Friday, March 25, 2011

Canada Gets a Spring Election: Is a Conservative Majority in Sight?

For the fourth time in seven years, Canadians will go to the polls this May. The Conservative minority government fell this afternoon in Ottawa. The National Post reports:
The Harper government has been defeated in the House of Commons on a non-confidence motion supported by the opposition, setting the stage for a federal election in early May.

The Liberal motion declared that the government is in contempt of Parliament and has lost the confidence of the Commons. The motion passed by a vote of 156 to 145. . . .

The Conservatives hold 143 of the 308 seats in the Commons. The Liberals hold 77, the Bloc Quebecois 47, and the NDP 36. There are two independent MPs, Helena Guergis and Andre Arthur. There are three vacant seats. . . .
So it begins. The Conservatives need to gain 12 seats to get a majority. Can they reasonably hope to pick up 12-15 seats?
A new poll suggests the Conservatives hold a commanding lead in public support heading into the campaign. The Conservatives command 43 per cent support among decided voters, putting them well within reach of a majority, according to an Ipsos Reid commissioned by Postmedia News and Global National. The Liberals registered 24% support, the NDP are at 16%, the Bloc at 10%, and the Green Party at 6%.
The decision of the Liberals to trigger an election at this point, given these numbers, makes no sense if their goal is to win the election outright. But if their goal is to create a coalition of losers with the Separatists holding the coalition ransom as they loot the Federal treasury and transfer even more wealth from Alberta and Ontario to Quebec than ever, then it makes perfect sense.

I predict that coalition will be the dominant issue of the election. The Liberals will refuse to deny that this is their intention and they will be made to look shifty and untrustworthy, not to mention power-hungry and desperate. All the Conservative need is to make a modest breakthrough into the northern part of Toronto and to be dominant in the 905 belt around Toronto in order to win. The next five weeks should be very interesting.

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