December 2, 2013

Are Canada's ruling conservatives in trouble?

There's a federal election coming in Canada in 2015.  The Conservative party after having twice governed with a minority government finally won a majority in the last election.  They've been able to govern in a more conservative fashion and play closer to their own agenda than in the past.  But an expenses scandal in the appointed senate, most prominently among conservative senators, has caused voter support to falter.

In conjunction with that, the son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canada's most liberal Prime Minister ever, has taken on the helm of the Liberal party and despite his mammoth lack of experience, he has name recognition and some charisma and is siphoning off voters from both the Conservatives and the formerly surging socialist New Democrat Party.  That's a harbinger of bad news.

The election is quite a ways out still, and there's plenty of time for a rebound, but the Conservative party, led by stable but dull Prime Minister Harper, need something to bend the trend, or they will be in bad shape come election time.  That they have stopped the bleeding is a good sign, but it isn't enough to guarantee them even a minority government at this point.  That would be unfortunate.
Two years before the next federal election, Canada’s major political parties are in a three-way race, but the “honeymoon” period for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau appears to be over, a new Ipsos Reid/CTV News poll suggests.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would get 32 per cent of the vote, up two points since the end of June. The Liberals would garner 31 per cent of the vote and the New Democrats 26 per cent.
The Conservatives have pushed hard for the Keystone XL pipeline and have a strong preference to be a strong trading partner with the United States.  While a Liberal leader might get along famously with Obama, it won't help either country in terms of prosperity.

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