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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.

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 30, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink

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