A recent poll published by the Huffington Post from Canadian pollster- EKOS, posits a grim outcome for incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper with 29.2 % of respondents supporting the Tories compared to a Liberal swoon at 23.9%, while the NDP lead the pack at 31.3%. The Green party holds up the bottom position with a 7.4% share of support.
This is shocking news on many fronts, as the Liberal Party appears to be in a free-fall of sorts with just over four months (October 19) left to mount a charge for, what appears, Third Party status in the Canadian House of Commons.Since the last election, according to EKOS, the Liberals have gained 4%points, the Conservative Party has fallen 10.4%, and the NDP are steady with a .7% increase in support. Surprisingly, and in a fait accompli, the Green Party has increased their share of popular support by 3.5%, almost double since the last election; time to break out the the Grey Goose, and celebrate, But not so fast for those stalwarts of a better planet.
However, for those Conservative supporters convulsing from a panic attack, the polling site- ThreeHundredEight.com reports a Conservative average of 30.8%, NDP and Liberal Party average of 28.3 with median seat projections as follows: Conservative- 130, NDP- 107, and Liberal Party at 98.
As is typical, one month in the life of an election is an eternity. What can be surmised from these results? For Prime Minister Harper to re-elect a majority of his members, a security crisis will have to befall Canada in an important way. Probably nothing as dramatic as the recent attack on Parliament, though, an international incident would probably be enough to distract the electorate enough and frighten them into maintaining the status quo in Ottawa. In addition, the aftermath of the Mike Duffy trial must lay minimal blame at Mr Harper’s feet or the PMO’s office. The NDP has an opportunity to ride the “Orange -Wave” from the success of their provincial brethren in Alberta by pushing Thomas Mulcair further out into the public sphere so that Canadians can see him for what he is: an astute and well-spoken leader that champions the middle class, (while raising taxes for the wealthiest Canadians and abolishing the Senate,) and has the integrity and chops to back it up. The Liberal Party, sorry Justin Trudeau, have shown their hand and it isn’t ready, quite yet, for prime-time. Could the Liberals sneak in and pull an upset? It is too late in the game for them, though, they can grow their base and seat counts by focussing on Ontario and British Columbia. The Green Party are victims of an antiquated “First Past the Post” voting system that offers no consolation prizes for voting percentage; according to 308.com, they are destined for two seats- the same number that was the apocalypse from the 1993 debacle that was the Progressive Conservative tally after hard years of free-trade, the G.S.T. and a glib Brian Mulroney cabinet, (no matter the talent level.) An MMP (Mixed Member Proportional Representation) format would have undoubtedly never put either of Canada’s major parties in the position to pass legislation that the majority of Canadians wanted no part of (in Mr Mulroney’s case) or corrupt budget balancing schemes such as borrowing from the E.I. Plan to balance the budget, compliments of Jean Chretien’s Liberal juggernaut. A potential consequence of MMP may be a fragmented Parliament that is bogged down in Question Period and cannot settle any business in an orderly fashion. A very strong-willed bipartisan Speaker of the House can help bring order to all of the meanderings. In the meantime, in order for the Tories to catch the NDP or Liberal Party, Mr Harper should hope hockey and barley, run mad in Ontario this Fall.