Currently a whole bunch of folks are thinking of voting something other than Conservative. thats the good news. In fact 60% or more of the population will vote for a candidate other than a Conservative.
That maybe okay in the end if the Greens, NDP and Liberals can find enough common ground and have enough seats to wrest power away from the Harperites. Elizabeth May said as much today, she is asking Canadians to vote for the candidate that has the best chance of defeating the local Conservative. Mr. Dion has agreed in to talk about it. Mr. Layton has dismissed it according to the press.
So it would appear that this is a non starter at this point and maybe it should be. The Greens have never held such opportunity to elect someone, though it would still be a surprise if they did, and the NDP have never been this close to unseating the Liberals.
Today's poll by CPAC-Nano's (thanks for the twitter, Bourque) show the Green's and the NDP gaining ground at the expense of the Liberals, and unless something changes in the days ahead, it won't be hard for more Liberals to abandon ship. A small shift of voters would see the Liberals fall behind the NDP. Not since Brian Mulroney, have the Liberals been in such desperate straits.
The Conservatives have all but abandoned the Prairies where they will sweep the seats again and are focusing on BC, Ontario and Quebec. The Liberals are barely hanging onto Toronto. Even here they are about to lose star candidate, Gerard Kennedy. Kennedy is in tough against NDP MP, Peggy Nash and will likely lose.
A couple of days ago, I got a phone call from a friend in Montreal. He has always voted for the Bloc. With the Bloc appearing to have no focus, he has switched to the NDP and is campaigning for them. He states that he has many friends joining him this time. That hearsay evidence is backed up by the latest polls. The NPD are tied with the Liberals in Quebec.
In BC the Liberals trail the NDP by 6 points and trend appears to be widening. Look out because Hedy Fry, who has owned Vancouver Centre for the Liberals since 1993 when she knocked off Prime Minister Kim Campbell is in a horse race and she's going to lose it. The Conservatives are running a smart two time MLA, Lorne Mayencourt. Mayencourt and I have our differences as you will discover if you search my blog. That said, he remains a formidable candidate and a tireless doorknocker and self promoter. Mayencourt will pull votes from Fry, opening the door for the NDP's star candidate, Michael Byers, nationaly recognised for his work as a Canadian Research Chair in International Law and Politics UBC.
If Hedy can lose her seat, the Liberals are fried in BC. They could lose every single seat they currently hold.
For the so called Centre left parties to get on with each other it is going to take Stephane Dion to do the unthinkable. He will have to cede his Liberal given 'right' to dictate the terms. Dion could propose an equal number of seats for the NDP and Liberals and a token Green seat. It's not going to happen.
The NDP will likely reject him as have the voters to date.
In Toronto vote for whoever you like, the Tories will still lose. In BC, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, vote NDP. On the Prairies, vote NDP or Liberal, one of them might sneak in. In Quebec, I never thought it possible, but consider the NDP candidate especially in Montreal and Western Quebec, in a four way race, they could win.
My advice stands until I see some momentum on the Liberal poll numbers. The only party with a chance at a majority are the Conservatives. It looks like the progressive side of politics needs a minority to govern. That won't be easy if the Liberals maintain that people that voted NDP in 2006 caused their defeat. Its time the Liberals shouldered some of the blame for their misfortunes.