Doubtful also is the suggestion that he will step down and decide not to face Justin Trudeau. It should be the most interesting election this country has seen in decades.
If that duck were to fly Mr. Harper would have stepped down already. At this point if he were to step down it would be Kim Campbell time for his party and his legacy.
Why won’t Mr. Harper step down? Well, for one it’s an ultimate challenge for him with many already suggesting he can’t beat the younger, prettier, and seemingly more popular son of one of Canada’s most loved and hated Prime Ministers.
There have been many failings in the Harper government; its autocratic style; its meanness and seeming uncaring towards the general public; the abuse of the CBC and our military; spending more on advertising job plans than investing in jobs. There are plenty of targets to throw darts at; but at the same time Mr. Harper is a seasoned warrior at this point.
Of course, while most Conservatives won’t admit it; so is Mr. Trudeau and his team, and yes, he has a team that’s much more focused and cohesive than recent Liberal offerings. The Liberals in fact haven’t seemed this on target since the pre Jean Chretien Paul Martin Civil War days.
The Tories have needled their attacks at Trudeau looking for weak spots and anything that they could get a foot hold with the public; but so far there have been no knock out blows like the attacks on Stephane Dion that were never recovered from.
And that might be Mr. Trudeau’s biggest strength; counter punching. Like any good boxer knows, sometimes it’s not the first punch thrown, but the second, third and fourth that wins that match.
While the recent bye election results have gone in Mr. Trudeau’s favor anything can happen on election day. This next year will be one big campaign on all sides. The NDP under Thomas Mulcair seem to have lost their spark; and there is no Jack Layton to inspire in this election. They have been a fairly mute opposition and the odds of them maintaining their 100 plus seats are about that of the Leafs having a Stanley Cup Parade in 2015.
They say that in the Art of War, when you are the weaker adversary, to always pick the time and place of battle.
Stephen Harper will be hunting down Justin Trudeau this next year. The question will be whether he can catch him before election day, and if our Prime Minister has used up his nine political lives yet?
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Every Lib and Dipper in the land is hoping Harper will stick around for the next election.
Harper, if he stays around for the next election, is a cooked goose.
I agree with you that Stephen Harper will not step down before the next election, even when there was rampant speculation regarding as much one year ago I remained sceptical. But your claim that the NDP has been a largely mute opposition is complete horse hockey for lack of a better term. The party has been very vocal over the past year on a whole array of issues ranging the Senate scandals to the Fair Elections Act to the Keystone pipeline. Justin Trudeau has been the mute one. The party has been relegated to third place but I would remind the reader that it is usually not a distant third place and the party has retained its presence in Quebec under Mulcair. Anyone writes the NDP off at their own peril.
Attempting to predict the outcome of an election which is one year away is a fool’s errand. The only two predictions that I would dare to make are as follows, Stephen Harper will lead the Conservatives into the next election and the Bloc Quebecois will almost certainly face oblivion. But beyond that it is anybody’s guess, either of the three parties could win. Despite the recent by-election wins, Justin Trudeau has not cemented himself as the clear alternative to Stephen Harper. Canadians remain unsure of his competence and in Quebec he is less trusted than Thomas Mulcair.
All of this talk about whether or not Harper will go or the supposed “inevitability” of a two-way race between Trudeau and Harper is evidence of precisely how silly it is to speculate in Canadian politics.
On the other hand, Chris, when the popularity of a tired old nasty prime minister is dropping at the same time as the popularity of a fresh opposition leader is climbing, it makes election predictions a lot easier. I predict that the Cons will be toast if Harper stays on. I also predicted that the provincial Cons would be toast with Hudak at the helm.
You still cannot “predict” an election, far too many things will be at play in 2015. The majority of Canadians have never really “liked” Stephen Harper yet he has managed to win three elections largely due to the inability of his opponents to connect with voters and present themselves as safe alternatives. Harper is annoying Conservative voters and his government is getting a bit tired but that does not mean that it necessarily has an expiration date (the McGuinty and Campbell governments were if anything more tired) and it certainly does not mean that Justin Trudeau is a shoe-in to be prime minister. We could well end up with a two way NDP/Conservative race, or we might not but regardless it is far too early to “call” the dynamics of an election more than a year before the fact.
@ Chris. Of course you are correct about trying to predict the results of an election that far off in the future. However, if an election were held today, the Cons would take a s-kicking. And if the polling trends continue as they are, the Cons will take a severe s-kicking next year.