"Mr. Harper yesterday put the Liberals on notice that they must either accept that his government will act as though it has a majority, or be prepared to drop the government on the next budget. This only hours after Mr. Ignatieff felt obliged in year end interviews to stand down from his strategy of election mongering that had squandered so much of his credibility last year.
Either outcome would probably be satisfactory or better in the mind of the Prime Minister. An election sooner rather than later against Mr. Ignatieff, who is suffering in personal popularity assessments. If not, then the chance to lay down a comprehensive economic and deficit reduction plan that the Liberals would feel obliged to support, and presumably then a clear field on other policy agenda items.
In a different time, this move by the government would have meant that it was on the defensive today, absorbing heavy blows and losing votes.
Instead, its a warning shot to Mr. Ignatieff. He has weeks to articulate the alternative that he wants Canadians to consider, and to make a much more effective case as to why voters should want change. If he does not use these weeks to build strength, his 2010 may not be much better than his 2009."