Two new polls on Canadian politics say .. no wonder John A. Macdonald was an alcoholic?

Jul 31st, 2009 | By | Category: In Brief
John Dougall and John A. Macdonald, coping with Ottawa in the old days

John Dougall and John A. Macdonald, coping with Ottawa in the old days

Two opinion polls made public on July 30 just point to continuing gridlock in Canadian federal politics:

“A survey by Angus Reid Strategies for the Toronto Star shows the federal Liberals with 34 per cent support and the Conservatives with 33 per cent — a statistical dead heat … The NDP was at 16 per cent support … The Bloc Québécois was at 10 per cent and the Green party 7 per cent.”

“A weekly Ekos survey for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp … put the Liberals at 34.1 percent support … The Conservatives were at 32.5 percent … ”

These results underline Jeffrey Simpson’s argument this past Tuesday: “Until something changes, the road to majority is blocked” – for any party. But then there’s the CBC poll from late last week: “Canadians want majority government.”

The only logical way of giving Canadians at least close to what they want is probably some form of coalition government. The Conservatives’ problem is that their only realistic potentially stable partner is the Bloc Québécois. This old Canadian parlour trick was actually vaguely tried for a time in 2006. But today’s reformed Tory purists couldn’t manage its unique disciplines?

Right now Mr. Harper’s Conservatives are trying to pretend they can forever bully the Liberals into some de facto coalition. But it seems the EI Working Group that has to work if the Grits and Tories are going to get along (see below) is not working at all.  And so Liberal leader Michael “Ignatieff hints at forcing fall election.” But he can’t do this all by himself. What kind of coalition does that mean? And what happened to that in the wake of last fall’s election? Oh well. Politics is not logical. Enjoy the Canadian sunsets this summer while you can.

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