Monday, July 12, 2010

Projection: 129 CPC, 94 LPC, 52 BQ, 33 NDP

ThreeHundredEight.com's new projection shows the Conservatives up, the Liberals down, and the others relatively stable, with seat changes in Ontario and Quebec.The Conservatives have picked up another seat and now stand at 129, still a loss of 15 MPs from their current standing in the House of Commons. The Liberals are down one seat to 94, nevertheless still a gain of 17 seats.

The Bloc Québécois is steady at 52 seats while the New Democrats are steady at 33. This represents a gain of four for the Bloc and a loss of three for the NDP.

In terms of popular vote, the Conservatives are unchanged at 33.1% while the Liberals are down 0.2 points to 27.7%. The gap is now 5.4 points, still narrower than the two elections that have put Stephen Harper in power.

The NDP, Bloc, and Greens all gain 0.1 points nationally, putting them at 16.9%, 9.7%, and 10.5%, respectively.

The Conservatives have regained the lead in Ontario, thanks to a 0.1 point gain. They are now at 35.4%, slightly ahead of the Liberals at 35.2% (down 0.3). The Liberals have also lost a seat in the province, and are now at 46. It is the NDP, who is up 0.2 points to 17.1%, that has gained the seat from them. They are now at 15 seats in Ontario. The Greens are steady at 10.6%.

In Quebec, the Bloc jumps 0.3 points and is now at 39.2%. The Liberals are down 0.1 to 22.8% and the Conservatives are up 0.1 to 16.8%. The NDP is down 0.2 to 12.2% and the Greens are down 0.1 to 7.2%. The NDP lose a seat and are now down to one in the province, while the Conservatives gain a seat and are now at seven. That isn't to say that the Conservatives take a seat away from the NDP, just that the net result is a Tory gain.

The Conservatives are up 0.6 points in British Columbia and lead with 36.7%. The NDP is down 0.1 to 26.5% and the Liberals are steady at 22.6%. The Greens are at 12.1%, down 0.4 points.

The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 37.1% (up 0.2), while the Conservatives and NDP are unchanged at 32.4% and 22.7%, respectively. The Greens are down 0.1 points to 6.1%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives have gained 0.9 points and lead with 59.8%. The Liberals are at 16.2% (down 0.4), followed by the NDP at 11.3% (unchanged) and the Greens at 9.7% (down 0.4).

The Conservatives lead in the Prairies with 46.2% (down 0.1) while the NDP has gained 0.2 points to 23.0%. The Liberals are unchanged at 21.9% while the Greens are steady at 7.3%.

Finally, in the North, the Liberals lead with 32.9% (down 0.1), followed by the Conservatives (30.0%, unchanged), the NDP (27.3%, unchanged), and the Greens (8.6%, down 0.1).

The winner of this projection update is the Conservative Party, as they have a net gain in the seven regions of 1.6 points. They made small gains in Ontario and Quebec, but big gains in British Columbia and Alberta.

The projection was next best for the Bloc Québécois, as they have gained 0.3 points and have a solid, big lead in Quebec. At 52 seats, this would be their best electoral result since 2004.

The NDP is the last party to have a positive projection update, as they have a net gain of 0.1 points. Their 0.2-point gain in Ontario is big, as is a gain of the same amount in the Prairies. But they are down in British Columbia and Quebec.

The Liberals had a net loss of 0.7 points, with significant drops in Alberta and Ontario. But the party was steady in British Columbia and made a tidy gain in Atlantic Canada.

Finally, the Greens had the worst projection update, as they have had a net loss of 0.9 points. Worst for them is their 0.4-point drop in British Columbia.

With 129 seats, the Conservatives have a two-seat plurality over the combined totals of the Liberals and New Democrats - so it looks like another Conservative minority as in 2006.

31 comments:

  1. Really still things are essentially stable.

    Tories marching away from majority. Liberals essentially stagnant.

    Almost vibration within the MOE ?

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  2. Éric: With 129 seats, the Conservatives have a two-seat plurality over the combined totals of the Liberals and New Democrats - so it looks like another Conservative minority as in 2006.

    Not quite because in 2006 Canadians couldn't conceive of an alternative to minority government based on a plurality. Our political understanding has evolved. Instead, the situation looks like Interesting Times, AKA the edge case. Nobody ends up with anything approaching a mandate, legalities nothwithstanding. Not the Conservatives. Not a coalition.

    Having said that, a slight tweak could greatly change things. If Greens win two seats or even one and join a traffic light coalition, perceived legitimacy could come from the support of a combined majority of voters. That would be a profound claim since nobody has governed from a popular majority in three decades.

    If we do see a fall election, senior Grits and Dippers may secretly pray for Green success in Saanich--Gulf Islands or Guelph. Even over their own local candidates.

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  3. John the Liberals + NDP wouldn't have a plurality based on this projection.

    Which means the active support of the BQ would be required to form and maintain government. (IE. not just abstention but actually voting yes.)

    Nothing has "evolved" with regards to how Canadians view a government propped up by the BQ.

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  4. you're mentioned in the Telegraph Journal (New Brunswick's paper of record):
    http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/1131269

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  5. Oland, thanks for directing me to it.

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  6. John,

    Unless the non-Bloquist opposition parties can put together more seats than the Tories, the Tories are going to stay in power.

    If the non-Bloc parties can put together more seats, their ability to take power is going to turn on their perceived legitimacy (did they contemplate such an outcome in the course of the election - the Greens and NDP almost certainly will, the Liberals may not, if they're trying to attract the anti-Harper vote from the NDP and the Greens, which is what Dion was trying to do in 2008 when he rejected the notion of a coalition with the NDP).

    It will also turn on the perceived credibility of such a coalition. It's all well and good to say that such a coalition would represent 50+% of Canadians, but the real risk is that it won't represent any of them, i.e., their collective policies will be ones that supporters of all parties can't abide. It's all well and good to lump them in as being "center-left", but there's a huge gap between the "center" and the "left". True, sacrificing policy for power is a time-honoured tradition in Canadian politics (paging Mr. Harper). But that's a trade-off that doesn't always go over well with party members or voters.

    For example, if the price of Green and NDP support, in terms of policy concessions, are too high, they may undermine Liberal support amongst centrists Canadians (i.e., people who lie between the center of the Liberal party and the Center of the Conservative party). That could result in center-right Liberal MPs crossing the floor (justified by lines like: "My party has deserted me and joined the NDP/Greens") or worse, for the Grits, their voters deciding to vote for the Tories the next time out in order to keep the "crazies" in the NDP and Greens away from power.

    I also think that forming a weak coalition (or other arrangement) with the NDP could cause long-term harm to the Liberals. The risk is that the NDP comes out of the coalition looking like a credible, serious candidate to govern Canada and steadily takes over the center-left from the Liberals, while the fact of the coalition pushes center-right Liberals into the Tory camp (to keep the NDP out of power).

    You might point out that didn't happen to Trudeau in 1972-74, though I'd reply that the Liberal party of 2010 is not the Liberal party of 1972-74, far from it. Moreover, the experience in Ontario between 1985-1990 might be unsettling. Sure, the "accord" with the NDP gave the Liberals power in 1985, but the discpline imposed on the NDP by the accord, likely helped to get them elected in 1990.

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  7. Shadow: Nothing has "evolved" with regards to how Canadians view a government propped up by the BQ.

    There's a fine distinction between "Canadians" and "Conservatives". This distinction is frequently clearer to Canadians than Conservatives. The statement above is probably true; it just doesn't have the meaning many rock-ribbed Conservatives think it has.

    Tacit Bloc support could certainly fly. Bloc cabinet seats are not in the cards. Things are somewhat simpler if Liberal+NDP+Green seats > Conservative seats, but that's not a fundamental requirement for a stable, productive government.

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  8. Angus Reid has a new poll out
    T:36/
    L:27
    N:20
    B:10
    G:7

    http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/2010.07.12_Politics_CAN.pdf

    The good showing by the NDP probably reflects an accurate reading of Green support.

    John: "There's a fine distinction between "Canadians" and "Conservatives". This distinction is frequently clearer to Canadians than Conservatives"

    So now Conservatives aren't Canadians? Yet for some reason we let them run and vote in our elections? I'd say that's a telling slip of the tongue.

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  9. John I believe there was some polling a few months ago that asked about how Canadians felt about an Ignatieff led coalition.

    The results weren't pretty. And it certainly wasn't just Conservatives who were objecting to the arrangement!

    The thing is we are not talking "Tacit Bloc support" if government seats don't equal more than Conservative seats.

    We're talking active Bloc support, which needs to be understood as another thing altogether.

    A party will frequently hold their nose and "abstain" from a vote they don't like.

    Asking them to vote "yes" is a bridge too far in many cases.

    So you have a situation where the BQ are essentially in government. How stable or productive an arangement would be is an open question.

    What is NOT an open question is that Canadians won't like it.

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  10. A lot of us in Guelph are bitter about Harper's (illegal) election call which wiped out the planned by-election ,,, which Mike Nagy, the Green candidate, had a very decent chance of winning.

    I don't ever want the Greens governing or even leading the opposition, nor do I usually vote for them, but I'd like to see them holding a few seats in the House.

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  11. There's a fine distinction between "Canadians" and "Conservatives".


    Not if all you read is Shadow, John. He has this myopic view that what he "see's" is reality when the rest of us know it is only one small part.

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  12. New AR Poll:

    When asked who they would vote for if an election was held this month, 36 per cent of those surveyed said the Conservatives, 27 per cent said the Liberals, 20 per cent said the New Democrats, 10 per cent said the Bloc Quebecois and seven per cent picked the Greens.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/voters-see-harper-as-secretive-find-ignatieff-out-of-touch/article1636788/

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  13. Is governing from a popular majority something Canadians care about? It's happened ONE TIME since world war 2. I don't recall much wailing and ganshing of teeth about the legitimacy of government until Stephen Harper took power.

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  14. SK - There was nothing illegal about Harper's election call. If he did anything improper, it was passing that obviously invalid law fixing parliamentary terms, which was a clear violation of the constitution, and thus was never actually a law.

    If the government passes a law declaring pi = 3, that doesn't change how euclidean geometry works, because the government doesn't have the power to change euclidean geometry. The same is true of the rules of parliament.

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  15. That new AR poll really makes the Liberal trend clear. They're flat.

    23 was clearly too low, and 29 was too high. They remain at 27 - they've been flat at 27 for weeks.

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  16. SK,

    I do believe there is a federal court of appeal decision dealing with the 2008 election call concluding that it wasn't illegal. The law never purported to bind the GG's discretion to call an election (or prevent the PM from asking him or her to do so), and so it didn't. Dodgy, perhaps, but that's politics for you.

    Ira,

    On the same point, the law wasn't illegal either (precisely because it didn't bind the GG's discretion). It just didn't have any real bite. Rather than a law saying pi=3, a better comparison is that it was a law that said 3=3.

    Actually I can imagine one scenario
    where the law might have had an effect, namely the scenario were four years were up and the PM wanted to put off an election for another year. Though even in that case, I'd imagine if the PM had a compelling (i.e., not, "I'm going to lose") reason for doing so, the GG might defer calling an election for that year.

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  17. Carl: So now Conservatives aren't Canadians? Yet for some reason we let them run and vote in our elections?

    One's a subset of the other, but not a representative subset. In other words, Conservatives don't speak for all Canadians. (Nor, by the way, do Grits, Dippers, Greens or Bloquistes.)

    We let Conservatives run, but we don't let them dictate. At least, not when we have an Opposition worthy of the name.

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  18. John,

    I know what you meant to say, it's just that's not what you said. Maybe it was a slip of the finger.


    Or maybe it wasn't. Too often I see people (too often, Grits) blather on about "Canadian Values" vs. "Conservative Values", as if the latter was somehow distinct from the former. Canadian values are what Canadians value. So long as Conservatives are Canadians, their values ARE Canadian values (along with those of all other Canadians).

    And it's a reason why those self-same people (Grits, I'm looking at you) have a hell of a time winning over the support of people who identify with the puportedly un-Canadian "Conservative" values.

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  19. Quebec is part of Canada! It is just that a large part of its population chooses not to participate in Canadian politics at the moment. Using the IR numbers I calculated that there are 233 seats in the ROC and that CPC would have 124 of them down from its current level but still a decent majority. One might say then, that until Quebec decides it wants to elect federalist politicians our governing party is a defacto majority. Perhaps this is why both the NDP and Liberals are reluctant to push for an election when the polls show them as the opposition to a majority government in the ROC.

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  20. John I think people will forgive you for your stylistic blunder. It was snarky and an attempted cheap shot (yes, yes we're all so myopic and have dictatorial pretensions. We may even smell of sulphur...)

    But hey, that's monday mornings for ya.

    The problem is that the SUBSTANCE of your remark was wrong.

    The obvious implication of your remark is that only Conservatives object to a Liberal-NDP coalition.


    In actual fact members of ALL parties object to the arrangement. And some members of ALL parties support the arrangement (it would be my preference after the next election for tactical reasons.)

    So the entire Conservatives vs Canadians debate you've started can be faulted for being objectionable on its merits, if not its elitist condescension.

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  21. Re Ira: "I don't recall much wailing and ganshing of teeth about the legitimacy of government until Stephen Harper took power."

    I do. I heard it a lot when people talked about first past the post.

    Cretien's 38% majority was a noteable moment, and I know Mulroney's second majority to push through free trade was another. Though I suppose specific examples might make it seem like people aren't always upset about unrepresentative governments, and they've always seem to have been by my reckoning.

    Additionally, it's also clear that the current state of government is different from most other government in Canada and the provinces. A minority party running a government alone for a period of several years with what would be historically low levels of support kept in power by the relative unpopularity and large numbers of it's competition.

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  22. Carl [distilling from many good comments]: If the non-Bloc parties can put together more seats, their ability to take power is going to turn on their perceived legitimacy (did they contemplate such an outcome in the course of the election...)

    Absolutely. No party should rule out cooperation after the election. (Mike, are you listening?)

    It will also turn on the perceived credibility of such a coalition... For example, if the price of Green and NDP support, in terms of policy concessions, are too high, they may undermine Liberal support amongst centrists Canadians...

    Definitely something to consider, but unlikely to be a roadblock.

    First, there's less space between any of the parties than you'd gather from Question Period. The Liberals, NDP and Green Party won't be far apart on most issues. The Bloc and Conservatives also differ less than you'd expect when the cameras are off.

    For the remaining differences, the Liberals will lead the coalition and will have their hands on the major levers of power. That includes the key cabinet seats. (Expect Tories to campaign on "Finance Minister Jack Layton". Don't expect it to happen. Ever.)

    The NDP will have minor cabinet seats and some say in social policy, but only when the price tags are supportable. They won't squawk about being constrained by fiscal responsibility. Even an NDP majority government wouldn't run an open-ended deficit today; Canadians have no stomach for that. The only debate between parties is how quickly we can get rid of the current deficit and the Tories aren't necessarily the most hawkish on that point.

    The Green Party will have no cabinet seats and little influence, but more than it would on the Opposition benches. However, it will be a useful device for the Liberals. Want to cut back on subsidies to fossil fuel industries? Want to reintroduce meaningful environmental reviews? Then just claim that the Greens demand these as their price for support. The Green Party will gladly play its role in the drama. Much better something than nothing.

    The Bloc will go along with no formal coalition presence if the other parties act sanely. As a group, Bloquistes love Canada; they just love Quebec more. Where there's no conflict between the country and the province, they will do the right thing for the country and do it well.

    We have hypotheticals on hypotheticals here. Nothing happens without a very specific electoral outcome and the right attitude on all coalition sides. However, a stable, productive, legitimate coalition government is definitely possible with good will, good thinking and good behaviour.

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  23. Earl,

    There are a number of problems with that statement, but the most obvious one is with the math. Yes, Quebec has 75 seats, but in a third of them they elect federalist parties - that's why the three federalist parties hold 25 of the 75 seats. So excluding the Bloc means you have to win 50% out of 258 seats to win a "federalist majority" - 129.

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  24. Carl I'll agree to your terms which still give the CPC a bare majority.

    John I do believe you are viewing the world through very rose coloured glasses.

    Yes the Tories will campaign against Finance Minister Jack Layton or Deputy PM Jack Layton. What portfolio's the NDP holds in any coalition will be the subject of seat totals and Liberal desperation. To wit: How badly does Michael Ignatieff want power. Layton knows that Iggy needs him more than he needs Iggy. The NDP wants some economic portfolios. The decisions won't be as easy as you portray them. The NDP may for reasons of its own not want the Greens in any coalition should your party elect Lizzie Mayor another MP.

    Finally governing with the consent of the BLOC will carry a heavy price in English Canada, right or wrong. Every decision that involves Quebec will be scrutinized to see if it favours Quebec and if it was pandering to the BLOC. Secondly every budget lines will go through the same process. I don't think either the CPC or LPOC want to be tarred by association with the BLOC and that is what will happen as long as the BLOC maintains that it stands for an independent Quebec.

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  25. John: "First, there's less space between any of the parties than you'd gather from Question Period. The Liberals, NDP and Green Party won't be far apart on most issues. The Bloc and Conservatives also differ less than you'd expect when the cameras are off."

    I agree with you on that, though I'd suggest that the closest pairing of parties is the one you don't mention, namely the Liberals and the Tories. And there's a reason for that. Both of the "big-tent" parties are clinging (and have always clung) to the center because that's where the votes are. Deviating to the right or left, even to a small degree means giving up votes and seats to the other guy.


    John said: "For the remaining differences, the Liberals will lead the coalition and will have their hands on the major levers of power. That includes the key cabinet seats. (Expect Tories to campaign on "Finance Minister Jack Layton". Don't expect it to happen. Ever.)"

    That sort of depends on how the election plays out, doesn't it. Sure, if the Liberals have 110 seats and the NDP has 20, that sounds plausible. But what if it's the NDP with 50 and the Liberals with 80 (Ok, a stretch, though today's AR poll has the NDP at 20%, and I'd bet on Layton over Iggy in an election campaign). Are the NDP going to satisfy themselves with getting assigned the job as Minister of Woman's issues or the Parliamentary Secretary for sports and being tossed a few bones on policy? Probably not.

    As for their policies, well, all NDP policies are affordable, you just have to raise taxes (well, other than the HST) to pay for them. That might be problematic for the Liberals. What might also be problematic for the Liberals are all those polices on which the NDP and the Liberals seem to agree upon, on paper, but which the Liberals never actually implement when they're in office (universal child care, climate change, etc.).

    John said: "However, a stable, productive, legitimate coalition government is definitely possible with good will, good thinking and good behaviour."

    Well that pretty much rules it out doesn't it? :)

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  26. Carl,

    I supposed the Governor General could have refused Harper's election request and pointed to his law about it. Buit then she would have had to keep appointing a different PM every time the government fell in order to maintain a consistent position.

    That would have been a mess. Let's all be glad the GG decided to ignore the law for the political posturing that it was.

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  27. Carl I imagine Jack Layton might want to be transport minister (since finance and industry were ruled out last go around).

    Minister of labour, public works, health, international cooperation, and human resources would also be logical portfolios for the NDP.

    I imagine they'd want environment or citizenship too but I doubt the Liberals would give them up.


    I honestly never understood the arguement about being afraid of Layton at finance. If the NDP are part of government than they are part of government.

    If one was inclined to be afraid they should be afraid no matter what the composition of cabinet.

    It was essentially an arguement aimed at the bussiness elite (core Liberal group).

    But Dion/Ignatieff has already thrown them under the bus and declared war on John Manley by endorsing the NDP's position on corporate tax cuts.

    So in a way Jack Layton is already the Liberal's finance minister no matter what they say.

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  28. OT:

    Vancouver Mayor's "Gordon Brown" moment:



    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/vancouver-mayor-caught-in-gordon-brown-moment/article1637157/

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  29. IRA said: "I supposed the Governor General could have refused Harper's election request and pointed to his law about it. Buit then she would have had to keep appointing a different PM every time the government fell in order to maintain a consistent position."

    That doesn't follow, her ability to refuse or accept a request to dissolve parliament has nothing to do with the law. She could have said that, as far as she could tell, he still had the confidence of the house and that she thought he was, and was capable of, governing effective, but that she would be happy to dissolve parliament and call a new election in the event that that should change in the future.

    In any event, I don't understand why you say it would be problematic for a GG to appoint a new new PM every time the government falls. In practice, with the exception of the King-Byng affair, the collapse of a government is followed by an election (and even in 1926, when the GG asked Arthur Meighan to try his hand at forming a government, the subsequent government was quickly dumped and an election followed) in which the prospect of having to appoint a new PM is always a possibility.

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  30. Carl: I'd suggest that the closest pairing of parties is the one you don't mention, namely the Liberals and the Tories.

    Those two are indeed close in many ways; it's been argued that we have a de facto coalition today. That said, Stephen Harper doesn't take input from his own caucus. It's hard to imagine him allowing a Liberal hand to touch the levers of power.

    [Cabinet seat allocation] sort of depends on how the election plays out, doesn't it.

    Unquestionably true, but based on current polls, 50 Dipper seats are not in the cards. It's therefore useful to look at how the negotiations went last time. (I highly recommend Brian Topp's whole series.) The NDP are unlikely to ask for the moon in a coalition. Given the last fiasco, however, they are likely to demand some no-cold-feet assurances.

    With that correction, a workable coalition seems possible even with current polling numbers.

    "However, a stable, productive, legitimate coalition government is definitely possible with good will, good thinking and good behaviour."

    Well that pretty much rules it out doesn't it? :)


    Ouch.

    What can I say? "Hope springs eternal..."

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  31. John,

    I wasn't suggesting that there might be a formal coalition between the Tories and the Grits, outside of a time of war or other national emergency, a coalition between the "big" parties is impractical and unnedesirable. It's impractical because they have too much invested in opposing one another to be able to work together. It's undesirable because a coalition of the big fish would mean that there's no effective opposition. I think the absence of a plausible opposition right now is bad both for the Tories (because there's no one to keep them on their toes) and the countries (see above).

    (Although I did see the article by Paul Wells to which you might be referring to the effect that we already have a defacto coalition between them. It was an interesting read,)

    As for a coalition ask, last time out, according to Topp, the NDP started at 8 cabinet spots (out of a 24 person cabinet) and ended up with 5 (and another 8 PS/PCs). I doubt they're settle for less next time out.

    And his account is interesting in other respects as well. Last time out the Grits balked at child care (funny how I knew that). That point got smoothed over by agreeing to do it "when finances permit" (i.e., never). That's an easy enough fudge in 2008 when the economic brown organic matter is hitting the fan and people have more immediate concerns on there mind. But will that fudge be as easy in 2011 as Canada's finance improve? I wouldn't count on it.

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