I have been taking a long break from Canadian politics. The Conservatives annoy me, the NDP worry me and the Liberals are simply pathetic. But now that the pre-Election BBQ season is upon us I am paying a bit of attention.
Poor Justin. The CPC did their focus groups and discovered that JT is a perfectly likable guy. Good looking, better on his feet than his detractors thought he would be and then they spotted the hook, “Just not ready.” It is a nice hook. More in sorrow than in anger. The implication is that Justin might, at some point, be ready. Just not right at the moment. It is a very clever move except for one problem: the Tories need Justin to be ready enough to snaffle just the right number of votes from the NDP. When you have 38% of the votes, tops, you need to avoid a situation in which the other guys, with their call it 55% manage to swing behind one of the other parties.
Now there is the happy chance that Lizzy May will sterilize a few of the nuttier eco-fringe bar votes and hurt the NDP. But at best that is 5% nationwide. The CPC can’t count on anything but a mini-Green surge.
Which leaves the NDP.
Reading the polls suggest to me (and lot of other people) that there is not a huge pro-NDP or pro-Liberal voting bloc; rather there are a lot of people who have had enough of Harper. There are confirmed anti-Harper people who populate the comment boards of the CBC, the Star and the Globe and Mail ascribing sins unimagined to this rather awkward man. But there are also a lot of people who, while they do not hate Harper, have had enough of him.
Weirdly, as support for the Liberal Party and Trudeau the younger slips, it is not translating into any increase in pro-Harper support. The thing which must keep the Harper war room awake at night is the possibility that Liberals, sensing that this is not Trudeau’s season, will defect to the NDP. A few? A lot? If it is more than a few there are a fair number of seats in “vote rich Ontario” and a handful elsewhere which could easily go NDP. And some of those are CPC marginals.
This could get interesting pretty quickly.