Well, it has been an interesting week. First, the excitement and hullabaloo about the Royal wedding, then the ongoing battle for the Canadian voter, and in-between Obama got Osama! Soon,the polls will close and Canadians will know what kind of government we shall have. One thing seems clear from the polling pundits: it will be different.
Much will depend on the youth vote; usually sadly absent in past elections, it appears this election have engaged the younger minds. That should help the NDP in particular. The Quebec electoral map is sure to be redrawn with the Block Quebecois in a smaller picture. That is well and good.
So, this is my last chance to make a prediction, though it is less of a prediction than a statement of facts, if the polls are reasonably correct. What we will see tomorrow is this:
A minority Conservative government with a chastened Prime Minister Harper. Jack Layton and his good looking wife, Olivia Chow, will move into Stornoway, the official residence of the opposition, and Michael Ignatieff will bid farewell as leader of the opposition and probably, after some face-saving time, the Liberal Party. He fought a good fight, but the war was lost before he began. The Liberals will need a thorough housecleaning and a reorientation of their people and policies. This will take time, and while Ignatieff could be the interim caretaker; it is more likely it will be Bob Rae. There is a new Trudeau “king in waiting”, who will need time and experience before taking over the helm of his father’s party. Meanwhile, there will be rumblings of a Liberal-NDP marriage, but it is more likely to be a temporary cohabitation while the Liberals reorganize.
Not that a new Left party (shall I say it: “New Democratic Liberal Party”?) would be such a bad idea. It would coalesce around the Right and the Left. It could also, unfortunately, polarize politics, as we have seen in the US two-party system. Thus, that medicine might be worse than the malady. We will probably muddle through with three parties, which are a lot better than what the Scandinavian countries have –seven or eight parties, one for every conceivable interest group. It might work in placid Scandinavia, but it would be chaos here. We been there, done that.
And King Harper, and the “Harper Conservatives”? Well, though he is still young, he might find it convenient to exit politics soon. Perhaps he could become a concert pianist. Or an economic oracle. After all, he saved our economy from total collapse –all by himself.