Governor General Michaelle Jean will deliver the Conservative Party's throne speech tonight. There can be up to six days of debate on the throne speech, during which time the government will face up to three confidence votes. Not surprisingly, speculation abounds as to whether or not we are headed to the polls.
The throne speech is expected to describe the Kyoto targets as irrelevant and unattainable. Tax cuts are also expected to be introduced, though it is unclear what type. While the Bloc and the NDP are sure to oppose the throne speech, it is uncertain whether the Liberals will support it and embarrass themselves, or oppose it and trigger an election they are not ready for. Typically, the Official Opposition is supposed to oppose the throne speech. However, the Liberals know they cannot afford or win another election. It would be against Liberal pragmatism to force themselves into such a bad situation; they would assuredly be the biggest losers in another election.
Dion is unelectable. Harper is nearing majority territory. As I see it, this is a win-win situation for Harper and the Conservatives. If the throne speech passes and the Conservatives are given a new mandate to govern, then that can only be a good thing for both them and the Canadian population. If the throne speech fails, then they really have no opposition and could find themselves with a majority government.
As an aside, if anything can be said of Harper, it is that he must be one of the most astute Prime Ministers this country has ever had. His Conservative government is a perfect example of how a minority government can be made to work. There just needs to be someone of strong temperament at the helm.