Canada's election day is tomorrow (January 23). Last week, I wrote a post titled Canada's Election: The HMCS Liberal meets its Iceberg.
One of my readers was gracious enough to do up a PhotoShop job (at left), based on my HMCS Liberal title.
Over the past week, the trend has continued and the Liberal ship has continued sinking. The Conservatives have held onto a 10+ point lead in several polls conducted throughout the week across Canada, and the only questions in many people's minds is whether or not the result of the elections will be a Conservative minority government or majority government. Much of this decision will depend on how many inroads the Conservatives are able to make into Toronto: Canada's largest city, and a bastion of Liberal support.
The Conservatives will make several inroads there, if the Toronto Sun
has anything to do with it. Those from New York would recognize the Toronto Sun as a very similar paper to the New York Post and New York Daily News: a tabloid format, color pictures, and pull-no-punches stories. Earlier today, the Sun published three stories about the election, titled 218 Reasons NOT to vote for the Liberals
, Harper deserves to be PM
, and Grits already conceding
The 218 reasons
article is really good, and looks like something the Sun has been working on for a while and saving for the day before the election, and so, I am going to reprint much of it here. The language in the article ("we did not make this up", etc.) is a jab at the language the Liberals have been using in their attack ads over the past two weeks.
And to my American friends (who make up much of the readership of this blog), I've highlighted a few "reasons" in red
you may find interesting. Yes, this article was published in a major Canadian newspaper: most Canadians are not anti-American, and many Canadians are quite fed up with hearing anti-American spew emanating from certain politicians.
218 Reasons not to vote for the Liberals
From the Toronto Sun, January 22, 2006
THIS ELECTION -- WE DID NOT MAKE THIS UP
1 Pre-election spending: $22.2 billion, according to Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
2 Pre-election tax relief: $30 billion -- about $323 per taxpayer; up from May budget total of only $16/year.
3 Attack ads. Smearing Stephen Harper. And our soldiers. Approved by Paul Martin himself. In Canada.
4 "Soldiers" ad pulled in English but French version continues in Quebec. Several Liberals say the ad is appalling.
5 TV journalist Mike Duffy accuses Liberal strategist John Duffy of trying to intimidate him into not discussing the ad.
6 Jan. 9: Martin suddenly vows, mid-debate, to scrap the feds' ability to use the "notwithstanding" clause in Charter cases. Even senior Liberals are shocked.
7 Conservatives accused of planning to "take away a woman's right to choose," despite promises to the contrary.
8 Grits charge Conservatives won't keep promises. Hmm.
9 Courting Toronto votes in the wake of record gun murders, Martin promises to ban handguns -- which have effectively been banned since 1937.
10 Also promises to ban weapons in outer space.
11 PM pledges mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes, despite Justice Minister's assertions they don't work.
12 Promises "heroes" fund for injured firefighters and rescuers -- an idea 57 Grits earlier voted against.
13 Spokesman Scott Reid declares parents would only blow the Tories' child care subsidy on "beer and popcorn."
14 Ontario VP Mike Klander resigns over blog comparing NDP's Olivia Chow to a dog and blasting Jack Layton.
15 Industry Minister David Emerson says NDP Leader Layton has a "boiled dog's head smile."
16 Oakville riding association president quits after telling anti-gun-registry voter to take her "gun-loving ass back to the U.S."
17 Martin blasts Conservative plan to cut GST; in 1993, he co-wrote Red Book promising to get rid of it.
18 Ex-Harvard prof and would-be leader Michael Ignatieff's nomination engineered over protest in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
19 33% of voters believe Liberals have a "hidden agenda," as opposed to Conservatives (25%), according to Ipsos-Reid.
20 Chinese head tax: Liberals refused to apologize; PM suddenly offers "personal regret" on Chinese-language TV.
21 Separatism: Martin calls this a "referendum election."
22 80% of Quebecers dislike Martin (Strategic Counsel poll).
23 Martin vows to fight Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe on "every street corner" but later refuses to debate one-on-one.
24 Martin criticizes U.S. on Kyoto at climate conference -- even though Canada's emissions record is worse than theirs.
25 When U.S. ambassador points this out, Martin declares he won't be "dictated" to and will "stand up for Canada."
26 Martin stages photo- op with ex-U.S.-prez Bill Clinton.
MINORITY MADNESS, SPRING FEVER 2005: 27-37
27 April: Martin pleaded on TV to be allowed to govern until 30 days after Justice John Gomery's final report on AdScam.
28 Grits then announced $23 billion in pre-pre-election spending.
29 May: Opposition days suspended so they can't call non-confidence vote.
30 NDP deal: Backroom deal to buy NDP support forced budget changes -- adding another $4.6 billion in spending.
31 Martin reversed sensible stand on U.S. missile defence.
32 Aid to Darfur boosted in bid to buy support of Independent MP David Kilgour.
33 Promised Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty $5.75 billion to fix "fiscal imbalance" over five years.
34 May 10: Grits lost vote 153-150 calling for them to resign, but refused to do so.
35 Secret health deal proposed to NDP; Layton rejects it.
36 May 17: Belinda Stronach wooed into Liberal caucus -- and cabinet -- just in time to win non-confidence vote.
37 Post-Belinda, Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal revealed tape recordings of PMO staffer Tim Murphy and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh discussing possible incentives if he crossed the floor. Grits said tapes were doctored.
PAUL MARTIN'S LEGACY -- MR. DITHERS TAKES THE HELM: 38-63
38 Worked with loyal team for more than a decade to take over party from Jean Chretien.
39 Only rival left for leadership was Sheila Copps.
40 Put his company, Canada Steamship Lines, in a "blind trust" that wasn't. As PM, was allowed to transfer ownership to his sons, keeping it in the family.
41 Registered several CSL ships under foreign flags to avoid Canadian taxes.
42 Used U2 singer Bono for his star power; left him "mystified" and "crushed" by failing to deliver on world poverty.
43 Extended term of big-spending Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson; appointed Michaelle Jean without thoroughly checking out her past association with separatists.
44 Promised to "fix health care for a generation" with $41-billion deal with the provinces in 2004. Some fix!
45 Made separate side deal with Quebec on health care, calling it "asymmetrical federalism."
46 Agreed on "wait times strategy" with provinces in 2004. Still waiting for it to be implemented.
47 Personal doctor runs a private clinic.
48 Promised to change the way Supreme Court judges were appointed -- but only allowed MPs to question Justice Minister about them, after the fact.
49 Promised to diminish Western alienation or "I will have failed."
50 Slow to return from vacation after the South Asian tsunami, and dithered on sending Disaster Assistance Response Team.
51 February 2005: The Economist magazine immortalized "Mr. Dithers" nickname for his "faltering leadership."
52 May 2005: 63% told Strategic Counsel poll Martin was most dishonest party leader; 61% felt he was most likely to lie.
53 Sent controversial same-sex marriage bill to Supreme Court; didn't insist on a ruling on traditional marriage.
54 Invoked closure to ram same-sex bill into law June 28; cabinet members not allowed to vote their conscience.
55 Gave $2.2 billion in gas tax revenues to public transit, but none of it to repair crumbling roads.
56 Cut capital gains tax on charitable donations of securities to 50% in 1997, refused to eliminate it.
57 2004: Feds shamed over plan to send 70 bureaucrats to 60th anniversary D-Day event -- but only 60 veterans.
58 Tolerated Carolyn Parrish ("Damn Americans -- I hate those bastards") in caucus until she dissed him personally.
59 Blamed America for Canada's gun problem.
60 Before becoming PM, opposed the Clarity Act.
61 Ditto same-sex marriage.
62 And the Kyoto accord.
63 Also leaned toward joining the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
MARTIN'S TURNCOAT MINISTERS: 64-67
Each of these converts to Paul Martin's Liberal team just happened to score a cabinet post:
64 Belinda Stronach (ex-Conservative leadership contender) -- in charge of Human Resources and, yes, ethics reform.
65 Scott Brison (ex-PC leadership hopeful) -- Public Works.
66 Ujjal Dosanjh (ex-NDP B.C. premier) -- Health.
67 Jean Lapierre (co-founder of Bloc Quebecois) -- Quebec lieutenant and Transportation.
LAST ELECTION, JUNE 2004, MAJORITY TO MINORITY: 68-75
68 Pre-election spending: $8 billion for everything from health care to highways.
69 Martin shut down Commons AdScam committee, announced Gomery inquiry -- then promptly called the election before it could start.
70 Attack ads against Conservatives accused them of wanting to recriminalize abortion, send troops to Iraq, and govern like Brian Mulroney and Mike Harris.
71 Accused Harper of plotting with Alberta's Ralph Klein to destroy medicare.
72 Called Conservative forecast of $50-billion surplus over five years a "black hole"; Grit surpluses now exceed that.
73 PM's handpicked Winnipeg candidate Glen Murray lost to quadriplegic Conservative Steven Fletcher.
74 Mid-campaign, Martin promised Newfoundland premier Danny Williams an oil and gas revenue deal; then reneged post-election until Williams went ballistic.
75 Ministers Judy Sgro and John McCallum dispatched to heckle Harper at events.
Promises, Promises -- Grit Moments in Dithering: 76-85
76 1993: Red Book promised an independent ethics commisioner reporting to Parliament. Not implemented until 2004.
77 1993: Promised national daycare program: Signed first deals with provinces to begin implementing it in 2005.
78 1993: Promised to boost immigration levels to 300,000 per year: Announced the same target twice last fall -- despite a current 700,000-person backlog.
79 1993: Promised to reform Young Offenders Act. Youth Criminal Justice Act finally took effect in 2003, and is even worse.
80 1993: Promised national pharmacare program. No action.
81 Ditto for their 1993 promise of national home care.
82 1994: Justice minister Allan Rock promised national sex offender registry: Finally established in 2004, but had to be amended in 2005 to include Karla Homolka. Ditto for national DNA databank -- finally passed before this election.
83 1995: Martin imposed 1.5c/litre "deficit-fighting" tax on gasoline. Deficit was eliminated in 1997, but tax is still there. Now Grits justify it as part of the gas tax "deal" for cities.
84 1999: Justice minister Anne McLellan told the Commons: "The government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same-sex marriages."
85 20 years after Air India bombing, after years of resisting calls for an inquiry, Grits announced a limited one before this election.
Patronage, Piggery and 'Entitlements': 86-98
86 Martin appointed Francis Fox, who worked in his PMO and on his leadership, to the Senate.
87 Also Dennis Dawson, another staunch Martin backer.
88 And James Cowan, his leadership head in Nova Scotia.
89 Ditto Liberal fundraiser Rod Zimmer.
90 And Art Eggleton, who stepped aside in 2004 for Martin protege Ken Dryden.
91 October: Feds refused to cut gas taxes, but raised MPs' and staff travel allowances 4.6c/km due to high gas prices.
92 2001: MPs gave themselves pay raies of 20% -- retroactive to January. Cabinet ministers got 22%; PM Jean Chretien 42% -- boosting his pension 82%!
93 Among Chretien's many patronage appointments: Former PMO spokesman Jim Munson to the Senate.
94 Same for former chief of staff Percy Downe.
95 And longtime adviser David Smith.
96 PMO crony Jean Pelletier went to head VIA Rail (from which Martin has now fired him twice over AdScam).
97 Andre Ouellett got Canada Post, where he once cashed over $300,000 in expenses with no receipts (fired by Martin).
98 David Dingwall got the Mint; was fired over expenses but is fighting for severance: "I'm entitled to my entitlements."
INTEGRITY -- FAMOUS GRIT WORDS: 99-103
99 "The government will restore the public's faith and trust in the integrity and good management of government."
-- Martin government's first throne speech, Feb. 2004
100 "We are going to condemn to history the practice and the politics of cronyism ... No longer will the culture in Ottawa be one of entitlement."
-- Martin speech, March 2004
101 "Perhaps there was a few million dollars that might have been stolen in the process; it is possible."
-- Jean Chretien, 2002, defending the sponsorship program
102 "Cynicism about public institutions, governments, politicians, and the political process is at an all-time high ... Honesty and integrity in our political institutions must be restored."
-- 1993 Red Book, co-written by Paul Martin
103 "Screw the Red Book. Don't tell me what's in the Red Book. I wrote the goddamned thing. And I know that it's a lot of crap."
-- Martin as quoted in the 1996 book Double Vision: The Inside Story of the Liberals in Power
MINISTERIAL AND MP MISDEEDS: 104-125
104 Joe Volpe expensed $138 for a "pizza dinner for two."
105 Pierre Pettigrew took his chauffeur on $10,000 worth of trips, even though he didn't need him to drive.
106 Judy Sgro said the ethics commissioner "vindicated" her in the foreign strippers scandal, when he found her in "clear violation" of parts of the conflict-of- interest code.
107 Ralph Goodale said in 2004 the surplus would be $1.9 billion -- it turned out to be $9.1 billion.
108 Don Boudria spent a weekend at the luxury ski chalet of Quebec advertising honcho Claude Boulay.
109 So did Denis Coderre.
110, 111, 112, 113, 114: Allan Rock, Claudette Brashaw, David Anderson, Jane Stewart and Bob Thibault all accepted free fishing trips and/or flights from the wealthy Irving family of New Brunswick.
115 Hedy Fry falsely claimed racists in Prince George, B.C. were "burning crosses on lawns."
116 Herb Dhaliwal called U.S. President George Bush a failed statesman.
117 Lawrence MacAulay lobbied the RCMP and Corrections Canada to fund training at a college his brother headed.
118 Art Eggleton lost his post as defence minister for giving a contract to an ex-girlfriend.
119 Scarborough MP Tom Wappel refused to help an 81-year-old blind war vet because he didn't vote for him.
120 John Manley proposed subsidizing Canadian NHL teams up to $3.5 million each; scrapped the idea two days later.
121 Andy Scott was overheard on a plane saying he would have to "cover" for Chretien at the 1998 APEC inquiry.
122 Sheila Copps' Heritage department spent $15 million on "free" Canadian flags for all.
123 Copps kept her promise to resign when the Grits failed to scrap the GST -- and was promptly re-elected.
124 Michel Dupuy attended a 1995 dinner with Liberal lobbyists and others who ended up receiving federal grants.
125 Jag Bhaduria was expelled from caucus over revelations that he falsified his background and wrote threatening letters.
ADSCAM, THE MOTHER OF ALL SCANDALS: 126-137
Justice John Gomery's November report is reason alone not to vote Liberal. Here's just a tiny taste of why:
126 Gomery inquiry testimony drove separatist support to highest level in a decade.
127 Gomery summed up AdScam: "A story of greed, venality and misconduct" featuring "a complex web of financial transactions among Public Works ... Crown corporations and communication agencies, involving kickbacks and illegal contributions to (the Liberal) party."
128 Gomery on the Liberal party (Quebec wing): "The (party) as an institution cannot escape responsibility for the misconduct of its officers and representatives."
129 Jean Chretien openly taunted the judge by bringing golf balls to the inquiry, saying they weren't "small-town cheap."
130 Martin led cheers in caucus for Chretien the next day.
131 The forensic accountants who exposed the Enron scandal said even they couldn't tell where all the AdScam cash went.
132 Among the things sponsorship money paid for: 1,200 golf balls bearing Chretien's signature;
133 $46,300 worth of maple-leaf neckties;
134 Montreal Grand Prix tickets for senior Grits;
135 $100,000 worth of Christmas decorations;
136 A TV series airing in China.
137 A $16,000 plaque and flag in a store in Chretien's riding.
Speaking of Scandals: 138-158
138 Gun registry: Supposed to cost $2 million, now at nearly $2 billion (even AG can't fathom it), with gun crimes rising.
139 Income trusts: Suspicious trading before Ralph Goodale's Nov. 23 announcement now under RCMP investigation.
140 Option Canada: Secret 1995 unity fund now being probed by RCMP.
141 HRDC boondoggle: $1 billion blown on dubious job-creation projects (including a fountain in Shawinigan).
142 Helicopters: Cancelling contract to replace aging Sea Kings in 1993 cost $500 million and put troops at risk. New contract finally issued in July 2005.
143 Submarines: $750 million to buy used British subs that leak and, in one case, caught fire, killing one submariner.
144 Home heating rebate: Finance minister Martin doled out $1 billion in pre-2000-election cheques to people who didn't need them, including 7,500 who were dead.
145 Shawinigate: Chretien lied about intervening to secure a federal business loan for an associate in his riding. Later said such interventions were "the normal operation."
146 Francois Beaudoin: Raided, intimidated by Liberal operatives and forced from his federal bank job after questioning the loan to Chretien's Shawinigan associate. Judge Andre Denis later called it "an unspeakable injustice."
147 Hepatitis C: Liberals, under Chretien's orders, voted in 1998 against compensating excluded victims of tainted blood scandal; changed their tune in 2004 -- no money has flowed yet.
148 Airbus: Feds apologized in 1997 and paid $2 million to former PM Brian Mulroney for false kickback allegations.
149 Challenger jets: Chretien made secret, rushed, untendered $100-million deal to buy two from Bombardier in 2002.
150 Somalia inquiry: Grits shut it down prematurely in 1997.
151 Agent Orange: Feds dithered on compensating soldiers exposed to the toxic Vietnam-era chemical in Gagetown, N.B.
152 Zahra Kazemi: Canadian's murder covered up in Iran; Canada's response was weak.
153 Bill Sampson: Canadian wrongly imprisoned and tortured in Saudi Arabia for 3 years; Canada's response was weak.
154 Maher Arar: Canadian wrongly imprisoned in Syria for a year; Canada's response was weak (inquiry is now pending).
155 Tobacco suit: $1-billion civil suit in the U.S. against a Canadian tobacco giant for allegedly evading billions in taxes by smuggling cigarettes was thrown out. Cost: $17 million.
156 Air security fee: Imposed excessive $24/round trip tax in 2001, raking in $1 million/day (since cut to $14/round trip).
157Ads: AG Sheila Fraser said on top of AdScam, some $800 million in ad contracts since 2000 were questionable.
158 Canada "wordmark": Feds paid ad firms $1 million to "develop" it; later conceded it's existed since 1965.
OVERALL LIBERAL RECORD 159-183
159 Increased spending 37% since 2000; 55.8% since eliminating the deficit in 1997, says Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
160 Increased federal staff 10% since 1999, the CTF says.
161 Tax Freedom Day in 1993: June 6. Last year: June 26, according to Fraser Institute.
162 Average family income increase since 1993: 37%. Average increase in that family's taxes: 50%, according to CTF.
163 Spending predicted (in November) to rise 25% by 2010.
164 In past two budgets, stashed $9 billion in untouchable "foundations" -- AG warned of lack of accountability.
165 1998: Martin, as finance minister, reduced EI premiums 15c/$100 but hiked CPP premiums 30c/$100, costing taxpayers $59 a year.
166 1999: AG found EI surplus excessive.
167 1996: Spent $1 billion getting Atlantic provinces to "harmonize" GST and PST.
168 2000-2005: Fiscal surplus forecasts understimated by a total of $35.3 billion.
169 Promised to decriminalize marijuana, satisfied no one.
170 Encouraged Corrections Canada to release inmates as early as possible -- prisons boss said goal was 50% release rate.
171 1996: Brought in conditional (house arrest) sentences for violent crime, including homicide.
172 1997: Tightened notorious "faint-hope clause" that lets murderers appply for parole after just 15 years -- but only to exclude serial killers, and only those who kill after 1997.
173 2005: Established $3.7-million pilot project to set up tattoo parlours in prisons.
174 1994-97: Refugee backlog doubled.
175 1997: Wasted more than $300 million a year paying social benefits to backlogged refugee claimants, AG found.
176 1998: Lost track of 4,613 refugee claimants up to August.
177 2003: Lost track of 36,000 immigrants ordered deported, AG found.
178 2002: Senate Committee on National Security and Defence said Armed Forces were so overstretched they should step down from all peacekeeping operations for two years.
179 2005: Same committee found Canada not equipped to handle a major disaster.
180 1997: Low-paid soldiers resorted to using food banks.
181 2001: Troops sent to Afghanistan in forest-green uniforms.
182 Ottawa too secretive, Information Commissioner reported.
183 10 years after the 1995 Quebec referendum, 48% of Quebecers told Strategic Counsel pollsters they would vote "Yes" to separation again; 47% said "No."
JEAN CHRETIEN'S LEGACY -- 'A PROOF IS A PROOF' 184-199
184 1993: Kept campaign promise to cancel Pearson airport privatization deal. Estimated cost of cancellation: $1 billion.
185 1993: Broke campaign promise to get rid of GST.
186 1993: Embraced NAFTA, 27 days after winning election promising to fight it.
187 1995: Almost lost the country in Quebec referendum.
188 1995: Created sponsorship program in response.
189 1996: Throttled a demonstrator at Flag Day event.
190 1996: Claimed he had regular chats with a homeless man.
191 1998: Joked about RCMP pepper-spraying demonstrators at APEC summit in B.C.: "Pepper, I put it on my plate."
192 1998: Called 64c dollar "good for exporters."
193 2001: Did nothing for 25 Canadians killed in 9/11, delayed visiting attack site.
194 Blamed U.S. "greed" for terrorism.
195 2002: Staffer Francie Ducros called George Bush a "moron."
196 2002: Responded when asked what kind of proof he'd need to join the invasion of Iraq: "A proof is a proof and when you have a good proof it's because it's proven."
197 2002: Refused to join Iraq war, or to confirm Canada had 31 soldiers serving there with U.S. and British forces.
198 2002: Announced his retirement -- for 2004!
199 Refused to declare Ontario SARS crisis a disaster; offered paltry aid.
2000 ELECTION -- CHRETIEN'S LAST LAUGH: 200-207
200 Pre-election spending: $2.248 billion in week before vote called, according to Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
201 Premature election ended shortest majority mandate in 90 years (three years) -- cost $200 million.
202 Lifted Canadian Alliance platform promise: $100 billion in tax cuts.
203 $100 billion tax cut really $55.4 billion when other things like CPP increases are factored in, CTF calculated.
204 22 RCMP investigations ongoing into Grit grant and loan programs, including four in Chretien's riding alone.
205 Elinor Caplan, immigration minister, told voters supporters of the Alliance were racists and Holocaust deniers.
206 Alliance accused of supporting "two-tier" health care.
207 Chretien openly talked about quitting post- election.
1997 ELECTION -- LIBERAL MAJORITY SHRINKS: 208-210
208 Pre-election spending: $8 billion.
209 Vote called despite Manitoba flood crisis.
210 35% of voters said June 2 election call was premature.
WHERE CANADA STANDS NOW: 211-218
211 Economy: 12th among industrialized nations, according to Conference Board of Canada (down from 3rd in 2003).
212 Competitiveness: 14th, according to World Economic Forum (down from 4th in 1997).
213 Health care: 30th in efficiency, according to World Health Organization.
214 Ethics: 14th, says Transparency International, due to "marked increase" in corruption (down from 5th).
215 Military spending: 153rd out of 192 countries, based on percentage of GDP; 14th in per-capita spending.
216 Peacekeeping: 36th, according to UN.
217 Personal income tax burden: Highest in G-8, says OECD.
218 Marginal tax rates: Second only to China, says C.D. Howe Institute.
Hmm.... 218 more reasons for me to feel content in my decision to vote Conservative in my mail-in ballot three weeks ago. If the Conservatives do follow through and win, and especially if they win a majority, Canada will be headed for a renaissance.Update: January 23, 9:00 PM
Well, it's election day. The polls have closed in all of Canada except British Columbia on the West Coast, and counting is underway. Of course, there's not much to do except sit and wait: under Canada's election laws, there is a blackout in effect until polls are closed in all parts of Canada, which is at 7:00 PM local time in each time zone. News stations can broadcast election results locally after the polls have closed, but since the Internet is accessible in British Columbia, Canadian news sites and bloggers are prohibited from publishing election results until after 10 PM.
So, not much left to do except sit and wait. I'll be back sometime after 10.Update: January 23, 11:30 PM
Well, we did it. Most of the ballots are counting, and we have a new Conservative minority government. As of the time of this post, the seat count is as follows:Conservatives:
One interesting winner in this election is the Bloc Quebecois, who now can enjoy the role of kingmaker. Many of the Bloc's policies (with the obvious exception of Quebec separatism) are similar to those of the Conservatives, and I would expect the Bloc to vote along with the Tories on many issues:
- Democratizing the senate.
- Giving more power to the provinces.
- Cleaning up corruption.
- Improving the accountability in the appointment of judges.
Of course, being seen as too cosy with the Bloc is an anathema for all of the federal parties, so it is unlikely for the Conservatives and Bloc to form a formal alliance. However, I would not be surprised to see the Bloc voting with the Tories on many issues.
By the same token, the Bloc would also be highly unlikely to go along with a non-confidence motion against the Conservatives to force an early election, since it would not be in the Bloc's interest. The Bloc knows it can never become the government since it only runs candidates in Quebec, and so, their goal would be more strategic: to throw their support behind the party whose policies are closer to their own. Thus, while the Conservatives did win a minority government in this election, it seems like a configuration that can remain stable for a number of years.