Tough sledding: a look at the ridings on Ignatieff's winter tour [updated] -

Tough sledding: a look at the ridings on Ignatieff’s winter tour [updated]

What will it take for the Liberals to win seats?


Political chatter in Canada usually swirls around national polling numbers, but the conversation has shifted lately to clusters of ridings thought to be in play. This narrowing of the frame of reference is prompted partly by Prime Minister Stephen Harper casting his hungry eye on Toronto-area Liberal seats, and also by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff hitting the road to visit only ridings the Liberals don’t now hold.

For the purposes of figuring out what sorts of local races might be most interesting to watch in the next election, Ignatieff’s road trip offers the advantage of an actual list of targeted constituencies. It’s a decidedly mixed bag. These are not by any means all seats that would make any strategist’s realistic list of the constituencies most likely to go Liberal.

What they do represent is a range of tactical situations that helps bring into sharper relief the enormous challenge Ignatieff faces. Keep in mind: the Conservatives now have 143 MPs, a dozen shy of a majority in the 308-seat House, while the Liberals have just 77, perhaps four dozen short of what they’d need to even form a minority.

Based on Ignatieff’s 11-day itinerary, I’ve grouped the 20 ridings he’s visiting (plus a few nearby seats included in his scheduled events) into six loose categories.

1.    There are five ridings where the Liberals came second in 2008 and were within five percentage points of the Conservative winner: Kitchener-Waterloo and Kitchener Centre, Oak Ridges-Markham, London West, and Miramichi. In these seats, even if the Tory vote held up, a swing in NDP vote to the Liberals could push Ignatieff’s candidate into first place.

2.    There are four seats where a Conservative beat a Liberal by 10-20 per cent of the popular vote: in B.C., West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country and Richmond, and in Manitoba, Winnipeg South, and Saint Boniface. To take these seats, the Liberals have to hope for a serious NDP drop plus a very bad Tory campaign.

3.    Two of the Quebec seats Ignatieff is hitting are held by Bloc Québécois MPs who won a narrow victories over Liberal second-place finishers—Ahuntsic and Jeanne-Le Ber—so a modest swing of the NDP vote in those ridings to the Liberals might be enough to push the Grits into the win column.

4.    Two Toronto-areas seats Ignatieff includes on his tour were won by about 10 points by the Tory last time out, and therefore look very tough to steal, unless NDP and Green support plummets in tandem and then flows mainly to the Liberals. These seats are Oakville and Thornhill, where the incumbent, MP Peter Kent, recently got a boost by being made environment minister.

5.    Along with seats held by the Conservatives and Bloc, Ignatieff will touch down in a few NDP ridings. Two of these—Ottawa Centre and Acadie-Bathurst—the NDP won handily by double-digit popular vote margins over second-place Liberals. Two others—Vancouver Kingsway and Trinity-Spadina—were closer races. To varying degrees, all would take a weak Jack Layton showing and a mighty Ignatieff campaign to swing them to the Liberals.

6.    Finally, there are seven seats in which the Liberals came third or ran a distant second in 2008: Hamilton Mountain, Prince Edward-Hastings, London-Fanshawe, Louis-Hebert, Beauport-Limoilou, Charlebourg-Haut-Saint-Charles, and Quebec. Concocting scenarios in which these seats go Liberal taxes the political imagination, but then watershed elections sometimes happen and campaigns always matter.

There will be no shortage of quibbles with these groupings. In some cases, the local reputation of a particular candidate could make the difference (although that’s not usually a definitive factor). In others, the historically unsuccessful campaign Stéphane Dion led for the Liberals last time out arguably sank the party’s vote below its normal range.

As well, I’ve assumed a backdrop of solid Tory support. Polls since the 2008 election don’t show Harper making any consistent progress toward majority territory, but they also indicate that his base is extraordinarily firm. That level of loyalty among Conservative voters leaves the Liberals having to target NDP support and, to a lesser degree, the Bloc and Green votes.

In other words, for Ignatieff to win the next election, it looks like he needs a wholesale change in attitude on the left side of the political spectrum. A lot of Canadians who are inclined to vote NDP, or even Green, would need to start taking his Big Red Tent line seriously.

UPDATE: Along with all the interesting comments below, I’ve had a few emails. Some rightly draw my attention to particular local candidates (whose occasional importance in determining election outcomes I do tip my hat to above).

A local star was, after all, the defining factor in the Winnipeg North by-election that, we’re told, partly inspired this tour: the Liberal had finished a poor third there in 2008, and so the riding would have fit in my sixth category, but a well-known former provincial politician stepped forward to run for the party in last fall’s by-election, changing everything. That’s a rough analogy for what Liberals hope will happen, for instance, in Hamilton Mountain.

These are the variables that keep politics interesting. Still, only national leaders and the campaigns they run can change outcomes in big swaths of seats.


Tough sledding: a look at the ridings on Ignatieff’s winter tour [updated]

  1. In others, the historically unsuccessful campaign Stéphane Dion led for the Liberals last time out arguably sank the party's vote below its normal range.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's always a bit presumptuous to state the term "normal range" when referring to a political party's level of support. "Average" may be a better choice of words.

    • Surely "normal range" is as determined by historic evidence as the average?
      Do you mean that "normal" is proscriptive rather than descriptive?

      Excellent and useful analysis BTW

  2. very well thought out and described synopsis of the current situation. The key has and is as always when minorities are concerned ' keeping your base support solid and consistent ' this is the key determinant in the LPT's predicament – without realizing it the constant talk and chatter by the frustrated harper haters such as coaltion, merger and all of this other non sense only serves to help the CPC and further divide the so called Left – in a way what we have is the possibility of the NDP actually having a chance albeit a remote one where they could become the official oppostion. The Liberals at present are in no way prepared or ready for an election except for those who want one so they can get rid of their own leader ? Only In Canada Eh !!!!

    • Very expensive way to get rid of Ignatieff, don't you think?

      I think he really wants out!!

      • It's not like they're holding him prisoner. All he needs to do to get out is say "I quit."

        • Ignatieff already looks like an opportunist, what do you think quitting would do to what is left of his credibility?

          Make no mistake, he is gone this year election or not. They can't afford to have him as the leader any more.

      • Harper's deficits will cost us $5-10 billion. Expensive? Don't hurt your shoulders waving those Harper pom poms all around Claudia darling.

    • Can you please explain how the Liberals are "in no way prepared or ready for an election"?

      • He does not have to explain it. He just has to say it often enough for it to magically come true.

  3. Just a quibble with the analysis. You've assumed that the only source of votes for the Liberals would be the NDP. In fact in many of the ridings cited, Liberal votes switched to the Conservatives in 2008, so another road to winning those seats might lie in the Liberals winning back those supporters.

    • Partially true but another even bigger factor was that many Liberals (or people who had previously voted Liberal) just didn't show up to vote. There are many reasons behind that which we do not need to cover again here but if they can be re-energised to come out and vote this time then things could be different in a number of those ridings.

      I agree that this is solid analysis and I wish we could have more of this from the MSM instead of breathless election speculation and Who's Hot/Who's Not nonsense.

      • I'm not sure which of the two was a bigger factor, but think it would be interesting to measure. Thanks for the good idea, CAPS.

    • I'm not sure this is quibbling. In #2 some of those seats where the Liberals lost by 10 to 20 per cent of the popular vote are completely winnable. For instance, St. Boniface and Winnipeg South both represented a swing from Liberal to Conservative but could swing back if the Reform dominated Conservative Party loses some of its PC vote.

      Winnipeg South previously traded hands between Liberals and P.C.s and is currently represented by an undistinguished Conservative Rod Bruinooge, who is obsessed with abortion, hardly the kind of issue that has broad appeal for the middle.

      St. Boniface is basically a Liberal riding that went PC a couple of times when there were big swings nationally (i.e. 1984). Shelly Glover is prominent but in a divisive way, again not a sure thing in what is hardly a Reform bastion.

      In other words, splitting some of the PC vote away from the Reform-PC coalition by presenting the current reps as being from the hard right of the Conservative Party will be the likely strategy. Getting some NDP and Green votes would be a bonus, but not the deciding factor.

      • I think that's why they got classed separately from #6, because unless it's a swing riding, I would call losing by 20% "a distant second"

      • Coming from the Saint-Boniface riding, as much as I believe that the Liberals could win it back, they did themselves a huge disservice in giving the nomination to Raymond Simard again. They could have easily found a (new) prominent franco-manitoban figure to lead a strong campaign…

      • In Winnipeg South the Liberals ran as big a Star candidate as they could imagine in Manitoba: John Loewen and he was beaten badly. Loewen would have challenged Goodale as THE Liberal representative in the west.

        As for St. Boniface Shelly Glover is a high profile well spoken cabinet minister. Last election she won the riding handily without these advantages.

        • Shelley Glover is not a Cabinet Minister and we can all breathe a sugh of relief for that.

    • I'm not really sure that too many Liberal voters switched to the Conservatives in 2008. In fact, the Conservatives got about 100,000 less votes in 2008 compared to 2006, compared to the roughly 850,000 votes the Liberals lost. If the Conservative vote does not grow in the next election, but even half the Liberal vote comes back, we could see the Liberals gain at least 10-20 seats easily. The way things are playing out, I don't really see the Conservatives gaining a ton support, and I think they would have to at least keep pace with any potential Liberal vote gains to hold what they have. Of course, it is entirely possible that the Liberal vote will crash even more in the next election, at which point the Conservatives could gain seats purely by holding steady.

      • You have to look seat by seat, though. The macro level of analysis is a good first step, but elections are won one riding at a time.

  4. In other words, for Ignatieff to win the next election, it looks like he needs a wholesale change in attitude on the left side of the political spectrum. A lot of Canadians who are inclined to vote NDP, or even Green, would need to start taking his Big Red Tent line seriously.

    I think the LPC has figured that out too: "A vote for Layton or Duceppe is a vote for Harper!"

    • What they haven't seemed to get through their heads though is that "we're not Harper" or asking voters to vote strategically may win them a few votes…but this strategy is hardly the stuff to swing the types of numbers they need…even to form a minority.

      Realistically, the Liberals should concentrate on holding on to the seats they have. It appears with Iggy at the helm this might be the best they can hope for.

      • Plus I consider a true diservice to people who like to vote NDP, Green or whatever they like?

        I would love to see Layton as opposition leader, the guy is gutsy and quite smart. Is it unrealistic for him to win? Perhaps, but why not give it a try!

        • I'm a little disappointed that Layton hasn't taken better advantage of the Liberal demise. The NDP will never get a better chance to overtake the Libs as opposition.

          Where's the whole "We're the party of Tommy Douglas; national healthcare!" That, at least, would appeal to Canadian heart-strings. (national pride/distinction and all that)

          If Layton would present the NDP as the "true spirit" of Canada, he would make major gains. There doesn't seem to be any brand saavy among the Dippers.

      • I am sure they will take your advice. They should just turtle. Thank god they have CPC supporters who can give them such sage advice!


    • Or is it a vote AGAINST iggy?

  5. In the last election the cons and the ndp were vote-swapping..the cons were bragging about it on talk radio..(hum.I wonder if they were vote swapping in Vaughn and Winnipeg in last byelection)…in the ridings where ndp were strong they got con votes to beat libs and in the con ridings which were strong the ndp gave them back their votes…Is that legal?

  6. Joseph….did you ask that question when the Liberals made their deal with Elizabeth May and her Kook party?

    YOu see it all the time…'s usually the LIberals trying to scare the lefties who depend on handouts from other taxpayers, and therefore vote NDP.

    SO yes….it's legal…but reeks of desperation. Which…is why the Liberals have been trotting it out over the last four elections. It steams Jack Layton to no end…and apparently…doesn't really work in any event.

  7. This is a pretty amateur analysis.

    • I thought John Geddes did a rather nice job with the analysis.
      Dale, you can quibble if you like, but it's nice to see a journalist doing their homework on a blog for which they don't get paid.

  8. Dale D. Wrote:
    "This is a pretty amateur analysis"

    Sorry, Dale D.

    It has to be for folks like Holly Schtick and Emily. Further dissection would require more space than I am allotted. And frankly, the assorted Liberal trolls on this site wouldn't get it anyway.

    The analysis, however, is correct.

    • I think Dale D. was referring to the Geddes' article…

      • But it's ever so much more fun that James Halifax just assumed it was meant for him. Almost like he expected it. Almost like he believes it himself.

      • If he was referring to the Geddes article………I retract.

        If not…..then I re-re-tract.

  9. The only way West Van-Sunshine Coast could go Liberal would be if the Libs had a really good candidate and the Conservatives had a lame one. John Weston, the current Tory MP, is a bit of a blank slate — he's certainly not a star. Some people also think that the whole Blair Wilson fiasco cost the Liberals some support and cred, since Wilson was touted as a quasi-star candidate before he blew up in spectacular fashion (the lawsuits continue to play out to this day). Vancouver-Kingsway is potentially winnable if the Liberals could attract a candidate with some profile, but the core NDP vote there is pretty strong.

    • North Vancouver may get interesting. Fellow by the name of Taleeb Noormohamad will be trying for the liberal nomination. He would probably have much support from the large Ismali community.

    • The LIberals do have a very good candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country by the name of Daniel Veniez. He has far more capabilities than John Weston, the curent MP. He has a business background, is well known and respected and would be a Conservative candiate if he hadn't gotten crosswise with Harper while running a crown corpoartion in BC. He despises Harper, whereas Weston is another one that parrots everything Harper utters. Veniez is a good communicator while Weston is a stiff shirt. During the last election the LIberal candidate was nominated only four weeks prior to the election, yet was able to come in a very respectable second place. The NDP candiate has only recently been nominated and is an unknown. I would say the Liberals have a very good chance of wining the riding. This type of analysis of each riding would certainly add to Geddes' article.

      • Thanks for the info. In that case, I agree, I could see the Liberals taking it. After all, once John Reynolds left, the Liberals took it with Blair Wilson. And if Wilson hadn't exploded in thermonuclear fashion, presumably they'd still have it. The West Van part of the riding is reasonably Tory-friendly, but the rest of the riding (up the coast & into Whistler) is not, really.

  10. I' In other words, for Ignatieff to win the next election, it looks like he needs a wholesale change in attitude on the left side of the political spectrum. A lot of Canadians who are inclined to vote NDP, or even Green, would need to start taking his Big Red Tent line seriously. '

    Is that the whole story JG? Doesn't Ignatieff really need to get Liberals out to vote in larger numbers? [ many stayed home last time] There's no real sign he's being all that succesful so far – i guess libs are going to have to decide who they dislike most: MI or SH?

  11. assuming everything goes the Liberals' way, it's possible they improve their seat count by 15 or 20 seats.

    assuming it doesn't (and the CPC usually gains, not loses, support during an election),they will hold their present seats, at best.

    consider, though, that the NDP could pick off a Liberal seat or two, that the Tories are making inroads in the GTA and will likely gain seats in BC and the Maritimes, and it looks pretty grim, indeed, in Liberal-land.

    all that said, this speculation is pretty silly. let's just have an election and see what happens.

  12. Though it would be no sure thing, they could begin to make inroads by dumping their biggest liability. The Iggmeister!

    • The rest of us really appreciate the clever analysis WestNewf. Really good work.

      • Have you ever noticed that Liberals always feel so great when they can belittle someone. It make them feel so self assured and smug in their little fantasy world. Of course your analysis is always so fabulous isn't it! Your an "educated" Liberal, after all and that, in your narrow mind, makes you the true Canadian and the rest mere riffraff, to be dispensed with through really incisive put-downs. Of course, as usual you feel you can speak for "the rest of us" as if everyone would have to agree with your rapier whit, and because you are a Liberal after all. Well, you keep thinking that way, there sunshine, because that's all you Liberals have left. Your bitter, narrow little world! Personally I rarely engage in a battle of whits with a person so poorly armed as your self, so consider your self privileged!

        • I totally agree with your analysis of the pettiness of some people who align themselves with "the natural governing party of Canada". Now that Dany Williams has retired, do you think the Newfoundlanders will be a little kinder to Mr. Harper?

        • but calling the leader of the opposition the "iggmeister" isn't "belittleing" someone????….isn't that what is called cognative dissonance…..

          • Yes it is.

    • A more worrisome state of affairs would be the reverse: that Ignatieff is currently their best asset.

  13. I'm taking the red tent seriously big time. But I'd also support a coalition if it were in the cards. Unfortunately, despite Harper's cries to the contrary, I don't think Ignatieff will go there.

    • Why don't the left (Libs, NDP and Green) just form a coalition party and then run that way?

      • Ego..mostly.

        • Yes, the major differences in policy and attitude among the three of them certainly couldn't be at the root of it right?

          • Yeah, I'm sure most Liberal Party of Canada members would have no problem adopting a new party constitution in which the new party enshrines itself as a charter member of Socialist International, and calls for Canada to immediately leave NATO and NORAD (as the NDP currently does). No problem, right?

    • Yup….me too….at this point I just would like a real conservative in there but until that happens …I will vote Liberal for the first time in my life…

      • Please, don't vote for a party. Vote for a candidate. Get engaged when the election rolls around and spend a few minutes asking each candidate some questions. Remember, the parties don't represent us, only the MP we elect does, so why not do what you can to make sure you've got the MP who most aligns with your views.. regardless of what party they're from.

        • Really??..It seems to me that the Conservative MPs serve Harper….Tried that last election ….voted for an MP I liked and they supported ALL of Harper's decisions including the REALLY stupid ones like the census….it seems to me that Harper thinks he is an American President…and a micro manager of the worst order…..nope!…this time I just want Harper out…and I am sorry I EVER voted for this wacko group of "reformers"

          • Yeah, that can happen. I always make sure to bring up an issue where I know my position is against the party line, and ask the candidate directly if he/she'd be willing to go against the party for it. Doesn't mean they won't lie, but at least they have that in the back of their mind when the vote comes around.

  14. Case in point re your "Centre-left" point: for many years, the most staunch and visible OPPONENT of abortion rights in Parliament was Liberal MP Tom Wappel.

  15. It seems to me that if there is any arguement a conservative can use that is guranteed to lose the election for Harper, it is the stale arugument about the sponsorship scandal that was settled years ago. Try prorogation instead.

    • Sunshine Coaster…..can you spot your error?

      I'll give you a hint.

      Prorogation by the Prime Minister…….perfectly legal.
      Theft by the Liberal Party…….illegal.

      Hope that clears it up for you.

  16. The Liberals are in a downward spiral. They are in a catch-22. They need to attract talented people to run for their party so they can get elected and get into power. They are not able to (Fantino and Chis Alexander as examples turned them down to run a CPC) and therefore they will lose. Losing fails to attract good candidates and feeds the cycle.

    The kind of people they need, David Emerson , for example can have more of an impact as a private individual than an opposition backbencher. It was reasonable to contribute your time as public service to Canada as a a Cabinet Minister, but to be a back bencher, why???

    The only people running as Liberal candidates will be those to whom the pinnacle of their career and earning power will be a back bench opposition MP.

    PS: If the Liberals ever get enough members to form a government they will have to have better qualified people to be Finance Minister. Scott Brison as Finance critic and potential Finance minister shows how bare their talent cupboard has become.

    • The liberal back benches are much more qualified and capable than what the con government has served up as ministerial material. The government is an abysmal crop of amateur incompetents.

      • On what grounds do you base that claim? The Liberal back bench is full of a lot of has-beens and wannabees.They looking pretty much like the Tory benches to me.

  17. The top quality political analysis is really appreciated JamesHalifax. Keep up the good work. This sort of contribution is bound to help Harper!

    • Show me where I'm wrong Sunshine.

      Is Prorogation legal…yes or no?

      Is theft legal….yes or no?

      • The German Weimar Republic was accused of pilfering taxpayer funds. The government that replaced them wasn't accused of pilfering, but they systematically set about to “change the country so that no liberal would ever recognise it”. That government shut down the legislature when opposition to its policies appeared. They were extremely secretive with one man rule. They abused election laws by ignoring them, using government funds to promote themselves and intimidated or mislead voters with disinformation. They spent more effort fabricating propaganda than formulating policy. They increased military spending to appeal to a very conservative and nationalistic base of voters. They abused and intimidated independent office holders that reported to the legislature rather than the government. __Today there are very few people anywhere in the world who remember that the Weimar government may have pilfered funds, but everyone (except possibly you) remembers that the Nazi government used and abused the rules of democracy in a way that devastated most of Europe. The majority of Canadians recognise Harper's behaviour as being similar and prefer the pilfering, especially since none of the pilferers are around anymore, but Harper is PM.

  18. Maybe the Conservative Party can pay back the $2-3 billion the Canadian Taxpayer will have to pay in interest payments on Harper's massive debts. Grow up.

    • 2-3 million in interest payments……price of doing business when you spend billions on a massive stimulus package (with the help of the Opposition parties) to keep the economy out of the tank, and save 100's of thousands of jobs.

      Still far less than the $40 million stolen by Liberal MP's and their bagmen.

  19. All this micro forecasting is silly…but fun.

    I think we could have a Conservative majority or a Liberal minority. It all depends if the Liberals are able to get their vote out. Many stayed home the last time. Anything can happen…look at history…

    Mulroney went from the biggest majority ever to 2 seats in a few short years. Chretien went from the big red machine to disarray in the same period of time…

    It is really all up to Micheal Ignatieff….is he ready for prime time? (insert childish comment here). We shall see.

    • By "few short years" you mean nine?

  20. Definitively a good point. If the party is perceived as a titanic on stand by, good possible candidates will not be tempted to join in.

    • Good point. It was the image of Martin the juggernaut, the 200+ majority, the prospect of limitless power, "Team Martin" that was the magnet to quality candidates like Emerson, Ignatieff, Glen Murray, Ujjal Dosanjh to run, and enticed floor crossers like Brison, Keith Martin (and eventually Belinda Stronach!). When the Martin balloon popped, and Martin himself stepped away from his creation, only Emerson was smart enough to bail. Ignatieff should have done likewise. If he had, he would now be into his sixth year as Harper's Foreign Affairs Minister.

      • This analysis suggests there's essentially no difference between Libs and Cons in terms of ideological orientation, policy, or vision; that, like free agents, candidates opportunistically go to the winning franchise (a description of Libs and Cons that Dippers would only too happily agree with, no doubt…white cats and black cats, according to Tommy Douglas). While it may be true for so-called "star" candidates who are recruited by party elites rather than by local riding associations, you'd have to be pretty cynical about politics to believe that's the motivation to enter public life for many political candidates.

        Furthermore, if Libs and Cons are interchangeable cogs in two party machines, is the obvious animosity between them all theater?

        • '' is the obvious animosity between them all theater?''

          More like a hobby or a sport…just kidding.

          I see your point and it is a very good one. After all, if you are going to talk about the right or the left of the political spectrum, how could candidates be interchangeable?

          Truth is, I think, that there is not much difference between the liberals and the tories; they are both aiming for the center. And, when you think about it, it would explain why Iggy is having such a rough time. His platform is the same as the tories' or vice versa.

  21. James, Keep with the times parrot and stay in this century. The Mulroney Cons took 2 seats in their last election but who's counting. This is the 21 st century. Try and remember that the liberals were punished for their boners and Harper will be too. Canadians who helped build this Canada are not as gullible as Harper's Alliance Reform Crap party seem to think they are . nothing but The BS spewing from your immature posts and your dictator Crap leader The one that I consider the most dishonorable man to walk on two feet.. Grow up, do a little research before speaking so much crap and wasted space. . You should be thankful that Martin and Chretien, yes Liberals put in place a regulated banking system and that Harper was campaigning to merge the banks with the US. Had that happened, you would not have a job today, a home,Forcing you to resort to stealing to feed yourself.

    • I love it when crazy replies to crazy….really, I love it.

    • baratta……

      The Party of Mulroney (who I never voted for) is not the Party of Harper. Whether that's good or bad depends on one's point of view.

      The Liberals may have been punished for their thefts, but given they are still holding the stolen loot……it is clear they are still using their "boners" to screw the Canadian taxpayers.

      As for the Canadians who helped build this country….they come from all Parties.

      I am thankful that Chretien never kept his promises. That's why we have Free trade and the GST. Both of which helped build up the surpluses in this country allowing us to land more softly than the other nations who experienced the recession.

      As for my job, house, and eating habits….sorry. I'm a classic Liberal….not a Party Liberal.

      I would rather be homeless and hungry than lower myself to an act of thievery.

      You do what you want though…….

  22. who votes for the CONs?

    not parents that had national daycare taken from them
    not aboriginals that saw two treaties rescinded and killed
    not scientists that had their work muzzled by the government
    not economists or social planners that were against tampering with the census
    not women's groups that had their funding pulled for supporting a woman's right to choose
    not anyone believing in freedom of information
    not environmentalists
    not anyone that protested at the G20 and watched the CONs squander a billion
    not anyone that thinks political parties shouldn't use government funds to spread their propaganda – 45 million and counting
    not anyone that wanted fiscal responsibility and transparency
    not anyone that sees the CONs spending more to deliver less
    not anyone that wanted to see the CPP improved
    not anyone who lost money in the income trust funds
    not anyone who lost their job when the CONs cut funding to the arts
    not civil servants that saw anyone of their members who pointed out abuse vilified in the media
    not watchdogs that saw their power weakened until they could no longer do their job
    not those that shook their head at terms like "ethical oil," "cancer is sexy" "build more jails to deter unreported crime" and "Hitler theory"
    not many nations when it came time to fill a UN Security Council seat

    the world turned its back to Steve, Canada should too… a pair of glasses does not make the PM any wiser

    • Many (most) parents don't want national daycare or the Cons wouldn't have a minority.
      The whole aboriginal welfare system needs to be abolished. It's a failure and detrimental to aboriginals.
      Scientists and Engineers are getting all sorts of perks from the Cons.
      Nobody cares about the Census except government statisticians and policy bureaucrats. To the hoi polloi, it's a non-issue.
      Everybody took a hit. Besides, pro-life groups have been doing it on their own dime the whole time. Fair is fair.
      Freedom of information? Don't remember the Adscam debacle, do you?
      You mean the Suzuki-Gore CO2-Cult weirdos who want to bankrupt our country?
      It happened in Pitsburgh, London, Seoul, Cannes, Washington…. It costs to be World-Class!
      The 45 million was for the Canada Action Plan. Every MP had opportunity to use it for their riding. The cost of transparency….What about the 27 million going directly to the parties?
      Adscam? The Cons are, in fact, better than the alternative in terms of transparency.
      More for less…. not sure what you mean. Smart people pay less taxes under the Cons. That's a fact.
      CPP? I'd rather the Cons implement a sustainable program than the Libs bankrolling something that will bankrupt the country.
      Income trust funds we're being abused, and nobody predicted that would happen. Canada stood to lose billions of tax dollars. In the long run, retirement savings are safer under a Conservative, economically competent government.
      Cuts are being made across the board. Artists can suck it up like the rest of us.
      Richard Colvin? The Libs are equally to blame.
      Again, the Libs under Chretien (and probably under Rae or Igniateff) were no better.
      The Tar Sands are ethical. Having cancer doesn't mean your sex life is over. Our jail system is in dire need of augmentation. Hitler Theory? Please, no exaggerations. They ruin your argument.
      Very few care about the useless UN Security council. Let's see how they do in Ivory Coast.

      Steve's earned the right for a majority; even if just for 4 years.

    • Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt on the the medical isotope shortage: "it's confusing to a lot of people."But it's sexy … Radioactive leaks. Cancer."

      "Hitler theory" the wise words and deep insight of Julian Fantino

      not anyone that sees the CONs spending more to deliver less… the census will now cost 20 million more for less accurate information, privatizing our federal buildings for a quick cash injection has actually made it more expensive to operate buildings Canada used to own, the $100/month child tax credit is $4 billion more expensive than the liberal national day care plan and does nothing to help working parents that need affordable day care… no Canadians want national day care? spoken like a lonely angry white male that wants to shrink governement until it can fit into his pocket….

      F-35 looking more like white elephant and is getting increased criticism even from some at the Pentagon

  23. Well said SidZehd.

  24. Shelly Glover has done a great job for St. Boniface, much better than her opponent Ray Simard, but you should never count the Libs out

    • A great job for Saint-Boniface? How so? The only thing I can't think of her doing is giving out CPC logo covered water bottles to school kids…

      • That's the impression I had too, Pato. I used to live in that riding and I still have friends there. Some are left, some are right, but they all agree that Glover hasn't done much riding-wise.

        Those on the right are pleased with her national appearances though, and her law and order thing.

        What I've been paying attention to is those I know there who aren't terribly partisan. They seem decidedly disappointed in her and the Harper government. They aren't too hot on Ignatieff either though. I'd call it a toss-up.

        A strong Liberal candidate with a good local campaign in St. B could make all the difference.

  25. The perception is that the LPC is a Toronto-centric party is what will continue to dog them.
    Most non Torontonian Canadians, that voted Conservative (or Bloc) would not vote for the Liberals for that reason alone, with the exception of most Maritimers.
    Putting Ignatieff on the big Liberal feel good bus and driving around Canada is great but alas, Canadians are not as gulilble as they once were.
    If these folks are serious about forming a government they'd best do something about that image, instead of trying to consolidate the rest of the Ontario vote (which would only serve to solidify their image as a regional party)

  26. Westmalle noted:
    "It was the image of Martin the juggernaut, the 200+ majority, the prospect of limitless power, "Team Martin" that was the magnet to quality candidates like Emerson, Ignatieff, Glen Murray, Ujjal Dosanjh to run"

    Yes, but as we now know….Paul Martin's "JUGGERNAUT"…..was more of a JUG-O-NUTS………

    Thanks in no small part of the feckless Mr. Martin himself, who was simply Stephen Dion with more money and less accent.

  27. Lastly…….Iggy and the Liberals know full well they haven't the support to form a minority Government, let alone a majority.

    The plan is clear to anyone who thinks about it. Iggy wants simply to get enough votes and MP's…so that along with the Socialists and Bloc he can go to the governor General and demand a coalition Government.

    As Harper said… will happen the day after the election if the Opposition gains more seats than they currently have.

  28. The LPC can not win even a minority government without the West as long as the Bloc owns Quebec.
    The Harper government won 57% of the seats in the ROC.

    30% of the ridings in Canada lay west of the Ontario border,
    which the old LPC easily wrote off,
    the LPC won just 8% of the West's seats in 2008.

    • Part 1 of 2

      That maybe so Wilson but Harper has not yet had the Blocs support and try and remember the last election. They spoke loud and clear that Harper would not get their support to win a majority. I do not believe they have forgotten the attitude of Harper with the Bloc Party. Harper has a way of burning his bridges at ever opportunity and if he gives in to the Bloc, he will be losing a lot of his own supporters in every province from Coast to coast to coast. You do not have to remind us of what last elections count wasan> BTW that was the last election.

      • Part 2.
        That maybe so Wilson but Harper has not yet had the Blocs support and try and remember the last election. They spoke loud and clear that Harper would not get their support to win a majority. I do not believe they have forgotten the attitude of Harper with the Bloc Party. Harper has a way of burning his bridges at ever opportunity and if he gives in to the Bloc, he will be losing a lot of his own supporters in every province from Coast to coast to coast. You do not have to remind us of what last elections count was.

        • part 3

          Since then Harper has shown Canadians his true colors and believe me they are not blue. Five years of a Prime minister that has not done nothing much for the average Canadians other than corporations and the wealthy. He has done nothing or any good and is a complete write off and implementing sound polices, and keeping campaign promises he has had no intention of ever keeping. Do not estimate the anger of the 65% of Canadians that did vote for his party and do not estimate that all of those who did vote for his party have since tired of his continually BS and extravagant life style on tax payers backs while the majority of Canadians are having to survive on minimum wages if they are even lucky to have a job to help with keeping their homes. Feeding their families, living from day to day and using soup kitchen and food banks to make it through the month.