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 Chrétien 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.