If you had asked me on October 19, 2015 if Justin Trudeau and his Liberals would be sticking around for two majority terms, my answer would have been an emphatic yes.
Trudeau seemed untouchable then, now the best shot the Liberals have at forming government is a minority.
Or worse yet, a coalition.
If you don’t think that’s the way the polls are going, if you think that right now either the Liberals or the Conservatives could form a majority government, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Polls are effectively tied nationally and the regional breakdowns don’t lead to a big breakthrough for either of the two leading parties.
Things are so bad that Justin Trudeau’s top advisor, Gerry Butts, was warning on Twitter that without a Liberal majority, Canadians could elect a Conservative minority that will be propped up by the Bloc Quebecois.
When Butts is warning about the invading separatist hordes, you know things are starting to smell pretty desperate in the Liberal war room.
Internal Liberal polling that I’ve seen appears to validate that desperation — especially in Ontario.
The thing Canadians need to be more worried about is what could actually happen, and that is a Liberal minority in coalition with the NDP and Greens.
With or without the Bloc, that’s a coalition we can’t afford.
We know the NDP and Greens won’t work with the Conservatives. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has said she won’t back a party that doesn’t take climate seriously and she takes a pretty dim view of the Conservative environment plan.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has been even more blunt.
“I’ve made it clear that I would not do that. I would never support a Conservative government. I would never support Mr. Scheer becoming prime minister,” Singh said in Montreal on Wednesday.
And as for the Bloc, they have said they will work with any party as long as they get what they want for Quebec. That means they are as likely to work with the Liberals as the Conservatives.
But if we get a Liberal minority with the NDP and Greens holding the balance of power, things are going to get very expensive, very fast.
At a campaign event in Ottawa on Thursday, Singh laid out his priorities for working with any party and that includes bringing in universal pharmacare and dental care.
While that may sound nice the Parliamentary Budget Officer has previously estimated the cost of such just for a pharmacare plan to be $24 billion a year.
Without adding pharmacare the Liberals are already promising a $27 billion deficit next year just for “stimulus.”
The NDP and Greens would also demand the Liberals cancel the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and likely call for an increase in the carbon tax well above the $50 a ton the Liberals have called for by 2022.
The NDP has called for the elimination of interest on student loans and the Greens have called for a ban on tuition.
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Basically, when you look at the policies of the Liberals, NDP and Greens, we simply can’t afford to have them governing together, or separately.
In his meeting with the Sun editorial board earlier this week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he isn’t thinking about coalitions or governing parties if his party wins a minority but did warn about the other guys.
“There is only one party that’s focused on getting the country’s budget under control and getting some fiscal sanity back in our public finances and that is our party,” Scheer said.
“All the other parties are varying shades of grey on big government, big spending, big taxes. So voters should be concerned.”
We are very close to election day, the polls are tight but in flux. A lot can happen in the last ten days so the map may look very different come October 21.
But the way it looks now, Canadians could be electing a very expensive Liberal coalition government that we simply can’t afford.