Even some of the boldest political pundits won’t risk tarnishing their fragile facades of authoritativeness by making clear and verifiable predictions of the outcome of the upcoming election. I, however, have the integrity and courage to put my hard-earned public reputation on the line, as should any self-respecting anonymous blogger. Here, then, are my predictions for election night on Monday. You can hold me to them:
The leaders of the political parties will state that “the people have spoken” (verbatim). The leader of the party that wins the most seats will proclaim that “Canadians have given us a clear mandate to blah blah blah” (probably not verbatim, but it would save us all a lot of time if it were). At some point, he (I’m also predicting that the leader of the party that wins the most seats will be male) will also say that they “won” the election. All of the leaders, except for Gilles Duceppe, will say something about “from coast, to coast, to coast”. Stephen Harper will say “God bless Canada”. Everyone will say something about our great democracy and will offer grudging and false congratulations to their opponents. Cheesy rock music will be played as each leader takes to their respective stages.
None of the leaders will say that people have “voted for change”, unless we’re very lucky or they’re being ironic. Actually no, there’s a chance Elizabeth May might get a chance to speak those words in a serious vein. The leader of the party that wins the most seats will not say “we have been given a very ambiguous mandate by 39 percent of registered voters who bothered to show up at the polls”. He will not say “the overwhelming majority of registered voters who bothered to vote in this election voted for parties other than mine, and that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable about assuming the role of Prime Minister”. He will not say “under the hokey rules of our democracy, we have managed to squeak out another plurality of seats”. He won’t say “it’s unclear how many seats the other parties would have received if our Parliament were elected by some form of proportional representation”, and he won’t say “don’t you think it’s kind of funny that some people think democracy means that ‘the majority rules?’” And finally, he will not say “on behalf of myself and my party, I would like to apologize for any of our poor behaviour during this campaign”. These are my predictions, and I stand by them.