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The Article

PM Paul Martin’s Liberals will have major problem on election day

“If the election were on Christmas Day itself I’d go happily to vote and get rid of Paul Martin and the Liberals.”—Cochrane resident and Sun reader Ralph Spanier.

The shallowness of Prime Minister Paul Martin and the squalidness of his Liberal hangers-on and government are about to be washed out to sea with all the other flotsam and jetsam.

Yes, there’s a mood for change in our country, and my friend Ralph Spanier’s comments when we met at the Austrian Club this past week epitomizes it.

Don’t believe me?

Just do the math.

There is simply no way Martin and the Liberals can win a majority government come Jan. 23, so Martin’s political career and his ambition to be written into Canadian history in some magnificent way are thwarted.

Yes, let’s have a well-deserved self-satisfied smile over that.

If Martin and the Liberals could win only 135 seats back in 2004—and many of those only with the help of Premier Ralph Klein putting the boots to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s campaign in Ontario—then there is no hope of a better showing after the distasteful revelations made by Mr. Justice John Gomery into the AdScam affair.

Add to that, Martin has foolishly divided traditional Liberal voters and religious voters—of all faiths—on the gay marriage issue.

Behind that leering artificial veneer of self-confidence, Martin must know inside his chance of a majority is hopeless.

Rather, the reality of losing his minority stares him in the face.

Harper—and local MPs such as Lee Richardson, Jason Kenney, Rob Anders, Art Hanger and Jim Prentice—told me several times over past months that, if Martin thought he could win, he would have pulled the plug long ago.

He didn’t dare.

Instead, he tried to cling desperately to power by selling his soul to Jack Layton’s New Democrats and selling out the taxpayers’ dollars.

This is a man with few, if any, political scruples.

My guessing now is B.C. MP John Reynolds—a close friend going back to 1972—is right the Conservatives will at least double the 24 seats they won in Ontario in 2004.

Gilles Duceppe’s resurgent Bloc Quebecois will likely add 10 seats to the 54 seats out of 75 it won last time.

Take 34 seats from the Liberals and they are down to just 100.

That’s precisely just one more than Harper’s team won in 2004 after seeing their Ontario support erode following Klein’s mischief-making.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan’s seat in Edmonton, and sanctimonious David Kilgour’s Edmonton seat, will go Conservative, too.

British Columbia, where the Conservatives won 22 seats in 2004, is a bit murky, but so are the Atlantic provinces, where the Conservatives won only seven seats.

If they lose any in B.C., they’ll easily recoup them in the Atlantic provinces.

Now some words of wisdom for Harper: Ignore the CBC, the Toronto (Red) Star and the Globe and Mail.

Do not pander to these seemingly wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Liberal Party of Canada.

They are wholly-owned, too, if not noted down at the corporate registry office, certainly in spirit and vindictiveness.

Back in 2000, I gave Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day the same advice.

Warned Stock if he went to the Toronto Star’s editorial board, the next day he would find six columns calling him a racist, bigot and religious lunatic.

He ignored me.

I was only slightly wrong—as Stock will now openly admit—the Star immediately went on an anti-Day tirade until the campaign ended. Its columnists and reporters were absolutely ruthless.

Instead, Stephen, go to news media outlets that are on your side or that will give you a fair hearing: CTV and Global, Sun Media newspapers, and the National Post.

Right now, here’s my initial summing up of where the parties likely will stand:

Conservatives: 129.

Liberals: 91.

New Democrats: 24.

Bloc Quebecois 64.

Depending how the campaign unfolds, the Conservatives can only go up, the Liberals down.

I’d bet my RRSP against anyone else’s RRSP that I’m right.

Paul Jackson
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