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End of The Road: No Time To Be Lulled Into a False Sense of Security and Stevie Can Still Get His Majority

We have no arrived at the end of the road of  election 41 campaign. We have been polled, tweeted,  newsed, etc.   Before I go on, I would like to review all the party’s campaigns briefly.

Maybe there is something to be said for peek-a-boo campaigns? Jane Taber was certainly very complimentary of them today on Question Period as she attempted to hammer Iggy.  It was really a Gravol moment watching Jane go all ga ga giddy for her oh so dreamy Steve. What is it about him Jane? The hair that doesn’t move, even in the windiest day?

The Harpercons:

By far the strangest and nastiest campaign any party can run, here in Canada anyway.  Ballot question? A nice cuddly stable majority government led by Daddy Steve knows best or a reckless evul coalition led by the Liberals, propped up by the ‘separatists’ and the ‘soshalists’.

Media, who, for the most part, known for brown nosing Stevie to the end when they endorse him in their papers, get no thanks for their troubles. They’re kept  behind fences. Some are banned.  Those ‘lucky’ enough to be allowed to hang around, limited to 5 to 3 to 2 questions, depending how chatty Stevie was feeling, which wasn’t often enough.

Students, veterans’ advocates, and others perceived to be dissenters tossed from their rallies.

Candidates not accessible to media or anyone else for that matter. Incognito for candidates’ debates in a lot of cases.

Stevie’s leader debate?  Well, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he was obviously stoned on some kind of mood enhancers. He was fixated on the camera,  almost never really acknowledging any of his opponents, even when addressing them or being addressed by them. He stuck to his script.   In French, he faltered more. Though, many argue he won the debate simply because no one could throw that knock-out punch; that punch to throw him off his script which would’ve been key to beating him.

Now, Stevie has stepped away, somewhat, from his base to appeal to the ‘Blue Grits’ or Business Liberals as the more right of center Liberals are known.  Basically, he has been scaring them into voting for him or else economic disaster will loom with a potential NDP government. Too little too late? I dont’ think so.   I think many of those “Blue grits” were contemplating voting Harpercon when the “orange crush” began, particularly in ridings where the contest is a close two way race between Harpercons and NDP; where the Liberals aren’t a factor. However, in a riding like Montreal’s Westmount-Ville-Marie where it’s too close to call right now, blue Liberals of Westmount who used to vote Liberal, switching their votes to Conservative will split the vote helping the NDP come up the middle.

Other than that, Steve really ran his campaign from a cuckoon.

All in all, an abysmal campaign, or so anyone observing would think. The polls never reflected this, though, keeping him always within majority territory and far ahead of the second place Liberals until the NDP polling surge came about. That NDP polling surge, however, is another story altogether, which I will get to later.  Polling numbers still keep Steve way ahead in Ontario,  where it is seat rich, and tends to be more right of center than the other battleground province, Quebec. So perhaps voters think Stevie ran a marvelous campaign.  Low-risk is in. Prudent, just like the slogan of “Stable majority government”.

The Liberals

Steve V or one of his commenters probably described it best: “The worst best campaign”.  I can’t find a better way to describe it, really.  Iggy really did prove to be a great campaigner.  His events yielded great turn-outs, he answered questions from the media and from Canadians, and those who had been in attendance of Liberal events have all said that Iggy was engaging, bright, concerned.  Other than that hockey game in Mississauga with Hazel McCallion, Iggy was well received at all his events.

They had had the volunteers on the ground and fund raising was never better.

Iggy even had a pretty good appearance on “Tout Le Monde en Parle”, all things considered.  Guy A Lepage never struck me as a host that is friendly to Liberals of any stripe and yes, would still hold that ADSCAM grudge.   He certainly impressed Quebecois icon, Dominique Michel, who endorsed him on the show.

So what went wrong?   Stevie, with help from his right slanted media, pundits and yes, some pollsters defined Iggy and folks bought it hook line and sinker. It is simply much easier to hate.  An example would be when one of an aquaintance told me they couldn’t stand Iggy. I asked him why.  He simply said because the newspaper people always painted him in a negative light.  I suggested that he go to an event when he’s in town to judge for himself, that it would be a whole different perspective and it costs nothing.  And what did he have to lose? He said he didn’t wish to attend, that he was ‘satisfied in hating him’.  No doubt many are like that. Not just conservatives, but many progressives as well, mainly, staunch partisan NDP supporters.  Many of whom, sorry to say, live in the dream world that Canada is actually a progressive country which couldn’t be further from the truth when you compare it to much of Europe, at least, Europe before austerity became in vogue.

One thing was that Stevie Spiteful had his attack ads running almost all the time. Funny how Stevie Spiteful claimed he never wanted an election when he appeared in permanent election campaign mode. The attack ads defined Iggy. Given that the Liberals didn’t have money to compete with the Harpercons, who were printing money, they couldn’t return the favour with their own attack ads until the election campaign.

I would say the deck was stacked against Iggy from the word go, especially when none of the corporate media pages are endorsing them .  As I’ve learned twenty years ago when I wrote a Poli sci paper on media influence over electoral campaigns,  media makes or breaks a campaign.

I think Iggy did connect, that is, until the NDP, the Harpercons and the punditry told Canadians that he wasn’t, ad-nauseum.

We must hand it to him, though. No matter how dismal the numbers became for Iggy,  he continued fighting until the bitter end, always with a smile, just like the way he handled Jane Taber today. That wretched Jane Taber who practically endorsed a Harpercon gov’t with contempt of parliament charges on Question Period today. She was so obviously trying to bring him down. He didn’t let her.  Near the end of the show, she would chide Iggy for giving too much air time to the media.  So, she preferred the Harper 4 question limit, it would appear.  I will remember that.  If I hear her ever whine about any politician of any partisan colour not giving media enough air time, I will be sure to make her eat her words of today.

The NDP

Jack Layton did run a good campaign. One thing did become evident as the polls surprisingly started surging in his favour, he and his team certainly never anticipated to gain more than perhaps a few more seats, perhaps even stealing some from the Liberals and the Harpercons.  It was evident in many of the candidates he had run in La Belle Province where the orange surge happened.

It was found that at least a few candidates were away, vacationing out of town.  I thought it was funny that Jack Layton wanted to harp on Iggy’s absences. If as he says “If you don’t show up to work, you don’t get the promotion”, then, as someone commented awhile back, doesn’t stand to reason that if one doesn’t show up to the job interview, you shouldn’t get the job?  Even more disturbing, since it had become apparent that the NDP wasn’t prepared this kind of surge,  it begs the question, given the attack ads he unleashed against Iggy instead of Steve following the debates, did he prefer Steve win the election?  Many have asked this question in 2006, 2008 and it’s a pertinent question now.

Not that a gang of  inexperienced  legislators would be a disaster; everybody has to start somewhere.  Hell, remember when Stevie Spiteful and his flunkies took office in 2006? Other than the Mike Harris refugees,  they, too, were a rookie government who were flying by the seat of their pants. They’re still here five years later and could potentially form a majority.

However, I’m of the belief that the NDP that their surging numbers are highly inflated.   It has been said that many of the samples used were from regions where NDP holds most of its’ seats already . Many of those polls, including Nanos, who tends to be the most reliable pollster have had had some pretty high margins of error; as high as 10% in some regions .

In Ontario, NDP support really hasn’t grown.  They say we all have our grudges. In French Quebec, it’s ADSCAM that damaged the federal Liberals amongst them; in Ontario, it’s unpaid Rae Days of the early 90s that soured them to the NDP.  Many, it would appear, including  those who claim to be Liberal, have not forgiven “Rae days”.

In short, the NDP’s basically gone up only in Quebec.   Many are celebrating that Quebecers are voting for a federalist party, finally. However,  many say they’re only winning because they have become Bloc lite to the nationalists. Things like expanding Bill 101 to federal institutions and re-opening the constitution have pissed off many of Montreal’s Anglophones.  We’ll see what happens in Montreal’s west end ridings.

Still, at the end of tomorrow evening, when the ballots are all tallied, if the NDP surge actually translated into enough seats to block a Harpercon majority, I’ll be a very happy camper. Craig Oliver of Question Period is actually predicting an NDP minority.   I just don’t believe that will happen. In fact, I think many NDP supporters may well be in for a rude awakening tomorrow, as will any progressive of any partisan stripe. The thing about protest votes is that they’re all too fragile and tend to be one hit wonders.

The Bloc

What went wrong for them?  Duceppe did quite well in the debates.  He even won the French debates.

The slide for Duceppe and surge for NDP began after the week-end of the Parti-Quebecois convention where Pauline Marois, won her leadership vote by a mind boggling 93%.  I don’t believe in coincidences. Some argue it was because Duceppe had appeared with Marois and spoke of sovereignty and a referendum some time in the near future.  Maybe. But, I’m not necessarily buying that.

Jean Lapierre had suggested that Duceppe’s mistake was holding a 20th anniversary celebration last summer of his being elected to parliament.  He reminded Quebecers how long he had been in Ottawa representing them. That argument, I can buy. In provincial politics, Quebecers tend to not stick with a party more than two terms. Jean Charest had already worn out his welcome in a little over a year after his third mandate.  Thus, it usually is atypical of them to stick with the same guy and party in Ottawa.

Sorry folks,  Many French Quebecers have not all of a sudden fallen in love with federalism.

It is More Important than Ever to Vote Strategically Tomorrow

Yes, it’s amusing. The Bloc have now added red stickers to their signs in Outremont, telling voters to vote with their hearts.  Funny, in Outremont, it doesn’t really matter.  The Harpercon, Rodolphe Husny hasn’t got a chance in hell of winning Outremont.

Catch 22 , Swing 33 and Project Democracy have been crunching the numbers and updating regularly. They too, fear vote splitting from those deciding against voting strategically due to an NDP surge which may or may not be reliable.   Even the Toronto Star, who has endorsed the NDP has added that they’re strongly suggesting  strategic voting as wel l.

In some parts of the country there is a real risk that a surge toward the NDP could sap the Liberal vote and have the perverse effect of tipping more seats to the Conservatives. Voters worried about that should consider voting strategically — giving their support to the progressive candidate best placed to win.

Matthew Hays, a contributor to the Grope & Fail , also provided a dissenting endorsement of Anybody but Harper strategic voting .

My alternative endorsement echoes the now-famous one by Newfoundland and Labrador’s former premier, Danny Williams, during the last election: Anything But Conservative. Both Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton have given us far more reason to believe they are trustworthy, honest leaders who have a grip on the reality Canadians face.

Here is where you can enter your postal code and you’ll get a candidate recommendation for tomorrow’s vote.

CK’s Projection

Well, I would have to say, as many are saying, it all depends on the voter turn out at the polls tomorrow.  A low turn-out is certainly advantageous for a Harpercon majority.   If  there are significantly higher turn-outs than in 2008, it’s a crap shoot; we would be in for some surprises.

One thing I am pretty sure of.  The NDP will not win a plurality of seats to form a minority. I even wonder if they’ll have enough to form official opposition. We shall see.  At worst, they’ll increase their seat count.

Will the Liberals be annihilated as Stevie and probably Jack want?  Not quite ready to write off the Liberals just yet, as their ground campaign was actually very good. Maybe it will be enough to at least keep them in official opposition? It doesn’t look good though.

The Harpercons will more than likely come out the winners. The question is will it be another minority or a majority? If vote suppression and splitting do occur, the Harpercons could well cinch it just with support in the prairies, Alberta, increased seating in BC as well as increased seating in Ontario.

Harpercons 140-170

Liberals 55-70

NDP 40-80

Bloc 20 – 35

As I’ve mentioned, please go out and vote, and if you’re as interested in not seeing a Harpercon majority come tomorrow evening, please vote strategically. Consult the links above if you need help finding the best candidate in your riding to ensure the Harpercon doesn’t get in.

About Those Newspaper Endorsements

I don’t think newspapers should be in the business of endorsing political parties for any election.  That isn’t what responsible media should be doing. It’s one thing to have columnists and opinion writers trying to shill for one party or politician or another. However, the editorial boards of papers should not be endorsing anyone during an election. They should stay neutral.

2 comments to End of The Road: No Time To Be Lulled Into a False Sense of Security and Stevie Can Still Get His Majority

  • Gordie Canuk

    My vote was both strategic and heart felt…I voted Liberal in my riding because the Grit candidate is the encumbant and the NDP has never polled well here….However, if it were the NDP candidate who had the best shot of winning I wouldn’t hesitate.

    ck Reply:

    Thanks Gordie, I hope others follow your suit.