Now, I'm not usually the type of dwell on these types of thoughts and speculations; mainly because there's no strong proof one way or the other that will substantiate the debate. But, it's something that has been on my mind, and was recently discussed (briefly) in the main stream media, so I'll take the time to explore it here and provide my thoughts.
The issue was brought up on Powers & Politics on the CBC, by commentator Scott Reid. During a discussion on the Auditor General's report, Reid was quick to point out that Canadians will likely not get to see the report before the election. He also pointed out how this may have been planned by the sitting government.
Allow me to explain.
Reid suggested that the Harper Government, who apparently has people in the PMO and PCO who have seen the final report, orchestrated the means for the government to fall before the report would be released because of damning information against them.
Reid was also quick to point out that Paul Martin faced a similar situation when news of the Sponsorship Scandal was about to break, but he allowed the report to be released before calling an election as opposed to squashing it by calling an early one.
Now, what are the strengths in Reid's argument?
Clearly, the fact that the PMO and PCO have seen the report is blow number one in favour of such a theory. Secondly, though unrelated, this election has also cast doubt on whether documents related to the treatment of Afghan detainees will be released. Both of these issues are expected to reflect badly on the Harper Government, though there is a chance they won't, and undoubtedly Harper knew his odds of re-election would be slim to none after both of these were released.
Given that he knew the dates for the release, it would be in his favour to call an election before the release in hopes of securing a majority government to less the impact the fallout would have on him, his ministers, and his government.
But of course, Harper couldn't dissolve Parliament himself, not if he wanted to blame the opposition for the election. So, his finance minister created a budget that they knew was doomed to fail.
But that brings us to the problem of this theory.
This theory relies on the idea that Harper intentionally brought down his own government, but the fact of the matter is the government was brought down over the matter of contempt, not the budget.
However, one can argue that the budget was likely doomed to failure anyways and that even without the vote of contempt the government would have fallen anyways before the April release dates of the report and the detainee files.
That leaves us with the question: Did Harper mean to bring his own government down before these documents were released?
There is support for this idea, but the proof is mostly circumstantial and they said - we said arguments.
But it is a question that Canadians need to consider, and it cuts to the fundamental question of trust that is playing a role in this campaign. The bottom line is, the fact that we can even suppose Stephen Harper meant to bring down his own government speaks to the fact that Canadians cannot trust Stephen Harper.
And someone we can't trust, shouldn't be given the privilege to form any government, especially a majority one.