Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 election: Harper on road to minority government?

The problem?
The latest compendium of polls by 308 have good news and bad news.

Good news for Harper who – based on these results – would form a minority government after the 2015 election.

Bad news for the Liberals, whose support is slipping.

And good news for the besieged Mulcair's NDP, which has steadily lost whatever magic it had in the 2011 election, despite herculean efforts in Parliament by their leader.

Here’s the chart showing the steady but slight erosion in Liberal support:

And here is the 308 forecast of possible seats if those polls hold:
With these levels of support, the Conservatives would likely win between 120 and 161 seats. That puts them short of the 170 needed to form a majority government. The Liberals would take between 98 and 136 seats, while the New Democrats could win between 61 and 88 seats.
The Greens would likely take two seats, with one to nine seats going to the Bloc Québécois.

The polls do not explain the changes, but recent polls have given hints.

One clear aha! moment was Justin Trudeau’s flippant remarks about the size of Harper’s planes, when the Isis crisis first hit the headlines. The next series of responses to the security issues by the Liberal Party leaders showed a lamentable tendency to practice kneejerking to older Liberal tenets, as if what was good for the past under Chretien must be good for the present under Trudeau. The responses showed a lack of depth in consideration, and an appalling lack of attention to framing.

The result has been that Harper has managed to persist in keeping his framing of the ballot box question (Who is the strongest man to lead the country when terrorists are threatening and attacking it?) in the public’s eye, just at the time that his earlier framing (Who is the best to manage the country’s economy in tough times?) was starting to fray.

This gift to Harper’s 24/7 war machine has led to questions about Trudeau’s ability to lead a modern country in troubled times.

The Liberal Party in general and Justin Trudeau in particular have now got to do some serious thinking about security issues, and especially about how to frame matters. Loose lips sink ships, the Allies said in WWI. They also sink parties.

And time is running out.

1 comment :

  1. Using the word "coalition" which means two parties combine in a government in accord with a written agreement to vote together on certain issues and separately on others, is NOT the same as a merger of two parties.

    It is easy to visualize a written coalition agreement between the NDP and LPC after the 2015 election - if the Tories nor the LPC win a majority of seats - that applies for a limited period (say, 18 months), for defined purposes (a list of Must-Agrees) and expressly gives both parties the right to vote as they please on all other issues.

    That is eminently doable.

    But to use the word "coalition" as if it means "merger", as Harper's Tories try to frame it, is to play to the strengths of the Tory war machine. As Lackoff puts it:

    "Well first of all, criticism hurts. Yourself. It’s shooting yourself in the foot. I wrote a book called Don’t Think of an Elephant
    – there’s a new version that’s out now, completely re-written – but the
    idea is that if you say “don’t think of an elephant” you’ll think of an
    elephant. If you come out with someone else’s ideas and someone else’s
    language, and you negate it, arguing against it, that means that someone
    hearing it has to activate in their brains the other guy’s ideas and
    language. And when that happens, those ideas and that language get
    strengthened in the listener’s brains.

    So what you’re doing is helping the other guy by doing the criticism,
    and just doing the criticism. What you need to do is give your own
    ideas, support your own moral system, and be positive all the time. That
    is, you have to be on offence, constantly. That is something that is
    not done seriously in either the U.S. or Canada."

    Time for Liberals to listen to Lakoff.


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