Canada's Conservatives optimistic about economy-election chances
The Bank of Canada declared last week that the recession was over. It projected that the economy would grow by 1.3% in the last quarter and 3% next year. Unemployment would lag behind.
Prior to the summer recess of the Canadian Parliament, the Liberal Opposition Leader gave an ultimatum to the the governing Conservatives, which resulted in a private discussion, details of which are little known, between Michael Ignatieff and Prime Minister Harper.
The outcome of the meeting was that a bipartisan working group would be formed to work out details on how to reform the Employment Insurance program. The present system has differing qualifying periods across Canada and depending on the region required 400 to 720 hours to qualify.
As early as Friday the Conservatives declared that Ignatieffs goal of getting a uniform qualifying period of 360 hours (about nine weeks) as a non starter.
The Conservative Party is now conducting an election training seminar and seem quite confident that they can easily counter any election thoughts of the Liberal party.
The government could be defeated by a non confidence motion. The Conservatives require the support of at least one party to pass legislation.
The New Democratic Party and the BLOC Quebecois require the Liberals to bring down the government and have no intention to vote with the government.
The fall session should indeed be interesting. With announcement of the upswing of the Canadian economy the Conservatives seem confident that they will be able to counter any election trigger that may come toward them in the fall.
Buoyed by a sunny economic forecast, the federal Conservatives say they'll be ready to fight their political foes if the opposition attempts to trigger an election this fall.
Still, any national campaign in the next four months seems increasingly unlikely, given the announcement last week from the Bank of Canada's Mark Carney that the country is out of recession.
While the Conservatives appeared to be on the brink of defeat throughout the winter and spring, Carney's predictions seem to have given Stephen Harper's minority government a much-needed boost.
Indeed, much of the Liberals' momentum in the final weeks of the spring session stemmed from their ability to pin the economic downturn on Tory mismanagement.
That momentum crested in June as the Liberals pushed the government to reform the Employment Insurance program.