Here’s the IPSOS/Globalnews survey, taken over the past few days, of the state of play:
It’s now pretty clear that supporters of the NDP and Liberal Party in Ontario will determine which of Mulcair or Trudeau gets the first crack at forming a government to replace the Harper one.
The Two Races:
There are really two races on the go right now.
The ICPC Race:
The first one has only one runner: Harper’s ICPC (the Imploding Conservative Party of Canada).
With its candidates muzzled by Harper, avoiding discussions with journalists, fleeing from public debates with other candidates, and hiding from the public unless they are carefully vetted, the ‘new’ Conservatives created by Harper and Mackay seem to have descended into the paranoia that always bubbled just below the Harper-party surface. Harper’s rigid control of the party candidates is more reminiscent of totalitarian parties (we’ve seen dozens of these over the past 80 years or so). The degree of the paranoia is disturbing, and really, in its essence, non-Canadian.
Right now, Harper’s ICPC is running desperately against itself: against its unpopularity, its history, its arrogance, its debasement of our democratic customs and conventions, its anti-science bias, its small-state mentality, and its fear of oblivion.
And it is the only one in this race. For Harper has to win a majority of seats in the House (170 or more) if he is to avoid being thrown out in the very first confidence vote. So for the ICPC its Majority or Bust!
The New Prime Minister Race:
The second race being run in the last four weeks of our election campaign is that between Mulcair and Trudeau, as leaders of the NDP and Liberal Party.
This race is not for the majority of seats in the House (although it is becoming more probable each day that Trudeau might eke out a small majority on October 19).
It is realistically a race to determine which of these two parties ends up with more MPs than the other on October 19.
The winner of the MP-nose-count race will be tapped on the shoulder by the Governor General to attempt to form a government that has the confidence of the House.
And the chances are very high that this person will become prime minister of a minority government that will stay in power for some 18 months or so, supported in confidence votes by the CPC (most likely under its new leader, replacing Harper) and/or the other opposition party.
And in this second race, the key area is Ontario.
It is right here that the supporters of the Liberal Party and of the NDP have decisions to make. Do they vote for the party they prefer, or do they vote strategically, to ensure that a sitting Tory MP is unseated?
With more than half of the NDP and Liberal Party supporters prepared to vote for the other party, there is massive fluidity in the population. This is gradually coalescing around the Liberals, and I expect within two weeks to see a definite and pronounced surge towards the LPC by Dippers.
This will not be a true Red Surge, but more of an anti-Blue surge.
But it will decide who becomes prime minister, and therefore which of Mulcair and Trudeau has the honour to introduce legislation to banish our antiquated and anti-democratic FPTP system, and replace it with a new system that makes sure every vote is counted, and every vote counts.
And a new, democratic dawn will spread its light over our traumatized country.