Some last thoughts before the election


The polls are only a few hours from opening. I won’t make any definitive number “predictions”, which, in my opinion, are worth about as much as polls (that is to say, not much) other than to say that I think that the polls are overrated. But I do have a few thoughts on how things are likely to turn out:

  • Don’t count out the Liberals just yet: I know all the polls have Harper ahead, but the gap has been narrowing over the past week and the latest polling data is at least 48 hours old. Vote distribution is a matter of interpretation, and the people doing the interpreting are just as guilty of bandwagon-jumping as the next person. Furthermore, what people answer in polls always differs from what they actually do on election day at the ballot box. I’m not saying Harper will lose, I’m just saying it’s not a lock that he’ll win either. If tomorrow ushered in another Martin minority government, I wouldn’t be shocked.
  • Predictions of a Tory breakthrough in Quebec are premature: On the same note, I’m simply not convinced of polls that have the Conservatives picking up multiple seats in Quebec. While their support numbers are higher than the Liberals, the Libs’ support is concentrated here in Montreal and the Tory support is spread out all over the province. One Tory seat? Maybe. None, most likely. Certainly not eight or ten. Won’t happen. Not this election.
  • The Bloc will likely hold the balance of power: That’s the most likely scenario in a Tory minority government. The Liberals will rarely support the Conservatives, and the NDP almost never. If Harper wants to govern, he’ll need the Bloc. That won’t be good for Canadian unity no matter how they spin it. And if Harper refuses to deal with Duceppe, it will be a very short time until we’re right back at the polls.
  • Paul Martin’s dusting off his resume: If the Tories win tomorrow, Paul Martin can kiss his political career goodbye. If nothing else, that would help the Liberals move past the sponsorship scandal and start with a clean slate, so to speak. As for Martin, what do ex-Prime Ministers do nowadays when they’re not testifying at federal enquiries? Anyone heard from Kim Campbell lately?
  • There will be a January 24th: Whoever wins the election, life will go on. The sun will rise in the east. Canada probably won’t be all that different from what it is now.
  • A little perspective: We can quibble all we want over sponsorship scandals, constitutional reform, healthcare or tax cuts, but remember that whoever wins will be democratically-elected, relatively moderate, and won’t be killing people in torture chambers. Even those of us holding our noses and voting for the “best of the worst” would do well to pause for a moment and appreciate the momentous significance of having the right to vote at all. Because I look around the world and I realize that it’s no small thing.

Vote early, vote often, vote your conscience. Stay tuned for liveblogging of the results tomorrow night.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 01.23.06 at 5:24 AM

Martin will be back to playing with his boats.


2 Tré 01.23.06 at 2:18 PM

‘Whoever wins the election…Canada probably won’t be all that different from what it is now.’

Perhaps not on the 24th, but if the Conservatives get in, things will definitely change and I don’t think it will be for the best (unless you’re an upper class, white, religious fanatic.).

I’m actually thinking it might be good for them to get in. Might shake a few complacent middle-classers out of their apathy.


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