No matter how you slice it, predictions about a fall election are ringing more true by each dispatch from Ottawa.
Prime Minister Steven Harper has publicly said he wants to go to the polls. Meetings with three opposition party leaders resulted in little common ground to prop up the minority government much longer. It appears little can stop Canadians from heading to the polls for the third time in four years.
“Stephane Dion says his plans are to defeat us as soon as we get back to the House,” said Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson. “Knowing the Prime Minister, he may not let Dion have his way.”
According to Sorenson, during the last six or seven months, it was difficult to get anything done in the House. Outside the House in committees, it was even more difficult.
“So many times the committees were doing everything they could to stall legislation to prevent it from getting through,” he said. “And then when it would clear the House, it would go to the Senate, and the Senate would stall and try to drag it on as much as they could."
“Unless there is a real will from all parties, to say, ‘listen lets sit down and make this work,’ then an election is really the only alternative,” he says.
Adam Campbell has run for the Canadian Liberal Party in the Crowfoot Constituency for the last two elections. He says they are still looking to confirm a candidate in the riding. He sees a fall election as probable. Campbell says there are a number of reasons for Harper to want to head to the polls sooner than later. These include the economy, what is happening in Afghanistan, and the political mood in North America.
“There is a significant shift to the left in the US,” he said. “If Obama wins that election, and then Harper has an election after that, you will see a significant change after that.”
He says there is a lot on the line if an election is called.
“What we are looking at is the most important election in Canadian history since I don’t know when, because you are looking at basically the break-up of Canada.”
He envisions a majority conservative government would essentially give power to the provinces, putting many programs at risk.
He has been a supporter of Dion since day one, and while he knows it is an insurmountable battle for a Liberal candidate to win in Crowfoot, he has confidence Dion will do better.
“I firmly believe he’ll be the next Prime Minister of Canada,” he said.
“There’s a fundamental choice people are going to make… we have to do something about the environment, and we have to do it now, we have to do things to help agriculture… politics is a big compromise, you have to find a common ground.”
Sorenson dismisses the debate about whether Harper is breaking his own law of bringing in fixed election dates. He says the new legislation pertains to when there is a majority government.
“We are not trying to go against the constitution with this parliament, he is saying if they have already lost confidence in this government, then we’ll have an election,” said Sorenson.