With Pierre Karl Péladeau in the mix, a majority PQ government would have to seriously set its sights on holding a referendum or risk implosion.
A red Tory coup-in-the-making there may not be except in the self-serving imagination of Conservative MP Rob Anders, but cracks in the fragile foundation of Harper’s hard-earned majority there most certainly are and they are becoming harder to paper over.
As they prepare for the larger 2015 Quebec battle both Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair would be well advised to keep that in mind.
To sum up: the RCMP alleges that people placed by Harper in the government’s and the Senate’s chain of command either broke the law or took part in a cover-up designed to make a scandal go away, but leaves the prime minister himself off the hook.
Whatever the results on Nov. 25, the Liberals should not be fooled into thinking that their leader is ready to part with his training wheels just yet.
Only a saint or alternatively someone with a guilty conscience would continue to play dead as his former boss wreaks irreparable damage on his or her reputation.
It remains to be seen what Canadians will make of the NDP’s transition to a more cutthroat style especially as the party will first road test it on Liberals and not on Conservatives
From the timing of the charter’s presentation, at the earliest practical moment after the summer, to the heavy government advertising artillery that is being deployed to sell it at public cost, all signs point to a no-holds-barred effort to decisively move the needle of public opinion toward the PQ.
The elevation of an insider such as Ray Novak to the top rank of executor of the Prime Minister’s wishes will only compound Harper’s self-enforced isolation.
Most of Canada’s current government leaders rose from a grave to which they were summarily consigned by the chattering media class over their time in opposition.
The more important story of the latest CROP poll is not a still fragile Liberal revival but rather a potentially irreversible slump in PQ fortunes.
For a federal finance minister to drop off the Parliamentary radar for a full month is rare. When that month happens to immediately follow the presentation of the budget, it is unheard of.
But that does not mean the other parties can or will give up without a fight. The Liberals absolutely need a win in Labrador on May 13, but Stephen Harper could use a victory and Thomas Mulcair—whose party has never run better than a distant third in the riding—needs to fight the perception that the NDP is spinning its wheels under his leadership.
Expect that fight to get underway just as soon as the new federal Liberal leader is in place later this month, and don’t expect either party to take prisoners.
Since he has gained control of both Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper no longer bothers to pretend that the environment in general and climate change in particular is a major preoccupation, let alone a priority of his government.