Like many observers of the Canadian Federal election I am still not sure what to make about the surge of the NDP in the polls. While its true that most of the orange swell appears to be disaffected Liberal and Bloc Quebecois voters there is still an argument to be made that these numbers may not show up at the booth where the real decision is made. Third Parties often hit above their true strength in polls (look at the Liberal-Democrats in last year’s British elections) only to come crashing to earth on the day of reckoning. I believe that this will be the case with the NDP although I am still willing to argue that they will put together their best showing yet and pip the Grits for the Status of Official Opposition.
What is of greater importance is whether the Conservatives can profit from this fracture in the left-of-center vote (normally 55-60% of the total electorate at the best of times). I would like to believe that this can happen but still cannot see the Conservatives reaching the critical number levels to make a majority government possible. Not as long as their vote percentage in the People's Republic of Quebec remains in a mediocre third – the Mendoza line of political polling.
Is this a good thing? Apparently so according to many of my colleagues who have been saturated by CBC-Toronto Star bias to believe that a Harper majority is equivalent to coming of the anti-Christ. I of course beg to differ.
So in short it will be - 'as you were' (well almost) - with the Conservatives winning the most seats but not a majority and the Liberals switching second spots with their social democrat adversaries. The real fun and games will occur later on in the week with Ignatieff (assuming he survives politically - which he really ought not to) playing the unusual role of kingmaker as both Harper and Layton scramble to form a government. If Harper comes out on top (the likely outcome) one can expect political stability (with no flash...admittedly) for at least three years. A red-orange coalition will be lucky to survive a year but thats more than enough time to derail the economy with tax-and-spend dogma.