Canadian federal election 2011 at mid-campaign .. Harper if necessary, but not necessarily a Harper government?

Apr 14th, 2011 | By | Category: In Brief

Ruby Dhalla and the Liberals are in a tough fight for Brampton-Springdale in the Greater Toronto Area. But if she can win the Conservatives will have a harder time realizing their majority government objective.

Now that both the English and French TV leaders’ debates are over, some two and a half weeks remain in the 2011 Canadian federal election campaign. And according to Chantal Hébert in the Toronto Star: “Debates keep Harper on road to majority.”

At the same time, a Postmedia News report in the Vancouver Sun offers a somewhat different slant on the second debate last night: “Poll: Harper stumbles, Duceppe shines during French debate.” Moreover, in this debate at any rate: “Michael Ignatieff came off as the leader who ‘sounded and acted most like a prime minister,’ according to the poll … Thirty per cent found him most prime ministerial, while 20 per cent thought Harper sounded and acted most like the leader of the country.”

Two reports on this morning’s daily Nanos poll offer vaguely feisty slants as well: “NDP trends up after debate while Liberal support stays stagnant” and “Tories slip in polls but hold onto lead.” Digging a little deeper into the actual Nanos documentation offers still more nuances. Between April 12 and April 13, Canada-wide, the Conservatives went from 39.9% to 38.9%. The Liberals went from 30.4% to 31.1%, and the New Democrats from 16.3% to 18.3%.

New Democrat supporters in Surrey, BC show what’s driving them.

The latest Nanos numbers for Ontario are also a bit intriguing. Between April 12 and 13 in Canada’s “seat-rich” most populous province the Conservatives fell from 40.1% to 37.5%. The Liberals rose from 41.3% to 41.9%. And the New Democrats rose from 14.3% to 17.9%.

Who knows just what such comparatively small changes in a single poll may mean practically, of course? But compared with the dramatically different results offered by an EKOS and a COMPAS poll yesterday (see “Election poll results vary widely”), today’s Nanos results at least lean gently towards yesterday’s EKOS prophecy.

(Which, as one expert analyst noted, suggested the “Best scenario for the Liberals so far”: Or, as another report put it: “Transposing EKOS’s regional results onto the 2008 vote shows an interesting scenario — the Liberals and NDP would take an estimated 135 seats together, greater than the 122 Seat-o-Matic projects for the Tories.”)

* * * *

Bob Rae and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca Liberal candidate Lillian Szpak in BC. Former Liberal MP Keith Martin has retired. Can Ms. Szpak hold on?

Some will no doubt (and rightly enough) point out that EKOS is the polling firm which Conservatives have attacked in the past for Liberal bias.

On the other hand again, EKOS did successfully predict Rob Ford’s victory in the Toronto mayoral race last fall. And the regionally iconoclastic Paula Arab has some intriguing things to say about even this past Tuesday’s English debate in today’s Calgary Herald: “I thought Harper looked like a robot, stuck on a single-message track. Computers show more emotion, with their emoticons. The Conservative leader often stared down the camera as he returned to his script, and continued to misinform the Canadian public … Ignatieff showed passion and integrity. He conducted himself like a prime minister in-waiting.”

At the same time again, Bryan Breguet’s “Mid-campaign” seat projections are prophesying a range of 134 to 155 seats for the Harper Conservatives. (In 2008 they won 143 seats, and 155 seats is the barest of majorities in a 308-seat Canadian House of Commons.) Breguet puts the Liberals at 74 to 90 seats, the New Democrats at 30 to 40, and the Bloc Quebecois at 45 to 47, with no seats at all, yet again, for Ms. May’s Green Party.

Eric Grenier’s poll-averaging piece today is somewhat provocatively entitled “Liberals gain in Ontario and Quebec.” But its current seat allocations still put the Conservatives ahead of their 2008 results, if still not quite in majority territory (Conservatives 151 seats, Liberals 75, NDP 33, and BQ 49.)

A picture is worth a thousand words? What is this one saying?

So … a Harper Conservative majority government is still not dead certain. At mid-campaign there just may be some very slight momentum on the Liberal and New Democrat side (even if Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Layton are still so obviously competing against each other). If this were to gather steam big time over the next two weeks, there could even be something a bit more interesting than yet another Harper minority government at the end of the rainbow. (See, eg: “Scatological attack on Stephen Harper’s record goes viral” ; “Strategic voting: It’s not who you like, but who you don’t” ; “Project Democracy … More than 60 percent of Canadians do not support Harper and his government’s contempt for democracy … Project Democracy is a tool to help you determine if there is a way to ‘amp up’ your vote and stop a Harper majority” ; and, finally, “Could a minority Liberal government be in the offing?”)

But, but, but … as things stand right now at any rate, no one should be at all surprised if the final result on the evening of Monday, May 2, 2011 actually is a Harper Conservative majority government at last. And all of us who really do not want anything quite like that to happen, still have our work cut out for us — and many, many reasons to remember the great words of the poet to the south of us, who must south of us remain: “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.”

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  1. Christian,

    In God we trust

    “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38).

    God is merciful and forgiving, but the Christian must repent
    “If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (Luke 17:3, 4).

    In Ten Commandments List they are “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”.

    Faced with the fact that the government have lied to Parliament is like lying to his God, the supreme authority.

    John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”. Psalm 51:4 “Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge”. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Lying to the established order, it’s like lying to her husband (or his wife), there can be forgiveness but asking forgiveness and recognizing his sin. A Reconciliation is of course recommended, but it is inconceivable outside of forgiveness, which alone is able to discover the mystery of God’s love for spouses as well as its magnitude.

    Vote for your brother to be forgiven his sin, not by pride but by his prostration before God.

    God bless you

    Regent Cossitt

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