It tastes awful, but will it work?

In an election that began looking like a repeat of 2004, things are suddenly looking very different. With the Conservatives pulling further and further ahead in the polls, what seemed impossible a short time ago may be about to come to pass. A very unfortunate four word phrase seems poised to enter our vocabulary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Much was made of the notion of strategic voting in the last election. Any gains the Conservatives made were offset by Liberal gains into NDP support, with the left-centre portion of Canadians more than willing to attempt to vote strategically for anyone but Harper. This time, I just don’t see it happening. For one, there simply aren’t enough marginal votes between the NDP and the Liberals to offset this kind of shift. And if the Liberals have really become so repugnant to voters that they are willing to shift en masse to Harper’s Conservatives, surely the NDP can do a better job of hanging on to its support.

Well, perhaps it is unavoidable. The Liberals do most certainly deserve a stint on the opposition benches to get their act together. Still, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. And how much damage can they do? Let’s just hope the US doesn’t ask us to get involved in any wars over the next couple years…

Advertisements

8 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 3:20 am

    “In an election that began looking like a repeat of 2004, things are suddenly looking very different. With the Conservatives pulling further and further ahead in the polls, what seemed impossible a short time ago may be about to come to pass. A very unfortunate four word phrase seems poised to enter our vocabulary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”

    Just today I was thinking how this campaign has only recently begun to mirror that of 2004. The 2004 campaign was remarkably lacking in policy. That cannot be said about this campaign. Whether the policies presented will be contemplated in any detail by the average voter remains to be seen.

    The last few days, however, have been like deja vu all over again. The Conservatives have jumped in the polls, the attack ads are out, and people (not Harper, but others) are whispering “Harper majority.”

    I’m still hoping that I’ll never have to say those four words, and am not ready to change my prediction from Liberal minority. I don’t have enough faith in polls, in Conservatives teeth to remain locked to tongue, or in the resolve of my fellow NDP sympathizers.

  2. Gnomes said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Apparently Ekos has poll results placing the Cons in majority government territory, and are going back to the field to verify before releasing them.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20060109/CPACTUALITES02/60109024/5032/CPACTUALITES

  3. Manatee said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 4:54 pm

    I’m still not changing my prediction, but I am starting to think about how many seats the NDP will have to win to justify my not moving to Sweeden if Harper pulls out a victory.

    I heard someone say that tonights debate will have an expected audience of 5 million plus. Regardless of the TV audience, in an election seemingly this close, the media reaction to the debates will no doubt have a huge impact on this election.

  4. Manatee said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Talk about bringing out the big guns. Did I hear Martin say he would open the constitution to remove the notwithstanding clause? Is this no longer taboo?

    I don’t know that this is a move that can win a debate, or an election, but I know what everyone (political geeks) will be talking about tomorrow.

  5. Gauntlet said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Yeah, the update is that he’s going to propose a law so that the federal parliament won’t be able to use it.

    He’s taking a page from Ralph Klein’s book. Pass a law forbidding deficit budgets, despite the fact that the budget could easily overrule the law.

    Whatever.

    I need to look at these poll numbers everyone is talking about. I’m confused. Is this all from the Income Trust, or did something else go wrong for the Liberals?

  6. Manatee said,

    Monday, 9 January 2006 at 11:58 pm

    During the debate it sounded to me like PM intended to open the constitution. Of course, that entire sentence was mangled. If the plan was to draw Harper under fire tonight, it didn’t seem to work. Early fallout leads me to believe that opening the constitution is still taboo in Canada. Maybe the backroom board got that sense too, if the constitutional ammendment has become a Klein style farce.

    I never would have imagined that the income trust scandal would translate in a huge, lasting shift in the polls. But I never would have imagined that it would have been a story day, after day, after day. Election after election I say campaigns matter, and then I confidently pick the Liberals to come out on top knowing that they are teh best at winning. This go around, the Grits have simply been out campaigned.

    My last debate note of the night:
    I wish someone would tell the people who call CPAC and email Rex Murphy praising Duceppe after every English debate that they should be voting NDP!

  7. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 10:21 am

    Opening the Constitution to remove the power of the federal government to use the Notwithstanding clause wouldn’t be a big deal, I don’t think. The Constitition has been amended several times since Charlottetown failed to pass, all regarding local issues. I don’t think the provinces would have any leverage to try to start the sort of deal making we tend to think of when we hear “constitutional amendment.”

  8. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 10:28 am

    Actually, the approval of the provinces might not be required for this change, it looks to me like it would fall under a s. 44 amendment, and thus wouldn’t need the provincial approval that the General Procedure requires:

    44. Subject to sections 41 and 42, Parliament may exclusively make laws amending the Constitution of Canada in relation to the executive government of Canada or the Senate and House of Commons.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: