Tories set sights on majority

Conservatives said to be targeting 45 ridings in next election


In an effort to reach the 155 seats needed for a parliamentary majority, the Conservatives are focusing on 45 ridings across Canada where they came a close second to either the Liberals or the NDP in the 2008 election. Tim Powers, a Conservative strategist, says “there’s a whole confluence of different forces that make people think with the right approaches and right outreaches and so forth, you might be able to turn some of those seats.” The Tories are hoping to sway these ridings by hammering the electorate on wedge issues like the long-gun registry or the funding of the NHL arena in Quebec City, as well as by trotting out a number of star candidates, including former CFL commissioner Larry Smith in Lac-Saint-Louis and former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. Liberals flatly reject any suggestion the Conservative strategy will work. Liberal MP Mark Holland says there’s a “zero per cent chance” that his riding of Ajax-Pickering, one of the ridings targeted by the Tories, is up for grabs.

The Hill Times

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Tories set sights on majority

  1. A Tory majority would be the best thing that could happen in Canada, it would provide economic and political stability.

    • True. You can't get any more stable than rock bottom.

      • LOL

    • An NDP majority would be the best thing that could happen in Canada, it would provide economic and political stability.

  2. "Liberal MP Mark Holland says there's a “zero per cent chance” that his riding of Ajax-Pickering, one of the ridings targeted by the Tories, is up for grabs."

    File that quote in the "Mr. Harper; your time is up!" folder.

    • hubris – has been the end of more politicians than anything else

    • Gotta love Mark Holland's self-entitlement.

  3. Who knows Harper just may be able to do it without a general election – hahahaha – all it would take is for a few bi-elections to come through over the next year or so as after all if anyone seriously believes there will be an election this year then I have a bridge for sale for them :)

    • Where is this bridge?

      • In Quebec…so beware!

    • I'm actually surprised that any politician would come out as bi. Who are they?

  4. Liberals flatly reject any suggestion the Conservative strategy will work.

    I wonder — do the Liberals even have a strategy at work? Besides permitting talk of a Tory majority to spread around, that is. For I recall that it was talk of a majority that seemed to cause the biggest drop in public opinion polls for the CPC in a prior campaign.

    If that's all they've got, it's a risky strategy, allowing talk of the probability of enhanced victory of your opponent bring to bring down its likelihood. That won't work forever.

    • Here's a question for you (a serious one): what strategy would work for the Liberals? What do you think would work?

      I agree that the Liberals haven't done a good job of creating or implementing a strategy, but I'm not sure what would work for them. How can the Liberals hope to win over part of the diehard Conservative core voter base, or win over NDP voters? Especially when attempting to appeal to one of these groups would likely alienate the other?

      • It's a good question, and the LPC would be fools to follow any advice I might have for them. Other than to quote Paul Wells who taught us that campaigning for second place has a good chance of being successful (or something like that).

      • I would question the notion that most of the Conservative voters are 'diehard'.

        If the Liberals were presenting themselves as a reasonable alternative and letting other people invent the scandals for them rather than just scandal-chasing all the time, it would be a start. Pick some policies to stick with, defensible ones. Target the government with what you'd like them to be doing to accomplish them, and keep this up, stay consistent. And when people are well and truly fed up with things the Conservatives are doing they'll have a place to put their vote rather than being stuck feeling there's not really an alternative. The opportunity will come, it always does. Heck it may have a few times already. But the current Liberals have still yet to figure out how to be a government-in-waiting as an opposition party.

        • Yes, the Lib advantage is they don't need diehard Conservatives. While the numbers aren't good, they have nowhere to go but up and Harper has little to go but down.

          • It takes a very impressive optimist to package it-can't-get-any-worse as "the Liberal advantage." Well done, Mike!

    • I think that sentence was provided by the author for comic relief.

    • Oh I do hope they have a strategy. Still, if they have any sense we won't really know about strategies or policies until the election is called. The worst strategy they could have is to tell what it is or what their policies are to soon before an election, or all their ideas get stolen and the tories simply convince everyone that they thought of them first.

    • The Liberal strategy has been consistent and clear.

      "Liberals good…Harper bad…trust us on this one."

  5. Mark Holland is Whistling in the graveyard!! hahahahahahahahahah

    • I see your point, a very reasoned argument.

      • Far more reasoned than Holland's, Richard.

  6. Yawn.

    • Hmmm. Why bother to tell us that? Seems like two thirds of the country feel the same way. Anything to actually contribute?

      • Why bother? Well, I'm not really sure. Mostly to provide some feedback to our hosts here, I suppose, and to keep my quota up! ;-)

        "Tories set sights on a majority". Really? Who would have thunk it! They plan to target ridings where they ran a close second last time? Well I should hope so. Pretty poor planning to target ridings where they ran a distant third or fourth.

        Anything to add…….no, nothing more against this post, at least not yet, but I'll keep looking. :-)

  7. Meh. Of course the Tories are setting their sights on a majority – what's the alternative? "Tories Give Up All Hope Of Majority – Hope To Cling To Status Quo"? Of course not.

    Whether the Conservatives will actually be able to obtain enough seats to win a majority is, of course, an entirely different issue. Watch for the "A Conservative majority is a real possibility" meme to be reproduced in pro-Conservative outlets sometime in the near future (or even "A Conservative majority is inevitable"). It's a standard rhetorical trick to assert that something is true when you are merely hoping for it to be true.

    • It's the logical follow-up to their "It's a conservative majority or the evil coalition after the next election" false dichotomy.

    • Yup, same principle as the libs use when smearing Canada. Libs believe that when you tell a lie often enough people will believe it., Well, there's one lie Canadians will not fall for, and that is the lie that libs have something to offer Canadians.

  8. Unless Peter Stoffer is planning on retiring or something, the inclusion of Sackville-Eastern Shore on that list is pretty laughable on the numbers alone. Knocking off Charlie Angus in Timmins-James Bay will also be a pretty tall order. Long-gun registry or not, the Cons would have to engineer some insane shifts to win those seats.

    • Well, of course, there IS a persistent rumour that he plans to unseat Peter Kelly for Mayor of HRM.

  9. Given their over-heated rhetoric on the issue and the shooting in the States this past weekend, I think the gun issue might be more of a stumbling block than a wedge for the Conservatives if an election happens by spring. It is not a good thing to look and sound like the Tea Party on right now.

    I doubt they can get a majority at any right. In fact I suspect that both their seat count and share of the popular vote could easily take a dive in an election. We've seen them dip in the polls over prorogation, the prisoner scandal, the census, the environment, and so on. While they've recovered after a short time, most of those issues are still out there. If the economy doesn't pick up faster and sooner, if another major issue comes along at the wrong time, if some in the Conservative caucus break free of their leashes and begin yammering into microphones, things could change in a hurry.

    • Not likely, their odds for a majority are very good. Most of the things you have mention above don't matter to most voters.

      • They do matter to some voters though…voters that don't live in Alberta or Saskatchewan. Voters who are used to voting NDP or Liberal. The Conservatives have also traditionally lost support whenever they started talking about a majority. I'm not predicting a huge Liberal win or anything, but I am saying that the Conservative's chances of losing seats are about as high as them winning a majority.

      • Typical Conservative arrogance…please Claudia…speak for yourself and not others.

        • Typical Liberal ignorance…please Dan…stay informed!!!

    • We've also seen the Tories jump in the polls whenever an election was called. Polls might go up and down between writ periods, but traditionally the governing party gets a boost when an election is called (at least in recent history).

      • As I mentioned above, we've also seen their support slip when they get close to a majority. As for Harper getting a boost when the writ was dropped, I wouldn't count on it. Recent polls actually have a lot of people, mostly supporters of the opposition, saying they want an election. Usually nobody wants an election. It's Conservative supporters who don't want an election, so there's unlikely to be much of a bump there for Harper.

        And again I'm not predicting a huge win for the Liberals, just that chances of the Conservatives losing seats are about as good as the Conservatives winning a majority.

        I'm not convinced that Harper can remain leader for another minority though, or that he wants to, and there's nobody obvious to take his place. I think another Conservative minority leaves us with at least three new leaders.

    • The long gun thingy has also probably hurt them in a number of ridings on that list.

    • Except you are confusing the type of gun used over the weekend – handguns already are pretty much illegal in Canada, and those licensed to use them have a long, long list of things they must (or must not) do to keep that license.. Long guns, the ones used for hunting, are the ones on the "long gun registry." Ask you average northern Canadian how they feel about that.

      • I'm not confusing anything, Candace. I'm saying that the pro-gun rhetoric, since it leans heavily on NRA and Tea Party talking points, is not likely to be overly popular for the next few months. Nothing to do with the difference between long guns and handguns and everything to do with the often violent and always overblown rhetoric used by the gun lobby.

    • It is not a good thing to look and sound like the Tea Party [on] right now.

      The rule of constitutional law and fiscal common sense suddenly went out of fashion?

      • The "Tea Party" was a fictional entitiy created by the Koch brothers(Freedomworks) who…with a VERY substantial take in the healthcare industry…wanted to stop the healthcare legislation…It was a Corporate invention……..Like much of what happens in the U.S. lately

        • Good luck convincing millions of Americans they are a fictional entity.

  10. The debate whether the Tories will get a majority is an entirely apt one.

    Given their steady progression in seat totals, the fact that they only need a few more this go around, and there appears to be no good reason for voters to chose Iggy over Harper, I think this one's a lock (barring Harper being caught stealing from the local food bank (ie a real, not manufactured scandal).

    That we're having this debate more and more often, while less and less debating the possibility of Iggy gaining power, speaks volumes I'd say.

  11. As for those scrutinizing the list with a fine tooth comb,

    consider that they only need a few from this sizeable list to gain a majority.

    Debate around the edges all you want, but if any of them represent a possible pick up, it means the Libs are in a world of hurt.

  12. Is the question "Who is going to be the PM after the next election?" or is it "How many seats will Harper have?" The answer to that is the story.

  13. If the tool gets his majority, I guess we'll be hearing "God bless Canada" all the time in his little talks. I wonder which holy-roller, born-again, evangelical, here-comes-the-rapture mega-church we'll be ordered to attend and how many times a week (a day?).

    As I heard someone say, "You ain't seen nuthin' yet"

    • Being Atheist and Conservative means I get to laugh at this sort of bigotry over and over.

      What makes you better or smarter than any of those people you look down on? They are the majority of people btw. Do you really think that I'm going to imagine my grandma and all my family and several of my friends and many people I genuinely admire are somehow beneath your superior morality and great intellect? How could I think that when you demonstrate your liberal values of deception bigotry and intolerance so clearly. Religious people are valued members of our inclusive society and deserve as much respect or more as you do.

      -also. Your poisonous rhetoric is from an election in a past decade from another country which is all together a different place now. Update yourself or get back under your rock.

    • That's just plain crap. Very few actually believe this to be the case. Leftist twit!

  14. Want a real Majority this time? Start acting like a Real Big “C” Conservative Party then and not one from the middle.
    The Majority of Canadians do not like a lot of things happening in Canada but can’t voice their opinions.
    Get Internet voting going and watch instant reaction to issues that people want to vote on in real time.
    Want to see what a real Conservative Party looks like? Check out the British National Party in the U.K.
    They know what real Conservatives want.

  15. I'm still not seeing right wing in the dictionary. Maybe it's because radical ideas aren't conservative?

    1.disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
    2.cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
    3.traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.
    4.having the power or tendency to conserve; preservative.

  16. they should draw up a map of the ridings they are after and put crosshairs over them.

    • Idiot