I'm far from shocked by this revelation. When you sit down and look at it, the February proposal makes no sense for the Liberals. With Gomery II due to release in early February, the Layton proposal guarantees that voters are going to the polls at a time when they are maximally irritated about having the scab peeled once more. Martin isn't that stupid.
As the response to the first Gomery report has made clear, it's got a shelf life of a little over a week - maybe. After that, the public as a whole will be looking for something else.
Of course Stephen Harper has to say something, and as usual it's about as dense as the rock that makes up the Canadian Shield:
"What the prime minister doesn't seem to face is the election is either going to occur now or it's going to occur in January," said Harper. "We're not going to wait another four months."
Think about this Harper:
Force an election for Christmas, and the public is not going to be happy having their Christmas celebrations interrupted by the idiot rantings of politicians crying in the snow bound wilderness.
Force an election in January, and the public will quite rightly slap you silly for dragging them to the polls a couple of months early. (What, couldn't you wait for that report?)
In both cases, the opposition parties will be the "bad guys" that triggered the election. Do you really think that Canadians are _that_ eager for another election? Martin's already promised one 30 days after Gomery II is delivered. Forcing an early election is not to the opposition's advantage. (And if the slavering moronity I'm seeing in the "Conservative Blogosphere" is any indication, Harper's going to need a lot of "nice white I love me jackets" to keep the nut-cases in his party quiet during an election) Of course, Klein could stump for Harper - between the two of them, they are the best people the Liberal party has working for them.
Update - 15:10 14/11/05
While the Conservatives are going to play the "Corrupt Liberal Party" card incessantly throughout the coming weeks - and any election campaign, don't be too surprised if the now notorious Grewal Tapes (and the oh-so-talentless editing thereof) resurface. Yes, the Liberals are corrupt - we even have some idea how corrupt. Now, the Conservatives...well just how "honest" are they really? Doubt is a very strong card for the Liberals to play, and I expect that it will get played for all it's worth in a coming election - especially if Martin's advisors are on their game.