It’s no surprise, but worth considering anyway, that a poll from Ipsos Reid finds that just 27 per cent of Canadians believe the opposition parties should vote down next week’s federal budget. Fully 40 per cent say, without knowing what will be in the budget, that it deserves to be passed. A prudent 17 per cent believe the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois should wait to read what’s in the budget before deciding. (That leaves 16 per cent with no opinion at all.) Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is slated to table his 2011 fiscal plan next Tuesday, amid fevered speculation the three opposition parties will all vote against it, felling the minority Harper government, and forcing a spring election. But just one opposition party needs to switch to the government’s side to put off the campaign to another day. While what triggers an election often seems critical at that outset, though, it’s not normally the issue that dominates the campaign debate. If not over the budget, the opposition parties could decide to force Canadians to the polls on a vote over the welter of ethics and accountability controversies now plaguing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.