Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Off to the Races

Well my dear readers, it’s election season! It’s official on May 2nd Canadians will be asked to go to the polls to fulfill their civic obligations and cast their ballots. I, of course, am incredibly excited. Every political junkie will be happy to get their fix. If you are a regular reader I would like to encourage you to Follow this blog (see to the right) and recommend it to interested friends. I’m hoping the election expands my readership.

The mission of the Orange Tory will be simple in this election:

1. Provide analysis of the issues

2. Help readers see through the spin, and come to a decision

3. Offer endorsements of candidates


5. Predictions

The first thing I would like to say is that I am currently undecided in this election. That means part of this blogging experience will be me coming to an informed decision on whom to cast my ballot for. I am not saying that I’m right. I assume many of the people who read my blog have different values and beliefs from myself and will (and should) come to their own conclusions.

I’d like to help my readers by checking out this link. CBC has partnered with Vote Compass to help them figure out where Canadians are politically and which party might match them best. Take it with a grain of salt however. I imagine that most Canadians will end up somewhere in the middle which will favour that they are Liberals. In addition not all issues are equal. Maybe you care more about the environment than defence. That will shift where you belong. According to Vote Compass I’m a Liberal, or they are closest; a party I have never voted for. I ended up at the dead centre of the grid, at the meeting of the x- and y-axes. Try it out!

So far I am a little disappointed in the campaign. Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff ruled out the possibility of forming coalitions. I truly believe that coalitions are more democratic and are necessary for our democracy to make progress. I’m very hesitant to endorse a coalition involving the separatist Bloc Quebecois though. If some combination of the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats and Greens could make a majority to form government, I’d like to see it. It would be a government with a majority of Canadians’ views in it (over 50%).

To conclude my first post on the 2011 Federal election I want to discuss the goals of the parties.

Conservative Party – 143 seats at dissolution - Harper is angling for his majority. Polls have the Conservatives in the high 30’s and low 40’s, which mean they are very close to getting the 155 seats they need to get their majority.

Liberal Party – 77 seats at dissolution - The Liberals are in some trouble. They are polling in the mid-twenties. The Liberals need to get up into the 30’s to threaten the Conservatives. Michael Ignatieff is posturing for a majority Liberal government, but a minority government seems a more likely target.

NDP – 36 seats at dissolution - The New Democrats are at risk. Despite polling at 19 or 20% it looks like they are posed to lose some seats. In 2008 the NDP won a few seats over Conservatives by only a few percentage points. If Conservatives are on an upswing it threatens the New Democratic position in many ridings. There are six seats that the NDP won over the Conservatives with less than 5% of the vote. They are precarious at best. The NDP are on the offensive, and we’ll see how they perform.

Bloc Quebecois – 47 seats at dissolution - The Bloc are looking to poach Conservative seats around Quebec City and elsewhere. The Liberal support is low, but it is unlikely to sink lower. The NDP are looking to win more seats in the Belle Province off the Bloc. The Bloc is almost maxed out in their seat numbers.

Green Party – 0 seats at dissolution – The Greens are fighting for their first seat in parliament. Their best shot is in British Columbia where leader Elizabeth May is running in Saanich-Gulf Islands.


Nicholas said...

Let's see if that One-on-One lights any fires. Crazier shifts have happened in Canadian politics.

Think throwing Coke bottles at a candidate would boost their numbers, again?

SJL said...

I don't think the one-on-one will happen. Excluding the Greens is one thing, excluding the NDP? I don't think that's possible. They have been present since the 1960s in debates.

I find it interesting how rare national leaders debates are in other countries. In fact, Britain's first televised leaders debate was in 2010! Other countries don't have them because they have too many parties. Rex Murphy proposed that each leader should debate each other. That's 15 debates! I don't think that's necessary, that's what local debates are for. Still, something to think about.