The Shotgun Blog
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Liberal majority not an option
I said earlier this week that I would explain my prediction of a Conservative minority government but this weekend has not afforded the time to do so. For now I want to make two points.
1. Stephen Harper will win at least a minority government, unless, of course, the Conservatives have peaked too soon and Canadians reconsider their desire to punish the Liberals when they seriously consider the possibility of a Conservative government. In my gut, I cannot believe Canadians will embrace the Conservative Party.
2. Can we stop pretending that the Liberals can win a majority. There are three possible outcomes in this election and in this order: Conservative minority, Conservative majority, Liberal minority. Still, people like the Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein write:
"Support him to the tune of 100 or more seats -- as they did Jean Chretien and the Liberals in the past three federal elections -- and Martin gets his majority. If Stephen Harper and the Conservatives break through with, say, 40 seats, then Martin could be facing a minority."
Read that again: the Martin Liberals lose 40 Ontario seats and they could lose their majority. To do that, they would have to pick up 20 non-Ontario seats. Where is that going to happen? In the best case scenario, the Liberals lose only 12-15 Quebec seats and a handful of Western seats. That's best case for them. The fact is, the Liberals will lose seats in the West, Quebec and Ontario (at least a dozen, more likely two dozen, any more than that, as I predict they will, and they face the likelihood of not being a government). So can we stop talking about the Liberals as if they might lose majority status. They're now fighting to hold onto the most seats.
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