Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bravely Looking Into The Future


Making political predictions is always a risky business -- particularly in this election, when the polls are all over the place. At the end of the last election, Peter C. Newman opined that the Liberal Party was dead. But, Chantal Hebert writes, Justin Trudeau will probably be the only leader of the three major parties who will be around to contest the next election:

The fact that, with a week to go, the possibility of the Liberals forming the next government is not just a figment of partisan imagination is more than most of them dared hope when they picked Trudeau.
Back then they gambled that he would mature on the job. It was not an obvious call but he has grown in his role, especially since the campaign started. It has been more than a decade since the Liberals have felt good about their campaign. For the first time since Jean Chr├ętien retired more than a decade ago, the party is poised to make gains on election day.

And what of Stephen Harper?

The reverse is true of Stephen Harper. 
He consistently expanded the Conservative tent over four elections but this fifth campaign has mostly been about the party falling back on its core vote.

It is not yet clear how successful Harper has been at holding the line against his rivals. His electoral swan song could still end on the false note of a defeat.

For it is almost certainly his last campaign.

Finally, there is the question of Tom Mulcair's future:

And what of Thomas Mulcair, the leader who spent the first half of the campaign on the cusp of a historic victory only to now be at risk of losing the official Opposition title he inherited from his late predecessor?

 If — as the polls are suggesting — he leads the NDP back to third place, Mulcair is unlikely to get another kick at the election can.

The New Democrats have a long and unbroken record of federal defeats and almost as long a history of giving their leaders a second or even a third chance. But a defeat this time would feel different to many party loyalists for they were asked to put quite a bit of water in their ideological wine on the way to their latest bid for government.

In ten days we'll know the answers. But today, Hebert -- who is an excellent journalist -- has bravely looked into the future.

12 comments:

Toby said...

If there was a button that would undo everything Harper did in the last twenty years I would push that button. While that can't happen I want a government that will undo the damage.

Mogs Moglio said...

It certainly does look like Trudeau the younger will cross the finish line first. What will he do then?

The Mound of Sound said...

I think Hebert's take is on the money, Owen. Our New Dem friends were never particularly introspective during the Layton years but they looked to Mulcair as the guy to finish the job. It hasn't been easy for them to find blinders huge enough that they could pretend not to notice that the guy is an ex-Liberal, Thatcherite, free market fundamentalist neoliberal, Likudnik fueled by sheer non-partisan opportunism. I'm convinced Mulcair could change parties as freely as he changes his socks. It's a job and it's probably the only thing he knows how to do passably well. I can't imagine where he'll find another open door if the NDP gig backfires on him.

Owen Gray said...

It all depends, Mogs, on whether or not he will keep his word.

Owen Gray said...

If the polls are right, Toby, something like 70% of Canadians want to push that button.

Owen Gray said...

It certainly appears that Mulcair's Quebec base is deteriorating, Mound. He has always had trouble bridging opinion in Quebec with opinion in the rest of the country. For instance, abolishing the Senate will never sell in Quebec. Building a bridge between Quebec and the rest of the country is never easy to do -- for any politician

But Harper has managed to form a "separatist coalition" between himself and Gilles Duceppe.

Rural said...

Owen Said "It all depends, Mogs, on whether or not he will keep his word."....
That, in my view is what the 'campaign' comes down to, who can we trust to actually keep all those 'promises', given past performance it most certainly is not Harper. I am betting on 'Trudeau the younger' and really hope my gamble pays off.....

Owen Gray said...

My wife and I made the same bet at the advance poll yesterday, Rural. Time will tell if we've chosen wisely.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

You're right about the trust factor Owen. I voted yesterday and I voted liberal.Their support of Bill C-51 still sticks in my craw, but this election is too important for me to elect another. Thomas Mulcair's position is too right wing and Harper was never a consideration. I worry though at what their saying about the long lines for voting and sending people away if they do not have 2 pieces of idea showing their name and address.It will be horrible if in trying to apply the Unfair Elections Act new ID policies and the problems that arise from that, Harper wins.I know that's the purpose of the act in the first place, but it's not what 70% of what Canadians want and that's what should matter.

Owen Gray said...

There were long lines here at the polls, Pam. But I didn't hear anyone complain. I don't know how they voted. But I got the impression that people had come out to vote and they were not going to be denied.

ron wilton said...

I voted...strategically.

Where I live the cons outnumber the others combined so I'm hoping for a lot of con apathy and voting for the rival with the best chance of ousting the con although she is not my first choice.

Had a great time though singing 'bye bye mr harper bye bye' while waiting in line for about an hour.

https://www.facebook.com/helen.e.austin/videos/10153094086941570/

Owen Gray said...

A fantastic clip, Ron. You must have had a terrific time.