12.17.2012 08:06 AM

Harper will win in 2015

…that’s what I’ve been saying to folks across Canada since the release of Fight The Right, a few weeks ago.  It’s the incontrovertible reality: conservatives winning majorities in a country where the majority are progressive.  They do that because the progressive vote is split.

Harper’s vote is slipping and shrinking, but it still doesn’t matter.  As long as progressives – Liberals, New Democrats, Greens – continue to fight amongst themselves, Stephen Harper will continue to benefit.  You may not like it, you may not approve, but that’s the way it is.  It’s math.

Graves, here, with whom Bricker and others agree this morning:

The Conservative party may well benefit from a perfect progressive storm of vote-splitting and a futile rise in Green party votes resulting in few or no seats — as in 2008, when almost 7 per cent support for the Greens still failed to produce a single seat. The slightly invigorated Liberal party and the slightly diminished NDP will now saw off about 50 per cent of voters and the lion’s share of the progressive vote. A even more popular Green Party is still far away from levels where their popularity can translate into seats under the first-past-the-post system. So it may well be the case that a relatively stagnant and diminished Conservative party is in position to post another majority with even lower numbers than they had going into 2011.


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    Chris P says:

    Warren I have felt for a long time that the Greens and Liberals should merge. I believe Elizabeth May and many Liberals are open to the idea. I fully support it

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    Michael says:

    Warren it seems that you are begging the question.

    Is the vote split? Would everyone that votes Liberal vote for a party that is some combination of Liberals & NDP? Would everyone that votes NDP vote for a party that was an NDP/Liberal combination.

    You can not conclude that the whole (combined progrssive vote) would be equal to the sum of the parts.

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      Chris P says:

      True – But you also can’t assume that those that don’t vote for the ‘merged party’ would vote for the Conservatives either. Many may not vote at all. Also, who is to say that a merged party might not attract disenfranchised Progressive Conservaties.

      They dynamics change.

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        Corey says:

        Exactly Chris P, the dynamics change. Who’s to say the Liberals or the NDP can’t build a strong campaign and win 35% of the vote and form a government? That’s just as plausible.

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    HamiltonArrows says:

    Very astute conclusion supported by fact. A recent Berkley study showed that Conservatives will respond positively when the “purity” of the environment is at threat. The Green Party hammering this home would siphon off their supporters. A win/win I would think?

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    Elizabeth says:

    I give up.

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    Philippe says:

    These things can’t be predicted with certainty. If Justin mania hits, Harper, in fact, won’t win.

    What I can wholeheartedly agree with is that we progressives hurt our election chances tremendously & make things damn hard on ourselves.

    The good news: one more election ass-kicking would lead to a merger, no doubt about that.

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    frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    I’m for anything that prevents Mr. Harper and his cabal from achieving another majority govt, such is my contempt for “Dear Leader”, and my former leader, Mr. MacKay, (who sold us down the river)……..

    Im willing to pour a little water in my wine, and make peace with the NDP, if that saves this country from continuing down the wrong path……

    Quite frankly, the environment will not withstand the body blows Mr. Harper and his cabal have been dishing(and will continue to dish) out……

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    VH says:

    Warren, I suppose if you keep repeating something enough then it will become conventional wisdom. So related to this topic, I guess one could say doing a good job.

    But having a different political viewpoint and outlook does not equate to fighting “amongst themselves”. I’m personally not fighting with anyone and frankly I don’t know a single non-Con non-party member voting person who is.

    And I’m sure you are perfectly aware that not voting for the Cons doesn’t mean you’re a member of any sort of cohesive group; it’s only an analytical contrast.

    Of the three so-called left leaning parties, none of them or their leaders have any message that appears to really excite the electorate. And you only need one real leader. He/she would drink the milkshake of the other two “progressive” parties and then in their weakened state you could do a merger. But you really wouldn’t need to at that point.

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    Karen Copeland says:

    Merging parties will be seen as a huge change and I do not think it will go over easily just like that. On a smaller scale is the issue of the NDP and other opposition parties attacking each other instead of the Conservatives. The NDP seem to prefer to fighting the Liberals than getting on with the matter of governing Canada. If they do not do anything but agree not to snipe at each other, that in itself will upset the Conservatives and leave them wondering. Right not, all the sniping is just playing into the Conservatives hands. I really liked Jack Layton but I am having a very hard time warming up to Mulcair and the direction he has taken. His focus is not on all Canadians. Except for the Party affiliation, it is hard to see the difference sometimes between him and Harper. Both are All ego and sniping. Not the way to gain friends or votes.

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    Mauserman says:

    Thanks Warren you made my day!

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    Corey says:

    I still don’t get the argument for any type of merger between the Liberals and NDP. Liberals and dippers are progressives when it comes to social policy, but it’s difficult to see how our two parties’ economic approaches could be successfully merged into a single policy that would retain the supporters of both parties. For Liberals, merger talk undercuts our attempts to fight off the NDP – including Horwath at the provincial level in Ontario- by pretending we’re somehow offering the same policies.

    Polling data actually does hint at a potential weakness of any merger. The early December EKOS poll showed that among Liberal voters, only 42.6% named the NDP as their second choice compared to 23.4% who said the Conservatives were their second choice. The merger wouldn’t be as successful as some think if the ratio of Liberals willing to pick the NDP versus the Conservatives is just 2:1. That’s not good enough to conclude that a merger would work.

    Merger talk is flawed for one reason: it assumes Liberals and dippers only seek to defeat of Harper. That’s not why Liberals and dippers support their respective parties. They support parties who represent their values and policy preferences, which happen to be different. Liberals don’t like Harper, but want to replace him with LIBERAL leadership. Dippers don’t like Harper, but want to replace him with NDP leadership. Those two aren’t the same… The idea that neither party on its own could defeat Harper in a campaign is ridiculous, unless someone has a crystal ball the rest of us don’t have. Elections matter, and the next one is still anyone’s to win, or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work…

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    bluegreenblogger says:

    Dude, the Green Party under Jim Harris did exactly that. We deliberately targeted all three major partys, so as not to tilt the balance too far in any one direction. Those were heady days, when the Greens were growing in support across the whole political spectrum. When Elizabeth May took control of the Party, she replaced this balanced outlook with vitriolic attacks on all things ‘Conservative’. This was in part a process of cementing her control over the Party by purging all those former Progressive Conservatives from the membership. It played to the left wing of the Party neatly, even if it did result in chasing 2% of the electorate back into the Conservative Partys arms. Unfortunately, that 2% came to represent the balance of power, and the rest is history. There is little hope that the Green Party will do a 180 at this late date. Th egood news for the rest of canada is that without the per vote subsidy, the next Federal election will see no more than a dozen electoral districts with campaigns spending in excess of $5,000. I will lay long odds that they fail to recruit candidates in more than 150 ridings, so the impact of the GPC will be minimal

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    The Dude says:

    When I listen to Bob Rae, thomas Mulcair, Natha Cullen, Justin Trudeau etc, do they sound so different?
    The NDP & Liberals are onloy different in theory. Besdies Tommy Douglas, when has the NDP governed from the left for real?

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      smelter rat says:

      Exactly! We’ve had an NDP gov’t in Manitoba since 1999, and with the exception of a few years of Gary Filmon and Sterling Lyon, pretty much always since 1969. They currently govern from the center right. Just ask anyone from the business community. They seem to be very happy with the NDP.

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    Jeremy says:

    I’m no fan of the Harper government but I am happy that they are at least moderate enough to maintain status-quo on things that I support. Harper is not pro-choice but he does not oppose abortion. Harper thinks capital punishment may be necessary sometimes but will not mention it in parliament. Harper promised tough on crime but bill c-10 is only a regurgitated idea of previous Liberal governments. Harper claims that radical Islam is the number one threat to Canada’s national security but continues to support current immigration and refugee policies that encourage new comers from Islamic nations that are known to support terrorism. Harper is apposed to same sex marriage but doesn’t seem to mind it very much. Harper made the famous “shoulder-to-shoulder” statement regarding the Iraq war but instead created an exit strategy for the troops in Afghanistan after becoming PM. Harper wrote the famous “firewall” latter but continues to send Alberta money out east by the tens of billions. I see PM Harper as a “Moderate” who is only guilty of failing to appease the special left-wing interest groups such as the Sierra Club or Greenpeace so they demonize him as a radical right. If Harper keeps up his moderate status-quo game he may very well win the election next time around.

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    RonMac says:

    How are you going to unite the Left when leaders Mulcair and Trudeau have categorically rejected a merger?

    How can the Liberals and NDP legitimately present a coalition to Canadian voters before the election?

    How can the decimated Liberals have any clout merging or coalescing with the Dippers?

    Answer those questions and then we will take you seriously.

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      RonMac says:

      Yes, it’s your forum, but please help us find a solution that will rid us of Harper. So far uniting the centre-left is just a political dream. I want action, and from what I see from the leadership we are at an impasse now. Your hopes cannot become reality unless there is strong leadership. Agree?

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    Peter says:

    Unite The Left. Period. Full Stop.

    Then throw that scumbag in the PMO out of 24 Sussex. Period. Full Stop.

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    RonMac says:

    YES, but HOW? Please tell us how it will happen?

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    Marie says:

    Oh yes! I hope with all my heart that Mr Harper wins another majority in 2015. He’s the best PM we have had in years! He has kept Canada shielded from the economic turmoil going on world wide. He has brought common sense to many laws that needed to be changed. And there is still a lot of work to do. Thank God we got out of Kyoto. Let’s hope that the truth about climate change fraud to enrich the likes of Maurice Strong and Al Gore comes to light and people wake up!
    There are so many things to be changed. Let’s bring common sense back to society. Stop the “social re-engineering”, stop funding the UN which has become a travesty of itself. A melting pot of dictatorships threatening the free world.

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      Warren says:

      Wow, are you on the wrong frigging web site or what?

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        RonMac says:

        Yes, Warren, Marie is on the wrong website, but many Canadians in the centre and the right believe much of what Marie is saying.

        How will a leader of the united Left convince Canadians otherwise, and who is this leader because I don’t see him/her yet? Your solution would be appreciated. Thanks.

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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          It will happen when party members vote with their wallets. Until Liberal and NDP party members dry up the political contributions, it won’t move one solitary inch — much less happen.

          Yours truly did that last year and again today.

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    monkey says:

    Unlike the United States, our electorate is far less polarized and only a minority see themselves as left wing or right wing. Sure certain voters tend to lean in one direction but the reality is the vote is fluid enough that it is possible to defeat Harper without uniting the left and just as a united left doesn’t guarantee his defeat either. The Tories have a floor of around 30% and last election they picked up another 10% of swing voters. If they fall to 30% they will lose guaranteed, the question is just who to. By the same token, not all NDPers and Liberals will automatically go to the other side. Many centrist or blue liberals don’t like the NDP’s left wing economic policies and would either grudgingly vote Conservative or not vote at all. In the West, particularly BC and Saskatchewan you have a surprisingly large number who will swing between the NDP and the Conservatives. In fact 20% who vote NDP provincially vote Conservative federally in BC. Also some more left wing NDPers who see the Liberals as sell outs and not ideological pure would just sit out. In 2004 in the US, many assumed all of Nader’s votes from 2000 would go over to Kerry yet many decided not to vote at all thus Kerry was unable to win never mind Bush picked up enough right leaning Al Gore voters to cancel out any Nader voters who went over to Kerry. I agree a merger has a greater chance of success, but the reality is anything is possible. If Harper becomes so wildly unpopular and either the NDP or Liberals are able to capture the imagination of the public, he can be defeated with out merging. In Ontario the PCs have been defeated several times despite a divided left so even if more difficult it is still possible. And interesting tidbit is one poll found only 10% considered themselves right wing, another 10% centre-right, 10% left wing and 10% centre-left, while a whopping 60% said they were centrist so otherwise it really comes down to who can win that group. Also most Canadians don’t blindly follow any ideology. Most are right wing on some issues and left wing on other thus depending on what issue is their biggest concern they vote accordingly. Someone could be right wing in favouring a balanced budget and big spending cuts, but yet left wing in wanting Canada to do more on creating a cleaner environment.

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      Thomas Gallezot says:

      Well said! Bottom line is: vote for what you believe in. Strategic voting was a catastrophe each time it was tried. If the left wants to unite, NDP and Libs can merge. But can the Liberal Party can be still considered a progressive party given that three liberal provincial governments in Ontario, BC and Quebec are (or were in the later case) implementing conservative policies? I think the three party system makes sense. Let the citizen decide. As you said, it’s the 60% central bloc who will decide. And this bloc will vote for their favourtite leader or their favourite policy. Not their favourite party!

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    RonMac says:

    Warren, I’m confused by this Winnipeg Freep article:

    Progressive Liberals alarmed as federal leadership contenders tilt right

    By: Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press


    It appears the Liberal leadership hopefuls are campaigning on the Right to win over the 40% who vote Conservative. Does this mean they intend to campaign on the Right but govern on the Left?

    Is this a preemptive rear guard attack on the Conservatives and then merge with the NDP on the Left flank?

    Or is the intent of the Liberal leadership to reject the Left and unite with the Conservative on the Right?

    Is it going to be a Liberal-Conservative merger; after Harper retires in 2014 according to the Ottawa gossip?

    How can the Liberal leadership create a stand-alone party when they have such a mixed message?

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    Greg Vezina says:

    A chance at governing with a majority some day, perhaps two or three elections from now is what keeps the Leaders of the Liberals and NDP from taking any realistic steps to reform our democracy.

    All of the Leaders of these parties in both Ontario and Ottawa have had many opportunities in the last couple of decades either in Minority or Majority governments to make changes, but they did not, because they wanted the brass ring themselves.

    Leaders lead and the rest of us are left to follow. Democracy EH?, only in Canada do we allow ourselves to be governed by elected dictators, put into office by back room deals, hacks, flacks and bag men. Reminds me of the Democratic Republic of Russia run by Putin.

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    Harry says:

    I am from alberta and i hate liberals

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    Shawn Dalton says:

    Hi folks; I totally agree with Warren’s consensus albeit for different reasons. I’ve read “Stephen Harper & The Future of Canada” by: William Johnson(2004)…Harperland: The Politics of Control” by: Lawrence Reynolds(2011) and “When The Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada”(2011) by: Peter C Newman. I also read the best seller “Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism” By: Neil Bisoondath (1994). He predicted some 12 years before the minority government by Stephen Harper that Canadians would move away from Trudeau’s socially engineered ideas and towards more of a Conservative mindset. That happened in the last election. With the Liberals in 3rd place and dying fast, so are 2 of the 3 ism’s (multiculturalism and bilingualism). The 3rd is on the rise…populism and perhaps also Canadian Nationalism.

    I’m currently writing a book on the 3 myths of Canadian Immigration and have been for the past 2 years. I feel that there is an eerie lack of social cohesion between citizens of this country and I have done my best to find out why and how exactly it all happened. I’ve done some debates on these hot topics. They are listed for you below.

    11 Debates ==> Shawn Dalton ==> youtube . com

    Dalton Mc Guinty & The Road To Ontario’s Fiscal Bankruptcy

    The Sellout of Corporate Canada

    The Canadian Dream

    Shawn Dalton Talks Canadian Immigration

    Quebec’s Cultural War on English Canada & the rise and Success of the Canadian Reform Movement

    Brain Mulroney & the Beginning of Canada’s 20 Year Policy (1989 — 2009) of Mass Immigration

    Pierre Trudeau’s Socialism and the Introduction of Multiculturalism

    Social engineering & the rise of immigrant & minority rights

    Pierre Trudeau, Mass Immigration & the Rise of Hotel Canada

    India’s Rape Crisis

    The End Of The Midnight Sun: Sweden’s Cultural Destruction

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