While I was never overly fond of Stephen Harper’s brand of Canadian conservatism, I was reasonably comfortable with him leading a minority government. I might have preferred, though, a Liberal minority. I supported Stéphane Dion’s coalition idea, and I was appalled by the way the Conservatives delayed, and eventually avoided, the confidence vote.
None of this seems to matter anymore. Ignatieff, who was expected to bring charisma where Dion supposedly had none, not only failed to do so, he seems hell bent on leading his party into ritual suicide. Take this harmonized sales tax business in Ontario and BC. While it may be the technically sensible thing to do (indeed, that’s the way the sales tax should have been done, would have been done back when the GST was introduced were it not for provincial opposition to the idea), many argue that it’s precisely the wrong thing to do at the time of a recession, especially as the provinces are unwilling to lower the provincial rate at the same time, which means that harmonization will turn into a sizable tax grab. But even if none of that is true, the HST is quite unpopular… and now Ignatieff’s federal Liberals are supporting it.
If I were Stephen Harper, I’d engineer an election in the near future. I think a majority Conservative government is all but guaranteed this time.