It's old news now (and apparently removed from their site), since the Prime Minister's Office issued the official press release for the election being called tomorrow
, but this morning's headline in the Ottawa Citizen
was "Liberals Weigh Delaying Election."
It was mostly idle speculation anyway. There's been too much momentum building up in the past few weeks to just go and get thing over with; if it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly, and all that. But even the suggestion thereof, even the speculation about the possibility, is representative of what infuriates me so in the Westminster parliamentary model. "Whoops, sorry, guys - our provincial party in the most populous province went and screwed up with a budget so egregious as to be illegal
. Um, can we put off the election until this all blows over?"
It's not even as though fixed election dates are incompatible with the Canadian parliamentary model; the Liberal Party in BC
certainly managed to push it through under Premier Gordon "Make that Mai Tai to go"
Campbell. However, the federal Liberals know all too well that their overlong stay in power has only been from judicious choice of election dates, and rejected a similar
scheme last month.
Moreover, it also has to involve the Governor-General; as the Queen's official representative, only she can actually drop the writ of election. So, to recap: Election called whenever the party in power feels like it? Check. Superfluous involvement of an aging literati doyenne in the process? Check. Political paralysis in the meantime, while everyone holds their breath waiting for the call? Check.
Is it any wonder I prefer the eight-month campaign of American elections? If nothing else, at least they have a fixed timetable...