Thursday, June 09, 2005

June 9, 2005 Edmonton Journal Reports: Harper's Confidence Takes a Hit

Harper's confidence takes a hit
Edmonton Journal
Thursday, June 9, 2005
Page: A7
Section: News
Dateline: OTTAWA
Source: The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The man who vowed to put Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government "out of its misery" a month ago sounded far less confident Wednesday amid renewed speculation about a snap election.

From full battle cry, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has retreated to politely asking his MPs to "fulfil their parliamentary responsibilities" when it comes to next week's budget vote.

"This government can't be defeated unless people who are elected as Liberals decide to defeat it," he said Wednesday following a national caucus meeting.

The prospect of Liberals sabotaging Martin's budget because of their opposition to same-sex marriage legislation was briefly aired this week.

"There's no point in me urging people (to vote against the government) who are not in my caucus," Harper joked. "I have, some days, enough trouble urging those who are in my caucus."

With seasoned communications staff leaving for greener pastures, internal grumbling over the Gurmant Grewal debacle and a poll showing Conservative support sinking nationally, Harper has his own miseries.