2008/10/09

Majority hopes dashed, Harper struggles for 2nd minority

Since the US financial crisis mushroomed into a global meltdown, the foundations of Stephen Harper's run for a majority have been shattered. As Harper is increasingly seen as cold and uncaring, e.g. "good time to buy stock bargains", his odds of maintaining a minority government seem to be diminishing day by day.

Harper fared poorly in both the French and English debates. Dion did not stumble as the Conservatives (and many Liberals) had expected. Layton and May both performed well in the English debate.

Harper threw away at least 20 seats in Quebec with his ham-fisted moves on cuts to arts and culture and his sentencing stance on youths. This enabled Duceppe to regain ground lost in the early days of the campaign and to become the rallying point for a "stop Harper from getting a majority" campaign. This leaves Harper looking to Ontario to bolster his sagging fortunes. Dion has been hobbled by the split in the left-of-center vote, with the NDP and the Green Party continuing to poll well. But Dion has found his stride since the debates and is beginning to pull votes from the others.

If Nik Nanos' (the pollster who came closest to predicting exactly the outcome of the 2006 election) lastest polls are accurate then Dion has a chance , albeit slim, of overtaking Haper on election day and winning a minority by the skin of his teeth, thereby snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. If not, then look for a diminished Conservative minority. Depending on how the number of seats turn out, some are beginning to speculate about the possibility of a non-Conservative coalition, after Harper is dispatched with relative ease by a non-confidence vote. Fantasy? Maybe. Maybe not. The talk of deals has already begun.

In any event, the big loser of this election is likely to be Stephen Harper who broke his own fixed election law in an attempt to secure a majority. Even if he gains a second(diminished) minority, he will end up the loser.

1 comment:

Down easter said...

This outcome would be good for Canadians