Two things caught my eye, yesterday:
- First, in Maclean’s magazine, Paul Wells writes that “Elections sometimes give us a chance at a better government, or at least a realistic hope for one. A lot of Canadians felt they were trading up when Trudeau became prime minister in 2015. Others felt it when Brian Mulroney became PM in 1984 … [and] … Sometimes even when governments don’t change, there’s room for optimism … [but] … This year the election offers no such hope … [not even] … for short-term improvement;” and
- Second, in Canada.com, Andrew Coyne says that “Halfway through, the takeaway from this campaign, if the polls are any guide, is: nothing. Nothing has changed. Nothing is working. No one’s support has moved, much, up or down. For all the media hyperventilating about this or that poll — Tories up a point! Libs rebound by two! The Bloc is on the march!— it’s all within the margin of error … [but] … with so little riding on the outcome — the Liberals and Conservatives, in particular, being content to make themselves all but indistinguishable from each other — and so little enthusiasm for any of the alternatives, it is possible to imagine the present trend, or lack of one, continuing through to election day … [but, again] … If there is anywhere this could break, it will be in Ontario. The country is divided into rough thirds. West of Ontario, the Conservatives dominate, with a probable 75 or even 80 out of 107 seats, according to the latest projections. East of Ontario, the Liberals are very nearly as dominant, the probable winners of at least 70 of 110 seats. Neither is likely to change. The Conservatives have owned the West since 1958; the Liberals have owned Atlantic Canada since the 1980s; Quebec, since the collapse of the Bloc, has shown no clear trend” … that means that Ontario’s 121 seats are likely to be decisive, as I have said, several times before.
I am, personally, disappointed that Andrew Scheer has come out as something approaching a big government Conservative. I had hoped that he might put restoring some fiscal sanity at the top of the agenda but it seems that the Conservative plan is to match the irresponsibly free-spending Liberals almost promise for promise. I don’t want my grandchildren paying for this generation’s irresponsibility.
I am equally disappointed that neither Jagmeet Singh nor Elizabeth May has promised anything new and exciting. I would never consider voting for either of them, I think, but every now and again third and fourth parties (and even parties-in-name-only like the Greens) offer something that makes one think about possibilities. After all, the best parts of our overburdened social services system originated with the old CCF in the “dirty thirties.”
I expected little from the Liberals and their platform delivered exactly that. Reading it was a colossal waste of time. It’s nothing but platitudes, trivia and really, really stupid ideas.
Ontario seems to be shaping up as the preferred battleground as both Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer campaign against Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne, respectively. Each of the big party leaders is trying to make the other’s provincial counterpart (one serving, one former) the real enemy. Prime Minister Trudeau’s campaign has resorted, time and again, to outright lies about what Premier Ford has and has not done to, for or about Ontario. Mr Scheer has Kathleen Wynne’s truly atrocious record at his disposal. The voters in the 905 belt might be the key to victory.
My guess, and that’s all it is, is that many voters in the Greater Toronto Area, especially in Toronto, proper, are very upset with Premier Ford ~ but they didn’t vote for him in the first place …
… this map of the 2018 provincial election results shows that Toronto and a few other urban centres, including Ottawa centre, where I live, voted NDP, but the all-important suburbs around Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Windsor all voted Conservative in 2018, and I’m not so sure that The Star or CBC Toronto speak for or about them in 2019.
Let’s look again at Andrew Coyne’s three regions:
- The West (and North) with 107 seats ~ and he sees about 75 going to the CPC;
- Let’s give the 32 remaining seats to the Liberals (16), the NDP (10) and the Greens and Independents (6)
- The East (Québec and Atlantic Canada) with 110 seats with 75 seats going to the LPC;
- Let’s give the remaining 35 seats to the BQ (12), the CPC (12) the NDP (6) and the Greens, the PPC and Independents (5); and
- That leaves Ontario which, if we follow a mix of the patterns of 2015 and 2018, might split something like, if the reported CPC surge in the 905 belt holds:
- Green and Independents ~ 5
- Conservatives ~ 60
- Liberal ~ 45
- NDP ~ 11
The end result, then, might be something like:
- BQ: 12
- Conservatives: 147
- Greens: 13
- Liberals: 136
- NDP: 27
- Others: 3
The end result, if my addition is still OK at my age, is that The CPC might be able to form a minority government but it is equally, perhaps even more likely that Justin Trudeau, with the formal support of Jagmeet Singh, would be able to continue to govern with some support from the BQ and the Greens on an issue-by-issue basis.
The problem, I think, is that as Paul Wells says, Canadians have little from which to choose. Justin Trudeau only stands out because his record is so miserable. He delivered on marijuana and the economy is still humming along, although there are many, many danger signals, and he is a celebrity, as I said yesterday. Jagmeet Singh has performed well on the campaign trail over the first three weeks and Elizabeth May has done rather poorly, I think, but still, I guess, they can get as many as 40 seats between them. But those Ontario number could shift enough to give either the CPC or the Liberals a bare majority. None of the Kokanee Grope, “cash for access,” an improper vacation on the Aga Khan’s private island, the India fiasco, broken borders, the entire SNC-Lavalin scandal, including expelling Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould from the caucus, the overt anti-Semitism of some of his MPs, telling veterans they are asking for too much, $10.5 million for Omar Khadr, and, most recently, the blackface issue have moved the polls ahead FOR Andrew Scheer because he has only, with a few exceptions, offered something akin to Trudeau-lite and the Team Trudeau tar-brush may be working better than the CPC one.
* A WAG is an old soldier’s term for a Wild Arsed Guess