Friday, February 24, 2012

On battlegrounds

Paul Wells has a theory about the political playing field developing for Canada's 2015 federal election. And his laments that a new NDP leader won't get to take a three-year sabbatical aside, I can only hope that he's right.

Yes, it's true that the Cons will enjoy a few more favourable ridings in the West after their seat redistribution takes effect. But it's equally true that they'll still need to win a substantial chunk of Ontario to get anywhere close to a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

Wells' theory (to paraphrase) is that the Cons plan to push the resource sector, while cutting public services and generally expressing apathy toward the other industries made uncompetitive under a resource-inflated Canadian dollar. Which means that their road to a continued majority would involve successfully chanting "drill baby drill!" to win over voters in the province whose economy is suffering most from that mantra.

I won't say it can't be done, particularly with both corporate oil money and the resources of the state being used to sell the message in the interim. And there are at least a few possibilities for more favourable terrain (such as a major scandal that turns parts of the populist West into a wasteland for the Cons). But if Wells is right in forecasting the issues we'll be debating in 2015, I have to like our odds of toppling Harper.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:41 a.m.

    So, if I understand you correctly, you think that the next election will be all about Ontario?