Please spare us Christmas election

With NDP leader Jack Layton’s pronouncement Monday that his party no longer will support Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government, the buzz now emanating from Ottawa is whether Canadians will face a Christmas election campaign for the first time in a quarter-century.
Let’s hope not.
The only thing that forcing an election now will accomplish is to alienate voters even more, resulting in a dismal turnout at the polls or, worse, ballots being cast by people not really knowing—or caring—about the serious issues facing our country.
It’s clear the three main opposition parties are reluctant to “pull the trigger,” so to speak. Sure, they talk the talk, but when push comes to shove, none of them want to be blamed for causing a Christmas campaign—and suffer the subsequent voter wrath come election day.
Besides, one really has to question what difference a month or two will make. The prime minister already has promised to call an election within 30 days of the second—and final—Gomery report, which is expected to be issued sometime in February.
So why the sudden rush now? Is the opposition that afraid Liberal support, which already has stabilized after an initial drop in the wake of Justice Gomery’s first report last week, will have galvanized even more by the time February rolls around?
As well, surely the Conservatives and NDP realize the Bloc Quebecois will remain firmly entrenched in Quebec whether the government falls next week or next month, or the election call is held off until February. As such, it’s virtually impossible for any of the other parties to win a majority, meaning the next election simply will result in another minority government—and likely another trip to the polls in six-nine months.
Again, why can’t that wait until February?
Look, voters will have an opportunity soon enough to pass judgment on the governing Liberals. Forcing an election that sends Canadians to the polls over the Christmas holidays certainly won’t serve any real purpose.