In the past, Canadian Opposition leaders Jack Layton, Stephane Dion, and Gilles Duceppe rarely agreed on any issue other than Stephan Harper is all their political enemy. On the chance Harper was arrogant enough to govern like he had a majority government; omitting any one of the Opposition party Leaders from working together to pass anything in the House of Commons, the three Opposition Leaders would force a no-confidence vote to bring down their common enemy. Such is commonplace in parliamentary politics when a minority government is in power.
Within less than two months of a general federal election, the three caballeros got their opportunity; but being so close to the last election it was doubtful the end result would be different than the status quo. Voila! the Coalition.. and the political mess we are witnessing today.
Instead on facing a no-confidence vote intended to be today, Harper opted to delay the calling of the House until the end of January in hopes the Coalition of Opposition parties may not even last that long to displace his tenure. and, so far,the prorogation of Parliament by the Governor General on Harper's advice seems to be quite the astute strategy for his minority government to stay in power.
Today, Stephane Dion announced his plans to step aside as Liberal Party leader effective immediately after a successor is chosen. The Liberals hope to have a new leader before Parliament resumes in January; a wise scheme by the Liberal party if the Tories do get toppled upon their new budget proposal and the Governor General opts for an election. Rumors have it the Liberal Caucus is about to install leadership hopeful Michael Ignatieff as interim leader when leadership candidate Dominic Leblanc proclaimed he would drop out and throw his support behind Ignatieff. "Still in the race" fellow candidate MP Bob Rae, joined by support from Gerard Kennedy, sent email en mass to party members urging disapproval to allow caucus to select the Party leader as it would put an "unfair advantage" for the interim leader.
How is it possible for a coalition of Opponents and rivals expected to succeed and win over public support if members of one party, one caucus cannot even agree upon how its leader is to be chosen??? Surely this in-fighting among the Liberals will have its ramifications in the eyes of the public and in the polls.
Harper is indeed quite the political tactician: the Grits' internal struggles reminiscent of the John Turner days are back... and Harper knows it.