April 21, 2008

Liberals Eyeing Election Victory for June 16th

Well, after accidentally becoming leader of the Liberal Party, Stephane Dion has a very good chance of accidentally becoming Prime Minister. While Quebec newspaper editors are trying to prevent their heads from exploding, Stephane Dion has about a 50% chance of overtaking the Tories in seats in the House of Commons, potentially taking a minority government with as little as 120 seats.

Stephane Dion may be headed into a perfect storm in the coming months. The Conservatives, who managed some popular populist measures in their 2 years in office, have not managed to convince more than 40% of Canadians that a right wing party is the right choice for Canada.

The last election was fought on ethics, and while Paul Martin and his band of merry men look flustered when it came to the conduct of their party, after footage of an RCMP raid hits the airwaves in Liberal ads, Gomery will only look like a thing of the past. There won’t be any news of an RCMP investigation into the government to hurt the Liberals, but there may be one haunting Stephen Harper. Not to mention Cadscam, which may not be enough to charge the Tories with fraud, but it will certainly be enough to warrant an investigation, especially with the Prime Minister on tape talking about offers.

Then there are expectations. The expectations for Stephane Dion are so painfully low, that all he has to do to surpass them is not screw up. Nobody understands Dion when he speaks English you say? Well if voters understand what Dion has to say during the campaign, it will already be a plus!

What about Jack! Layton? Well, maybe Canadians thought Jack! had a point when he asked Canadians to “park their vote with the NDP, just this once”. If I were an ambitious Young Liberal, I would get a copy of that quote, because it is time for Jack! to pay the piper. Canadians have surely learned their lesson. Parking your vote with the NDP will get your vote towed.

What is Stephane Dion supposed to do about the rising green Party movement in Canada? He needs to offer a real green plan that he will implement. He can even challenge the other parties to throw his government out if he fails to come through on his promise. He needs something substantive, especially a Carbon “Call-Me-Tax-If-You-Have-To” Investment Account. If May sees that the only way this will happen will be for her voters in swing ridings to throw out their Tory MPs, the message will go out. It won’t send thousands of votes to the Liberals, but in many ridings a few hundred will be enough.

Dion has shown leadership a couple of times while he served as a minister, most importantly when he negotiated the tricky Clarity Act through Parliament, after days of filibustering by the Bloc. “Just like I promised the Separatists would not steal this country, I promise the Conservatives will not pollute it.” Was that so hard?

Speaking of Quebec, it may the province that puts Stephane Dion into office. Cue the irony! Harper and Dion are competing for exactly ZERO of the same Quebec seats. In the ridings the Tories are after, the Liberals poll in single digits and vice versa, where the Tory vote in Liberal ridings peaks in the teens. Gilles Duceppe has made it clear he will focus mostly on saving his hide by attacking Harper. (it makes sense since attacking Dion will increase Harper’s votes in the close ridings outside Montreal.)

There are 5 or 6 ridings in the Montreal area which the BQ’s new turn to the right may alienate and are potential pickups for the Liberals, including the NDP riding of Outremont, where Tom Mulcair will have to expect the separatist voters who helped elect him may not be so supportive in a general election, especially when all the students have moved out of their residences…

As for me, I’ll be moving out April 28th (sorry Massimo) and I’ll be moving to Outremont in the McGill ghetto, and from what the students down there are telling me, by the time I get there, most of the NDP machine at McGill which worked tirelessly for Tom Mulcair, will be safely home in Toronto…

So as the pundits prepare to assail Stephane Dion for calling an election now, after months of backing down, they should really note that many small things are in Dion’s favor, and with a bit of momentum, we may see Prime Minister Stephane Dion back in the fall…

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3 Commentaires:

Blogger Steve V a dit...

Antonio, "accidentally becoming leader". Geez, you mean democracy is a ruse? ;)

4/21/2008 3:13 PM  
Blogger Philippe a dit...

The Toronto Star refers to Stephane Dion as the Montreal mistake. People didn't know Stephane, didn't know he couldn't speak English, didn't know he was radioactive in Quebec, couldn't say one thing except defend the Clarity Act that Chrétien drafted.

Pettigrew did most of the work at COP XI to get all the countries to rally together. Chrétien drafted the Clarity Act. What did Stéphane do ? Nobody knew.

Stéphane was just a mistake, it was an accident. The Power Corp machine wanted Rae, it fucked up. They couldn't control Ignatieff, so they backed Dion. As simple as that.

4/21/2008 4:04 PM  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

I think I'm going to refer to Jack Layton as "Jack!" from now on - heh heh.

4/22/2008 2:27 PM  

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