As I perused the budget speech tonight, read the highlights and skimmed the 400+ pages, it occurred to me this certainly wasn’t the budget the Conservatives hoped to be bringing in. The plan was prorogue Parliament, starve the opposition of oxygen, position Stephen Harper as Canada fan #1 in Vancouver, come back high in the polls to a rousing throne speech and populist budget with a few carefully chosen poison pills, defeat themselves and to the polls and majority nirvana.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Prorogation backfired. The parties are neck-in-neck (sorry, Ipsos). The Olympic bounce is non-existent. So no one wants an election. Not the Conservatives. Not the Liberals. Not even the NDP, who are now safely back to their reflex opposition now that the Liberals have shifted tactics. This isn’t a budget to run an election on, or against. This baseball season is saved, even if not for the Blue Jays.