October 6, 2011

Canadian conservative trifecta has probably stalled

The Conservative government in Canada finally won a majority government this year after a couple of minority governments.  In Toronto, Canada's most populous city, a conservative won the mayor's race.  In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, there's a provincial election today.  The opposition Conservative party was 10 points ahead in polling a scant two months ago - now, they're likely going to end up second with yet a third term with a tax and spend Liberal government and a resurgent socialist NDP party creeping up in popularity as well.

You can't point to a specific event or thing that moved the dial for the parties.  Conservative candidate for premier Tim Hudak is not the most charismatic leader.  The Liberals have spent a lot on commercials.  The NDP is getting a sympathy vote based on the death of the federal party's leader Jack Layton, recently.

Ontario for decades was a conservative bastion for Canada.  That changed in the 1990s and has never really returned.  But the two recent majority governments under the Liberal party have seen massive increases in provincial debt and an unfriendly tax environment.  The party has been choking what for the longest time was the economic engine of Canada.  That role has since moved to oil-rich Alberta.

Hudak may pull off a surprise.  The polls have been tightening but I'm not sure how accurate they might be.  Polls close in 14 minutes.  Hopefully the conservative momentum carries enough to at least generate a minority conservative government and gives us some respite from a tax and spend Liberal government.

UPDATE:  One thing I forgot to mention was that Tim Hudak, ran as a moderate in a climate where the province has gone deeply into debt - Greece-like debt.  After the election, if the Conservatives lose there has to be a leadership challenge against Hudak.  His collapse from 6 weeks ago will have been epic, and people who wanted change and fiscal responsibility did not want Liberal-lite.

UPDATE:  The Liberals have won but they may be held to a minority government.  If that's the case perhaps they can force an early election to try to topple the Liberal government.


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