Afghanistan Could Sunder Canadian Government

PM Harper aims to extend combat mission
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 8:53 AM CST
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Canada could face an early election if a political gamble by PM Stephen Harper over the country's role in Afghanistan fails, the Globe and Mail reports. Harper's Conservatives will introduce tomorrow a motion to extend Canada's presence in Afghanistan, and Harper warned an opposition leader that it will be a confidence motion—meaning defeat could spell doom for Harper's government.

There are strong divisions among the opposition Liberals: New York Times writer-turned-MP Michael Ignatieff insists Canada should stay on in Afghanistan, but Liberal leader Stéphane Dion is adamant the country should stand down. If the Liberals defeat the government over Afghanistan, the result could be unwelcome: Harper's Tories could be returned to power, this time with a majority.