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The latest poll: Tories up, but look who’s down

The softness of one party’s support is worth noting


 

The new Ipsos Reid poll for Postmedia News and Global National puts the governing Conservatives at 43 per cent, up four points from the same pollster’s last opinion survey a few weeks earlier, and nicely into the potential majority band. But at whose expense? Remarkably, the Liberals are up too, by just a couple of points to 27 per cent, since that previous Ipsos Reid poll. It’s the NDP that appears to be hurting—down five points to 13 per cent—along with the Greens—whose support was halved to 5 per cent.

This is, as we inevitably and rightly recite, just a snapshot. But the apparent softness of the NDP and Green vote is worth noting, even if one maintains a healthy skepticism about the predictive value of any poll taken before an election campaign has begun. Back in January, I reported in a short item for Maclean’s that Michael Ignatieff’s winter tour of 20 target ridings was actually premised—according to Liberal strategists I talked with then—on the theory that former NDP voters in those seats could be won over, even if the Tory vote wasn’t likely to move.

Today’s poll suggests that NDP and Green votes might indeed be susceptible to swinging, perhaps in large part out of fear of a Harper majority. But the problem for the Liberals, at least for the moment, seems to be that they are bleeding centre-right support to the Conservatives even as they are picking up left-of-centre backing from the smaller parties. Which formerly Liberal voters are the Tories netting? Mark Kennedy over at Postmedia lists, in his story on the poll, traditional Liberal backers like women and foreign-born Canadians. Not a big surprise, really, as these are exactly the sorts of voters Sen. Doug Finley, the recently (semi)retired Conservative campaign boss, says his party has been striving patiently to reach.


 

The latest poll: Tories up, but look who’s down

  1. Tories at 43% overall, and at 19% in Quebec… Does that put them over 50% in the ROC?

    I think it does…

    • Explain in the last 2 weeks just how they get a majority in light of the ODA scandal, In and out, Scandal, just being idiots scandal… LMAO the conservatives have paid for their popularity by simply allowing the BEN ALI clan into canada and not allowing the RCMP to investigate their money trail.. all crooks and all welcome into CRIMINAL vic toews new prisons

      • you'r full of crap

    • Oh,Oh…. Time for the Liberals,Separatists and the media to manufacture another drive by smear.

    • Without the Bloc in Quebec, I'd bet they'd be at over 50% nationally as well.

  2. The NDP have lost their rural ridings to the Consevatives, based on the LGR.

    • ummm…actually if anyone is going to lose over the LGR its all the rural Liberals who Ignatieff forced to vote to keep the LGR. Remember that six NDP MPs from rural ridings voted to scrap it and they were the only NDP MPs from ridings where it actually matters.

  3. Shows that the Cons can pull whatever dirty (often illegal) tricks and lie as much as they want and Canadians just love them more. Shows how utterly moronic our electorate is, or at least the electorate who still use land line phones.

    • Sounds like sour grapes to me.

      • I agree with Dave W. I think Harper's political genius lies in convincing every stupid person in the country that they shouldn't give a damn what happens in Ottawa, just vote for him and he'll keep the federal government shrinking and out of their way. As for what happens to Canada, meh.

        • Agree with Passing by: government should be out of the way. Harper is not doing this enough but he's by far the best option Canadians (even stupid ones) have for the time being.

    • The Liberal’s lack of respect and even contempt for the people of Canada (the moronic electorate) is why I quit the Liberal Party in the first place. The Liberals are a bunch of elitist snobs who hunger for power so much that they can’t stand being in oposition for even a minute. They are the ones who would love to have a dictatorship… a Liberal one!

      • i too quit the liberal party because i didn't like their move to the left.

        • You are quite correct. The only party anywhere near the center are the Conservatives.

    • Democracy is great except for those damned electorate. I'm sure you'll find some sympathizers in Mubarak and Gaddafi.

    • One word. ADSCAM, involving hundreds of Millions of our tax dollars with 40 mill going to your Liberal party coffers! Talk to me when you have some real numbers on the Cons ya hypocrite!

  4. With this kind of polling, Layton will be forced to support the Conservative Budget and wait to fight another day, while hoping the Liberals tire of Iggy and send him packing somehow.

    • Indeed. The great momentum the NDP has built up since 1961 seems to have stalled a bit.

      However, the party has only been in existence 50 years, so I guess they're just getting started, momentum-wise.

      • Well the CPC has only been in existence for 8 years. Imagine what kind of momentum they'll have in another 40!

  5. No doubt an improving economy is NOT a point in favour of a liberal return to competitiveness, leave alone a return to power. Still, it has to be kept in in mind that the cons have had a completely uncontested field as far as ads go, both positive and otherwise. We'll see what happens in the electoral period when the libs and ndp fire back.[ hopefully not at each other. At least not predominently ] Still, it looks like a major error to not fight fire with fire right now, as far as the libs go. That fiscal imbalance between the parties is really starting to tell.

    • The Liberals have CBC,CTV,Glob@Plop,TorRedStar McLeans, etc. etc. running ads for the Liberals and attacking the Conservative Government 24 hours a day. If the last couple of weeks of Conservative ads were all that it took for Liberal party support to crumble than I would suggest it wasn't very strong in the first place.

      • CTV????? Are you serious??

      • I stopped listening to the "the mainstream media is against us!" b.s. after every newspaper in the country except for one endorsed the TORIES in the last two elections.

        • Only their Editorial Boards (exc the Star) endorsed the Conservative Party while their parade of reporters and pundits dominated the airwaves and newspages clearly in their support of the Liberals.

          • Boy that must have made for some uncomfortable moments in the lunchroom eh?

          • Sue, that is just frankly wrong. Why don't you try reading the Post or any of the Quebecor papers? The reality is that for every Aaron Wherry there is a Terence Corcoran. In fact, if you limit yourself to highly partisan commentators (in print) then those on the right outnumber those on the left by about 2 to 1.

          • You don't understand. The media is out to get conservatives. Exhibit A: anyone in the media who denies this.

  6. These days we have so many polls coming out that each individual poll has a shelf life of…one day! In just the last week we have seen five polls and those polls have had NDP support at 19%, 19%, 18%, 18% and 13% – I leave it to others to tell us which of these polls is not like the others. What i find amusing is how the poor pollsters always feel they need to come up with some sweeping theory to explain every daily gyration. Just days ago poor Nik Nanos was coming up with theories about why the NDP surged to 19% and the Liberals collapsed – today Ipsos has to come up with a counter explanation for the NDP falling, but last week they had to come up with a theory for why the NDP zoomed up to 18% after having been as low as 12%. This is all getting very tedious.

    My impression is that the NDP has already made up its mind that its time to pull the plug and have a May election. I don't see any way around an election unless Ignatieff can survive flip flopping and voting for the Tory budget in exchgange for nothing.

    • Agreed, polling really has become tedious.

  7. The provincial margins of error on this poll are remarkable: 10% in BC and Alberta, 12%+ in the prairies and Atlantic provinces. Not surprising with such a small sample of only 1001.

    Why don't journalists publish the undecided numbers anymore? When you dig into the data directly from the pollsters, it seems to me that the number of undecided has been move very distinctly up in the last several months. This puts the decided numbers in a very very different light if so as it means voter intentions are soft and softening (which means as well that the negative ad campaigns of the Conservatives have not been as successful as pollsters believe).

    • Not only that, but didn't we just see a poll showing voter discomfort with a tentative Harper majority at 26% or so, which was down from 2006, not up? And now we get 43% con support – makes no earthly sense to me at all. We got us a case of pollsters gone rogue, or what?

      edit: voter comfort…i think?

      • From that to this week's – women and minorities are flocking to Harper. What would possibly account for that?

      • All the breathless Gotchas are taking their toll. At the polls.

        When it all just seems like political piling on, ignoring real issues, all that matters is how to create and preserve our savings and income and still make needed decisions for our futures.

        • Bingo. Voters are sick of all the utterly trivial inside-Ottawa BS. The Opposition has failed to adequately address the big picture.

          • So Parliamentary Privelege, accountability and possible attempts to mislead parliament are utterly trivial because they're inside the Ottawa bubble?Process isn't important because the voting public thinks it isn't?[ which is debatable in any case] Interesting pov.
            Just when do these trivial issues matter in your judgement? What is the big picture – the economy trumps all other questions with regard to ethics?

        • All that piling on…mmm…no mention of attack ads working. The people just know the opposition were in the wrong. Gotcha!

  8. The pollsters are competing with each other. Betcha (h/t Sarah Palin) that the next Ekos poll will show Harper at 52% nationwide and 95% in Alberta, which as we all know is Hosni Mubarak territory. This poll is bad news for Jim Prentice, Peter MacKay, Jason Kenney and others who have been shadow boxing to replace Harper.

    • Can we all relax when they hit 100% in AB? :)

      • Hold out for 106% in Alberta.

    • Has anyone else noticed that over the past year the ONLY time there is any media coverage of the Green Party is when someone decides to write an article about the fact that the Green Party never gets any media coverage anymore?

  9. Polls should be looked at with a HUGE grain of salt in this country. The Quebec and the WEST issues…tend to skew them.

    If the country had a politically homogenous population, then 43% would be very compelling, however, given Quebec, the West, and the large cities…….43% for the Conservatives could still be a strong minority.

    though admittedly, I hope Harper gets his majority so the games on the Hill would stop and the Opposition MP’s would actually do their jobs instead of trying to find fault where very little real fault exists.

  10. I doubt Harper wants to start a campaign with majority-level numbers…that risks galvanizing opposition numbers by driving NDPers, and even some Bloc voters, to consider voting Liberal simply because there's no other choice. The most important poll of all is missing from these numbers, and that's the poll that says a majority of Canadians DO NOT want to see a Harper majority. If Harper had strong numbers, and he had positive numbers saying Canadians would be ok with a majority, then he'd just call an election today and get it over with. 2008 was his best chance, he started the campaign with great numbers, but was still denied.

    • more canadians oppose a liberal government

  11. There's two stark realities right now, that should send shivers down the spine of the Canadian left:

    1) Regardless as to precisely how accurate the polls are right now, there appears to be no doubt that the political winds are generally favouring the CPC, and

    2) The CPC only need a few seats more to get a majority, given their gains in the last two elections.

    In other words, the CPC will more likely than not get a majority next go around.

    • It's a very strange day indeed when chet's world and reality overlap.

  12. Fantastic news. Surprising, but fantastic.

  13. Jack Layton's ego and lust for power, any whiff of power, appears to be such that, even if the NDP were at 2% in the polls, Layton would force an election. He loves to spend other peoples' millions, so wouldn't hesitate to break the NDP election piggy bank of $23 million or so, for even an insanely remote chance of having a whiff of power.

    • then please explain the NDP's support for the Government in the Fall of 2009 when they won no power in exchange for not taking the opportunity to defeat them on confidence measures (unlike the propping up of Paul Martin in 2005 with their "NDP-Budget")?

      • Oh STOP it with your rational observations!

      • Jack may be many things but stupid he is not. I doubt very much that he will want to dive in under present voting intentions. Does not make sense for him to go there when there is a chance of a Tory majority and his party being cut in half.

        If the Liberals were stronger, maybe, but right now, he would have to be somewhat suicidal.

  14. I've got to admit, 43% is a relatively impressive number.

    It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks if the previous trend of Tory poll numbers going down after a bunch of stories that they're in majority territory are published continues. Traditionally, Canadians hearing that the Tories are getting close to a majority hasn't helped the Tories' poll numbers, so we'll see if they're finally going to buck that trend.

    I still need to see at least a couple more polls with the CPC over 40% to think that that is likely though.

    • It's impressive if it's not based mostly on increases in Alberta.

      • I'd say it's relatively impressive regardless. It might have less of an electoral impact if it's based mostly on an increase in Alberta, but 43% popular support is still 43% popular support.

      • If I was a Liberal…I'd be less concerned about Alberta (which has been a lost cause for them anyhow over the last 30 years)…and more concerned with the Ontario numbers. Harper is showing a strong, sustained lead there now.

        The barbarians will be storming fortress Toronto come the next election…and perhaps Rob Ford will actually open the gates for them.

        • perhaps Rob Ford will actually open the gates for them

          I'd strike while the iron is hot on that one. Ford's done a good job at maintaining his popularity (it's even gone up I believe) but we're a fickle bunch in Toronto. Everybody loved David Miller too at one point, then we replaced him with Ford. We go hard left to hard right a lot. Wait too long and one risks running in to an anti-Ford "Oh for the days of Miller" backlash.

  15. Where are all the usual suspects that usually post on every single board every single day? You know, the rabid Harper haters that swarm every Wherry board.

    Crying in their corn flakes?

    • That made you feel good didn't it old boy?

    • I love the Norm MacDonald reference!

    • I think Emily et al. are in the same place Cats et al. go when the news is bad for the Tories.

    • Probably reading the news at the CBC. No chance at all to see a Tory positive story there. This week they had 4 articles on the in-and-out issue and not once did they mention the polls.

  16. I recall soon aftter the creation of the meged CPC, Red Tories fled on mass to the Liberals (and the Green Party argued they were a natural home for these disillusioned tories as well). Perhaps the longer Stephen Harper is in power the less these Red Tories see the merged CPC as the extremely socially conservative party that they once did and are returning home to the nest.

  17. It's surprising how the polls have been divergent in the last little while.

    I don't think there's any maliciousness but I'd like to uderstand why do different polls have such big differences.

    I don't mind the CPC but I do hate Harper: it'll be interesting if they do get majority. The good thing is things will get done, I just hope they don't go and do other absolutely stupid things like the census affair; or if they do, at least don't imply they have the public service's support when they really don't.

  18. of course its different. the CPC doesnt have a non-agression pact with the bloc, but the coalition included a promise that the bloc would be onside for 18 months. COALITION!!

    and, the naivete of thinking the bloc would actually follow through with this agreement is hilarious. they would have agreed to it in order to get the coalition government created, and then they would have asked for more $, more $ and yet more $ for Quebec. oh and again, a bit more $ for quebec.

    • First off, no, NOT a coalition.

      Sure, it's different for the Liberals and NDP to get the Bloc to agree all at once to support them on multiple votes rather than making the agreements one vote at a time, but that's a difference of quantity, not quality (I'd also point out that that agreement was SEPARATE from the agreement between the Liberals and NDP to form a coalition, and that the separate agreement tied the hands of the BLOC not the coalition. The Bloc agreed not to vote non-confidence in a federalist coalition government for a period of two years, not the other way around).

      Your second point is also moot. It's an argument for why the coalition might have been defeated if the Bloc reneged on their word, and that has nothing to do with the Bloc being in the coalition, which they weren't. Believing Duceppe is going to abide by an agreement he made with the Liberals and NDP on T.V., and which he signed his name to, is surely no more naive than believing that he would abide by any of the agreements he's made with the Tories in the past, or will make with the Tories in the future. The sum total of the difference between the Bloc agreement with the proposed Liberal-NDP government and multiple Bloc agreements with the Tory government is that the Bloc-Tory agreements were negotiated one piece of legislation at a time, and the Tories never asked for Duceppe's signature before the vote occured. That's it.

      Your argument seems to be premised on the idea that the Tories can negotiate for Bloc support honorably, but that the Liberals and NDP are incapable of getting Bloc support without selling out the country. I get that you're trying to attack the patriotism of your political opponents, but why not just be open about that? If you think the Liberals and the NDP are closet separatists who want to sell us all down the river to a mustache-twirling Gilles Duceppe, why not say that more plainly?

      • separate agreement: yeah ok, whatever. this second agreement however did not "tie the hands of the bloc" (ask David Orchard why) – political agreements are not enforceable in court. the bloc could also say 'we agreed to support this government, but not if they're trying to screw quebec by only giving it 10 billion extra dollars' – and he could do it with a straight face and a righteous look of indignation – that is guaranteed.

        the other point is also very valid. the bloc's endgame is not better conditions for quebec: it's the break up of Canada. so they would predicate their support on ever increasing demands for quebec, leading to a revolt in RoC. that would further their ultimate cause more than anything they've ever done in ottawa.

        bloc cant play that game with conservative government, because Libs/NDP are always afraid of an election anyhow. harper is yet to sell out to bloc demands, and we are all the better for it.

        also, im not trying to suggest lib/ndp are closet separatists, but i will state plainly, that i think the lib/ndp (specially the libs) will do anything for power, including jeopardizing the federation by playing footsies with the bloc in a coalition agreement (even one where bloc support is predicated on a 'separate agreement' as if this technicality mattered).

    • Given the reputations of the parties, I'd trust the word of the Bloc far before I'd trust that of the CPC, Liberals, or NDP.

      That you choose to libel them says more about you than them.

      • What's funny to me too is that Tory supporters seem to think there's no way to trust the Bloc, and yet it's the Liberals and NDP who insisted on getting Ducceppe's agreement in writing, a requirement I'm not aware of the Tories ever imposing on the Bloc when they were negotiating Bloc support for Tory legislation.

        The argument from Tory supporters seems to be "Duceppe will never abide by that agreement he made with the Liberals and NDP in writing! (and when evaluating that claim, please ignore all of the times he abided by agreements he made with the Tories that we didn't even require his signature for)"

        • when the bloc votes with the government, it doesnt mean there was any agreement made with the tories.

          • True, but you're not suggesting that the Tories and the Bloc never came to an agreement before the Bloc voted in favour of a piece of Tory legislation are you?

            I'm not trying to say that every single time the Bloc voted with the Tories they had an agreement before hand that they'd vote with the Tories but SURELY on those occasions when only the Bloc was onside the Tories knew that going in and weren't waiting for the votes to be counted to see if they were about to be defeated. That, and a Tory government getting the Bloc to agree to support them on vote X is no different from a Liberal-NDP government getting the Bloc to agree to support them on votes X, Y and Z.

          • the relevant difference is that on vote X, both tories and bloc know what vote X is about. a liberal-ndp government getting the bloc to agree to non-aggression for 18 months means the bloc is essentially agreeing to voting for bills its not aware of – hence the easy opportunity for the bloc to make an about-face, demand more for quebec and feign outrage, thereby furthering their objective of breaking up the country.

      • im eagerly waiting the statement of claim from gilles duceppe.

        their goal is to break up the country. im pretty sure they're willing to drop an unenforceable and vague agreement to achieve this goal.

        • Yes, yes, we're all aware that CPC supporters have so little morality they believe if nobody punishes them, it obviously wasn't wrong in the first place.

          The goal of the FLQ was to break up the country. The goals of the Bloc include, among other things, seeing Quebec recognized as sovereign over its own affairs.

  19. why bother?

    • Hey Mike T:

      43%.

      • Do you suppose there's a percentage at which you'll be comfortable enough with the Tories' electoral prospects that you'll be able to acknowledge the truth of the fact that the Bloc were never a part of the proposed Liberal-NDP government?

        • no, because the truth of the matter is that the bloc was instrumental in allowing the coalition to ever exist, and without the assurance of the bloc the coalition would not have even had legs to stand on. so they were not part of the government per-se, but they were a party to the coalition shenanigans.

          • Hell, that's actually close enough for me to declare victory (lol, j/k).

            I don't actually have a problem with people pointing out the problems with the proposed coalition potentially only having the Bloc's support (though I would point out that this suggests that the Tories are more comfortable with the idea of the Bloc wielding a bunch of power than they are with the idea of actually supporting anything the Liberal-NDP government might have proposed THEMSELVES); my problem is with people pretending (I think often deliberately maliciously) that the Bloc was actually a part of the proposed coalition government, which is untrue.

            I can even get past your "they were a party to the coalition shenanigans" phrasing, even though I do think that still suggests a level of Bloc involvement that's not precisely reflective of reality. Had you said "they were a party to the coalition" I'd argue with that, but the inclusion of the word "shenanigans" (suggesting that the Bloc were a party to events involving the formation of a coalition, as opposed to being a party to the coalition itself) makes even that characterization acceptable to my own sensibilities. Still cheeky mind you, but much less disingenuous than suggesting that the Bloc were actually going to be a part of the Liberal-NDP government.

    • I know it's probably naive, but there's a part of me that still hopes that the truth works kinda like lies. i.e. if I keep writing the truth over and over again, one of these people might actually begin to believe that it's true.

      That said, I do sometimes think that conservatives really are convinced that reality has a left-wing bias, and so they're just going to continue to steadfastly refuse to acknowledge reality.

      • It's what happens when you see yourself as the perpeptual outsider. In another 50years or so we might hope for conservatives to grow up.[ in this counry anyway]

  20. There used to be, but they merged with the Progressive Conservatives a while back.

  21. Speaking of Green support…what ever happened to Lizzie May?

    Haven't seen or heard of her in a donkey's age. (Not that I'm complaining.)

    Are we going to let a fringe party back into the debates this time…now that they are even more fringe?

  22. My comment was in response to Sue, who from her selection of words seemed to be talking about the press.

    Television reporting is generally much more bland with most of the talking heads appearing to be neutral. I say appearing because of course some turn out to be partisan hacks. Unfortunately for your case, all of the senators formerly TV pundits are Conservative.

    The case against the CBC is interesting. The most noted political commentator would be Rex, who is clearly of a conservative mind set. If you want to include this hour as political commentary then fair enough it has a strong liberal orientation. (really it has to in order to be funny)

    I suspect that this standard lament about the CBC is two-fold. 1) Many Conservatives believe that the "conservative viewpoint" deserves first past the poll treatment. i.e. if only 60% of Canadians are committed to voting against the Conservatives then clearly the news should reflect the Conservative sensibilities of Canadians.

    Even more troubling is 2) the CBC's selection of news items is inherently a Liberal bias. Having people honestly call themselves conservative and then screaming for self censorship is disturbing. The fact that these same issues are covered by all the news sources calls to question why the CBC is picked out. ( I know cause you are paying for it) However, the fact that those self same non-issues generate enormous comment responses on this site, the Globe and Post (both pro-Conservative and anti-Conservative) leads to the question: How come non-news is so damn interesting to people?

  23. Actually Ipsos-Reid changed its methodology, and stopped prompting explicitly for the Greens. Obviously this decreased Green support, although the change may be justifiable. Green support tends to be a mile wide and an inch deep, and you are right that most pollsters regularly overestimate Green support on election day.

  24. i think there's a compliment in there so, thank you, and thanks for the good discussion as well, and i look forward to sparring with you in the future.

  25. This is eeeeeerie. The closer we get to a possibility of the government falling to non-confidence, the better a small randomly selected set of Canadians with land-line telephones get at scaring the opposition parties away from an election.

  26. More tax cuts for us rich that's what I want to see. ….. I can't believe the poor are still driving around let alone eating decent food. …… This Harper government isn't pulling its own weight, its high time we start our own right of right party and show these red conservatives how its done. Honestly i'm sick of these uneducated masses thinking they are worth anything more than the cheap labour we need to serve us food and clean our toilets.

  27. The notable thing that is found all of these polls is not the Tory or NDP numbers, but the fact that the Libs have remained stagnant in their poll numbers.

  28. Come on people, I think you are putting too much weight on this single poll. The polls recently have been pretty stable, and all of the sudden the support of the NDP, Green Party and Conservatives changes 5% or more? This poll is obviously flawed and should be considered an outlier. I bet the next set of polls puts things back to the regular Conservative 32-35%, Liberals 25-28%, NDP 16-18%, etc.

  29. Not to worry Liberals,
    you are starting with 49 Bloc ridings, all the Libs and Dippers have to do is win 105 seats combined
    and you have your majority coalition.

    In fact LibDips can lose 8 seats and still have your coalition of losers majority to seize government,
    as long as Duceppe delivers his 49 ridings.

    • such a coalition will be the end of canada the people as a whole don't want it ,the west would then want to leave and that whould make it so much easier for quebec to leave.

    • Your preferred party is at 43% in the polls for Pete's sake, and you STILL feel the need to use disingenuous scare tactics???

      Weak.

      • The Bloc guaranteed the coalition of losers the first 49 seats.
        All the LibDips have to do is retain no less than a combined total 106 seats, and they have a coalition majority.

        How is that disingenuous?
        It's a fact.
        It's pathetic, it's actually revolting, but a fact nonetheless.

        • The Bloc have been keepintg the Tories in power since they signed on with Harper back in 2005.

          Long live the Duceppe/Harper separatist coalition! Vive les firewallistes!

          • That's a bit of disingenuous spin too.

            The Bloc have kept the Tories in power from time to time, but so have the Liberals, and so have the NDP. Besides which, I've got no problem with the Tories being kept in power by the Bloc from time to time. They're MPs just like all the rest.

            My only problem is with people who insist that the Bloc agreeing to vote to keep a Liberal-NDP government in power is evidence that the Bloc is part of a Liberal-NDP government, while insisting that the Bloc agreeing to vote to keep a Tory government in power is NOT evidence that the Bloc is part of a Tory government. The Tories can't have their cake and eat it too. Either the Bloc agreeing to vote with the party or parties that are in government ALWAYS indicates that the Bloc is in a coalition with said party or parties, or it NEVER does. You can't logically say that in one case it's a coalition involving the Bloc and in the other it isn't, based on no distinction other than that in one case the other party is the Tories, and the other it's the Liberals and NDP.

          • au contaire mon amie. :)

          • Don't get me wrong, people can SAY it, they just can't LOGICALLY say it.

        • Revolting?

          It was your Conservative PM, Brian Mulroney that invited the Bloc into our Parliament. That was revolting. save your hypocrisy for your good ol'e boys.

          Now that they are there…they are supported by Canadian citizens just like any other political party.

          In fact the Harper Conservatives are doing more harm to this country then anything Duceppe and the Bloc will ever do or can do. It is a shame that democracy means so little to you. If the opposition Parties get 50 + 1 % of the seats…they should form gov't…regardless of your spin.

    • The GG would have to give consent to the Lib/NDP/Bloc "non-coalition" (as some people here would define it) in order for them to seize power.

      I highly doubt he would be interested in setting that precedence and lighting a fire under (what would no doubt be) a very, very irate bunch of Canadians.

      The coalition experience has not been forgotten by Canadians…and no doubt some are going to vote Conservative this time 'round in order to avoid it.

      • Consider a hypothetical (I stress, HYPOTHETICAL) in which the Liberals and NDP held a combined 47% of the seats, the Bloc 10% and the Tories 43%. Harper could legitimately argue in that hypothetical that as sitting PM he has the right to face the House and attempt to continue to govern. (He could also concede, if the Liberals and NDP argued, essentially, "We've got more seats, get out of our way", though he'd be under no obligation to do so, and if it were that close I suspect he would not).

        That said, if Harper then lost the first vote (on the Speech from the Throne), the Governor General would have precious little choice but to allow the Liberals and NDP to form a coalition government, if they wished to do so. I suppose he could technically send us all immediately back to the polls mere weeks after the last election, but I'd suspect such an act would be a constitutional crisis to rival the King-Bing affair.

        • He could "technically send us all back to the polls," but he's smarter than that. He could (and likely would) invite the leader of the 2nd largest party over for tea and a conversation about the willingness to seek confidence.

          • Yup. And, interestingly, said leader could say "Yes, I'd like to try that" without even formally entering in to a coalition with a another party at all.

          • Yup. Although I would like to think the GG would feel entitled to reply with "Oh yeah? How?" Or, maybe slightly more vice-regal language…

          • True, though frankly I'm not sure how important the answer actually is. If he can't do it, then the solution creates itself (i.e. the attempt to demonstrate that you have the confidence of the House fails, and we go back to the polls).

          • Actually, I would hope the quality of the answer would indeed be important. If the GG can see that door #2 is not a serious option at all, I would hope s/he would act in the country's interests and call the citizens to exercise their duty again, even immediately, in a general election.

            I suspect it wouldn't come to that. I expect the leader of the party behind door #2 would at least try to demonstrate some plan to secure confidence. But if that leader just shoulder-shrugs and says, "I frankly don't have a clue how this could work, Your Excellency," then I want my governor general to default back to the people immediately.

          • Me too, I just meant "important" in the sense that it's not exactly a constitutional crisis if some party gets to deliver a Speech from the Throne that's never going to pass.

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