TORONTO - Everyone’s mind is made up. The advance polls are closed. More citizens have voted than expected – 5,780,000 according to the latest Elections Canada estimate (an average of just over 17,100 per constituency) than in past elections. In fact, that represents an 18.48% increase over the turn out at the advance polls in the last election.
Pollsters appear to agree on only two things: (1) no one will win a majority government; (2) which party will win the most seats will depend on where the newer Canadians in the large cities will direct their ballots.
This being Canadian politics, debate on substance and Mainstream media coverage of issues has always been suspect at best. It has gotten worse in the last several days. The only “issues” of significance is the “latest moral inconsistency” discovered in the personalities representing the parties. It should not come as a surprise: “live by the tweet, die by the twit”.
Mike Marzolini, retired consummate researcher/pollster, wrote in our pages, before the last election, that the major parties had their predictable, virtually unshakeable, fixed base of support. Consequently, elections are about capturing that approximately 5% of the electorate who swing according to the times – they have no allegiance to anyone or any party.
That would explain, in part, why the last few days leading up to the weekend before election day are punctuated with examples of “drive by smears” (vilifications of opponents) and claims of support by “recognizable groups” whose sole interest is self promotion.
Unions such as UNIFOR, PSAC, at one time influential Postal Workers and other pretenders to the Halls of Power, urge their members to sway the vote in the last days of the campaign by encouraging their members to participate in the ground organization of “getting out the vote”.
Some are or have been more effective than others, primarily because the “leadership” tries to cover their bases with all influencers. They tend to support candidates in constituencies where, for other reasons (usually ethnic/religious), the outcome is almost a foregone conclusion.
These groups, the “-ized Party” (marginalized, colonized, racialized, sexualized, unionized) typically individually represent a very small fraction of Canadian society.
Collectively, they come closer to that 5%, therefore their voice receives an airing that rivals the more established groups like Christians et al. Their “issues” receive more attention than their number might otherwise warrant in a democratic society; and, their “moral high ground” competes with that of the more established religions.
Effectively, they are protest movements – much in the same way as the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) or the Green Party are. Without the latter, the NDP might do marginally better in some areas.
If the faddish popularity of the PPC recedes before election day, the Conservations may stand to gain more seats than are currently predicted.
From our perspective, this election is merely a warm-up for the next one two years from now. The mainstream Parties have all but ignored the traditional power bases among Catholics and Canadians of European origin as the eternal debate of Canadian identity and Canadian values has shifted elsewhere.
If the haughty and malleable fail on Monday, the seeds for a “correction election” in the very near future will have been sown.
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