through the election campaign.
-A REFERENDUM ON LEADERSHIP: The election is an unprecedented fourth attempt by any Canadian national party leader to secure a majority number of seats in the House of Commons. It's testimony to Stephen Harper's tenacious iron-grip on his leadership of the Conservatives that he's still around considering just how we've gotten where we are: Though it can't be argued that Mr. Harper forced the first election as leader of the Reform/Alliance back in 2004...in 2005 it was Mr. Harper's own motion of non-confidence that upended the Paul Martin government, and in 2008 it was he who asked the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament on the eve of the "Great Recession", describing The House as dysfunctional. In this fourth go around Mr. Harper is the centrepiece of the campaign. - Winner to be declared by whichever of the main parties presents the most credible version of the "real" Stephen Harper.
- IT'S NOT A POLITICAL GAME: When his government collapsed on Friday last, Mr. Harper lamented from the foyer of the House of Commons that Canada's economy is not a political game. Of course he's right. That's why the Conservative strategy to paint themselves as guardian of Canada's economic strength will fail. Where it matters, in the world's economic markets - New York, London, Tokyo, Beijing...Hell! even in Toronto; global investors have far weightier issues on their minds than the outcome of yet another election in Canada. Three days into the campaign, Moody's Investors Services is already telling its significant players that any new budget, Conservative or Liberal, introduced after the election will continue to embrace the (national)..."consensus on the desirability of debt reduction." - Mr. Harper's Government in fact may be playing loose with some of it's own economic facts: Canada is NOT leading the global economic recovery. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says we're 10th amongst it's 17 member nations in 2010; and (to be fair) expected to move up to ninth by this year's end. Matter of fact, Australia and Sweden are at the top of the list.
As the saying (repeated ad nausea) goes - "In politics a week is an eternity" - Stay tuned?