It's been a weird, wacky ride this election. Despite initial guffaws over the pointlessness of this poll, cynacism gave way to one of the most vibrant and surprising campaigns in recent memory. A cocksure Conservative Party was expecting to strut to an easy majority, only to find their odds upset by a surging opposition. What's more surprising is that opposition party turned out to be the NDP.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Party primed for a comeback, seemed stuck in neutral, as Michael Ignatieff's first campaign as Liberal Party leader was unable to capitalize on the Conservatives vulnerabilities in the same way that the NDP's Jack Layton has. Suddenly, the golden boy, world-traveling professor that was going to return the Grits to their former glory looks more like a golden goose. Ignatieff says he wants to stay on as Liberal leader, but if the party can't even maintain its current status as the Official Opposition, will he even have that option?
But there maybe more immediate concerns off the top. If the NDP gets enough seats to become the Official Opposition, will an NDP-Liberal coalition come about? It seems unlikely that should the Conservatives return to Parliament with a minority that anyone on the opposition bench is going to be satisfied with the status quo. And despite refusing to answer questions about it yesterday, Stephen Harper and his inner circle have got to be sweating the possibilities.
Since we're talking about it, what happens to Harper if he returns to Parliament with his third consecutive minority? What happens to him if a coalition NDP-Liberal government takes power instead? I think that either way, tomorrow might be Stephen Harper's last election as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
As for the Bloc Quebecois, they're being hurt the most by the NDP surge, but the Green Party must be smarting too for that matter. The Bloc has taken hits before and always come back when Quebecers tire of the shenanigans of the main parties. The Greens, however, are in a much more precarious position. Moving ever closer to the breakthrough they need to get a Green in Parliament, the last thing they needed was one of the main parties to get the wind, and the press, at their backs. I find it unlikely that the Greens will win a seat in this election, but I thought for sure they would win one last time. So maybe I'll be wrong.
No matter what your opinion is, please make sure that you get out their and vote tomorrow. Remember your voter card AND a piece of I.D. with your name, address and photo on it, or two pieces of I.D. with a combination of those three. I'll be working at the polling station at St. Francis of Assisi as an Information Officer so if you're coming to vote there, say hi. Afterward, I'm scheduled to do a bit of punditry on the CFRU Guelph Election Radio show.Hopefully, tomorrow's polls will run smoothly and civilly, and we can avoid any Kent Brockman-like overreaction or hyperbole. I'll be back Tuesday with post-game analysis.