Here it is, the day before the main event. We have heard the arguments, we have heard the rhetoric, and we have seen the hypocrisy and garbage pile up. This is the time for the final sifting of ingredients before the batter goes to the oven.
At the onset, it could be argued that no real change would take place. Predictions of minority government were rampant no matter which of the two major players would emerge the victor. The final two weeks of the campaign appeared to set the stage for a Tory minority win, and as the campaign wound down into the final days, whispers of a majority government for Mr. Harper were echoed.
Toronto, the financial capital of the country will be a big factor. Prominent candidates in and around Toronto have not set good examples. Belinda Stronach is viewed by many as a traitor and opportunist for walking the floor and touting her own agenda. She knew that her road would be rocky as a member of the Tory caucus, so to inflict pain, she chose to slip out into the darkness of the night, and join forces with the enemy. Decisions such as this by a candidate, will not sit well with the money and power brokers who form a large part of the Toronto electorate. I would be very surprised if this riding did not go back to the Tories in a very strong sense. As I have predicted previously, Mr. Layton's job as leader of the NDP will be coming to conclusion as well, and thus, chalk up this seat to the Tories.
Quebec will prove interesting. I think that the good folks from Quebec know which side their bread is buttered on. If they still want the handouts, they will throw more support behind the Tories or Liberals. Again, because of recent government scandals, look for them to lean more heavily to the Tories. Gilles Duceppe will hang on of course in his riding, however, he is going to lose ground. Territory, that he can ill afford to lose in keeping with the Bloc's agenda.
Prairie Canada will look more favourably to the Tories with Mr. Harper. Again, the Liberals have not done a lot for the respect of Prairie farmers and other business people there, so a fresh start is in order. Ralph Goodale, who as federal finance minister is facing turmoil regarding recent allegations. He will not fare well in his riding, and as well, the stench of the sponsorship scandal still permeates the air. Alberta would prosper no matter which party is in power, they can afford to thumb their nose at Ottawa, but in the final analysis, the Tory light will shine brighter.
The Maritimes, Newfoundland, and British Columbia all share an interest in similar resource industries. The Liberals have done a lousy job in resource management, so again, look for a stronger Tory representation in these provinces. The three northern territories need new hope. Development of industry, improved transportation, and a greater emphasis on social programs are paramount in these regions. Many will choose to give Mr. Harper and the Conservatives a chance as an alternate to the Liberal regime that failed them.
Lest we forget, the following is the score card following the 2004 federal election. It is followed by my predictions of the standings following the vote on Monday January 23, 2006.
Bloc Quebecois 54
My predictions for 2006 vote:
Bloc Quebecois 48
* This is not a large majority, however, should it turn out to be reasonably accurate, I am certain Mr. Harper will accept it with open arms.
In keeping with Elections Canada regulations, this will be the last posting to this site until after the polls close across Canada. Please do your part for the democracy of our country, and get out and vote.