The one thing that becomes clearer during the last week of any election is voting intentions. We don’t see a clear winner coming out in the multiple polls, but we do see things crystalizing.
That’s true of this election as well. The common conclusion is that likely a minority government awaits us on October 20. It likely won’t be led by Stephen Harper regardless of the Conservatives’ fortunes.
Too much has happened under Harper’s watch. There have been multiple supreme court rulings against his government over issues such issues as prostitution, where former Justice Minister Peter MacKay has proposed legislation. The residency of one of his own potential judges was challenged, and the candidate deemed ineligible. There’s even a pending case on #C51 winding through the system.
Bill #C51 itself is another reason he’s likely done as a Prime Minister. The anti-terror legislation has drawn criticism from every corner over the lack oversight for intelligence agencies. Among the powers it grants is the ability to hold someone for 7-days without a warrant. During its passage, the R.C.M.P made a few terrorism-related arrests. It begs the questions: Is new legislation warranted? Are there any measures already on the books to be broadened/ updated?
Harper allegedly muzzled scientists from talking about the uncovering of the Franklin Expedition. Former journalist for the Toronto Star Paul Watson lost his job over it, and published this piece for Buzzfeed where he details the entire tale. The scientists were muzzled to make the Conservative government look good.
Consider the criminal trials. The image of Dean Del Mastro being hauled off in leg irons makes it hard to push a law & order agenda. Bruce Carson, a former advisor to the Prime Minister faces allegations of influence-peddling. And last, but perhaps most damaging is the ongoing Mike Duffy Trial. At issue here is the question of if Harper knew Nigel Wright was paying Duffy’s $90 thousand in expenses.
It all makes it nearly impossible to win another majority. And then you add in the man himself. If half the media reports are to be believed Stephen Harper doesn’t like sharing. He built toward his two majority governments with gradually increasing minority mandates. To go from having the power to do virtually anything you want back to having to share isn’t something he probably wants to do. His fellow party members would consider it a failure, and the knives would come out.
A Conservative minority mandate is possible. If it happens it won’t be with Harper as leader. The opposition has said they won’t back a Harper-led government. Everything above is traceable back to him, and his ministers. It sticks to him and people remember it. He’s done.