2019 Canadian election log, VI : ???? (or is it finally starting to gel as Lib minority gov that will last who knows how long??)

Oct 20th, 2019 | By | Category: In Brief
Key members of Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet on their way to being sworn in by Governor General Roland Michener, early summer 1968 : “From left to right: James Richardson, D.C. Jamieson, Trudeau, John Turner, Jean Marchand, Gerard Pelletier. (Photo: The Canadian Press).”

[UPDATED OCT 20, 10:30 AM, 1:45 PM, 5:00 PM, 11:30 PM ET]. GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. SUN, OCT 20, 2019. 2:30 AM ET. According to Barry Tango on Twitter – “According to Ekos: ‘There are many ridings where the Conservatives have a slim plurality but will now win because of Liberal—NDP contests.’ Unless you want to wake up Tuesday to Andrew Scheer as PM, you best seriously consider voting strategically.”

At the same time the latest NANOS “Nightly Tracking, three day rolling average” as we write early Sunday morning (“ending October 18th, 2019, Released October 19th, 2019″) shows the Liberals slightly ahead even in popular vote for the Monday, October 21 federal election : Libs 32.6%, Cons 30.3, NDP 18.4, Greens 9.3, BQ 7.1, PPC 1.9. [UPDATE 10:30 AM, 1:45 PM : As a sign of just how volatile things do remain, the NANOS “three day rolling average ending October 19th, 2019 Released October 20th, 2019″ shows Cons 31.5%, Libs 31.0, NDP 18.8, Greens 9.5, BQ 7.0, PPC 1.8!! Updates on other projections noted below are being inserted as they become available on this quizzical Sunday before the election tomorrow.]

Similarly, the last three [and now six] of Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker seat readings as we write do suggest a Liberal minority government at least – October 18 : Libs 133 seats, Cons 123, NDP 41, BQ 38, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 19 (morning) : Libs 139, Cons 121, BQ 40, NDP 35, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 19 (evening) : Libs 141, Cons 121, BQ 39, NDP 34, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 20 (1:12 PM ET) : Libs 138, Cons 123, BQ 40, NDP 34, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 20 (4:01 PM ET) : Libs 136, Cons 124, BQ 40, NDP 36, Greens 1, PPC 1 ; October 20 ( 10:46 PM ET) : Libs 138, Cons 124, BQ 38, NDP 34, Greens 2, PPC 1, Other 1.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speak after the October 7, 2019 English-language debate in Gatineau, Quebec. JUSTIN TANG/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

(And the latest October 19 [evening] CBC Poll Tracker, like the October 19 NANOS Nightly Tracking, also puts the Liberals slightly ahead in cross-Canada popular vote : Libs 31.8%, Cons 31.4, NDP 18.1, Greens 8.0, BQ 6.9, PPC 2.7, Other 1.1. As updated Oct 20, 1:12 PM ET : Libs 31.9%, Cons 31.8, NDP 18.0, Greens 8.0, BQ 7.1, PPC, 2.4, Other 0.8. And, finally as updated Oct 20, 10:46 PM ET : Libs 32.1%, Cons 31.6, NDP 18.2, Greens 7.6, BQ 6.9, PPC 2.6, Other 1.0%.)

The two [and now three] most recent projections from P.J. Fournier’s 338Canada.com suggest a somewhat different but again broadly similar seat count – October 18 : Libs 137, Cons 123, BQ 39, NDP 36, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 19 : Libs 137, Cons 123, NDP 37, BQ 37, Greens 2, PPC 1 ; October 20 : Libs 142, Cons 125, NDP 35, BQ 33, Greens 2, PPC 1.

Finally, the most recent projections from the innovative prediction project of Hill+Knowlton Strategies and AI pioneers Advanced Symbolics Inc. offers yet another somewhat different but again broadly similar seat count – October 18 : Libs 146, Cons 123, NDP 33, BQ 32, Greens 3 ; October 19 : Libs 145, Cons 123, NDP 35, BQ 32, Greens 3.

Of course, all the polls involved in these calculations could be wrong. (Such things have happened in living memory and so forth.) In our view (and see as well eg M. Grenier’s probability calculations in the latest CBC Poll Tracker) there remains some serious enough prospect of a Conservative minority government, potentially kept in office long enough by Yves-François Blanchet’s resurgent Bloc Québécois. [And the October 20 updates as of 1:45 and 5:00 PM ET do vaguely suggest some slight strengthening of Conservatives over Liberals, though the seat count numbers continue to suggest a Liberal minority government, that could be kept in office for a time by support from the NDP alone.]

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet (l) and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer at TVA studios in Montreal, October 2, 2019. Joel Lemay/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo.

There is also an outlier-ish Lean Tossup.ca poll aggregator that uses “numbers available on the Mainstreet Research Daily Tracker, a paywalled subscription service.” Its latest projection as we write gives the Trudeau Liberals as many as 161 seats – just nine short of the 170 seat bare majority in the present Canadian House of Commons. (Those so inclined can use their imaginations from here. Grenier’s latest calculations give the Conservatives only a 1% chance of forming a majority government – and the Liberals a not all that much better 15% chance! And Grenier’s complete odds numbers here as of around 4 PM ET Sunday October 20 afternoon go PC majority 2%, Liberal majority 12%, PC minority 37%, Liberal minority 48%.)

It is equally worth noting that on all the projections noted above the combined Justin Trudeau Liberal and Jagmeet Singh New Democrat numbers do add up to slightly better than a bare majority of seats in the House – without help from anyone else, Green or BQ.

This further suggests that (again on these polling derived numbers from before the actual election at least) a Liberal minority government could be kept in office for some time by Jagmeet Singh’s NDP – much as Justin Trudeau’s father’s minority government after his second election was kept in office by David Lewis’s NDP, 1972—1974.

l to r : NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, his wife Gurkiran, and Liberal PM Justin Trudeau at the Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner in Gatineau, Quebec, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang).

(There was some progressive shift to the left over this period in the first half of the 1970s. And maybe there will be again over the next few years, in the early 2020s. Or, again, maybe there will be a Conservative minority government, or some other more complicated kind of Trudeau Liberal minority government, dependent on more than just the Singh New Democrats. Or something else much wilder and unanticipated yet again.)

Meanwhile, just before 8 AM on the morning of this past Friday, October 18, 2019 Paqtasit Apsalqigwat on Twitter noted that “Today would be Pierre Trudeau’s 100th birthday and all I can say to this is thank you @JustinTrudeau for leading this country with grace and continuing the legacy of human rights your father started.”

Our parting thoughts here came when related research on Google finally led to a “life size bronze statue” of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, erected in 2004 in a suburban location just north of the City of Toronto (in the so-called “GTA 905,” in a community still known as Thornhill now officially in the City of Vaughan).

Barnabas Bozoki photo of Pierre E. Trudeau statue, artist unknown, erected 2004 in Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, Vaughan/Thornhill, Ontario (just north of City of Toronto).

Looking at photos of the statue posted on the WWW by Barnabas Bozoki it struck us that it is not a good likeness of Pierre Trudeau, especially up close. We do not know just who created this admirable enough work of public art. But to us what’s depicted is more like how Pierre Trudeau would have looked if he really were an Old Ontario family farmer with some serious acreage, instead of the urbane and sophisticated, world-travelled Montreal man of means that he was.

But it may be the Thornhill, Ontario statue guy is closer to the Trudeau Liberal “brand” that this particular larger region of Canada – the current populous and increasingly diverse suburbs and exurbs of the “Greater Toronto Area 905”, once long ago a homeland of the North American family farm and now much different – may recurrently fall in and out of love with in some strange corner of its volatile twisted heart.

And at this exact moment in history this love may finally be one big enough thing that saves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from leaving office altogether, in the election of 2019. (Or not, of course, of course … we must wait just a little while longer to see what all the people of Canada, in their infinite wisdom, finally do decide. And as of our October 20, 1:45 PM ET update our advice to congenital gamblers would be don’t bet the farm on any particular outcome just yet!)

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Public School in Oshawa, Ontario.

UPDATE 5:00 PM, OCT 20: Very finally (maybe?), as of around 5 PM Sunday afternoon, we’d just note a last-minute thought from David Coletto at Abacus Data : “If there’s going to be a surprise tomorrow it will come from these folks: 9% of Canadians haven’t voted yet, haven’t made up their mind, and say they are likely to vote tomorrow.”

And, if the ultimate outcome is a Liberal minority government, supported for who knows how long by New Democrats and possibly Greens too, the new required reading in our view should start with Alice Klein’s October 16 editorial in Toronto’s NOW magazine : “We need to start judging the Liberals, NDP and Greens by how willing they are to work together instead of how cleverly they pick each other apart … Each of the three progressive party leaders is disappointing and imperfect in their own way. But they also are generally well-intentioned … and have important perspectives to add. Their platforms actually speak more to what they have in common than what makes them opponents … Take a look around the world, my friends. From that perspective, Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May are an unusually impressive crew. What we need is for these party leaders to be frenemies, not enemies.”

(And many apologies for the Toronto reference from people fated to live and work here. Similar thoughts to Ms Klein’s are no doubt extant all across our vast and magnificent chunk of the global geography, including beautiful BC on Canada’s Pacific coast, where all major party leaders spent this last day of the 2019 campaign – because that is where this election might finally be decided, late tomorrow night?)

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