With the resignation of Denis Coderre as the Liberal party lieutenant for Quebec comes evidence of Liberal infighting, vulnerability and unpreparedness for an election campaign. Quebec was the battleground on which the Liberals thought they could make the most headway. An election campaign, when it comes, will have as one of its major goals to reach out to the Quebecker. Do the Liberals look ready to do this?
The answer is unclear, but it certainly leans more to the negative end of the spectrum than it did a month ago. Compounded with sagging Liberal support and a corresponding Conservative uptick, it looks unlikely that the Liberals are sanguine regarding an election in the near future. In a month or so, yes, but not now.
Instead, Conservatives may now find themselves looking to bring down their own government. The only problem they now have is how to alienate the NDP, which is holding on for dear life to their EI lifeline connecting them to the Conservative ship. The simplest solution? Say the NDP wants too much that would put too much of a strain on an economy that has recently shown signs of resuscitation.
Which leads us to the NDP. They still, even in light of Liberal infighting, cannot afford an election, at least based on their polling results. However, neither can they afford to prop up a Conservative government if it chooses to abandon its EI schemes, or at least significantly neutralize them. This would betray all they stand for.
Meaning that they are in the company of the highly unpredictable and volatile, along with the BQ. Though the BQ is not polling well and away ahead of the Liberals, Duceppe has expressed sentiments indicating that he would vote no confidence in the current government on a no confidence motion.
If we take the BQ at face value they will vote against the Conservatives. The problem now is, how to corner the NDP into forcing an election soon enough to profit from the disorganization caused by Coderre's resignation. There is a very slight window of opportunity here for Harper if he wants an election, but he'll have to push awfully hard to pry it open.
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