The Liberal campaign is crashing so badly that a Conservative majority is becoming a real possibility (link PDF). Prior to this election, many commentators were saying that it would be extremely difficult for any party to win a majority... especially the Conservatives, who were not expected to win a single seat in Quebec. (It is hard to win a majority when you write off a province that represents about one quarter of Parliament.)
Well, the Liberals don't seem to be able to do anything right these days. It has been gaffe after gaffe since before Christmas.
I guess the real problem is that this election campaign is just too long! The more days that pass, the more Canadians seem to be losing respect for Paul Martin and his team. Every day of campaigning, they damage themselves. (There's no use linking to any particular story... just stay tuned to Bourque.)
So, if there might be a Conservative majority, here's the potential downside of that: Ian Welsh has written the case against the Conservatives. Much of the negatives are policies that I wouldn't have expected to succeed in a minority situation. But with a majority we have a whole new ballgame.
Stephen Harper seems to have moderated his views and campaigned on a reasonable and appealing 5-part platform. So, the question is: what does he do with a majority? Does he extend beyond his friendly platform into the traditional interests of his party and the conservative movement? Or, does he limit himself to governing in the spirit of his fairly centrist campaign?
As for me, I still want what I've wanted since before the election: a Harper minority with Layton holding the balance of power. I live in Jack Layton's riding so I'm voting for him. The difference between a Harper minority and a Harper majority will be determined in ridings with close Liberal-Conservative races. If I want my wish to come true, it would place me in the odd position of hoping some people vote Liberal in 2006. That's a tricky one.