Monday, May 02, 2011

PoliticsCanada: Election: Forecast, while we await today's election results


Pie-graph (below) by Autostraddle (May2,2k11), a Lesbian cultural blog furiously declaring that haters/critiquers of Prime Minister Stephen Harper include "all Canadian women."  Hopefully the remark is only tongue-in-cheek, as the "Girls-on-Girls" faction (as they characterize themselves) is at least astute enuff to show how Globe & Mail has endorsed Mr Harper for a third term (along with National Post, and UK's Economist); while Toronto Star has shifted from the Liberals to the most-socialist party, Jack Layton's New Democrats, skipping over the most-enviro radical party, Greens.

The Bloc Quebecois have been endorsed by Le Devoir. They currently have 5.8% support, which is down from 10.1% at the beginning of the campaign period. The Bloc really only happens in Quebec, and with a lot of that support shifting towards the NDP, this drop isn’t really a surprise.
Bloc support is rather exclusively found in Québec, the only province where this Federal separatist party is on the ballot.  The quoted "10.1%" nationally translates into 38.1% of the vote in Québec.  "...[V]oters have flocked to the NDP, principally at the cost of the Liberals and Bloc Québécois," says G&M:

“The separatist BQ on Monday will be dealt a resounding rebuke from Quebeckers registering their worst showing in BQ history,” pollster Nik Nanos predicted.

The precedent of 2008 suggests that, while Mr. Harper will win a strong minority government, he will not obtain the majority of seats without which, he has repeatedly warned, his government will be unseated by the other parties in a matter of weeks.
But Mr. Nanos observed that in 1997, “with similar results, Jean Chrétien [a previous          Liberal Prime Minister of Canada] did manage to form a majority government.”

He did it by sweeping ridings across Ontario thanks to a divide on the right between the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties.
Whether the NDP surge in this election splits the votes on the left, allowing the Conservatives to capture a clutch of ridings in Ontario and win their majority, is unknowable.
“It all boils down to the distribution of support,” Mr. Nanos observed. 
I'll be up late, I guess, watching these fascinating results of an election campaign that started slow and gathered steam as the NDP sucked up Green, Bloc, and Liberal votes (other Lib votes have drained off to the Conservs).  Meantime, the Conservatives have been moving from a minority-only govt to an increased number of parliamentary seats (still however in a minority status) with Harper begging voters for a majority .... and he just may get it in today's vote.  

Nevertheless, there remains the possiblity that, tho coming in only 2nd and 3rd, the socialists and Liberal rump will nevertheless unite to bring down Harper's third-term winners (short of a majority), by means of another no-confidence vote "in a matter of weeks." The two parties, once vying for second place, had promised each other they woud never form a coalition to govern Canada together.  But they had already formed a negative coalition, along with the Bloc, to bring down the Harper Conservative govt, necessitating the present election before completion of a full-term.  

Again, the Bloc's role is ironic in that now they are again playing the language card with considerable vehemence:

“We will fight right to the last minute to get out the vote,” Mr. Duceppe said in a speech that branded the New Democrats as contemptuous of Quebec. He dwelled on the fact that some NDP candidates in Quebec struggle in French and have barely set foot in the ridings where they are running. “This nation [Québec] has a language, the language is French, and we are proud of it,” he said. “How can we accept that people who don’t even speak our language are asking for our confidence?  It is contempt.” (National Post)
And it is a humiliation to Duceppe and the separatist Bloc in the Federal Parliament, because so many francophones have shifted away from the BQ to the English-language based NDP.

-- Politicarp

Seat projections made on April 30 as published in Globe & Mail, Toronto, on May 1:

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