Pundits, pollsters and politicians of all stripes are knocking themselves out trying to determine when the next federal election will be held. However, short of a no-confidence vote, that decision rests with Stephen Harper who apparently is exploring the following options:
As with any major decision, the Conservatives are spending tons of money on consultants’ reports to help the Prime Minister decide. But, perhaps not surprisingly, the recommendations are all over the electoral map. At last report, the Tories have engaged the services of former Ontario Premier David Peterson and will do the exact opposite of whatever Mr. Peterson recommends.
Conservative Party insiders have engaged all manner of seers and soothsayers to predict a favorable election date. The various fortune tellers have apparently tried reading everything from tea leaves to tarot cards with no conclusive answer to date. There are, however, high hopes for the upcoming reading of the entrails of an Alberta beef cow that succumbed to BSE.
The Prime Minister’s Office recently commissioned a top-secret reading for Mr. Harper from Nancy Reagan’s former astrologer, Joan Quigley. Born on April 30, 1959, the Prime Minister is a Taurus with his Moon in the Commons House. No word on any preferred election date although one item from the reading was leaked to the press: It seems that Mr. Harper’s most dominant planet is Saturn, unlike his pal George W. Bush, who when he asked for his major planetary influence was told: "Uranus."
A known fan of high-tech gizmos, Stephen Harper has reportedly purchased the latest in election-calling software: the Electionometer. By feeding in all relevant data such as the current polling numbers, the number of seats held, the unemployment rate, the TSE closing numbers and the long-term weather forecast, the Electionometer will not only give a thumbs up or thumbs down on an election call, it will even suggest the optimal date. Unfortunately, the software was created before the recent Québec election and is currently being revised to allow for the entry of a double-digit seat count for the ADQ.
The Stéphane Index
Word has it that one young Conservative Party worker has been permanently assigned to follow Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion. The minute Mr. Dion’s frown falls below a specified angle or he’s forced to deny involvement in the Sponsorship Scandal or he gets another Prince Valiant haircut, Mr. Harper will be notified. If the worker sees the perfect Liberal storm and all three occur at the same time, the election will be called immediately.
Royal Canadian Mint
Rumor has it that Mr. Harper has ordered the production of a special "election loonie" to help him decide whether or not to pull the plug on the current Parliament. Inside sources say that the obverse of the coin bears the likeness of Brian Mulroney and the reverse the face of Joe Clark. No word yet on what either side of the coin means for an election call.