Friday, July 04, 2014

Before It Stops


 The ground is shifting. Jeffrey Simpson writes that the Conservatives still have "yellow dog" ridings -- where they could run a yellow dog on the Conservative ticket and it would win.  But across the country, momentum is shifting to the Liberals:

Apart from these kind of yellow dog seats, predominantly rural ridings, things are bordering on precarious for the Conservatives, to judge by recent by-elections. Yes, by-elections are uncertain weather vanes, since winds do change. Read too much into them at your peril. However, there are patterns.

In urban Canada, the Conservatives are in full-scale retreat. In Toronto, they went backward by 5 points in losing Scarborough-Agincourt and barely registered in Trinity-Spadina this week, echoing their results from Toronto Centre and Montreal’s Bourassa last year. Shockingly, they nearly lost Calgary Centre in 2012, when candidate and former media personality Joan Crockatt just squeezed in, winning 36.9 per cent of votes to beat a well-known Liberal challenger by just four percentage points.

And the New Democrtas are losing traction, too:

These by-elections have been almost as discouraging for the New Democrats. Despite presenting strong candidates, the NDP lost three inner-city ridings (Toronto Centre, Trinity Spadina and Bourassa) of the type the party needs to win.

But it was the Liberals who won them. The New Democrats did take Victoria in a 2012 by-election, but that’s been it. Overall, the NDP’s share of the popular vote declined by 10 points. A swing like that in a general election would drop them from the heady heights of Official Opposition to barren-lands third-party status.

Stephen Harper is supposed to be a sly political strategist. One wonders if he has been thinking strategically of late. Perhaps he is pondering if he will stay and face the music or get out before it stops.


Toby said...

Not a problem. Harper will cheat.

Anonymous said...

Liberals are the natural party of federal Canada, which Harper tried to destroy and impound us with American big business dictaorial government.

Hah we get the last laugh Steve lost his marbles in a playground game and now he is about to loose his cookies. He got caught too many times with his hand in the cookie jar!


Owen Gray said...

That's a distinct possibility, Toby.

Owen Gray said...

It's becoming clear, Mogs, that a significant number of people who voted for Harper in the past wouldn't do it again.

Anonymous said...

What about the 413,000 Chinese in Vancouver and the 45,000 more Chinese that want in. The Chinese will certainly vote for Harper. China wants the Enbridge pipeline forced through. China also wants the timber from BC, even BC's ancient forests. The Chinese also own BC mines.

Then there is the votes of the Jewish Canadians. There are the votes of the Canadian Ukrainians. What about the countries own home grown terrorists people, that go overseas to fight?

Now that Harper has given Poland the ship building contract, instead of BC? I am sure the Polish in Canada will vote for Harper too.

Also if, Harper knows he won't win, he cheats. Harper is getting all of his ducks in a row, to cheat this next election too.

Owen Gray said...

This time Harper's opponents know what he is capable of, Anon. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Rural said...

"Apart from these kind of yellow dog seats, predominantly rural ridings,"
As a long time rural resident I have never understood how it is that there is such a strong support for such an obvious dictatorial party with such anti environmental policies from rural folks who tend to be very independent. I do hope that my neighbors take the time to see that Harper wants to sell oil so we can buy cheap 'food' from China!!

Owen Gray said...

We live in the country, too, Rural. The late Al Purdy described the place in a poem -- the first line of which reads, "Conservative since the Stone Age."

For some folks voting has more to do with tradition than it has to do with policy.