Harper wins temporary reprieve

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, facing the downfall of his government in a non-confidence motion, has been granted a temporary postponement by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean. Parliament has been prorogued -- that is, suspended -- until January 26th.

This gives Harper time to build public support for his minority government, hoping to force the other political leaders to step back from their threat to bring down the Conservatives. 

Meanwhile, the coalition leaders are having trouble coordinating their message -- or even getting their message out at all. Pro-separatist Bloc Quebecois leader Giles Duceppe makes unhelpful comments -- unhelpful outside of Quebec, anyway -- about how the new coalition will be a good thing for "a sovereign Quebec." New Democratic Leader Jack Layton, basking as ever in the glow of his warm self-regard, won't be long content to play second banana to the hapless Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, whose staff delivered a poor quality out-of-focus videotape of Dion's address to the nation too late to be included in the evening news broadcasts.

But if the coalition holds together and returns to Parliament in the New Year, the Tories will fall from power.