Michael Ignatieff just doesn?t get it. Canadians don?t want an election less than a year after the last one.
More importantly, a federal election will most certainly stall the economic recovery that our nation has just begun to experience. In fact, the markets and the Canadian dollar dropped immediately after Mr. Ignatieff held his press conference this week to announce he was determined to bring down our Conservative Government and prompt an election this fall.
Mr. Ignatieff is creating uncertainty and instability with just the threat of an election. If an actual election campaign were to take place, all federal legislative and economic business would virtually come to a halt for three months. That?s bad for the country at this fiscally-critical time and it?s bad for the pocketbooks of Canadians.
So why are the Ignatieff Liberals pushing an unwanted election on Canadians ? a pointless exercise that will cost taxpayers $350-million?
First, our Conservative Government?s Economic Action Plan is working! It?s no coincidence that the day before Mr. Ignatieff demanded an election, Statistics Canada released its figures demonstrating that Canada?s economy grew in June. This represents an important light at the end of the tunnel amidst this serious global recession. While our economy has suffered a blow, we have fared better than most nations thanks to our Government?s policies.
However, what?s good news for the nation is not good news for Mr. Ignatieff?s political aspirations. He can?t afford to wait for another set of positive economic figures to be released.
The rate of federally-stimulated economic activity taking place throughout Canada the past few months is unprecedented. Federal investments in infrastructure and business are creating new jobs and long-term opportunities for growth all across the nation.
The second reason Mr. Ignatieff wants to trigger an election now is that he?s trying to hang on to his majority in the Senate. He has been using the Liberals in the Senate to block important justice reforms passed by Canada?s duly-elected Members of Parliament. In the New Year, as more Senators retire, Mr. Ignatieff will lose his power to block the will of Canadians using the Red Chamber.
Thirdly, if he waits until 2010, Canadians may have even more reason to feel good about themselves and our country. History has demonstrated that voters are less likely to vote for change and against an incumbent government when feeling patriotic ? and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics in February will undoubtedly inflame a greater sense of patriotism and excitement across the country.
After our Conservative Government proved we are able to govern responsibly and with cooperation by becoming the longest-serving minority parliament in Canadian history, Canadians returned us to power last October with a strengthened mandate. No one in the REAL WORLD, certainly not in Prince George-Peace River wants another election campaign.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Cabinet and our MPs will not be distracted by Mr. Ignatieff?s call for an opportunistic election. We remain focussed on our number one priority: protecting Canada?s economy and continuing to implement stimulus measures that will secure hope and prosperity for Canadians.