Wednesday, 14 October 2015 15:00

Should they stay or should they go?

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All that will be left to do Oct. 20 is the crying.


The 42nd federal election in Canadian history will be done Oct. 19. Many people will find out whether they are employed or how they did in an office pool, guessing on how the five main parties and a number of independents did across 308 ridings.
It is being reported by PostMedia that the advance polls, which officially ended Oct. 12, were busier across Canada this election than 2011.
That is a good thing as it means people are interested in the election and they want to make a difference. It also adds to the intrigue of the future of the political parties and their leaders.
This election is totally based on the leaders’ popularity. For example, one either loves Stephen Harper or one doesn’t — he’s easily the most polarizing politician in the election. If one isn’t a fan, there is some debate who the ABC (Anybody But Conservative) choice is — Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau or Elizabeth May.
It seems voters rarely follow the old adage about voting for the best person/best candidate. Now many people simply vote for the party.
Medicine Hat-Warner-Cardston candidate Jim Hillyer said at the Medicine Hat College Student’s Union Meet and Greet forum, people should vote for him because he’s “the Conservative candidate.”
Voters may be sick of the big three leaders by now, but not to worry, if there is a majority, it could be the end of one ,if not both, of the leaders of the losing parties.
The Green party leader may stick around with the Greens after the election, but the remaining three, would likely quit if they couldn’t be in charge. Harper and Mulcair’s personalities seem like they need to be in complete control, while Trudeau has so much money and prestige he probably figures there are better things he could do with his time.
The biggest question has to be what happens to the Conservatives if they lose their majority. If the Conservatives no longer have a majority and are swept from office, it is plausible Harper would resign. He wouldn’t do it in the tasteless and immature way former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice did, running out on his self-sunken ship during election night before all the ballots in his own riding had even been counted.
If Harper did lose, perhaps he would exit near the beginning of 2017, then let the speculation begin on his successor: Jason Kenney, Brad Wall, etc.
In a minority situation, Harper may stay and fight, but seeing how much he likes being in control, watching Harper work within a minority government, would make for endless, fascinating political theatre.
The thought of watching a control freak such as Harper not have a majority and complete control of the government would be nothing short of popcorn-munching fascination.
Then add in the senate scandal inquiry with Mike Duffy coming to testify, and it is nothing short of fun for those who enjoy real-life political drama.
If Mulcair or Trudeau lose, the speculation will be whether or not they are strong enough leaders. Mulcair will be blamed for losing support in Quebec. Trudeau will take the heat for not being able to convince voters in Ontario that the federal Liberals are different than the unpopular provincial Liberal government.
Would Mulcair or Trudeau stick around? It is highly doubtful for both. We suspect both would rather do something within the private sector than go through the rigours of an election again. If they can’t beat Harper at a point where one would think the Conservatives would be at a low popularity level with a bad economy, controversial issues with veterans, issues with the Canadian Wheat Board and First Nations and a shrinking middle class, then who can beat the federal Tories?
It appears to be a tight race.
As of Oct. 10, Nanos research had the Liberals around 35 per cent of decided voters, Conservatives at 29 per cent and NDP  at 25 per cent. However, EKOS from Oct. 10 had the Tories sitting at 35 per cent, Liberal at 33 per cent and NDP at 19 per cent. According to http://www. electionalmanac.com which takes an average of seat projections from various websites, the Liberals would have 126 seats, the Conservatives 123 seats and the NDP with 74 as of Oct. 11.
Mulcair and Harper teaming up? Just imagine the “within chambers” whimpering.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at rdahlman@prairie post.com.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor