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"Trudeau seems to be regaining enough of the old Liberal dexterity of being just far enough to the left of the Conservatives as not to seem like tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum to voters of the centre-left, and adequately to the right of the NDP not to frighten the cautious Canadian bourgeoisie." [italics added]
-- Conrad Black
National Post, October 2, 2015
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The NDP's Olivia Chow took the plunge in a particularly irritating way this week when she announced she's running against Liberal MP Adam Vaughn in a downtown Toronto riding. It felt like a bad omen for an election that hasn't even begun and will drone on for over twice as long as usual.
Canada's tiniest province with a population to match is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of Canadian politics. Thought of as a quiet backwater, Prince Edward Island is renowned for its picturesque scenery, red-sand beaches, lighthouses, and quaint villages and churches. It also boasts the longest bridge in Canada, as well as the country's best lobster suppers (in my opinion). To top it off, P.E.I. is the birthplace of Confederation, the home of Anne of Green Gables, and a Life Sanctuary.
With a federal election scheduled next October 19, the current outlook is that it will produce a minority parliament. While it is possible for either the NDP, the Conservatives, or the Liberals to win an outright majority, none of the three have been polling in majority territory.
Without a majority winner, the party that elects the most members of Parliament will be asked to form a government.
If the Conservatives win more of the 338 seats to be contested than any other party, Stephen Harper can stay on as prime minister -- unless the opposition parties chose to defeat his minority government on a motion of confidence. The earliest opportunity to do that would be the Speech from the Throne that opens a new session of parliament.
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Now that he's headed back to Harvard full time, it's too easy to say Michael Ignatieff really was "just visiting," although he was. There must be something more to learn from that weird political interlude in his life and ours. Let's consider the denouement: the time since his party's 2011 defeat.