Saturday, 24 March 2007

Federal Election?

Quebec votes March 26 and Ontario will have a general election in October leaving the spring or summer open for a Canadian Federal election that nobody really wants. The NDP and Bloc Quebecois are the most obvious losers in such an election and between them they are likely to find reasons not to defeat the Government in a way that would trigger an election. Liberals are likely to gain in Quebec and possibly elsewhere but are in danger in Ontario especially in the suburbs and rural areas where the Harper Government has done all it can to buy voters with the recent Jim Flaherty budget aimed at middle class families with young children. Mr. Dion does not want an election yet but can not afford to appear weak or afraid to face the voters. Mr. Harper will want an election as soon as he feels he is likely to win a majority government. Anything less and his job as Conservative leader will be in jeopardy. Jim Flaherty, Peter MacKay, and a few other Conservatives will be happy to see the opportunity to take his job. The polls show an increase in the Conservative's direction but I do not see it growing much from where it is now at and estimated 39%. A minority government outcome is still most likely unless a strong trend emerges during the campaign. The reality is minority government works and brings better legislation and Canadians do not want another election. The politicians know voters may punish whoever triggers the election. What is most likely to trigger this election is a vote on environmental issues where the Harper Government will try to appear moderate and the other parties will support Kyoto targets which will be painted by the Conservatives as too extreme or bad for the economy. Polls are not yet reliable indicators and I find it hard to guess who will actually win if an election is called. Feel free to post your comments on the chances for a federal election and the likely outcome.

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