From the beginning of the campaign until now, my party preference has not changed. It doesn't mean that in the future that my vote will never change. On the contrary, I may choose any of the parties including the Conservative Party in the next election.
Here is my analysis of the political parties during this election:
Stephen Harper is a leader who is determined to do things his way. He has been lucky that the economy has been good up until a few weeks ago. The US mortgage lending crisis has affected other countries including Canada. Harper's failing is that he seems to not trust his own cabinet minsters and Conservative members of parliament. If he cannot trust them, then he will not trust Canadians. Why should Canadians like myself trust his Conservative Party with my vote? The thing I find worse than one party rule is one man rule. I don't trust Harper to dictate his demands over the beliefs and wishes of the citizens of Canada.
Whether or not Stéphane Dion's Green Shift/Carbon Tax plan is good, that was his main plank at the beginning of the campaign. I have a rule that I do not vote for one issue parties. The environment may be an important issue. However, there are other issues that matter to Canadians. It was only after the debates that the Liberals started to talk about other issues. I want to vote for a party that can deal with a multitude of issues. Dion and his Liberals failed to do that in the beginning of the campaign.
I liked how Jack Layton told Canadians that he wanted to be the next prime minister. It doesn't mean that he will this time. It does mean that he and his party are becoming serious about governing in the future. No longer can the NDP afford to be just a protest party as there are other parties such as the Greens and the Bloc Québécois which can fulfill the protest role. While keeping an eye on those who are less fortunate, the NDP will need to reach middle class voters who may have never voted NDP previously. In Canada's changing economic environment, the NDP's traditional union support base can no longer be assured. Also some union leaders such as Buzz Hargrove have given their support to other parties. On policy issues, I will say that the NDP campaign platform is reasonable and workable for the future of Canada's changing economic environment.
The Green Party:
Elizabeth May is a feisty leader. She has advanced Canadians' interests in her party. The Greens have an environmental campaign platform similar to Stéphane Dion's Liberal Party's platform. She supports the carbon tax shift. I do have a couple of concerns. One is that the Green Party is still a one-issue party. Yes, it does have stances on other issues. Nevertheless, it has supported the environment above all other issues to the point of leaving those issues aside except of campaign websites. Also, the Greens have no desire to govern yet. I want to vote for a party that is willing and able to govern.
To no surprise, I will be supporting the NDP with my vote. While I definitely won't be voting for the Conservatives, the Liberals and Greens have not earned my vote. The NDP has. Maybe next time I will support another party. This time, it will be the NDP.