Tomorrow is voting day so below will first give how I plan to vote and why, then I will give my final thoughts on the election. I will give prediction later this evening or tomorrow morning when final polls come out but barring something dramatic, I feel quite confident in saying I believe the Liberals will be re-elected. Question is just will it be a majority or minority. With 40% of votes likely already cast, probably a minority as that somewhat limits impact of late surge. Also we may see a blue mirage on Monday as mail in ballots aren’t counted until later and we know both Liberals and NDP much more likely to vote by mail than Conservatives. So wouldn’t be surprised if up to 10 seats Conservatives are ahead in on election night end up being overturned once mail in ballots counted. Another interesting thing to watch is will Conservatives win popular vote again but lose in seats? Likewise does PPC split the vote enough to deny Tories a win (I think they will, but more on that later).
Unlike 2019 where all choices sucked, this time I feel quite comfortable voting for the Conservatives led by Erin O’Toole. I don’t agree with everything in platform, but I do feel he has moved party closer to centre. And for that, it should be rewarded. My worry is if O’Toole loses, party will swing back to right to win over PPC votes and that is not the way party should go nor where I would like to see it go. Likewise as I have documented in previous posts and don’t need to repeat, Trudeau clearly needs to go. Besides being fiscally irresponsible and arrogant, party has too much become about one man and not about a vision for the country. We are very divided and while healing that won’t be easy no matter who wins; I do believe that will be impossible as long as Trudeau is leader. Likewise, I believe for health of Liberal party, they would be better with a new leader. And heck if O’Toole messes up and next Liberal leader is more centrist and is competent I may even vote Liberal. My endorsement of O’Toole is for this time only. No leader gets blind endorsement and each election has to earn my vote. Jagmeet Singh ran an admirable campaign, but his ideas are way too left wing and economically risky thus not an option. I am moderate centre-right so PPC is not an option for me as it is a party full of crazies, anti-vaxxers, and various right wing cranks. In fact if we had ranked ballots like Australia does, I would rank Liberals and NDP higher than PPC. That is how much I dislike the party. So right isn’t monolithic like some think and I am not interested in seeing party trying to win back these types. But for all my readers no matter who you support, go out and vote. And no vote is wasted even if your preferred candidate has no chance of winning. By voting you are expressing what you want whether your chosen candidate wins or doesn’t win.
In terms of final thoughts, I think Liberals on balance ran a very negative campaign that was more about scaring people of the Tories rather than promoting their vision. Whether that was a mistake or not, we will find out soon. Still I feel that Trudeau’s decent handling of COVID-19 and some of their plans (even one’s I disagree with) should have been highlighted and party might have done better. While early attacks on abortion or health care went nowhere, it seems once they focused on guns, it finally paid off. So this is a lesson to Tories, make sure platform is moderate across the board or if you veer right anywhere, have a strong explanation and defence. Because Liberals will find it and they will make sure public knows about it. And likewise watch who you associate with. Cut ties with Rebel media, gun lobby, and pro-life groups as there is no upside associating with them. I believe Tories had a great start, but fizzled out near the end, which is why at one point it looked like they had a good shot at winning, but now probably won’t. Its almost like Tories sprinted out of the blocks in the marathon, but got too tired near the end allowing Liberals to pass them, while Liberals took a more steady pace. While somewhat beyond their control, I believe Kenney’s announcement sealed their fate. For right flank who oppose covid restrictions, this will just cause more to go over to PPC thus splitting vote, while some moderates maybe thinking of voting Tory will swing back to Liberals worried if they were in charge, things would be much worse. Obviously Kenney’s announcement will hurt Tories most in Alberta where they can afford to lose many votes without losing many seats, but may have some spillover elsewhere.
Finally on the split on the right with rise of PPC, here are my thoughts below. Tories are in a real bind it seems. Stay right like Scheer and Harper did and thus lose key swing voters and thus lose election. Move closer to centre like O’Toole has done and lose right flank to PPC. Because more Canadians lean left than right, right has a much tougher job as they have to unite a much larger part of spectrum whereas left can afford a split as long as not too big. At same time I believe PPC’s rise was largely over vaccines and if it wasn’t for pandemic, they would be stuck at their normal 2%. Hopefully by next election pandemic will largely be behind us. But whatever happens tomorrow, I believe party needs to stick close to centre and not take tomorrow’s setback as reason to move to the right. Reality is things are likely to get worse for Liberals and Tories will be in better shape to win next time around be it 2023 if a minority or 2025 if a majority if they stay close to centre. However if they swing rightward to win back PPC voters, they will almost certainly hand next election to Liberals or perhaps NDP if Liberals get super unpopular. Reality is there is an angry right wing element in this country, but they are a minority and most of us cannot stand them and want nothing to do with them. Most want good policies to deal with issues of the day, not just playing to people’s anger and rage with no solutions. And from history, party’s that run on that tend to eventually fizzle out. Yes we should try to understand why people are angry, but we also need to offer practical solutions and PPC fails miserably on that.
Having seen final polls, I am making the final projections:
LPC 160 seats (32%)
CPC 113 seats (33%)
NDP 33 seats (19%)
BQ 31 seats (6%)
GPC 1 seat (3%)
PPC 0 seats (6%)
Liberal minority by far the most likely outcome, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they get a majority as Liberal vote unlike past skews older so could easily see them outperforming polls. I could easily see Tories outperforming polls due to more motivated base, but I think them beating the Liberals in seats is a real long shot and even then probably not by enough to actually form government. So while not 100% certain, I am over 95% certain Justin Trudeau will be re-elected.