Electioneering and the Upcoming Media War on the Opposition
Speculation has it that Stephen Harper with have tea with Guv’na tomorrow (interrupting everyone’s long weekend) pleading for an election.
My basic prediction is that Slippery Steve has a card up his sleeve and we will find out tomorrow what it is.
Until then, let me share my theory as to what it is. I think he will call an early election, with a date that will likely fall shortly after Labour Day weekend.
First, think of the context. It will be yet another twist in the endless media war that Stephen Harper is waging against Canadians and their non-Conservative, political parties.
Prone to cheesy tactics, breaking the rules, cheating, lying, stealing democratic rights and various other Machiavellian schemes that would make the Prince proud, but this time, even the UN is watching him and we can expect international inspection as the date approaches.
As I say, I believe that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will request that the writ be dropped tomorrow, but that they will also stick to the ‘standard’ election time-frame of 30-35 days.
I believe that he will use the following arguments for breaking his own rule concerning a fixed election date:
- It will save money. Right now, an 11-week campaign is projected to cost Canadians an extra $125 million (minimum). Not the ‘sound financial management’ that Steve repeatedly promises.
- They would like to ‘respect tradition’ and would like to ensure that the election is not the longest in Canadian history.
- An earlier election eliminates any possibility of ‘confusion’ concerning third-party attack ads that are crushing Stephen Harper in the polls.
- He wants to avoid the accusation of draining the coffers of opposition parties ‘unfairly’, masking what I believe to be the real truth: the Conservatives don’t have as much money as everyone thinks.
Being the cynic and despot that he is, he’ll call an election just after Labour Day because no one will be around or they’re dropping off kids for first day of school.
It might even play into the hands of pissed off parents who could potentially be in the middle of a teacher’s strike in Ontario in September. The Liberals AND NDP will not look good if this happens, resulting in advantage Steve.
It’ll help him avoid a new wave of questioning with the Senate scandal, dodging tricky questions about Nigel Wright, Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and others that would otherwise stall the Conservative campaign.
Finally – and most importantly in my view – Stephen Harper will act on long cooked plans to screw the opposition in the upcoming media war. Yes, I said Steve may be the only one who knows the actual date, but it’s likely that his media buyers have been aware of the actual date for some time, booking TV, print, radio and magazine ads in the middle of summer … when no one else is buying them.
Cheap, available, prime spots. Nothing the opposition will get.
All of the other parties – thinking the ‘fixed’ election date was genuine – would have walked into contracts securing media for the latter half of September and October, but guess what? They’ve bought nothing because they’ll have missed the election date by more than a month.
The outcry will be deafening, but there will be nothing Canadians can do.
Steve will have stolen the election. Again.