As far as Jack Layton is concerned, we’re having an election and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. “It seems to me,” the NDP leader told the Toronto Star, “that Mr. Harper has already decided and that he’s gung-ho about going out into the schoolyard and having a rumble with Mr. Ignatieff.” Layton’s fellow non-official opposition leader, the Bloc’s Gilles Duceppe, concurs. “I’ve acquired over the past few days in touring Quebec the firm conviction that, barring a major change, there will be an election.” Despite Duceppe and Layton’s contention that Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff are itching for a fight, the PM’s spokesman, Dmitri Soudas, insists that isn’t case. “An election right now,” he says, “would be detrimental to the Canadian economy and to the recovery that we are starting to see.” Of course, an election is not, in fact, inevitable. Either of the three leaders could easily figure a way out of the showdown—after all, Ignatieff needs both the Bloc and the NDP to bring down the government. But for now at least, it appears they’d rather be out in Layton’s proverbial schoolyard yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!” while professing their aversion to violence.