This leaves the Conservatives with the three other options: Winning a majority, relying on Bloc support, or governing with the tacit backing of the Liberals.
Things have gotten even more difficult for Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has ruled out supporting a Conservative minority government, a strong hint that he would back the Liberals even if the Liberals won fewer seats than the Conservatives.
Here’s what Singh said:
“Absolutely rule that out — period,” Singh said, when asked about the prospect of supporting a Conservative minority during a discussion with the Star’s editorial board on Thursday.
“It’s been really clear that their focus has not been on helping people,” he said, arguing the party has stressed foreign policy and other matters above pressing priorities of Canadians suffering during the pandemic.”
Of course, that isn’t currently a concern for the CPC, since the polls show the Conservatives trailing, so they need to take the lead before worrying about what they would do in that situation.
Still, it leaves the Conservatives with three difficult options to gaining power.
First, they can win a majority, a huge challenge given the current polls.
Second, if they won enough seats to combine with the Bloc for a majority, they could govern that way, considering how the parties have moved closer on many issues.
Third, if the Conservatives win more seats than the Liberals, enough people in the Liberal Party may decide it is time to move on from Trudeau rather than clinging to power, which could lead the party to reject any deal with the NDP and tacitly keep the Conservatives in power by having enough members abstain from confidence votes – something we often saw during the Harper government years.
Still, many will look at O’Toole’s rapid shift from ‘true blue’ to ‘moderate centrist,’ look at the polls, look at Singh’s statement, and note how the shift appears to have accomplished nothing but risk demoralizing the party base without any benefit.
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