Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Will Mike Duffy Call the Next Election?
Sure, it sounds far fetched, but the opposition parties had better be prepared for Harper to call a snap election.
Word I'm getting from Ottawa is that the evidence in the Duffy trial will directly implicate the prime minister in the under-the-table payment/bribery scheme. If that happens, Stephen Harper's political career is essentially over.
Duffy is pushing for an early trial date, the sooner the better. Given his circumstances - the cost, two open-heart surgeries, stress - he's apt to get a receptive response from the court.
From Harper's perspective the Duffy trial is a matter of optics and, for SJH, none of the possibilities is good, not good at all. Harper is already damaged goods and, even if he escapes efforts to compel him to testify, what remains of his reputation will become a political pinata in the course of the trial.
The question becomes how badly does Harper want another term as prime minister? His odds aren't good in any event but he's still got a shot, perhaps a minority at best, if he can trigger an election before the trial gets underway.
My take on it is that Harper will do a Mulroney. He'll see the writing on the wall and bail out, leaving his successor to go up in flames.
I am left wondering whether these side pressures played a role in Harper's decision to ink the FIPA deal with his kindred spirits, the politburo in Beijing. He's done his damage. Why hang around to take the heat for the fallout?