The latest Bloggers Hotstove is up, and the link to it is at the top of the column on the right. I had to sit this one out because we had company, but that should be no reason for you to sit this one out. You can download your copy here.
The second phase of the Bow. James Bow Election Pool will begin after the final leaders’ debate ends. That will be at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, on Tuesday, January 10. At that time, those people who participated in the first phase of this pool have a chance to issue a second, revised prediction, or say “let it ride!” That is to say, their first and second phase predictions will be the same. Those first round participants who don’t field a guess in phase two will be deemed to have let it ride.
New participants are willing to join in, but should be aware that they will pay a penalty for not putting their reputations on the line by guessing earlier in the election. Until Tuesday at 10 p.m., you can participate in phase one by leaving your predictions in the comments here.
Some alarm bells have rung now that a couple of opinion polls put the Conservatives “dangerously” close to majority territory. Word that some Conservative party members are speculating about such an outcome provoked this reaction from the normally reliably anti-Martin Warren Kinsella:
Mark this date, folks (January 8, 2006 —jb): this is the day that things are going to get very complicated for the Conservatives. If not impossible.
I think we have to be open to the possibility that the voting public might want a Conservative majority, though I myself would disagree. The Conservatives have run a strong campaign, releasing policies per day that have been moderate and interesting. There is little likelihood that the Conservatives could toss all of that into the wastebasket and start on a radical agenda, because if they did, they’d be revealed as the biggest political liars since…
…well, since the Liberals.
Say what you like about Mike Harris and Gordon Campbell and the damage they may or may not have done to their respective provinces, but these two politicians at least had the courtesy to look us in the eye and tell us that we were on the cusp of a revolution. Canadians, in my opinion, don’t want a revolution, and Harper isn’t promising one. And if Canadians decide to reward him on that basis, he will be bound by it, or he will suffer the consequences four years down the line.
Either way, this NDP voter isn’t going to be frightened or tempted to vote Liberal in order to forestall the as-yet-unproven possibility of a Harper majority. To be frank, such a possibility is not nearly a big enough reason to vote in favour of continuing a tired government that has shown its incompetence and its contempt for voters again and again.
Really, if you are well and truly afraid of a Harper majority, the best response is to vote NDP. Especially in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba where the race is between the Tories and the NDP, and especially in the Cities of Halifax, Toronto, Hamilton, Oshawa and Windsor, where the Conservatives are not a serious threat.