A lot of talk has been on the issue of whether there will be a coalition or not and also accursing Harper of being a hypocrit of proposing a similiar one in 2004. No doubt this is an important question, but it shouldn't dominate the election campaign. Considering the bad blood and ideological gulf between the Tories vs. the Bloc Quebecois and NDP, I see such coalition is out of the question. Likewise, while a Liberal-NDP coalition back by the Bloc Quebecois is possible, I somehow doubt they will attempt this unless the election is really close as the damage it would do to the Liberals would be too risky in the long run and despite the fact the Liberal Party has made more than their share of dumb mistakes, I cannot see them being this stupid. I could be wrong off course, but that is my guess. What it really comes down to though is what does each party stand for and what policies do they want to adopt. This is what should matter to voters when they head to the polls.
The Tories want a majority which is understable, however they need to tell Canadians what policies they want to adopt and why they need a majority to achieve these.
The Liberals want to return to power which is also understandable, but they need to tell us what exactly they plan to do if they form government and how they would do things differently than the current government and why this is a better alternative.
The Bloc Quebecois cannot win the next election so they need to elaborate on the policies they want adopted and how electing more BQ members would help them achieve this regardless of who wins the next election.
Unless your are completely delusional, there is no chance of the NDP winning the next election, but that doesn't mean they cannot have an impact. After all CPP and medicare came about largely due to the strong NDP presence in the 60s. They need to articulate what policies they want whomever wins to adopt and what the expect in order for the governing party go gain their support on certain issues.
The Green Party will be lucky if they win just one seat, nonetheless the more votes they get, the more likely other parties are to pay attention to their policies, so they need to state what policies they will advocate.
We all have different issues we want addressed and no doubt you will never satisfy everyone and on any given issue some will agree and others will disagree. The important thing is the issues are discussed and then one can vote for who has the best platform. I also think in a democracy it is important that all views including controversial ones are discussed. Running large deficits, raising income taxes, nationalizing major industries, scrapping free trade, outlawing abortion, scrapping bilingualism, bringing back the death penalty, increasing private sector involvement in health care, and cutting immigration levels are all controversial policies no party wants to touch, yet on most the issues mentioned above 30-40% agree with such policies. I disagree with the majority advocated above but that doesn't mean I think all parties should oppose those policies. In fact it would make sense to have one party on each of those support it so long as they didn't win assuming public opinion is where most polls it says they are. Elections are not just about winning, they are also about advocating certain ideas and promoting them in parliament even if unpopular.