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Posts Tagged ‘majority government’

Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

Reading the online version of Canada’s most widely read newspaper, The Toronto Star, on April 14th, I saw the headline, “Hébert: Debates keep Harper on road to majority.

I was struck by that headline, since nothing I had read up to that point seemed to indicate that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was headed for a majority government on election day.

When I read the article itself, it told a very different story than the impression given by the headline.

It started with:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper comes out of the televised debates with his ambition for a governing majority intact.

Every national party leader has the ambition of forming a majority government, no matter how low he/she is in the polls.

It went on to say the following things that further distanced the text of the article from the impression given by the headline:

As for Harper, his majority is hardly in the bag.

The risk-adverse Conservative campaign could move prematurely into low gear — as it did in 2004 — causing the party to fail to cover the extra mile to a majority.

But the debates do pave the way for a final push to propel the party to the safe side of the majority line on May 2.

After reading the article, I came away with the clear impression that the headline was deliberately designed to rally the Star’s relatively Liberal and NDP-leaning readership into supporting the Liberals in the next election, who would otherwise be more relaxed if they figured the Conservatives were going to form a third minority government, as pre-election campaign poll numbers showed.

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