The pollsters are saying that this election is too close to call. But Michael Harris writes that the pollsters have a sullied record of prediction:
I’m here to argue that the pollsters aren’t reading the chessboard very well. There is no way for Scheer and the Conservatives to win this election, if winning means governing. Barring an asteroid hitting the Liberal campaign, the winner of the election will be Trudeau. There is my limb, and now I will climb out on it for the explanation.
Harris goes on to explain why he believes Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives will not be able to govern this country. They simply don't know how to play well with others:
So, here’s why Scheer can’t triumph in this election. Even if the Conservatives were to win the most seats, Scheer will still require a partner in order to govern. And that is the problem. There are no partners, especially in the long term, for the Conservatives.
Scheer will lead Vancouver’s Gay Pride Parade in leopard skin tights before either the Liberals or the NDP agree to sustain a Conservative minority government.
Both Trudeau and Singh have signalled that they are willing to work together, but not with a PM who is a de facto climate-change denier.
Singh has gone even further, declaring that he will not support Scheer under any circumstances because of the “values” abyss between the NDP and the Conservatives.
Reviving moribund pipelines like Northern Gateway, as well as espousing new ones like Energy East, as Scheer has done, means that the Conservatives will still have a lock on the world’s Fossil Award. With Greta Thunberg casting a long shadow over this election, neither the Liberals nor NDP will touch the Conservative climate position with a barge pole.
So who is left to get a potential Scheer minority government through its first Throne Speech?
Although Elizabeth May initially said she would try to work with any party, the Greens would be a dreadful philosophical fit with the Conservatives. Besides, May killed any possible collaboration with the Conservatives when she declared that her party would not support anyone who stood for more pipelines. That would be Scheer.
Even if the Greens were to support the Conservatives in exchange for Scheer committing to a better climate policy, pollsters tell us that the party won’t have enough seats to sustain a government. The current projection for the Greens after Oct. 21 sits at four seats.
That leaves just one political party that will have the numbers to potentially allow a minority Conservative government to survive; the Bloc Québécois. How likely is that?
For the Bloc, there is only one interest to consider, that of Quebec. Scheer has already offered new goodies to Quebec, like his pledge to allow a single form tax return overseen by the provincial government. In order to govern in a minority situation, Scheer might be tempted to offer even more.
From the Bloc’s perspective, even though it is ideologically left on the political spectrum, the party might be able to land a few prize concessions from the Conservatives in return for propping up Scheer. They have nothing to lose in trying.
But from Scheer’s point of view, it would be quicker to down a goblet of hemlock than to embrace Monsieur Blanchet.
How would the West, the Mecca of conservatism in Canada, feel about dishing out more special rights to Quebec?
So you see the problem. Scheer and the Conservatives start from the proposition that they must deal with the world of their dreams -- not the world as it is. That principle -- if you can call it that -- has left the party as a refuge for those who can't deal with the world as it is.
Any successful political party must have a firm grip on reality The Conservatives have lost their grip.