Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fall election: Mutual Assured Destruction

Harper and Dion are playing chicken.

An election in the Fall looks like a pretty safe bet. How are the parties standing in the polls?

Liberals, 33%. Tories, 32%. But that was five days ago. Yesterday it was 36% for the Tories, 30% for the Liberals. Different pollsters, of course. Same dismal news.

The Cons have been battered, it seems, since last February. Or, maybe not.

What do Canadians think about a Fall election?

Bring it on, 14%. Waste of time, 38%.

Or, if you prefer the other guys, 40% think an election would "clear the air," although the question doesn't mention the Fall. The 38% figure, those who don't want an election, remains the same.

Bottom line? Disaster for all parties. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives are near majority territory, even with our ridiculous first-past-the-post system. Another minority win for the Cons will spell the end of Stéphane Dion's leadership. More disruption of Parliament can be safely predicted--Cons acting out because they still won't be permitted to implement their Maximum Program. A minority win for the Libs will be an effective defeat: their defining issue is the Green Shift, but they won't have the House votes to implement it. The NDP is mired at around 14%. The BQ is in irons.

There are each-way wins in politics. This is an each-way loss scenario. But the dumb macho teeny-boppers in their super-cool jalopies are accelerating...

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