News Podcast

Part II: Huddle Talks Election with Dr. J.P. Lewis

SAINT JOHN – A lot of crazy things have happened during this election campaign.

Listen to Part II of the podcast below. 

We’ve had Candidates who pissed in cups, were ignorant about the Holocaust, and were in support of gay conversion therapies, among other unbelievable foolishness.

But as UNB Saint John political science professor Dr. J.P. Lewis said in part I of our podcast, these gaffes seem to be forgotten after a few days as the daily news cycle serves up with something new.

But what’s standing out to him the most this campaign? How close the race is.

According to the latest polls, the Liberals have Conservatives are now fighting for the lead. Though they are now falling behind, the NDP at one point leading or tied with the Conservatives in the beginning of the campaign. No matter how you dice it, it’s going to be a close one.

“The consequences if it exactly ends up that way, Canadians are going to need to take a refresher course on formation of government,” Lewis says.

If you can recall in 2008 when the Liberals and the NDP looked to form a coalition government during the economic downturn, Stephen Harper went to Canadians declaring their plans as “undemocratic.”

The thing is, it was democratic. Coalitions are actually a thing that’s allowed.

“They were following the rules. A simple way to think about it, in our Westminster system governments can change without elections,” Lewis says. “If governments can change without elections, we can have new prime ministers and premiers without elections. ”

If the Conservatives win a minority government again (or technically, if any party does), the other party’s have the opportunity to form a coalition. Something Elizabeth May has said she’d be happy to be match-maker for.

“She could definitely try to broker a deal between the NDP and the Liberals to sit as either a case-by-case coalition, where one party will end up being Trudeau or Mulcair will be Prime Minister and all the ministers will come from whosever party,” Lewis says.

“Or a formal coalition like they had in Britain . . . where there’s ministers from both parties.”

Another consequence of a minority government?

The ideas and promises made on the campaign trail will change.

“If any of these parties get in it’s most likely going to be a minority, these ideas will change. Because they’ll have to get support from other parties.”

We’re just scratching the surface. Hear more about this, attack ads, the Green Party, youth voting and more in part II of our special election Huddle Podcast: