The Conservatives’ Last Mile

January 21, 2006

Two days until the Canadian federal election on January 23. Polls now suggest a Conservative minority government, with their number of seats predicted to range from about 125 to 145, somewhat short of the 155 needed for a majority. Close, but not quite tantalizingly close.

But polls are only polls — what if the unexpected happens? The most likely unexpected outcome would surely be a Conservative majority. But, what could put the Tories over the top? The Liberals’ various forms of self-destruction combined with the Tories’ more calm centrist stance have brought things here, but I think those forces have run about as far as they can. Surely, even the flailing Liberals can’t accelerate themselves “on the march” (to oblivion) within the next two days, and the Conservatives have now more or less expressed their platform (aside from some devilish details, but who’s paying attention anyway?).

So, I think any final Tory push, if it happens, has to come from outside of the various parties; it has to come via decisions within voters themselves. And one thing they might be thinking is: “We’re sick of minority government, and all the unproductive wrangling, posturing and underhanded tricks that come with it. After 18 months of this, wouldn’t it be better to have a majority government?” With the conservatives perched near this, being the only viable possibility to achieve it, it’s realistic to conceive that a useful slice of votes could swing their way for the above reason, to “give them a chance and see what they can do?

A Tory majority may not happen (perhaps most likely not). And if it does, though we’ll never know for sure the final reasons that swayed voters, the above seems quite plausible from here.


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