Majority seems unlikely in reverse elections | Opinion



This is an updated version of a column that first appeared in the September 18 print edition.

An election few wanted turned, in the space of a month, into one of the most contested federal elections in recent memory. The only thing that seems certain two days before the vote begins is that the quest for a majority government, which is the only logical reason Justin Trudeau called for an early election, will be denied.

Trudeau’s Liberals were five points ahead of the Conservative Party when the Prime Minister called the election on August 15. It was the same day that the Taliban completed their astonishing takeover of Afghanistan.

In the days that followed, tens of thousands of Afghans and terrified foreigners rushed to Kabul airport to escape the Taliban regime, including many Afghans who had worked to aid Canadian soldiers for the long haul. and sinister war.

As it became increasingly evident that many of these helpless helpers would not leave in time, as Canada had promised, Liberal fortunes began to falter here at home. On August 28, a poll showed the Conservatives were outperforming the Liberals in projected votes.

Since then, Trudeau has successfully exploited Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s inability to reconcile his own changing positions on issues such as gun control, climate change, vaccine passports and abortion with those of its hard core. For example, on September 12, three days after the federal leaders’ debate in English, the Liberals took the lead again in the polls conducted by But only fair.

This week, tiny up and down movements on both party fronts have confirmed that the election is too close to be called. Right now, the voter preference is 32.2 percent for the Liberals and 31.5 percent for the Conservatives.

The outgoing Liberals seem to control the local ridings. Patty Hajdu is 99% certain of winning Thunder Bay-Superior North while, in a tossup, Marcus Powlowski edged New Democrat Yuk-Sem Won and is given a 58% chance. to win Thunder Bay-Rainy River to Won’s 32 percent. Eleven days ago 338Canada had Tory Adelina Pecchia ahead of Powlowski and even with Won, but her odds of winning have since fallen to 10%.

In the meantime, Canadians’ long frustration with COVID-19 has hardened many hearts, especially around vaccines. An election that should have charted a new course for the country has turned into a party of snarling slugs. Political polarization is going to be a problem for the next government.

The leaders themselves are setting the tone with ugly accusations designed to cast doubt on the ability of opponents to pull the country out of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this tactic works.

“I don’t want an election, I don’t think Canadians want an election,” Trudeau said almost exactly a year ago. He really shouldn’t blame it now since by all indications he will be back where he started with a minority government dependent on the NDP to push the bill through the House and with Conservatives more determined than ever to thwart their every move. A waste of five weeks of our time, in other words.

338 Canada predicts that the Liberals will win 147 seats against 127 for the Conservatives and 32 for the NDP whose leader, Jagmeet Singh, tried with all his might to seduce Canadians into taking the risk of him. The current ranking is Liberal: 155, Conservative: 119, NDP: 32.

Ironically, fewer and fewer Canadians remain in love with Trudeau and some positively hate him for reasons that do not reflect his difficult two years dealing with a pandemic that many other governments have wasted.

O’Toole hasn’t been able to give voters a good reason to support his Conservatives, recently preferring to tell them why not vote Liberal. Conservative-led provinces have seen the worst handling of Covid cases as Tory prime ministers opted for personal freedom over public health. O’Toole praised the excruciating handling of the pandemic by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Now, with Covid raging across the province again, it won’t even pronounce Kenney’s name.

As for Singh’s NDP, most Canadians are not in the mood to experiment with a third government during a health and economic crisis and therefore must choose between those they dislike least when they vote on Monday.

Exploiting all their bad instincts, Maxime Bernier suddenly lost the Conservative leadership to O’Toole and went very well to form the People’s Party of Canada.

Mad Max speaks for all the conspiracy theorists who doubt the science of Covid and climate change. His vision is that of personal freedom and freedom and to hell with the global public good.

Bernier drew nearly two million fearful, frustrated and misguided supporters, or 7 percent of voters. It is more than the leadership of the Bloc Québécois or the Green Party.

The mood of the CPP’s whimsical fringe can be seen in their deplorable protests outside hospitals, harassing healthcare workers and patients to speak out against Covid vaccines and mask warrants, and in savagely confrontational protests during the Trudeau campaign events.

Bernier is giving his supporters permission to ignore the all-too-visible onslaught of climate change with his cruel mockery of climate activist Greta Thunberg – a child desperately trying to galvanize world attention to the looming climate catastrophe.

Bernier likes to say this: “When tyranny becomes law, revolution becomes our duty. He might as well have spoken at Donald Trump’s riot rally on Capitol Hill.

There are those who are easily influenced and love this stuff and then there are those who are really worried about side effects of vaccines who think maybe Bernier knows what he’s talking about. Either way, it gives them an excuse to delay or avoid getting the vaccine, which delays Canada’s recovery in the event of a pandemic.

Bernier will rob O’Toole of Conservative voters who believe their leader has drifted too far to the left since the election began and, if the polls are correct, will ensure Trudeau gets his job back. If that happens, conservative attack dog Pierre Poilievre would be prowling around the party, eager to take O’Toole’s place.

For an election only a third of the country wanted when it was called, the advance and postal poll numbers signaled intense interest in the outcome.

According to Elections Canada, approximately 5.78 million Canadians have already voted, an 18.5% increase from the 2019 election and a 57% increase from the 2015 election.

The agency sent out 1.2 million voting kits – some to Canadians living abroad but most requested by those at home whose ballots need to be checked to make sure a voter has not voted both by mail and in person in his constituency. This process can take up to 24 hours.

The bottom line, which political junkies and mildly interested Canadians alike will be sorry to hear, is that the outcome of Monday’s close election is unlikely to be known until Tuesday. Trudeau and O’Toole are unlikely to get much sleep that night. The loser will surely be unemployed.

Ian Pattison is retired as editor of the Chronicle-Journal’s editorial page, but still shares his thoughts on current affairs.

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