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Alright fans, hangers on and wannabes. This is the week you have all been waiting for. The missive with the prediction. The rant on current issues and a review of our political future. A wash and rinse of the tea leaves, revealing the inner secrets of the Canadian body politic. A bona fide prognostication of epic proportions on this, the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER! Well at least the most important election of the modern era. Hmm, well maybe not. How about the most important election of the 21st century? No? ice Stephen Harper stumbled into a minority? Since 2015? Someone?

 

Okay, I admit it. This particular federal election is the most important one since… the last one. Unless you are Justin Trudeau in which case this election is pretty damned important because you called it, all because you wanted a majority. And that’s the only reason. Because there was no burning platform. No policy initiative you couldn’t get through. No national crisis you weren’t being supported through. No nothing.

 

And that’s what this election is. It’s an election about nothing. It signifies nothing. And it will accomplish nothing. It is the Seinfeld election. What is the f-ing point.

 

I suspect that regardless of the outcome, this is the last election that we will see with Justin Trudeau as the leader of the Liberal Party. People on all sides of the political spectrum are suddenly sitting up happy.

 

It is, in fact, time for new blood. The Conservatives have done it. The Greens. The NDP will soon as well. Liberals need to get their head in the game. Your guy isn; delivering the juice. He almost lost to Andres Scheer. He is in statistical tie with Erin O’Toole after managing the country (successfully, I give him that) through a global pandemic. And he’s losing ground.

 

If it wasn’t for the racist morons of the People’s Party of Canada (umm, what people, what Canada?), he’d be on a speed boat to irrelevance.

 

The Trudeau government and campaign is, to be frank, tired. The brand is tarnished. The ambition and hubris too much on display.

 

Fortunately, by this time Monday, it will all be over. Which means it’s actually time for me to call it. My genuine take on this completely unnecessary election about nothing. Who will actually take the prize in this $600 million boondoggle. That’s right, boondoggle with a B!

 

As the self-proclaimed “most important election in history”, this one deserves a fitting send off. Given that, I think we can all agree that there is nothing more fitting than this esteemed blog and blogger passing judgment on the campaign and the campaigners and sparing you the suspense, telling you exactly what to expect on Monday.

 

First off, how did we get here? It has been a long and tortuous journey, filled with many twists and turns, controversies and startling revelations. Some candidates have risen in the public mindset while others have seen their lustre fade. Others have fought for relevance while still others have enjoyed renewed interest.

 

When the campaign started, it all seemed so straightforward. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would pummel the newby Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party of Canada while the other parties sat back and admired how awesome and handsome Trudeau actually is.

 

And it seemed like it was going to go this way, because when the writ was dropped Canada was doing “OK”. We were in cruise control, there was no fourth wave yet, the vaccines were literraly flowing down the Saint Lawrence Seaway to any and all who wanted one, Quebec was in play and Ontario was going to be a cakewalk, Afghanistan was an obscure country between Pakistan and Iran that we bravely bailed on under the dastardly Harper and the Best Summer EverTM tour was coming to a merciful close.

 

But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box, except much of it wasn’t actually that funny. Let’s review the top things people are talking about this election.

 

Erin O’Toole – nowhere near as scary as Stephen Harper and actually better than expected

 

Is this a thing? I think so. This is actually the biggest surprise of the campaign. O’Toole was a burning dumpster fire no more than six months ago. Remember the port-a-potty video? I do. This version of O’Toole is so much better. Look, I get if you don’t buy it. That’s allowed. But only a rabid partisan would deny he’s doing better than expected.

 

 

Racists nutjobs, we have them too!

 

The “People’s Party” of Canada has set the bar for how much you can invoke “people” while being so unreflective of how the rest of the country feels. Some people say this is an example of the intrusion of US politics into our system. I disagree. This is nothing more than white dude aggrievement..

 

The environment and climate change

 

This was supposed to be the biggest issue of te campaign. And as a notion, it sure captures some zeitgeist. But let’s face it, it isn’t actually the biggest issue. Politics are never about existential issues. They are local. And locally people are care more about…

 

Why can’t I afford a goddamn house and why does gas cost so much?

 

Tat’s right. It’s the cost of living stupid. Why ARE things so expensive? And why doesn’t the government fix that? It’s a big deal. Inflation is not “transitory”. Prices are going up for everything. It’s not at the consumer level so much yet, but at the producer level, if you pay attention t these things, it is out of control. Don’t think for a second that the Bank of Canada isn’t freaking out abut this, even where they’ve enabled it. Oh and gas costs a lot because oil prices are rising, and so are taxes. Suck it.

 

I’m new, This new credit card, I don’t need to make payments, right?

 

Ths is government finance in a nutshell. Remember in first year university when some dude signed you up for a mastercard and you took all your friends out, ran up a bar tab and charged it with no intention of ever paying the bill? Yeah, that’s us right now.

 

How are the Greens so bad at this?

 

Great at the environment. Garbage at everything else. If you ever want to be more than a one issue party, try losing the crazy fringe people who are just as cringy as the Bernier boppers.

 

Social issues. AGAIN? Dammit. I thought we settled all that and would stop waving that boogeyman in people’s faces.

 

I don’t have a lot to say about this. It’s all fear-mongering. Sorry JT. If these issues were SO important, you would have enacted legislation in the six years you were in power and not just made a cudgel out of them during the election YOU called. That is all. No, sorry, it isn’t. Stop politicizing a woman’s right to control her body and stop trying to regulate forearms that are already licensed and don’t contribute proportionately to gin violence. You are all show, no go.

 

Vaccines.

 

For the love of Pete (and others who may be susceptible), please take the vaccine.

 

Jody Wilson-Raybold

 

She’s right, he’s wrong. It appears no one cares.

 

The new Bill 101. Oh wait, do I mean Bill 21? Do I even care anymore?

 

No. Get vaccinated.

 

These guys again?

 

Not to be outdone in the debates, we saw the glorious return to the national consciousness of the Bloc Quebecois, a party once thought extinct. Hah! Think again suckers. Much like the Terminator, this party keeps coming and won’t stop. As Quebec soured on the Liberals and the effete Trudeau, the tide turned to the Bloc. So much so that the Bloc leader handily won the French language debate, notwithstanding a spirited showing by the aforementioned and re-energized Jagmeet Singh.

 

To me, the Bloc Quebecois has a mavericity that is downright Albertan and is relentless in its single-minded pursuit of Quebec’s interests at the expense of all other regions. This of course drives everyone outside of Quebec completely batty and no doubt amuses Quebecers to keep poking the federal government in the eye by having so many seats held by a party that doesn’t actually want to be there.

 

 

Climate

 

It didn’t take long for the election to become all climate all the time. Carbon tax here, regulations there, sprinkle in a little economic suicide by advocating shutting down the oil sands, some apocalyptic fear mongering by Canada’s purported intelligentsia (Margaret Atwood – please stick to books) all mixed with paranoia and terror and what do we have? Impending doom and disaster. An emergency. A crisis. And not one party with a truly credible plan to do anything about it that doesn’t involve shooting ourselves in the face, taxing us, secretly taxing us, doing all three or hoping for a unicorn to fly in and deliver us from our evil fossil fuelling ways.

 

Look, climate matters but it’s not the only thing. All that the noise about climate did was sideline important policy debates about other issues that matter, like the economy, foreign affairs, health care, education… I really don’t know where some of the parties stand on these issues. But hey, who cares about that, I want my photo op with Greta.

 

 

Okay. That’s the groundwork. Now on to the good stuff.

 

First, let’s revisit the parties using the handy table I prepared before the election writ dropped, updated for recent events. Then I will make my prediction.

 

 

Liberal Party of Canada. (the current government)

Leader:               Justin Trudeau

Slogan:               Forward. For everyone. Barf

Likes:                   Spending. COVID. Masks. Vaccines. Power. Vote-rich regions that keep them in power. The Middle class and those working hard to get there. Socks. Costumes. Apologizing. Blackface. Greta.

Dislikes:              Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper. Oil. Stephen Harper. Conservatives in general. Alberta (so we’re told)

Claim to Fame: Balanced the budget once. Nice socks. Decent economy. Vaccines. Always very remorseful. Building a pipeline for Alberta. Minority government. Canada’s natural governing partyTM

Achilles Heel:    Arrogance. Lying. SNC Lavalin. COVID. Narcissism. Hypocrisy. Building a pipeline for Alberta. Blackface. Trudeau.

 

Conservative Party of Canada. (official opposition)

Leader:               Ern O’Toole

Slogan:               Secure the future. OK. How?

Likes:                   Cutting taxes. Cutting spending. The energy sector. Pipelines. Stephen Harper. Jogging. Wife-delivered beer. Head wax. Flip flopping.

Dislikes:              SNC Lavalin. WE. Liberals. Trudeau. Bills C69 and C48. Taxes, especially if they are carbon.

Claim to Fame: Didn’t screw up the country during the Great Recession. Capable government in waiting and nowhere near as extreme as people make them out to be

Achilles Heel:

Social conservative influence in the party. Stephen Harper. Jason Kenney. Boring.

New Democratic Party.

Leader:               Jagmeet Singh

Slogan:               Fighting for you

Likes:                   Lots of taxes on rich people (loosely defined), Pharmacare. Dental plan. Social programs. The environment. Immigration. TAXES ON RICH PEOPLE FFS!

Dislikes:              Energy. Stephen Harper. Spending cuts. The vote-stealing Green Party.

Claim to Fame: Official Opposition when the Liberals got eviscerated in 2011. The ghost of Jack Layton (sadly fading). Cool as cucumber leader.

Achilles Heel:    Leader is lacking pollical acumen and knowledge. Lacklustre campaign. Perceived as not caring about Canada outside of GTA and GVA. Lost the union vote a long time ago.

 

Green Party of Canada.

Leader:               Anamie Paul

Slogan:               Be Daring. (seriously?)

Likes:                  The environment (duh). The spotlight.

Dislikes:              Oil and gas (icky), industry, the economy, Israel, Canada (apparently), Muslims, pipelines

Claim to Fame: Plucky up and coming party that finally had some breakthrough seats in the last election.

Achilles Heel:    impossible to take them seriously with their leadership issues, stance on international  issues and their absurd economy killing fantasy platform.

 

People’s Party of Canada.

Leader:               Maxime Bernier

Slogan:               I can’t find one, so how about “If you ignore the racists, we’re really just ant-vaxxers.”

Likes:                  Maxime Bernier. Protectionism. Ivermectin. Pandering to all the ‘phobes they can

Dislikes:              Immigration. Science. Vaccines. If you’re from somewhere else – probably you.

Claim to Fame: Hiding place for alt-right racists, disaffected conservatives who haven’t figured out the first point, anti-vax morons. A leader who almost won the Conservative party leadership race.

Achilles Heel:    Fifth party status. Oh, and the racism.

 

Bloc Quebecois (those guys)

Leader:               Yves-François Blanchet

Slogan:               Le Québec, c’est nous

Likes:                   Quebec. Quebec. Quebec.

Dislikes:              The Rest of Canada. Pipelines.

Claim to Fame: Still relevant even though support for Quebec sovereignty is at generational lows. Mavericity.

Achilles Heel:    A wasted vote if you want to make a difference federally. Oh, and the implicit racism.

 

Prediction

 

I have parsed the numbers. I have done the calculus. I have my opinion.

 

The Conservative Party of Canada has run a steady campaign. They are nowhere near as evil as the Liberals would make them out to be. Their support in Western Canada is rock solid but they need Ontario to break right for them and some gains in Quebec and the Maritimes to make a difference.

 

The Liberals are of course the self styled natural governing party of (central) Canada and have run an aggressive demonization campaign against a pretty non-threatening conservative candidate. Justin Trudeau was counting on vaccines to propel him to a majority but may have miscalculated and overestimated his personal popularity.

 

The NDP is resurgent at strategic points across Canada at the expense of the Liberals and should return to respectability in BC, make inroads in Ontario, win a seat or two in Alberta and bleed votes in Quebec.

 

The Green Party at one point had close to 10% support and in a proportional representation scenario this would matter, but as it stands, with their internal issues it is hard to see the greens even winning a seat..

 

The Bloc is a force because the Liberals are a fail in Quebec, the Conservatives are weak with Francophones and the Bloc has Albertan-style mavericity. If the support holds, this is the difference in the election.

 

The PPC are what they are. Racist, xenophobic.

 

There are 199 of 338 seats in Quebec and Ontario and 32 in the Maritimes. The Conservatives are likely to get 60 seats in Western Canada and have 40 seats in Ontario and Quebec and thus require 70 additional seats to form a majority.

 

The Liberals are likely to have 30 seats in the Maritimes and a lock on an additional 70 seats in Central Canada (25 in Toronto!).

 

If the Bloc has 30 locked up in Quebec and the NDP holds at least its 30-40 this means there are likely no more than 60 seats up for grabs, making it mathematically impossible for either major party to secure a majority unless the votes break decisively against the polls in the next 3 days.

 

This election will likely be over before I even vote here in Calgary. And it’s going to be a Liberal plurality but not a majority. And I suspect we are back to the polls sometime in 2022 and this is the last time we see Justin Trudeau in a major election.

 

Final tally:

 

Liberals 151

Conservatives 132

NDP 52

Bloc 30

Green 0

Independent 0

PPC – thanks for playing, now go away.

 

Liberal Minority.

 

What does it mean?

 

It means it was all a giant waste of time. But Trudeau will be out, so to the extent that matters, there’s that.

 

No soup for you.

 

 

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