Thursday, January 2, 2020

Predictions for the next Canadian election, and general updates

I wanted to address something that I saw today from another political blog that I follow; this being the idea that the Tories can't win the next election. To address this, I'd simply like to state my current prediction for the next election:

50-230 Liberal
30-280 Conservative
0-130 NDP
0-40 Green
0-40 Peoples Party
0-60 Bloc Quebecois

A lot depends on when the next election is. If that election is tomorrow, I'd expect the Liberals to gain slightly under a dozen seats on the Tories, and for the NDP to pick up a few as well, leaving them in a much stronger minority. If it is 4 years from now, events will determine the results. What if Trudeau is run over by a bus, and the new Liberal leader takes the party to the right? Well the NDP could end up doing very well. What if the Tories elect a leader who is a quack? this won't lead to them gaining seats, or even retaining most of the ones they have. What if the Tories decide to go far to the left and are unable to bring their base along with them? We'd likely see the Peoples Party returning. The simple fact is that there are too many variables right now for me to feel comfortable calling things. 

That being said, I can make a prediction for each of those variables.

Trudeau is unlikely to be hit by a bus. The Tories are unlikely to elect someone who is a complete incompetent, or, who will move the party radically, or, who will prove to be super popular. This government is unlikely to last more than 36 months or less than 12. The Greens are unlikely to pick a totally unacceptable new leader. Neither the NDP nor the Bloc are likely to see radical changes. With this in mind our ranges are much lower: 

135-180 Liberal
100-135 Conservative
18-28 NDP
0-6 Green
24-38 Bloc Quebecois
0-1 Independent

Under these circumstances, yes, it does become impossible for the Tories to win; but that only takes into account the variables we know about. Did anyone, planning for the variables for the 2019 election, have "will a scandal break on Feb 7th 2019" in their plans? Likely not. It would only take one more good scandal to put the Tories over the top.

Even in my wide prediction above, I discount certain variables. For example, what if some major issue split the Liberals in half, and Trudeau left with a rump of MPs to form his own party, and govern in coalitions with others? This has happened in both the UK, and Australia, the two other 'westminster' systems closest to our own. What if a corruption scandal explodes, with over half the members of Parliament under indictment, and 400 city and town councils end up dissolved? This happened in Italy in 1992 in the Mani Pulite. What if the military rolls in and overthrows the government? This happened in France in 1958. I discount all of these as "impossible" in my above projection, and each is so extremely unlikely that I'd be willing to bet money that none of them will happen; but they could happen, just as the universe could end before you finish reading this sentence.


In other news, I've decided to make more of an effort towards posting on the blog every day, or as close to it as is reasonable. There's always a debate about quality vs quantity, but at some point, you just need quantity. A newspaper that publishes 5 articles a decade isn't going to do very well even if all 5 regularly sweep all the "top 5 news stories of the decade" lists.

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