Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The game's afoot

Harper appears ready to drop a glove... er, a writ to get his way over the Afghanistan mission.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned Liberal Leader Stephane Dion that the Conservative government is prepared to go to the electorate as early as next week to seek a mandate to extend the military mission in Afghanistan, CTV News has learned.

Harper met Dion for 25 minutes in his Centre Block office on Tuesday to discuss the Manley panel recommendations on Afghanistan.


Sources say Harper told the Liberal leader the government will give notice on Thursday to present a confidence motion on extending the military mission in Afghanistan. That motion could be debated and possibly voted on as early as next week.

The government could fall if the Liberals do not support it, since the NDP and Bloc Quebecois are against Canada's extension of the NATO mission.

If Harper is so adamant that the extension of the Afghanistan mission, in its present form, is something that should be debated now, then one has to ask if he already has the 1000 additional troops in his pocket. Or is this another Harper "emergency" being played from the hypothetical?

It may be that he's counting on a fractured Liberal caucus. That may not work either since Dion has made it bluntly clear that if there is a vote it will be whipped. There will be no dissenters this time.

And this isn't the first time Harper has played the "confidence vote" game. Last year it was every issue down to conservative toe-nail trimming.

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