Polls suggest a minority government, but we need a full coalition.
A recent EKOS poll shows a Canada that, like much of the Western world, doesn’t know quite what to do or where to go.
But it also showed a way for us to get through our current whitewater politics, if enough of us are paddling in the same direction.
The poll is dated June 17, 124 days before the federal election. If a week is an eternity in politics, over 17 eternities lie between the poll and E-day, and this is just one poll out of many. Still, its findings raise some very interesting possibilities.
EKOS finds the Liberals supported by 30.1 per cent of the electorate, with the Conservatives at 34.2. Strikingly, the New Democrats are “moribund” at 12 per cent, trailing the Greens’ 13.2 per cent. The Bloc Québécois and Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party are both at 4.0.
A thought experiment
Let’s do a thought experiment. It’s after the election. Green Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh hold the balance of power.
They could keep at arm’s length from the Liberals, setting conditions for their support on confidence votes just as Andrew Weaver has with John Horgan here in B.C. The Liberals could govern very cautiously while taking flak from their allies as well as Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.
Or May and Singh could have a quiet word with Trudeau the day after the election: “You’ve already declared a climate emergency. If you’re willing to treat it as a real emergency, we’re prepared to form an emergency coalition government with you, and stick with you until 2023.”
It would be a high price for Trudeau: a serious program to slow the climate crisis would include writing off the oil sands and cancelling the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline. What’s more, Greens and New Democrats would be in the coalition cabinet. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his Prairie backers would erupt with threats of separatism.
But an emergency coalition government could spike Kenney’s cannons and win over key Conservative groups. For example, the EKOS poll finds 42 per cent of those over 65 are Conservative supporters. Bring in pharmacare and other senior-support programs and woo them away. MORE