The Conservative Government spent the past week laying out election triggers for the Liberals. They moved ahead with confidence motion designed to embarrass the Liberals, to put pressure on the senate to pass the government crime bill. They put forth a proposal for extending the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. This is a defining issue that the Liberals would rather not be the centre of an election campaign. The budget will also be released at the end of the month. The Liberals have been waiting for this opportunity to topple the government.
Polls are still showing that Canadians would prefer not to have an election. They are also showing lots of electoral volatility without any party having a clear shot at a majority government. There are also (4) by elections in March that could be insightful to how election ready the Liberals really are.
The Conservatives may feel that this is their best shot so they need to go for it despite the risk. They may also feel that their is going to be an election anyway so they might as well set-up Dion with as many stumbling blocks as possible form which to choose to topple the government. There is a very fine line drawn in the sand between the two parties positions in Afghanistan. The Conservatives will probably make the next budget difficult for the Liberals to object to.
The political games of the next few weeks will be desigened to focus an election on Afghanistan, being tough on crime & the goodies offered in the budget. Dion could have a tough time establishing his own set of priorities as the important election issues.