While Ignatieff has struggled with coalition damage control, Layton seems to always have embraced the idea, saying that he’s willing to work with any other party at any time. Of all the party leaders, Layton is the only one who seems to recognize the true nature of our parliamentary system.
One new poll result today shows the NDP overtaking the Liberals for second place. Conservatives 34%, NDP 28%, Liberals 24%. And that doesn’t take into account that a lot of Green voters are really just more extreme Liberal or NDP supporters. Now, we all know that polls are notoriously fickle, and that popular stats don’t always translate into seats, but this is still a huge development in the Canadian political scene.
Theoretically, Layton could approach the Liberals to form a coalition government and block a Conservative minority government. While Iggy has protested that he would never initiate such a move, he would be a fool not to participate if it were initiated by Layton. Actually, if the Liberals finished third (the worst showing in history) Ignatieff would not be the Liberal leader for long. If he were replaced with Bob Rae in an NDP coalition, …that would be really ironic.
It looks like a significant portion of the shift to NDP is coming from the PQ in Quebec, where the PQ is now trailing the NDP. That shouldn’t account for any drop in the Conservative stats, so the drop there from 38% to 34% is a little hard to understand. Are soft Conservatives finally seeing the light regarding the more extreme nature of their preferred party?
Or, more likely, are the undecided voters beginning to chime in?? The two biggest groups of undecided or unpolled voters tend to be women, who often take longer to make up their minds in elections (-no this is not a stereotype, but a research finding-) and younger voters who use cell phones, which usually aren’t included in telephone polls.
The bottom line is that, unless this poll turns out to be completely off track, it shows Canada as primarily a progressive, liberal and humanistic society that does not deserve to be governed by right wing extremists. Maybe I’m a bit of an elitist, but I value the fact the our Canadian society is more progressive and less reactionary than much of the U.S. political scene. These poll results demonstrate that this is still the case and that there is hope for a unique Canadian identity rather than the lock-step partnership that the Conservatives have been pursuing.