Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Will Canada have a majority government again?

Referring, of course, to a single-party majority government.

I would argue that the days of single-party majority government are permanently over.

A Conservative majority would require the hold on the West to continue, plus about 2/3 of Ontario and half of Quebec. This is the most likely scenario for a single-party majority but still unlikely due the continued failure of the Conservatives to catch on in Ontario, and the large constituency that simply will never vote Conservative.

A Liberal majority would require a virtual sweep of Ontario, as in '93 or '97, a return in Quebec, and a sweep of the Maritimes. That is to say, all the conditions of the '90s--but the right wing isn't divided anymore. The only alternative would be a Liberal reemergence in the West, which is not on the immediate agenda.

Nobody else will be close to a majority anytime soon.

Especially given the impetus in many provinces (BC and Ontario most notably) toward electoral reform, it seems likely that Canadians will eventually tire of the cycle--not necessarily of minority government per se, but of votes not translating correctly into outcomes. This heralds a change toward PR on a federal level, and possibly coalition majority governments. But I would predict there will not be another federal single-party majority government--and in the unlikely event there is, it will be Conservative.

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