January 26 has finally arrived.
On that awful day when the Governor General allowed Stephen Harper to suspend democracy to avoid a no-confidence vote, January 26 seemed so far away. Our hopes had been raised so high, thinking we'd have a new government, then crushed.
Now here we are - minus two war resisters - on January 26.
For non-Canadian readers, today is the Throne Speech, the day the Government, through the Governor General, outlines its goals and how it plans to accomplish them. Coming after the unprecedented events of last November and December, this must be the most anticipated Throne Speech in Canada in a very, very long time.
Tomorrow, Harper brings his budget to Parliament. After that, we hold our breath. Either the Government will fall and the Liberals and NDP will form a coalition government, or the Government will survive. It's theoretically possible an election will be called, but no one expects that.
Most insider-politics people believe the Harper Government will survive. And given what I know of the Liberals - that their only concern is what's good for the Liberal Party - I am inclined to agree.
Leader Michael Ignatieff probably wants more time to solidify his leadership and demonstrate himself as Opposition Leader to voters. At some point there'll be an election and Ignatieff will hope to form a government on his own terms, without a coalition. He's been able to use the idea of a coalition as a weapon, a threat, but it's unlikely he has real intentions of forming a government with the NDP.
And Harper probably has tempered his budget enough so that Ignatieff will have a plausible out. Ignatieff will be able to say he can live with it, for now.
It makes sense.
Yet still I hope.
I don't care how chastened Stephen Harper is since he got the scare of his political life last November. I don't care how many bones he's thrown the Opposition in the new budget. The economy is paramount, but it's not the only issue. I want this Government to fall for so many reasons.
Of course the future of the war resisters is foremost in my mind. Our supporters in Parliament have promised us that if there is a coalition government, the war resisters will be safe - that they will not be forgotten among the pressing economic concerns.
And although I strongly dislike Ignatieff and his right-wing values, I'll take an Ignatieff-led government tempered by an NDP coalition over this Harper Government any day.
Like tomorrow, or next week.