It's all coming together for Paul Martin. This guy is a cunning genius, and all his dithering just masks it. I just don't get how he gets other people to do his dirty work.
Take this article from the Hill Times (Grits pushing for spring 2006 vote):
Liberal MPs are urging Prime Minister Paul Martin to push off election date until the spring, possibly as late as May 2006. Liberal MPs say they don't want to go to the polls next February and are urging Prime Minister Paul Martin not to call an election 30 days after Justice John Gomery releases his final report expected in mid-December, as the PM promised, and are instead pushing for a spring election next year when the hazards of sleet and snow would not be a factor out on the hustings.Now, Mr. Martin has said that he would call the election 30 days after Gomery, and he says he's going to stick to that (same article):
"What I was saying was that, no, I made a pledge and I'm going to maintain that commitment. What I was saying was that a number of our Members of Parliament, I suspect, as they're going into an election when the snow and the sleet are going to wish that they had been into an election in May."Poor speaking skills aside, a February election would be something kind of rotten, but not unfathomable. I think the idea that we're going to see seniors and those in rural centres unable to vote a little wishful thinking on the part of those Liberal MPs - seniors and rural Canadians tend to support parties that aren't the Liberals (Alberta, northern Ontario, Quebec sans Montreal, etc.).
Plus, I think those Liberal MPs urging PMPM to delay the election call read this (Liberals hit funding wall) hinting that average Canadians support the Conservatives more than the Liberals:
The federal Liberals have turned out to be the biggest losers under new party financing rules designed to curb the political influence of major corporations and other wealthy donors.And, I think they've read this (Stephen Harper gets poll-axed ... While Martin and Layton get a free ride).
Figures released Monday by Elections Canada show the Grits raised $5.2 million from private-sector sources in 2004 - less than half the $10.9 million raked in by the rival Conservatives.
I think Mr. Martin is going to delay the election call, much to the boos of opposition politicians because in all likelihood, he'll be returned to Parliament in a minority (if current poll figures hold - identical to last June).
He'll make some claim that parliament must be given a chance to work, that February is unfair to seniors and rural Canadians in the grips of winter's cold.
If only he had some recent Supreme Court ruling to run as an election issue that he could hope to use. Something that would differentiate him from the Bloc, the NDP, and the Conservative Party. If only ... Mmm ... if only ... (Quebec asks Supreme Court for 18-month delay in health-care ruling):
The Conservatives need to make sure Canada knows they support public health care and alternative delivery mechanisms as requested by several provinces. They need to do that now. Right now. Not in February. Now. Go. Now.
The government of Quebec has asked the Supreme Court of Canada for an 18-month stay of its judgment striking down a ban on private medical insurance.
Quebec said in a brief presented to the top court on Monday that the delay is needed to ensure stability in the supply and organization of health services in the province.
The high court ruled last month that Quebecers' rights, as guaranteed under the provincial charter of rights, are being violated by long waiting times in the public system.
If the high court grants the 18-month suspension, the debate over two-tier health care in Canada will be carried over into the next federal election.
Conservative Policy on Health
i) The Conservative Party believes all Canadians should have reasonable access to timely, quality health care services, regardless of their ability to pay.This is exactly the Supreme Court ruling against Quebec.
ii) The provinces and territories should have maximum flexibility to ensure the delivery of medically necessary health services within a universal, public health care system. The Conservative Party supports adding a sixth principle to the Canada Health Act to provide stable and transparent federal funding. We will work with the provinces in a co-operative and constructive manner.Whew. Let me know what you think.
iii) Flexibility for the provinces and territories in the implementation of health services should include a balance of public and private delivery options. This approach would ensure that health services remain publicly funded, while services are provided through the most appropriate public or private provider based on quality and cost.
iv) We will work with the provinces and territories in the development of national quality indicators and objectives.