Stephen Harper is now winning a lot less -

Stephen Harper is now winning a lot less


I’m glad I took pains to say trends can change when I gladdened the hearts of Conservatives everywhere with this blog post only two days ago. Just about all the trends have changed. Nanos now has the Conservative top-line national vote down to essentially where it was in 2008; other national polls put that vote lower. In Ontario, Nanos has the NDP vote above its 2008 level on an upward trend. Other polls I’ve seen put Conservative vote in that province lower than Nanos does. The NDP vote is entering territory where it starts to endanger Conservatives in some place, where before it mostly helped them by splitting the anti-Conservative vote with the Liberals. I won’t guess about where this is going, because I have no reason to believe support for every party is done shifting radically.


Stephen Harper is now winning a lot less

  1. The last week of an election campaign is always the most fun.

    • OE1, for the first time, I can agree with you. Perhaps this is the start of something new.

    • especially this one – I have not had so much fun in ages and watch Iggy sinking faster than PT109 is the singularly most entertainment I have had in 2 years ….. GO JACK GO!

      • I think all that tinfoil, plus being off your meds is already more fun than you can handle.

  2. Prime Minister Jack Layton.
    Hearing those words (without the heretofore accompanying raucous laughter) alone could easily bring us a Harper majority.
    As the perpetual-Canadian-existential-issue blows up in his face this week, yet more voters will flee to "stability over chaos".
    Hope I am wrong but my bet is the Cons are smug rather than worried at this turn of events. The destruction of the Liberal party is their long term game-plan, no?

    • Once upon a time "Prime Minister Stephen Harper" seemed like the most ridiculous phrase imaginable. Never underestimate what voters will do when they're sick and tired of the status quo.

      • Still ridiculous.

    • Or it could with a tad bit of difficulty bring us Prime Minister Jack Layton. Much as I hate to see the Libs thrashed so, it'd be so rich to see Harper announce he's resigning as CPC leader after having lost Government.

      • I'm with you Derek.

        Especially since, apart from destroying the Liberal party, one of Harper's aims has been the incremental shift of Canadians to the right. Which seems to be not working out as planned.

  3. Wish someone could do exit polls on the advance polls. That would be useful data.

    • Personally, I'd lie and tell them I voted for the Communist candidate in the area, just to see the faces.

      • So you would say NDP, then?

        • Nope. Jason Devine. He's run for the communist party for the last couple of elections, and is in this one too. I always get a little smile on my face when I see his name in the ballot box. He must know he's not going to win, but good on him for running anyway.

          • What I don't understand is why Canada still has both a Communist Party and a Marxist-Leninist Party. Believe it or not, they BOTH had candidates on the ballot in my old Winnipeg riding a few years back. Talk about vote-splitting. I think they had about a dozen each.

    • I'm not sure if that's allowed in Canada. Perhaps someone with more knowledge could clarify?

      • Considering the media blackout on election returns until everybody has voted, I would think that an exit poll on early returns (I'm assuming you want the info now) would run against the spirit of existing laws. I would rather not have such information, however.

        Voters in advance polls are not a representative sample of the population – generally they are going to be more motivated voters. However, since some people vote strategically and may be discouraged by returns (clearly the polls matter, as the NDP rise illustrates) you could muck people's behavior with data that isn't even representative.

        That said, as a political junkie, it'd be great info to have.

        • Yet another reason why the Percentage Proportional System is a good one. You could have advance polls all you want, and it still wouldn't tell you much of anything until all the votes had been counted.

      • Exit polls are not allowed here. No one is allowed to stand outside polling boths and ask "Who did you vote for?"

    • I don't think that'll make much difference; all parties push their voters to advance polls.

      The NDP and the Tories are probably better at it, the Liberals less so. On the other hand, the Liberal vote won't have collapsed as much as it has now, so maybe the advance vote will have a slightly larger Liberal share than the final ballots, but that's hardly something to bet on.

      I voted in advance polls with two other people – I know between us, we represented three different parties.

    • I don't have that, but I know a guy who knows a guy who has advance exit poll data on the advance polls.

  4. After almost a decade perhaps the first rule needs some tweaking?

    • Not yet.

  5. There's a lot up in the air right now: will the NDP really lead the BQ by 10-15 points on election night (which would probably mean above 40 seats)? Are the Tories (per Nanos) stable in Ontario as the Liberals decline, or (per Ekos and Angus Reid) are the CPC and LPC falling roughly in tandem?

    Overall, though, if I were Stephen Harper I'd be worried right now that the campaign has spun out of my control.

    • Stephen Harper's greatest nightmare is anything out of his control. That's why he thinks elections are unnecessary (most of the time, anyway).

      • Nothing funnier than a control freak who has just learned he can't control what's most important. Bring out the popcorn.

    • Oh he'll just blame somebody else. Probably the separatists.

  6. The 1990 Ontario election was 21 years ago. That's 21 years worth of voters who have no recollection of that time period. Which is a good thing, because anyone who places the full blame of Ontario's fortunes on the NDP government for the recession of the 1990's has a pretty simple view of the world.

    The saving grace, up until this point, was that those 18-35 year-old voters usually stayed home during elections. However, it appears that something's got their attention this year.

    • Governments can't always be blamed for global recessions, but they can be taken to task on how they respond. Rae's response was to spend Ontario's way out of the recession. It failed. Unemployment hit 11% (far worse than the current recession, even though globally the 1990 recession was smaller), and Ontario was saddled with a massive deficit. Ontario recovered more slowly than the US and more slowly than any other province.

      Are leaders to blame for everything that goes bad on their watch? No. But they should be taken to task for their performance, relative to similar jurisdictions facing similar problems. Bob Rae raised welfare payouts far in excess of the national average. Unsurprisingly, this turned recession-induced unemployment into habitual unemployment, as the welfare rolls more than doubled.

      • Governments can't always be blamed for global recessions, but they can be taken to task on how they respond. Rae's response was to spend Ontario's way out of the recession.

        In leiu of recent actions of western governments around the world, including our own Federal government, Rae might have been considered a visionary.

        I can't mount an effective defence of his government; I'm actually somewhat worried about what sort of policies the NDP might bring in. But, in my defence, those worries are the same ones I have when I contemplate a CPC government.

        • Rae is only a visionary if you think the 1990 recession was the same as our financial crisis – which is not the case. One (1990) was an ordinary downturn in the business cycle, the other (2007-2010) was a severe crisis that froze up the payments system. In the first case, monetary policy is adequate to restore the economy to full employment. In the second case, monetary policy won't work (or requires risky quantitative easing) because banks aren't lending out money in either case. In a financial crisis scenario, big, well-targeted (infrastructure spending works best) stimulus packages are necessary, because the private sector isn't going to pick up the slack.

          And many of the features that drove Rae to make bad decisions in the 1990s are in place with the NDP today. They will have a caucus full of placeholders with no experience running anything, and plenty of extreme views (at least one of their Quebec candidates actually IS a Communist). They will be committed to a platform that isn't even close to adding up (not to mention opening up the constitution).

          • I would argue that 2007-2010 was–in terms of Ontario impact–pretty much equivalent to the 1990 recession. Canadian interest rates exceeded US interest rates by almost 7% in 1990 and subsequent years, which was completely a BoC decision outside the control of Rae. So I agree, the two aren't really comparable situations, but with interest rates rising and economic growth slipping, he was really boxed in a corner. At least that's what the interest rate story would tell. I do know that his actual response to this situation–beyond simply spending–was not appropriate, especially the Rae days, etc. Although it is kinda funny to watch California flirting with pretty much the same idea right now.

            As for the concern that it's a caucus full of unknowns, that's always the case. In fact, that's the entire reason why each department has a deputy minister. As long as Layton doesn't muzzle those voices, he'd probably do just fine.

            But I'm still quite worried about many NDP policies.

          • " caucus full of placeholders with no experience running anything" like the Conservatives 5 years ago? The thing is that the NDP are probably faster learners. The Conservatives are still incompetent.

          • Oh stop it, you make me tired with your antiharperism. Just who are you for? M.Iggy?, M.Layton, Mme Greenie? or none of the above?

          • You are talking to grownups. Use grownup language.

          • Says one of the most foul-mouthed and consistently dyspeptic posters on here.

            You're funny.

          • LIES!!!

          • Looking through the NDP candidates list, and I'm pretty sure that Layton would be leading the most attractive caucus, if not the most experienced. :)

          • noob_goldberg noted:
            "Looking through the NDP candidates list, and I'm pretty sure that Layton would be leading the most attractive caucus"

            Two words: Libby Davies.

            care to retract?

          • I meant in aggregate, and assuming that all of their candidates in Quebec were elected


        • Re: Policies the NDP would bring in.

          Think "bankrupt country" and work your way down from there…

          • That's just fear-mongering. Heaven help everyone if the CPC responds by trying to make everyone afraid of Jack Layton; he'll get a majority!

          • It's not fear mongering – it's cold hard fact. How is he going to pay for all the promises? How is he going to1200 doctors for $25 million – even though it will cost the current government $40 million to train 100 doctors? His job creation tax credit on the assumption job creation will fall by 70%! He's $70 billion in new spending without raising taxes at a time when we're $50 Billion in the hole??

            Why, I bet he can even turn water into wine, heal the blind and raise the dead – all with money that isn't there … no wait… he can, SAY IT WITH ME…. RAISE CORPORATE TAXES TO PAY THE COST!!!

            We are f#$%ed if the NDP wins.

          • Of course he's going to raise corporate taxes, to 19.5%. He's said this from the beginning. Where have you bean?

          • And raising corporate taxes to where they were last year will raise how much? Not anywhere close to enough to pay for his platform.

          • I don't disagree with you, but I think the most fascinating thing about the NDP surge is that I don't think 10% of his supporters have even looked at his platform.

            And for I think we can thank many successive governments for making an election about the "leader" instead of the policy. Canadian voters appear to have now been hardwired to look for leadership qualities first, and policy second. Or third. Or never.

  7. The Canadian economy, the foundation of our ability to pay for health care, pensions, education, and other social programs is losing.

    • Because everybody's going to stop working if someone other than your non-transparent, arse-pulled budgets, CPC party doesn't get elected?

    • The Conservatives are certainly NOT stewards of the economy. Any real conservative would be concerned about all parties' fiscal positions.

      • It's a tough election for a fiscal conservative, no question.

        The one party that pretends to be conservative just finished spending more than any government in history. I feel like a battered voter, with a ruling party softly reassuring me "don't worry baby, that was the last time I'll beat you like that, I promise. From here on in, we'll *really* be a conservative party".

        • ABSOLUTELY! That's what kills me with this "progressive vs Harper-con" idea. Harper has outspent any "progressive" government since Trudeau.

        • Ontarians thought Peterson was fiscally irresponsible – until they met Bob Rae. Then they saw what real fiscal irresponsibility was. Our spending is at record levels in nominal terms, but as a percentage of GDP, budget deficits were by far the biggest under Trudeau in the early 80s. The 1982 budget was fully 50% deficit-financed. We've got a ways to go before we get that far down. Jack just might get us there.

      • Yes, this, a million times over. No one is remotely in touch with the country's fiscal reality. It's disturbing.

    • Yes, if the NDP does well our economy will be destroyed and we'll be taxed to hell. And if the Conservatives win abortions and homosexuality will be illegal. And if the Liberals win we'll all have to listen to Ken Dryden lectures each morning. Ah, election hyperbole.

      • Harper will hedge that with "abortions for some, miniature Canadian flags for others". :)

  8. A lot sure can change in two days…the latest print Maclean's is almost comically out of date.

  9. I predict it will be a depressing night of watching returns…

    for everybody.

  10. And I think much of the public has realized this too.

  11. hahahaha onward to the ndp majority! we're all behind you 100% jack! we all love you in canada and its time for a change! eh harper? perogi this one eh?

    • I think a lot of people would be a lot fonder of Harper if he was handing out perogies instead of prorogues.

      Maybe he can get Stelmach on the line…

    • Passes crack pipe to Steven Katona … "here".

  12. I don't actually think that 'Prime Minister Layton' is a possible outcome, but it's an election so I guess we should enjoy the ability to speculate about such things, and I'll join in.

    I really dislike the NDP, but I have trouble jumping on the afraid-of-the-NDP bandwagon. I don't actually think an NDP government would wreck the economy or the country. They're not going to get a majority and a Conservative-Liberal opposition are going to do a better job tempering the NDP than the Liberal-NDP has done in tempering the Conservatives. Reality and history show that Tory governments are far more dangerous for governments' balance sheets. I really don't think any other party would have wrecked the surplus the way the current one has.

    I think Canadian governments do best when left-of-center parties are in charge with strong, capable conservative oppositions breathing down their neck.

    • I was with you until the last statement.

      By my reckoning, we'd have to go back to John Diefenbaker from 1963-67 as leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to cite a "strong, capable conservative opposition".

      • Reckon again old anon! In the 90's Manning led such an opposition and Chretien used many of their ideas to neuter them politically for the benefit of the country.

      • Well, I was talking more in theory, but I think I'd agree with Big Dave that Manning filled that role. Thinking of provincial governments too.

        • John D……

          You are aware that most of the Reform policies stolen by the Liberals, which did eliminate the deficit….were written by a young Reformer from Calgary right?

          His name was Stephen Harper. When he gets his majority, he'll be back.

          • Luckily they didn't steal his idea to deregulate the banks. SH is best kept one degree removed from real power. It's adrug he can't get enough of.

          • First: No, the deficit was not eliminated because of Stephen Harper's ideas. David Dodge maybe, but not Stephen Harper. The Reformers certainly had policy influence on the Liberals, but they cannot claim responsibility for Martin's deficit-cutting.

            Second: So a government shouldn't use ideas from other parties, because that is "stealing"? That's the opposite of how I want my Parliament to work.

          • I don't actually read that in anyone's response here.

    • Or, if I may be so bold, "….strong, capable conservative governments breathing down their necks AND coming to power every now and then".

      Bloody shame we don't have any strong, capable conservatives in this country. They've been drummed out and suppressed by the Bloc Albertois.

      • I would agree. There have to be lots of good small-c Conservatives out there, but who knows what they are up to.

      • Indeed. Keeping conservative governments perpetually out of power is part of the reason why we have this cabal of jokers in there right now.

    • I couldn't agree with you more!

  13. What may happen is that the bar on national support for a majority drops. The way things look, the CPC will hold their seats in QC because those ridings, except perhaps Cannon's, are not left leaning, the danger is the Bloc, and the NDP is eating their lunch.
    So outside of Ontario, I think the CPC hold all or lose a couple seats in QC, probably add a couple in Atlantic Canada and perhaps lose a few to the NDP in BC.
    No big change.
    But in Ontario, the polling advantage for the CPC is massive right now. If the rest of Canada holds more or less stable, +/- a few seats, the CPC will gain their majority in Ontario.
    Where this could change is if the Liberal vote craters so badly in Ontario that the NDP wind up consolidating the left vote and holding back the COns.
    It seems though that if an election were held today, we'd have a Con majority based on the Ontario swing to the Tories.

    • It seems though that if an election were held today, we'd have a Con majority based on the Ontario swing to the Tories.

      But the election isn't being held today; it all depends on whether or not we're at the crest of the Orange wave, or halfway up. This is really why I love living in a democracy with more than two parties. Such unexpected outcomes are fascinating.

  14. I still can't help but think this is 1988 all over again.

    LIB/DIP split resulting in comfortable CON majority.

    Too bad the CPC is a backward group of regressives, or I might be happy about that.

    I voted for Mulroney in 1988, but hell with freeze over and monkeys will fly out of my arse before I vote for Harper. A more negative, nasty and underhanded PM I have never seen, and I remember Trudeau.

    If this swing proves true, it'll be the craziest election I've seen since Bob Rae became Premier.

    • As a person who voted for Mike Harris, Joe Clark, Jean Charest, and Brian Mulroney (almost twice- I was about 20 days shy of my 18th in 1984) I absolutely agree with you, on pretty much all counts.

    • minor point…Trudeau was rarely just negative – very entertaining yes. I'm not going to touch the nasty and underhanded though.

  15. Harper is telling everyone to vote for a Harper majority. I'm wondering what those voters will do when they get to the ballot box and don't see Harper's name OR the minority/majority option on the ballot.

    • Yeah, I'm pretty sure folks will be able to figure it out, but good of you to be concerned.

    • Loud angry complaining about elitist poll clerks?

    • What about the "Jack Layton" brand? I'm seeing Jack Layton signs in my riding that don't even have the local candidates name on them. I hope the ballots are colour coded. If there is no Jack and no orange, I'm going to have trouble catching the wave……

  16. A few thoughts on where this all might be going:

    1) There doesn't seem to be enough time for the other parties to come to grips with this. Witness the confused Liberal messaging on this. Is Jack a career politician or a hopeless amateur who's not ready for prime time? Arguably both, but what are they trying to tap into with the dual attack? For their part, the Conservatives, who have been absolutely delighted by the NDP's rise to parity with the Libs, don't have time to carpet bomb Layton's image now that his rise might become a threat to them also.

    2) Part of the problem with 1) is that I don't think anyone quite knows where this newfound affection is coming from. From where I sit (admittedly a staunch Conservative who would never look his way), it's the same Jack saying the same stuff he always has. Obviously something has changed, mostly in Quebec.

    3) For the rest of this campaign, Michael Ignatieff is basically a walking corpse. I don't see how he can make a dent now. He has been written out of the story.

    • 4) He might still become Prime Minister at the end of it all. If the NDP vote tapers off at all and Harper doesn't get a majority, the Liberal leader will still be in position to form a coalition (a strong NDP cacus would certainly require a coalition, not a mere pact to support the Libs).

      5) If Layton wins more seats than the Libs, I can't see them joining with him as junior partners. Coalitions sound good when you're in the driver's seat, or when you've never been in government at all. But for an insitutution like the Liberal party to speed up its own demise because Jack Layton had a good couple of weeks is unthinkable. They would likely replace their leader, quietly prop Harper up again and wait for the NDP boom to dissipate.

      • what you would see is Iggy under the Bus …

      • 4] Ignatieff isn't any where near as craven as tory propaganda says. IMO he wont break his word and form a coalition .It is possible he could face a party revolt over this – for the parties sake i hope they keep their word; although i'm on record as saying that it was dumb to rule out a perfectly legit coalition with the NDP[ this may turn out be a major factor in why MI seems to be doing so poorly?] – with the BQ yes; SH's made that toxic, and perhaps it should be. Although for the umpteenth time…they never were part of a formal coalition; it's right there in black and white in the document.
        The libs would be wise to offer SH a kind of life-line, one with a sort of poision pill attached[ need a sheep shank knot to hold that sucker on.] consisting off a democratic or parliamentary reform package – one with real teeth. It would be good for the country, and good for them. No doubt they'll offer to put him on a short leash instead…regular reports back to Michael…wonder how that went last time?

      • I agree 100%: a coalition is likely if the Liberals are the senior partner, but there's zero chance they will play second-fiddle to the NDP. Paradoxically, it might suit the long-term interests of the NDP to place a close third and get some experience in government, rather than being an unrealistic and ineffective OO.

    • Agreed. Ignatieff is now a member of the living dead. He's finished.

  17. Don't think for one minute that the Romanow government was good. The saskatchewan economy was stagnant and most young people fled for Alberta and BC. The only good thing you can say about Ramanow was that he was more liberal than NDP which is what saved Saskatchewan from complete disaster. On top of all that, It took the NDP to be defeated before the Riders could win the Grey Cup.

    • Hmmm, overlooking the Rider comment, I have to disagree with you. SK almost declared bankrupcy when Romanow took over from Devine — the conservative premier whose cabinet largely served jail time after they were voted out. For misusing government funds.

      I do believe SK bled most of its people under the Calvert years, which succeeded Romanow. Roy's combat Barbie finance minister/rumoured girlfriend Janice McKinnon was no slouch of a finance minister — and most of the time now, she's supporting the federal conservatives on political talk shows. I agree Romanow was actually a liberal; I think McKinnon is a closeted conservative.

  18. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the NDP has indeed governed reasonably well. However, in those provinces they operate in a two-party system, which enables them to run as centrists. In Canada, federally, the Liberal occupation of that space would prevent such a move. Secondly, the NDP has been a significant player on the prairies for a lifetime – and as a result they attract real talent. This is not true of the federal NDP.

    • They leave their legacies too though. In Saskatchewan for example, most rural ridings vote heavily conservative because of their disillusionment with the NDP. There is a general feeling in the rural vote that the NDP will always screw over rural voters and the resource industries in favour of labour and urban interests. Supporting the Canadian Wheat Board and long gun registration doesn't really help them either.

      The cities generally vote NDP reliably, but since the cities are divided up into ridings that include the rural vote, the conservatives take all. Ridings that don't include Regina or Saskatoon are generally overwhelmingly conservatives, such as Garry Breitkreuz's Yorkton-Melville riding.

      • Listen, I said nothing controversial or untrue in that statement.

        If you have a beef with the analysis, actually argue against it instead of just voting it down because you don't like how it makes you feel.

        • I agree that the Prairie NDP isn't perfect – but it is imperfect in a way that most established political parties are – they get support from some regions, but not others, and they tend to favour the ones that back them. Unfortunately, I think it is impossible to have a government that truly represents everybody.

          PS: I didn't give you a thumbs down (I never use it), but in my experience they aren't worth getting worked up over. A lot of people here are partisan robots, uninterested in discussion or debate.

          • I know, I was speaking to people generally, not you in particular.

            It is just frustrating that people who spew all sorts of vile crap get rewarded, while those who actually want to discuss things are thumbed down for daring to have a different opinion than a "progressive" one, or expressing support for a party that isn't left of center. I don't mind that conservatives who spew vile crap get thumbed down like they do, I just wish that those who do that on the other side get the disapproval of the community as well.

          • That won't happen on this site. Any reasonable argument or debating lines get the thumbs down. For them it's just a game. It's all part of their tactics. Don't reward common sense; reward empty postings. That's the name of the game.

    • I'm not clear on what you mean by talent exactly, as the federal NDP certainly does attract some exceptionally decent people compared with other parties. People who have done humanitarian work and community building, and who have often done insane amounts of work on certain issues only to humbly turn the credit over to the activists and community members they were working on behalf of.

      I mean, the federal NDP is not the party you join if you're hungry for power. The people in it, therefore, tend to be folks with actual integrity. I can't think of a better qualification to be in parliament right now.

    • Howard Pawley and Ed Sheyer were disasters in Manitoba. Unmitigated disasters. Manitoba STILL hasn't recovered. I'm not exaggerating. Doer, however, was moderate and responsible, and probably a fair bit better than either of the PC leaders who came after Filmon.

      • Doer was plenty bad too, he's just impossible to dislike as a human being so he was very hard to defeat. Province has been adrift in Canada's general prosperity and run for the benefit of public sector unions, undowing all of Gary Filmon's hard work.. every year the Tory vote would shrink as the more ambitious moved to Alberta. I couldn't believe the kinds of pluralities Doer ran up in affluent southern and western Winnipeg.
        I also don't know who all these people are thinking Blakeney was a good premier. It was the height of crazy statism — the province created a "land bank" for ideological reasons buying land at the top of the wheat market that was sold at a loss years later. NDP has been an unmitigated disaster for SK and MB, helping drive out capital for 60 years now.

  19. Isn't Manitoba a "have not" province that get equalization payments??

  20. What would truly be "interesting" is an electoral "split" between the NDP and the Conservatives. Suddenly Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals would become Kingmakers……..

    • Wouldn't that be wild? I believe it might actually be good for the libs to play the wise old uncle.Keep a low pofile, try to keep Jack from fumbling the constitution question and rebuild, as kingmakers rather then leading the charge.[ coalition temptation should be avoided for the libs sake, unless they really do want to merge, which is still too early IMO, and possibly unecessary]
      Wilder still would be the notion of SH having to court the Bloq to get a throne speech passed. No doubt he rather start an insurrection then be forced into that box.

      • except who would be leader Bobby? becuase make ni mistake about it Iggy is Toast

        • If the libs are smart[ which they aren't according to AC], they would skip over Rae and pick someone younger. Not necessarily Trudeau.[ although he is going to be a real force one of these days] Someone upbeat and positive. My pick would be Kennedy since i don't know too much about Leblanc. Maybe there's someone else in the wings?
          From a marketing and progressive pov a Kennedy/Trudeau ticket has a nice ring to it, no?

          Is Kennedy's French still bad?

    • Which is why it won't happen — Wells' first rule and all that.

  21. Stephen Harper is winnining [ updated with late breaking uncertainty]

    Stephen Harper is winning a lot less…

    "for now"??

    What are you up to Paul? You do realize i'm trying my best to figure out how to cast my vote as strategically as possible, don't you?

    Yea Jack go…never thought i'd say that. Guess we'll worry about how to pay for it all once he gets in? Hopefully he'll learn. Before he knows it he'll be hemming and hawing like a good lib while trying to keep the populace and the Bay street boys happy concurrently.[ hopefully siding with the public as often as possible] At least he has a positive message going forward.[cont]

    • Vote strategically based on how things look in your riding, not based on how they look on the national scale. It doesn't matter if the NDP are strong if your riding is typically a two-way race between Liberals and Conservatives; voting NDP is a good idea regardless if your riding is a Conservative-Liberal one. If it's a 3-way race, look for local polls.

      National polls don't matter for true strategic voting.

      • Thx. Although your point about a 3 way race is not very clear. My riding has a strong NDP incumbent and a star liberal and conservative candidate. The danger being the CPC candidate may come up the middle. Luckily for me the choice should be simple since i'm not rejecting a good liberal candidate[ i know almost nothing about him except he's an ex premier] merely to be strategic – which i don't think is all that good for democracy in the long run.

  22. Ha!!

    good one.

    (Though, as a Conservative, I'm not supposed to point that out)

    • another good one!

  23. GO JACK GO! although I am a dyed in the wool conbot 100% Tory and huge harper fan .. I haven't had so much fun in ages … in fact I think I might vote NDP .. who would have thought – I think that politics will be different next Tuesday and canada will be different harper and layton duking it out in the House and Iggy .. where is he anyways? -> oh there he is that must be him being carried out of the House by Bobby and oh yeah there comes the Da BUS!

    • Passes crack pipe to pscilone – "here".

  24. Adulators? I see it a lot more with journalists that openly-to-not-so-openly despise him – it's convenient shorthand for tweets and rough drafts, like PMPM was for Martin.

  25. I smell a new attack ad on the horizon. Picture it.

    "Smiling Jack Layton surrounded by the cost of his un-keepable promises. Fade to gray…..face of Bob Rae emerges…slowly materializing into NDP orange. The caption, "Jack Layton…doing to Canada, what Bob Rae did to Ontario"

    I expect to see that in a day or so.

    • Nothing is unkeepable. Stephen Harper has proven that. If you can blow money on gazebos and snowmobile groomers with a straight face, then spend more money advertising it, then the sky is the limit.

      • the difference John D…is that Harper blew money that was there. Layton will have to come up with 70 BILLION…and that's per year…forever.

        Ain't gonna happen.

        • Money that was WHERE?

    • That's a good ad. Rae is still poison here. (I love the guy, he taught me in law school and he was a great teacher and he's a fine man. But political poison,)

    • I think the Torries would be smart to go HARD after the NDP in Ontario: they have everything to gain scaring small-c-Liberals into their column, and nothing much to lose if it backfires and solidifies the NDP vote (besides Oshawa and possibly Essex there aren't any Conservative seats that could possibly go NDP: NDP gains in Ontario will be entirely at the expense of the Liberals in the 416)

  26. Success is relative. And when the grade curve is set by Glen Clark and Bob Rae, just filling in your name correctly can get you a pss.

    • Yep – remember well when the NDP made BC a 'have not' province.

      • Careful about the way you talk economics… by those standards the Tories have made Canada a have not country.

      • In your imagination. Actual economic assessments that take into account the relative state of the national and global economy at the time the parties were in power show that the NDP and Liberals were pretty consistent in their performance.

    • Doer was a million times better than Rae or Clark (or Dave Barrett, the crazy bastard who governed BC in the mid-1970s.) However, Manitoba's previous experience with the NDP was far less positive. Pawley and Sheyer were right up there with Bob Rae.

  27. So we should feel threatened about conspiracies to undermine our democracy but not than the actual open deterioriation of it under the current government?

    • Our democracy is working just fine and dandy – hence the surge of the Dippers.

  28. Something Angus and Ekos are both suggesting, though not very loudly:

    Layton’s rise consists of a material number of “young voters”, that is, people who say “cool man, go Layton” to a pollster, then sleep the day away without actually voting when it counts.

    Indeed this could very well be the perfect political storm FOR Harper: the perception of the socialist horde driving centist right leaning Liberals to the CPC safe harbor, while the actual voting numbers enough to cause some splits in the 905 and “regions”.

    I now see Harper with 190 plus seats.

    • Interesting. So the Dippers should put a keg to all 20-somethings in their platform as a last minute addition. That should sew things up nicely.

      • It certainly helped Paul Martin secure the leadership of the Liberal Party. Adam Radwanski sometimes writes of his days as a Young Liberal when Martin's "busloads of drunks" (to paraphrase Coyne) road into town to vote at delegate meetings. Martin took over the party one riding at a time with the "keg strategy". It can work. Though in the NDP's case, I think they'd be better off promising a free joint.

    • I wouldn't quite say 190, but I agree with your basic premise of the splits potentially lining up very nicely for Harper. The only part I wonder about is centre-right Liberals voting Conservative – I think that, for now at least, the Conservatives have picked off as many of those voters as they will get. The next wave of them won't move until after the election, when they see the reality of the new political landscape. What I think might happen, though, is that a group of centrist Liberal MPs might bolt for the Conservatives, especially if the Tories are close to that magic 155 mark and make them an offer they can't refuse. (Policy concessions, a cabinet seat or two, etc.)

  29. BTW,

    If one seeks to find an explanation for the Rob Ford “close” election that wasn’t, it was the polling of left leaning “young voters”.

  30. Polls, why do people get so excited about polls? Wasn't it the polls that said Ford would not win? Yep, they sure did.


    Read it and weep oh, socialist lefty ones!

  31. It's been trotting in my head all day… I may have missed something in the news…

    We've had assurances from Michael Ignatieff that he would not seek to form a coalition should he called upon to govern a minority government.

    What about Jack Layton? He has not closed the door to a coalition, has he? Maybe that's why he's ahead!

    • He will form a coalition, agreement or whatever they want to call it, he want's to be PM and has made that very clear.

      But I think it will be a lot trickier because the LPC needs to start over, perhaps not the best way to go at it. IMO they shouldn't merge, though some think it is a good for them.

  32. I for one welcome our new Socialist overlords.

  33. Stephen Harper is proposing a new religious based yearly calendar system change
    for the years after the Harper reign
    the A.D. (anno domini) will be changed to A.H. symbolizing After Harper (A.H)
    and for the years before
    the B.C. will be changed to B.S. symbolizing Before Steve ((B.S.)

  34. wasn't Avaaz involved during the 2008 election? Those huge demonstrations in Quebed last time, about the art's cuts, wasn'tt Avaaz involved in that?

  35. Well, nobody knows how this will end, due to the uncharted territory. The things we know for sure:
    -Harper will win – by how much, who knows, whether minority or majority
    -the Libs will come third

    Whether Layton takes over the Ignatieff plan of voting no confidence on the Cons and taking over the government after the election, who knows. I wouldn't put it past Ignatieff, if he hangs around.

    So, one conclusion we can make is that for the Liberals to have been the ones to trigger this election, that was one of the worst political calculations of all time.

    If the Cons manage to stop the damage and squeak out a majority (seems unlikely at this point) and the NDP holds second place, then it will be confirmed as possibly the worst political calculation of all time, which is only fitting for such an arrogant group, those Liberals.

    • I disagree that the Liberals will finish 3rd in the seat counts Monday night.

      Maybe if the NDP had any organization on the ground in Quebec, outside of a handful of ridings, but popular vote surges don't always translate into seats.

      • popular vote surges don't always translate into seats

        It does when the gap is large enough. Multiple polls are showing the NDP with a 12 point lead in Quebec. It's impossible for such a lead to not translate into seats. The last three polls are showing the NDP ahead nationally over the Libs by about 7 points.

        There is not enough time for the Libs to make up that ground.

        • Well of course, polls are only snapshots in time, and we'll see if voters' newfound affection for Jack translates into them abandoning the Liberals, Bloc and Conservatives on Monday.

          I could easily be behind the trends here. I was recently viewing, and lost track of the link for, a chart that indicated second choices for party supporters. While the Conservatives are the second choice of few, the interchangeability of Liberal and NDP supporters is much higher. This is explaining some of the flux going on.

          • I agree with scf. Surges like this are not just blips.

    • Liberals ran third through much of 1988. Then a late campaign surge – from a strong debate performance by Turner – vaulted them into first place temporarily. They ended up a distant second, with the NDP a distant third. Liberals will finish second, but WAY second. Tories will finish first, but how much I don't know. Dippers will be in third place with a lot of new faces.

    • I know this might be hard for CPC supporters to understand, but sometimes political parties do things based on principles, not political calculation.

      • not those kinds of things. .

  36. Fifteen percent of those who will vote have already voted in the advance polls (Elections Canada says there were 2, 056,001 voters at the advance polls over the Easter weekend; a total of 13, 834,294 voted in the 2008 General Election).

    Try as they might, the pundits are convincing nobody that there is a NDP surge anywhere but Quebec. The latest Nanos has the parties in Ontario thus (2008 results in brackets): CPC 46.9% (39.2); LPC 25.7% (33.8): NDP 24.2% (18.2). The Conservatives are within 3 percentage points and within MoE of getting 50% of the vote in Ontario – meanwhile the NDP and Liberals are perfectly splitting the vote. The Conservatives could possibly win a Chretien-like sweep in Ontario.

    EKOS is already picking up a rebound for the Bloc in Quebec. This will pick-up over the weekend. But having the NDP surge at the expense of the Bloc in Quebec is music to the ears of Mr Harper. As Mr Coyne said after the 2006 election – "Ontario is joining the West" – Ontario and the western provinces are about to be dominated by the Conservatives. As far as Harper is concerned, the NDP could win 100% of the Bloc vote in Quebec, he doesn't care – there are no Conservative-to-NDP switchers in Quebec. Indeed, Jack Layton has probably saved all or most of Harper's seats for him in Quebec.

    Mr Harper looks and sounds confident – he probably can't believe his good fortune.The Lower Churchill decision was designed to bring back Tory hopes in NL and elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, and having the NDP and Liberals split the left wing vote in Ontario was probably the plan, but having the Bloc and NDP split the sovereigntist vote in Quebec is a bonus. When Mr Harper wins his majority, he will need to send a Thank You/Merci card to Jack Layton.

    One last word about polls. Any poll that shows a national number for the Bloc is nonsense. Always has been, always will be.

    • Mark, if you and Nanos are even close to those Ontario polling numbers then the Conservatives will take 3 ridings from the Liberals in Toronto, as well as 6-8 other ridings from the Liberals in the following: Brampton West, Brampton-Springdale, Mississauga South, Ajax-Pickering, Sault Ste. Marie, Kingston and the Islands, London North Centre, Guelph)……….they will still need help elsewhere though.

    • LIES!!!!

      • Which part, exactly?

        The part about Carson lobbying government from a university position that came into existance because of funding from the CPC government, which he had no qualifications for other than his political connections?

    • not that big of a deal

  37. Why would any Canadian in their left mind vote NDP?!…

    A party who has forced MEDICARE on every CDN?, only people who can pay out of their own pockets wile bleeding to death in a ditch should be able to get medical treatment or too bad!…

    A party whose founder Tommy Douglas was voted the GREATEST CANADIAN in the history of our country!, who does he think he is?!…

    A party who cares about the people?!?!, forget the people!, what about the oil companies, banks & big corporations?!, their only making millions in profits!, crap I'm out of bread & water again…

    A leader who thinks the credit card companies are charging us to much interest?!, who cares if Canadians are drowning themselves in dept!, keep the government out of the billionaires business!…

    I mean geeze baaa! The other parties & media etc keep telling me not to vote NDP baaa! they say the SKY WILL FALL! baaa! you'd be crazy baaa! to think for yourself! baaa! you know you can TRUST what baaa! the other parties tell you to FEAR baaa!.


    • Yo, NDP spammer — this is the umpteenth time that you've plastered this identical post on Maclean's comment boards. Your partisan schtick wore out long ago. It's nice that your party is going to probably do well on Monday. Now go take your spam elsewhere, kay?

    • Did you just wake up retarded? Or were you born that way? Your incoherent rambling was stupid the first time I read it. It hasn't improved much the second and third readings. And I say this as a long time incoherent rambler.

  38. So, when are you and other "pundits" going to admit that you don't really know what you're talking about, and you just make it up (or speculate), week after week?

    • I admitted that three days before this campaign began: "I like to be surprised by the way a campaign begins. I haven't the faintest idea how this one will end." I wrote on April 6 that the effect of coalition speculation among opponents of Harper "is hard to predict." Only two days ago I wrote that polls "give useful information about the state of play today, but of course the state of play can change." In the same piece I volunteered that "my explanation for the NDP's much weaker showing in Ontario can only be conjecture."

      You do spend an amazing amount of time pushing through open doors.

      • You also wrote a book and numerous columns extolling the startegic genius of Harper and what he's up to. I believe it was you who put a name to Patrick Muttart. If you look back in one of those columns, I believe I took issue with your characterization of his "genius" (around the time of his announced departure).

        Do you still hold that view in light of recent events? Or was it simply hindsight when you tried to reconcile a winning campaign with the insiders accounts?

        • Btw, your cohorts, predictably, are doing the same thing – trying to explain the unexpected with some sense of expertise:

          But Layton is no throwback, and his NDP campaign surge is a product of pure 21st-century election strategy. If nobody saw it coming, that doesn't make the party's bounce in the polls a fluke. On the contrary, Layton's roll suggests that what might have previously sounded like wishful thinking from NDP strategists was rooted in facts..

        • "There was, indeed, nothing tremendously novel or insightful in the contribution Muttart made to Harper's team. The only difference was that nobody had ever made such a contribution before." – Right Side Up, Page 156. You just can't resist an open door, can you.

    • Perhaps you were thinking of some other pundit?

  39. I remember when Americans, according to polls, were going to elect Ross Perot…then they woke up on election day and said 'oh cr$p, we might actually elect Ross Perot'.

    Ross Perot didn't become President of the USA.

    • Umm, I don't think there was ever a poll that suggested that Perot was going to win that election.

      • Close to the election date, no, however in the spring of 1992 Perot actually was polling ahead of Clinton and Bush Sr.,9171,…

        For example, this June 1992 poll shows

        Perot 37%
        Clinton 24%
        Bush 24%

    • He didn't? What the hell am I going to do with my Re-elect Ross bumper stickers?

      • He didn't? What the hell am I going to do with my Re-elect Ross bumper stickers?

        That was funny. I have no idea why. It just was.

  40. I do not trust the "Riding Projections" charts at all! I live in Brampton, and in the last election Brampton West went to the Liberals (Kania) over the Conservatives (Seeback) by 231 votes (or 40.3% vs 39.9%)

    The current Riding Projections chart shows the Liberals leading the Conservatives in Brampton West by an even greater margin of 41.6% to 39.5%, yet the Conservatives are polling 9 points higher than their 2008 score in Ontario, the Liberals 5 points lower than their own 2008 level….add in the "Ford Factor" and Obama's freefalling numbers in the US, and that all translates into the public's distaste for liberalism/socialism… imo, there is NO WAY that Brampton West goes to the Liberals…the same can be said for the thin margin of victory in 2008 by Ruby Dhalla in Brampton-Springdale (add in Ruby's problems with "Nannygate" and the intense anger to her proposal to pay age old security to the parents of immigrants who have NEVER paid into the system), and her seat will also flip to the Conservatives (Parm Gill). I strongly believe I will be proven to be right on these two seat projections in Brampton, which leads me to wonder where else the Conservatives are being understated.

  41. The PQ is rising in Quebec and could form the government next election. I think Jack Layton is arguably the perfect guy to lay out the "Winning Conditions" to have the province sign on to the constitution, and Harper's the last person you'd want. Do it while Charest is still in office. Wouldn't hurt Charest's profile neither. I think the Constitution is the final refuge of scoundrels in this country, but it would end all the referendum nonsense once and for all which would do wonders for our dollar and business investment – i.e. JOBS. That said, I'm still voting GREEN. Liz May is still smarter and more knowledgeable and honest that all those old white males combined.

  42. Thank you for taking the time to discuss it, I believe strongly about it and love to learn more about this subject. If possible, you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is extremely helpful to me.

  43. It definitely would have been to the Conservatives advantage to have the vote a week ago, but at least they're not in existential crisis mode like the Liberals and Bloc.

    At worst the Cons get another minority propped up by DEEPLY wounded Liberals and BQ facing off against a laughably incompetent and unelectable NDP 'government in waiting'.