What could happen if the Conservatives don’t get a majority

Some people seem pretty upset at the notion that Michael Ignatieff could become PM even if he only gets the 80 or so seats he is projected to get.  That isn’t set in stone, and I think a few other things could happen.

The Conservatives could make a deal with the NDP.  That is what happened in the UK.  The Conservatives won a minority and turned to the 3rd place left wing party and formed a coalition.  Who doesn’t want to see Jack Layton in cabinet with John Baird?

The Conservatives could gain the confidence of the house through compromise.  The Liberals aren’t stupid politically, and they know that they risk alienating people for years by doing something that is legally acceptable but politically sketchy. 

If the Conservatives soften to 33 or 34% and only get 120 seats and the Liberals get up to 100 this equation changes.  If the Liberals + NDP have significantly more seats than the Conservatives I think that gives them a mandate to govern together.  Even today most polls have Liberals + NDP at about 47% of the popular vote.  If we had proportional representation we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

The fly in the ointment here is Harper because nobody trusts him.  It isn’t just political posturing, the opposition  really doesn’t like him, and don’t believe him.  That makes it hard to see how the NDP would do a deal with him.

If Harper were to announce he is quitting then that just might change the mood.

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