He’s going to win.

On Monday night, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives will be re-elected for a fourth term, with a majority government.

A bare majority government, mind you, 170 of 338 ridings. (In 2011, The Conservatives won 166 of 308 ridings.)

He’ll win, because almost all Canadians who describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” will continue to vote for his party.

We’ll hold our noses while we vote.

Harper the control freak – muzzling scientists and his own members of parliament, dissing the country’s top judge, ramming omnibus bills through Parliament, black-balling anybody who opposes him – is thoroughly unlikeable.

I’m disappointed in what has not been done. He has given up on Senate reform, on smaller government, on tax-filing reform, on CO2 emission gestures. He’s lost interest in modernizing our military. The recession-fighting Building Canada Fund is now a Conservative slush fund.

But … he’s kept Canada working.  We have jobs. We need not fear the cost of catastrophic or chronic health problems. The poor are well provided for. Our public education systems are excellent. 

Every global survey places Canada’s quality of life in the top tier alongside the Baltic countries. Given their track record, continued economic prosperity is a good bet under the Conservatives.

While the world teeters from financial crisis to financial crisis, Canada’s banking system and our overall credit rating – despite Ontario and Quebec – are the envy of other countries.  Provincial-federal relations are quiet. Quebec’s happy. That’s effective government.

Internationally, we know what Harper stands for.  He makes no bones about fighting extreme Islamism, “We are a free and open society. The intolerant, demagogic and murderous seek to destroy what we have.”  He has never waffled on supporting Israel.  And on Vladimir Putin, “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you. You need to get out of Ukraine.”

Canada’s other political parties are full of bright ideas to spend money (taxes) with complete disregard, and ignorance, as to where that money comes from, i.e. wealth generation from the private sector.

Conservatives care about and encourage Canada’s big-and-small business sector. They get it. They know we can’t fund education, health, the arts and end homelessness without a robust private sector generating the corporate and income taxes to pay for it all.

Harper’s greatest legacy is barely visible  His government has struck international free trade deals – in Europe, Asia, South America – ensuring Canadian companies and natural resources can compete world-wide on level playing fields. In a world likely to be dominated by Asian giants, Canada will hold its own.

Harper understands the mysterious alchemy, that when you lower taxes, prosperity seems to follow and consequently, ironically, more money flows into public coffers.  

He reduced taxes for all Canadians by reducing the federal GST sales tax from 7% to 5%, reduced taxes on the corporate sector from 18% to 15%, has kept income taxes constant, introduced tax-free savings accounts and income-splitting.

He spent when he had to. After years of balanced budgets, and a slow reduction of federal debt, he spent like crazy since the 2008 global financial crisis that has yet to fully resolve itself. But the government stimulus, approved by all the experts, kept Canada out of recession. And, as promised, Harper balanced the 2014/15 federal budget.

You have to admire Harper the master politician. The extended election period made the Mike Duffy affair come and go. He’s the smartest guy at the poker game. Going into this final week of the campaign, he is calm and relaxed. He’s exactly where he wants to be.

As for the polls and trends and pundits … “if I believed media headlines,” Harper told The Sun’s Joe Warmington, “I never would have been elected once, let alone three times.”

His record at keeping the country stable and economically sound will get his government re-elected.

A majority Conservative government, Hicks on Biz predicts, 170 of 338 ridings. Gains in Quebec, losses in Ontario  and the status quo in the rest of the country.

FACTOIDS

Why Canadian business likes Stephen Harper

Free-trade deals

Fair corporate taxation

Reduction of corporate tax rate from 18% to 15%

#6 County in the World for Business, Forbes Magazine, 2014

#16 Country for Ease of Doing Business, World Bank Index 2014

Consistent and predictable fiscal and economic policies

Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement

Research & Development incentives