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Why Jack Layton wants a Conservative majority tonight...


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Based on regional polls (and assuming the polls are not completely out of whack), it seems clear that the Conservatives will get the most seats followed by the NDP. The only remaining question is whether the Conservatives get a majority or not.

I happen to think that Layton would prefer to move to Stornoway and face a majority Conservative government. This would give Layton four years to make his caucus work and establish the NDP as a viable alternative to the Conservatives. The NDP caucus is going to be filled with neophytes and suffer serious linguistic, ideological and national faultlines. The federal NDP is more comfortable as a protest party and it could possibly settle down as a good official opposition.

If the Conservatives only manage a minority, this will thrust Layton and the NDP immediately into a maelstrom of trying to topple the government with Liberal support. If it were to succeed, Layton least of all would want to head a government with such weak foundations. Far more likely, the Liberals will not side with the NDP and so Layton will be an opposition leader constantly forced to oppose the Conservatives while simultaneously trying to keep his caucus together. The job of OLO is difficult enough.

If we have a Tory minority government, I predict that we'll be back at the polls within a year and the NDP will fall back to its core 20 or so seats. This is the ADQ scenario written for the federal stage.

BTW, Chantal Hébert had a good column in Le Devoir today that more or less considers these two possibilities.

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That...actually makes sense.

I agree. Especially that part about Layton having 4 full years as official opposition.

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Even without a majority the Tories have a good thing happening likely. The Liberals will be so week they will do anything to avoid an election for quite some time. At his point in time Iggy's fighting for his own seat. The right side of the Liberal party is about to get very vocal I would imagine, they won't have a hard time not showing up or quietly supporting Harper.

That is a very likely scenario and probably a very good one for the country.

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Four years should be enough time to learn french. That's actually not a joke, many of them will need lots of training.

NDP will have to figure out how to manage more then half of MPs being from Quebec. Having to keep them happy, and they are very demanding bunched, while not alienating their other half in English Canada.

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Four years should be enough time to learn french. That's actually not a joke, many of them will need lots of training.

NDP will have to figure out how to manage more then half of MPs being from Quebec. Having to keep them happy, and they are very demanding bunched, while not alienating their other half in English Canada.

I believe it will be very difficult to successfully represent Quebec and the rest of Canada at the same time. Quebec's needs and wants tend to be the polar opposite of the rest of Canada. However by voting for the NDP, perhaps the majority of Quebec voters are stating that they now want to be part of Canada, instead of having their own individuality?

The NDP are facing a steep learning curve with all their new MPs in Quebec and across Canada.

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