Paul Wells writes about the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for calling an early election:
This is a delicate business because Harper campaigned on a promise of fixed election dates. He passed a law setting a fixed election date — Oct. 29, 2009. That’s a nice date, isn’t it? Specific. Concrete. Fixed. In Victoria during the last campaign, he said fixed election dates “prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage.” He said they “stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar.”
When the bill was passed, the Government House leader, Peter Van Loan, celebrated: “Never again will the government of the day be able to play around with the date of an election for its own crass political motives.”
Now here’s the Prime Minister, and what’s he doing? Manipulating the calendar! Why’s he doing it? For short-term political advantage!
Whose motives was the government pursuing? Its own! And what kind of motives are they? Crass!
But it’s not as though there’s a law against that.
But the story doesn’t stop there. It gets unnecessarily complicated.
You should read the column to get the whole story, but I’ll sum up for the lazy. While explaining why their fixed-dates law doesn’t actually count, the Conservatives tangentially defended one of their bills from Liberal accusations that it is an “abortion bill.” Then they point to a Liberal bill and accuse it of being an abortion bill.
One business day later, the Conservative Justice Minister announces that their bill is out and promises a new bill which is basically a duplicate of the Liberal bill. The one they called an abortion bill.
I think Stephen Harper was out in the sun too long this summer.
Now watch this clip from The Office and remember that David Brent is only a character on television, so it is OK to laugh. It is not OK to laugh at the government. (You should cry.)