Andrew Coyne Wrote an interesting article, on which a number of people have commented, about the uncertainly that might prevail even after the election. Coyne, though he has sometimes been a rather mindless supporter of the Conservative government, has become enlightened enough to understand the depth of Harper's duplicity. He has finally realized that this mentally disturbed, power obsessed Prime Minister might do almost anything to hold on to power including trying to form government even after an election loss, refusing to recall parliament, or pressuring the GG into calling another election.
Let me just say that I take Coyne's musings to the next level and suggest that Harper could even attempt to actually nullify the election results themselves, or (more drastically) avoid an election loss by doing something many imagine is inconceivable such as orchestrating a fake "terrorist" attack or finding a way to pull the writ at the last moment. (No one should forget that there is evidence, for example, that the Republicans paid the Iranians to hold the hostages until after the election battle between Carter and Reagan) None of this might be an issue anyway because the depth of Conservative voter fraud might be so extreme that they know that they have the election in the bag anyway, and they are just going through the motions.
Let's assume, however, that by some miracle the Cons do lose the election. Then what? Well let me answer Coyne's last question first. I don't think that either of the other parties would prop up a Conservative government. It seems to me that Trudeau has nearly blown the whole election by supporting the Harper government on one issue (Bill C-51), any wholesale support for Harper would, I believe, destroy the Liberal Party of Canada once and for all. They have surely watched the example of the LibDems in the UK, who four years ago looked like they had a bright future and now look like a defunct political organization. Regardless of Mulcair's dubious political style and questionable past, I don't think he would prop up a Con government either, for the simple reason that such an act would also destroy the future for the NDP and probably bring the Liberals eventually back to power.
However, none of Coyne's other post-election notions seem far-fetched to me. I have certainly been laughably wrong in my political prognostications before. And maybe, just maybe, if Harper ended up with fewer seats than the Libs or the NDP, or both, he would gracefully bow out. It would be drastically out of character for him to do so. However, he may figure that he has done the necessary damage to the Canadian government and figures it will never recover anyway so it doesn't matter if he retires now. On the other hand, I don't actually think Harper is that clear and calculating at this point. I think, as is the case with so many such men, power has driven Harper crazy and he actually sees himself now as the lifetime Prime Minister. I thus suggest that he will do anything, and I really mean anything, to hold on to power.
However, at this point such speculation is little more than entertainment. No amount of anticipation really prepares you for the political chaos of a constitutional crisis. Though, I hope we can say, at the very least, that nothing will entirely surprise us.