Lots going on up north.
OTTAWA (Reuters)  – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a rare suspension of Parliament on Thursday, managing to avoid being ousted by opposition parties angry over the minority Conservative government’s economic plans and an attempt to cut off party financing.
Governor General Michaelle Jean — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — agreed to Harper’s request to shut down Parliament until Jan 26. Parliament was reconvened just weeks ago after the October 14 election.
Harper’s request for suspension was unprecedented. No prime minister had asked for Parliament to be suspended to avoid a confidence vote in the House of Commons.
Unprecedented, perhaps, but not at all out of line. Consider the crass opportunism which prompts the move… The whole world has economic issues. The hollow demands for a ‘recovery plan’ seem to me faux concern… anyone watching this situation knows full and well that Canada, no matter what her economic polciies, are not going to be able to pull out of this on their own. So the cries that Harper isn’t doing the right things seems to me hollow at best.
The left up there sees this not as a financial crisis, but as an opportunity to grab power back from the conservatives. Nice to see some things don’t change. Harper, up there, has been eating their lunch for the last few years, and they’re just stir crazy enough to use any opportunity… including this one… to grab power back. Apparently, the idea is to grab that power back from Harper and the conservatives before the opinion swings away from them too much, which it may have already done.
An Ekos opinion poll taken as the crisis reached its peak showed the Conservatives had shot up in popularity to 44 percent, enough to get a parliamentary majority if an election were held today, up from the 37.6 percent they received in the October 14 vote.
Liberal support dropped to 24.1 percent from 26.2 percent, the New Democrats fell to 14.5 percent from 18.2 percent and the Bloc edged down to 9.2 percent from 10.0 percent.
The poll, released late on Thursday by CBC television, covered 2,536 respondents from December 2-3 and carried a 1.9 point margin of error, 19 times out of 20.
I’d say Harper has things well in hand, for the moment. Be interesting to see after the first of the year how this plays out. My guess is his numbers will continue to rise, and the left, seeing this will back off, knowing that forcing an election now wouldn’t win them much and may end up in fact losing them seats.