Sunday, 27 March 2011

And they're off

The election has now started and is set for May 2nd.  During the next 5 weeks we will off course hear lots on why each party deserves your vote and why the other is unfit to govern.  At this point not much has been said in policy.  The main issue on the first few days is that of the coalition.  The Liberals have ruled it out which was a smart move as had the dogged them the whole campaign, Harper probably would have easily won his majority.  After all, during this period was the only time he polled over 45% nationally and over 50% in Ontario so it makes sense he would want to use this as an issue to beat the Liberals with.  Yes they are constitutionally legitimate, but at the end of the day what matters, is, is it morally legitimate.  If a coalition is formed that includes the party that has the most seats or the opposition party comes close to winning it may have some legitimacy with the public, but when one loses as badly as the Liberals did in 2008, it is a tough sell.  Britain may have one now, but it also includes the party with the most seats and the prime-minister comes from the party with the most seats.  This was not the case in the proposed 2008 coalition.  With the Liberals taking this off the table, this could actually backfire if the Tories appear desperate.  The Bloc Quebecois and the NDP brought up how Harper proposed one in 2004 and this may make him look like a hypocrit, but considering the bad blood and ideological differences between the Tories and those two parties, I cannot see Harper forming a coalition with either of them.  In terms of polls, the Tories have come out strong being on the cusp of a majority and ahead of the Liberals in all polls in Ontario.  Even in Atlantic Canada they appear fairly strong and are back to 2008 levels in Quebec, still a lot can happen during the course of an election and considering that the Tories have dominated the airwaves in advertising it remains to be seen if they can hold or even improve on those numbers.  The NDP and Bloc Quebecois are doing okay while the Liberal numbers are atrocious.  Some may wonder why the heck they brought down the government considering their bad numbers.  Certainly they have a steep hill to climb, still I believe a weak Liberal minority is plausible as is a solid Tory majority.  Elections are after all unpredictable and anyone who says campaigns don't matter is completely wrong.  Many Liberals think that once the public sees Ignatieff, they will like him and support him being PM.  While it is true that the people I have met who know him personally say he is a very likeable person, he doesn't come across very well on television and considering few will meet him in person, I am bit skeptical of this.  After all, how someone appears on television is quite different than in person.  I have also heard Harper is far more likeable too in person than he appears on television.  Nonetheless a strong Liberal campaign and a number of Tory blunders may do the job, but considering this is Ignatieff's first election campaign and Harper's fourth it seems more likely that Ignatieff would make a major blunder as those seem to be far more in common in first campaigns than those who have ran multiple ones.  The first two weeks probably won't draw a lot of public attention thus I don't suspect the poll numbers will move much.  Once we get close to the debates and certainly after is when you will see movement in the poll numbers.  I will continue to update this on a regular basis as well as also mention the main policies as presented during the campaign and issues discussed.

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