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COMMENTARY · 3rd May 2011
Merv Ritchie
The May 2nd election results were a surprise on many fronts. At official NW gatherings the NDP were expressing great joy and sadness at the same time; having won official opposition status was great but watching Harper win a majority was depressing. It was the wide margin of error in the election polling that presents the greater surprise however.

In the 2006 general election the pollsters of the day; SES, Strategic and Ipsos were all very close in predicting the result, all within one or two points. The last poll taken prior to the vote had the Bloc at 11%, exactly what they got. The Conservatives at 36%, exactly what they got. The Greens at 6%, they got 5. The Liberals at 30%, exactly what they got and the NDP at 17 %, they got 18.

In the 2008 general election Angus Reid posted the last results and they posted the Bloc would receive 9%, they got 10. The Conservatives at 37% they got 38, the Greens at 7%, exactly what they got. The Liberals at 27%, they got 26 and the NDP at 20% they got 18.

The 2000 election was equally close to the polling results. The Bloc was predicted to get 10%, they got 11. The Reform Alliance 25%, they got 26, the Liberals 41%, just what they got. The NDP at 9%, just what they got and the PC party at 12%, just what they got.

Only the 2004 election saw a vary to the final results from the polling numbers and even then they were almost dead on. The Bloc, Conservatives and the Greens got exactly what was expected; 12, 30 and 4% respectively. The Liberals got 37% instead of the expected 34 and the NDP were expected to get 17%, 15% or 20% according to the last three polls and the received 16%.

This election however was strikingly different. The NDP were on a clear upwards surge and the Conservatives were either stable or falling depending on whose polls were looked at. The last Poll done by Forum had all parties except the Conservatives and the NDP pegged at what they got. The Conservatives however received 40% when they were expected to receive only 36. The NDP final tally fell to barely 30% when they were on an upward move expecting to get over 33%. From an expected 3 point difference to a 10 point difference is very significant.

A few points either way can make or break a campaign. It remains to be determined why so many people switched their vote at the last minute. The news of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden may have had an emotional impact on the voters or it could have been the poll numbers were just inaccurate. We believe the former is true.

In one of Prime Minister Harpers first speeches he stated the west could now breathe easier as the Liberals and NDP policies against the Tar Sands and tankers on the West Coast were bad policies; indicating these economically advantageous projects could now proceed. These are clear benefits for the American consumption of fossil fuel; not so much for maintaining the pristine environment, and for the economic benefit derived from the environment, presently enjoyed by those living on the Northwest coast.

The Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor with the Ports and shipping terminals at Kitimat and Prince Rupert are international goldmines. The election of Steven Harper with a majority government opens up the door for a wholesale heyday similar to what Gordon Campbell did with his majority; the loss of BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Ferries, BC rivers with no accountability to the people. With this securing of a majority, squeezing through the grasp of an expected minority, we can expect the wholesale slaughter of all that is treasured by British Columbians and Canadians, for the economic benefit of a few, to continue.

Campbell simply determined he didn’t need the legislature and it barely opened for debate on any issue. Will Harper do the same and just unilaterally determine what is best? We expect nothing less.
heres hoping
Comment by Steve Smyth on 4th May 2011
Hope your right Stacey, I really do because as the bumper sticker states "my Canada includes Quebec"
It does not however, include people who don't want to be here

Here's an interesting read about the subject of "the stunned MP's"

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/05/04/lorne-gunter-good-luck-turning-your-stunned-mps-into-a-caucus-mr-layton/
Well put Stacey.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 4th May 2011
Some people have trouble with the collective decisions of a region in a democracy if they are organized in self-interest. Reminds me a bit of Alberta and how organized they and the federal Tories are when it comes to the oil patch interests. I guess it all depends on your point of view.
A shocking thought Steve
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 4th May 2011
I know this one might be hard... might be inconceivable... maybe just maybe... the people of quebec are just that people.

Maybe they aren't seperatists but never felt any other party understood them and they felt handcuffed to the bloc.

Maybe just maybe they would like to see quebec AND Canada rise above, become a place we can again be proud of, with unity and acceptance of people.

Maybe they just want to ensure their part of canadian heritage stays true, that the people are taken care of and that in fact we all grow together.

Maybe there just isn't as much hate out there as the current governing party wants you to believe... and in fact initiates on many occassions.
Steve...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd May 2011
...and you said that it was a race between Stephen and Iggy.
I cant wait
Comment by Steve Smyth on 3rd May 2011
I cant wait to watch the dance between Jack Layton and the Seperatists now he's sold the NDP soul to them to replace the Bloc. He's chosen to dance with the Devil in order to replace the Bloc.
The NDP "surge" ran aground just west of Toronto. It certainley didnt overrun Alberta or most of BC as the Conservative numbers in the West barely changed. The only thing thats very different this time is the Liberal vote sloughed off to the NDP and the Conservatives almost evenly. Even the Green vote dropped from 6.3 to just over 4%.
Did I mention how happy I am that Gilles Duceppe is no longer sucking from the Government teat that he professed to hate?

Face it , we've now got our own version of the Republicans and Democrats, at least until Justin Trudeau comes to try save the "Natural Governing Party"

It was an interesting evening to watch all round.

Go Canucks!