I don’t think this latest argument from Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to resonate with the intended audience. As all Liberals know, Harper has led a vicious smear campaign against the Liberal Party since he became leader of the Canadian Alliance. That smear campaign attacking the integrity of all Liberals continued after he became leader of the reformed Conservatives.
Harper argued that Liberals were basically criminal. It’s been his sick dream for years to destroy the Liberal Party and replace it as the so-called natural governing party of Canada.
Harper is unlikeable, extreme and dangerous to the country. I’m sure that opinion is widespread among the 22-23% of voters who remain in the Liberal camp at this late stage of the federal campaign. These Liberal folks are the base of the party and they are not going to switch to Harper now. Of those 23%, I’m sure the vast majority would prefer to see Layton over Harper, if they had to choose. If the Liberal vote continues to collapse, this will likely benefit the NDP almost exclusively.
Personally, as I stated two days ago, I’m still torn as to who to vote for in Davenport, a riding where the Tories traditionally run even with the Green Party around 10% (i.e. not in contention.) I have the luxury of possibly voting NDP in this election, knowing there’s no chance switching from the Liberals will possibly elect a Conservative.
But without a doubt, if I still lived in my hometown of Guelph or Kingston or Brampton or Ajax or Mississauga, or any other riding where the Liberal incumbent has traditionally faced off primarily against Conservatives, I’d be voting Liberal.
The Liberal base will hold. Voters are smart. They know which riding they live in and they know the history of those ridings. They know a Liberal incumbent they know well is better positioned to stop the Tories in their riding than some unknown New Democrat who spent part of the election on vacation.
The Liberal vote will hold in Ontario, the NDP will take a huge bite out of the Conservative vote and Monday’s night’s results are going to surprise everybody.