I'm up at the Hill today, voting in the Press Gallery executive election, picking up mail and some books, watching Question Period and listening to many, many people -- especially Liberals -- tell me there's going to be an election this spring, perhaps the weekend after Victoria Day.
Harper hasn't been able to get the core of his legislative agenda through, it's true. On the other hand, the bills are moving through Parliament, and an election would kill a large number of criminal law bills. Still, a majority would solve that problem.
But would Harper be able to pull off a majority? Hard to say. The Tories won the last election largely because they ran such a good campaign. A divided Liberal party, taking Stephan Dion out on the road, could lose enough support for Harper to make his magic number.
Yet the Liberals are certain Harper won't be able to take seats in Ontario. They think, with the far left vote split between the NDP and the Greens, they can even pick up a few seats in Toronto and BC.
But this is also the same Liberal elite that once spoke of Canada being a one-party state, a friendly dictatorship. They believe Canadian values are Liberal values, and vice versa. Perhaps they read the Toronto Star and the Globe too much, and have faith in the CBC.
I think a spring election would be anyone's game to win, but I would put my money on Harper. The Tories have incumbency and leadership on their side, and they have a lot of cash on hand.
I prefer minority parliaments, and this one has a lot going for it. A Harper majority woluld put too much power back into the Prime Minister's hands. A Liberal majority would be a return to the drift of the Chretien years.
I don't think we should give either party a majority until they have a reason to need one. Now is not that time.