View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Snap Non Confidence Vote to Trigger Federal Election? – March 7, 2011

Ottawa ON – The latest rumour de jour is that the Liberals will try a snap nonconfidence motion before the Conservatives can deliver their budget. This is an interesting thought, but it is very high risk.

Such a move reflects the desperation of the Liberals to try to get back into power at any cost and it will appear to the public to be exactly what it is- a self-serving attempt that has none of the interests of the public in mind.

Most Canadians are also smart enough to know that forcing an election will also solve the Liberal’s leadership woes in the short term. Either Ignatieff will win or he will be gone. Solving the woes of the Liberal Party with an election won’t attract votes

It will be interesting to see how the Liberals explain to Canadians that they brought the government down because the Conservatives aren’t transparent enough and that the Conservative government didn’t give the opposition the information they wanted. The Liberals must have a very short memory or they are hoping Canadian voters do, because a generation of Canadian voters grew up watching a Liberal Prime Minister and his ministers avoid answering questions, it’s a way of life in politics. Lumping Bev Oda and Jason Kenney into any motion as further proof of the lack of government transparency is too inside baseball for the average voter to care about. Is the average voter more concerned about his job or what letterhead Jason Kenney used?

If the Liberals waited for the budget they would at least have something solid to attack rather than simply saying “Liberals good…Conservatives bad”. By bringing the government down before the budget, the Conservatives can still trot out a long list of positive initiatives that would have been in the budget and attack the opposition for preventing their delivery. A similar strategy used by the Liberals in 2004 was quite effective.

There is also the Canadian sense of fair play. To do this when one of your opponents is on the sidelines recovering from an operation will not be seen in a positive light.  If I was the NDP I would be playing up their attempts to get some concessions from the government and playing down Layton’s recovery speed. At least they could show Canadians that unlike the Liberals, they are in it for Canadians.

For the Conservatives what a gift this would be. It proves beyond a doubt that their attack ad line on Ignatieff “That he didn’t come back for you” is 100% correct.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

KAV ProductionsJames Moak



  1. This columnist is so Pro-Harper that I want to throw up. He merely accepts the view that Harper and Co. can break the law and that they should get away with it.

  2. Jerry – The columnist in his comfortable conservative armchair evidently can’t imagine that corruption and the abuse of power could be the real trigger for an election.

  3. The problem is that television advertising works really well on the masses. Tell heavy-duty TV watchers (most Canadians) something often enough, and they will believe it. That’s why people keep buying CLR, even though it doesn’t work worth sh!t. The Cons have a limitless advertising budget and have been using it full-tilt even though no election has been called. It’s too bad that the masses can be so easily fooled, and it’s too bad that ANY political party can flood the TV with ads outside of the election period.

  4. CLR seems to work fine for me.. lol.. but not this Con stuff..

  5. No no, desperation is refusing to answer to the real media – a hallmark of this outrageous con servative regime. Desperation is scribbling your regime name on public property for personal fundraising schemes. Desperation is twice proroguing democracy to obscure the never ending gravy train of con servative scandals. Desperation is falsely banning world-renouned British politicians to appease small cells of cash cow special interests. Desperation is waddling around the world taking credit for Canadian success that only existed because of sound Liberal regulation – something harper and his band of elite Canada-haters are ideologically opposed to. Desperation is pretending you can skate at the advice of hired foreign republican radical spinmeisters. Desperation is hiring thought police to monitor Canadian taxpayers facebook and to “hack” bulletin boards pretending to be normal Canucks with proHarper sympathies.

  6. Even the Globe and Mail is turning on Harpe’sr stupid and deceiving ways. I provide a link to a must read article by Lawrence Martin. I quote, “Just recently, four senior Conservatives (including two senators) were charged with willfully exceeding spending limits in the 2006 campaign that brought the Tories to power. The “in and out” financing scheme came at the same time that Stephen Harper was promising a new era of transparency and accountability.”

  7. Perhaps at last the chickens are coming home to roost for Harper and his gang of frauds…and not a moment too soon.

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