[Mb-civic] Guardian Unlimited: Conservatives head towards victory
in Canadian election
harry.sifton at sympatico.ca
harry.sifton at sympatico.ca
Sat Jan 21 07:40:12 PST 2006
HS spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought you should see it.
Note from HS:
This does not look good. The conservative attack machine has made an issue about Ad Firms misuse of tax dollars and holds the Liberals accountable. This is still under investagation and so far the liberals have been cleared of any wrong doing, but the conservative attack machine won't give up and the media supports any scandle to sell papers, so they are not helpful here either.
There are 5 parties in this election and 2 of the (NDP and The Green Party) are taking votes away from the Liberals.
The US Republicans want Harper in, they have been helping him idirectly through US owned companies in Canada with donations and suport!
To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk
Conservatives head towards victory in Canadian election
· Polls point to win for pro-Bush candidate· Liberals flounder after corruption scandal
Julian Borger in Toronto
Saturday January 21 2006
Canada looks poised to take a turn to the right on Monday, when elections are widely expected to end more than 12 years of Liberal government and bring to power a Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, known for his opposition to the Kyoto accord on global warming and his support for George Bush's missile defence scheme.
The prime minister and Liberal leader, Paul Martin, has insisted he will stage a comeback, but most analysts said he had a mountain to climb by Monday in the wake of a serious corruption scandal and a string of campaign gaffes.
The Conservatives led the Liberals by 35.5% to 29.0%, according to a poll conducted yesterday for CPAC, a public channel covering parliament. The leftwing New Democratic party had nearly 19% support and the separatist Bloc Québécois had just over 11 %.
Nik Nanos, the president of SES Research, which conducted the poll, said: "The only hope for Liberals is for some sort of major blunder by Stephen Harper or someone close to him in the last week of the campaign."
Pollsters say Mr Harper has succeeded so far by repositioning himself from the right wing of his party to a more centrist position, but his policies differ markedly from Mr Martin's in a few important areas, particularly foreign policy.
If he emerges as Canada's next prime minister, Mr Harper will almost certainly prove a more amenable neighbour for Mr Bush. He has been supportive of the Iraq war, and dismissive of the Kyoto accord and its mandatory limits on emissions. Mr Harper, like Mr Bush, prefers a voluntary approach. He may not formally take Canada out of the agreement, but would do little to push it forward.
Mr Harper has also said he would reopen negotiations with the US on joining the planned missile defence system, the successor to Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" project, intended to provide an umbrella against ballistic missile attack.
At home, Mr Harper would seek to take Canada to the right on some emotive social issues. He will ask the parliament in Ottawa to vote again on gay marriage, which it legalised last June.
However, Mr Harper's freedom of action will be sharply restricted if he fails, as widely expected, to win a clear majority of parliamentary seats.
"I think the reality for the Conservatives is that they are still looking at a minority government at this point," Mr Nanos said. "In Québec in particular, they have 26% support but they won't win 26% of seats. The Conservative vote isn't efficient in that way."
In that scenario, Mr Harper would either have to form a coalition with the Bloc Québécois or make temporary coalitions with centrist Liberals for each piece of legislation. "We may see legislation that is what we call 'no-brainer', and he may put off anything controversial that would undermine his ability to keep a majority together. There will be checks and balances," Mr Nanos said.
The weakening of the Liberal grip on power has largely been from a self-inflicted wound, a scandal involving the embezzlement of public funds intended for promoting national unity and countering separatism in Québec, which is likely to lead to the virtual extinction of the Liberal party in the francophone province and a surprisingly good showing there by the Conservatives.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
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