05.20.2010 07:57 AM

Good morning. Not.

I could try and spin Ekos’ poll showing a ten-point spread, but I won’t.  (I will say, however, that it certainly puts to rest the notion that Frank Graves is a Liberal Party staffer, doesn’t it?)

The news for Liberals is bad.  This is as low, or lower, than we were with Stephane Dion.

But the paradox is that, for the Reformatories, it’s bad, too. The bottom may be falling out of Grit support, but the Cons aren’t benefitting from that – and, in fact, they remain far, far from majority government territory.  The Dippers, meanwhile, are probably wondering what they’re doing wrong, too.

Bottom line?  Looks like the None Of The Above Party is the dominant choice in Canadian politics.

What’s your view?

62 Comments

  1. Keep up the stiff upper lip Warren; however, I disagree with your analysis. If this poll is accurate, the splits will work just nicely for the Conservatives. They will pick up a lot of seats in Ontario and will gain in BC and the Atlantic Provinces. On the other hand, it is just one poll and no election will be called just now. The government will be busy with G20, and the Queen’s visit. Furthermore, nobody wants an election in the summer.

    • parnel says:

      Harper is sh!t scared to call an election G20 or not. He knows his vote count is soft and his whipping of caucus on the abortion issue is proof he is worried.

  2. Stuart du Kamp says:

    The Greens will not poll anywhere near 12% on polling day. There are therefore at least 6% up for grabs before a cmapaugn even starts. As with all polls its about the trend and teh Tories are trending up and the Libs are trending down, way down.

  3. David York says:

    I’m not a technician as you are, but note the lack of hard connect between numbers and seats. Out of curiosity, I had a look at some riding by riding results from 08. I was surprised at how close a lot of the liberal wins were, especially in Toronto. As things stand, I expect NDP, and perhaps a couple of Tory wins in GTA to be a big story next time out. Please tell me that’s not going to happen!

  4. robert says:

    I don’t see any mystery to it; it’s the response to harperite twitch of the week. Last week was “bank tax over my cold dead hands”, week. The weekly twitch strategy works for polls and not much else…well maybe one other thing – keep the debate full of cynicism and acid to turn people off and help shorten the voter turnout. It works like a charm here in Alberta.

  5. David York says:

    woops, mistype… Tory and a couple of NDP wins in GTA

  6. Marc L says:

    Liberals, you need to give people a reason to vote for you. Just being anti-Harper doesn’t cut it. You don’t have any clearly-defined policies. You don’t have a program. I don’t know exactly what you stand for. I know what you are against — and that is anything Harper is for. You can’t continue to talk out of both sides of your mouth as you were doing during the worst of the financial crisis — you can’t simultaneously complain that the government is not spending enough and then complain about the size of the deficit. Will you raise taxes to fund grand new spending initiatives? Or, will you pledge not to raise taxes and keep spending in check? What’s your plan to eliminate the deficit? Just complaining about everything that Harper does, trying to create artificial wedge issues, and playing “gotcha” politics all the time just makes you look like a bunch of whining children with nothing to offer Canadians. I for one, am no fan of Harper. But I will not vote Liberal if I don’t know what I’m voting for. You need clearly-defined policies. You need a platform. You need another red book. Wake up and get moving!

    • nastyboy says:

      This.

      Chasing after scandals that go nowhere does nothing but turn voters against you, and make you look ridiculous. You don’t think that anyone who reads the newspaper sees you calling for Helen Gurgis’ head one week then complain that the PM treated her too harshly weeks later? Complain that the PM has run up deficits, (that you voted for no less), then turn around and complain he’s not spending the money fast enough? Constantly bring up red herrings like the super scary, “hidden agenda”, that people just don’t buy any more.

      Mark L is right. Give us a reason to vote for you instead of a reason not to vote for someone else.

      And dump Iggy. People may not like Harper….but they like him even less.

      • Elizabeth says:

        The scandal was handed to everyone by Harper. It just blew up in his face, and then the scandal became the atrocious way that Guergis was treated by her own party.

        • Raymond says:

          “…and then the scandal became the atrocious way that Guergis was treated by her own party.”

          That’s rich.

          You kind people were howling for her head after the airport incident.
          (Frankly, she should’ve been turfed after her husband’s car was searched)

    • eattv says:

      I have to agree with Marc L. I vote Dipper locally (because my MP is Peter Stoffer. ‘Nuff said there) but sympathetic to the Liberals nationally. I’ve even given to the Lib party to try and counteract the Tories, but my credit card expired & I didn’t send the new number. Why not? Because, as I had suspected from the start, Ignatieff is not the right guy to be leading. He’s got many good qualities, for sure. He looks really good on paper. I’d love to have a long conversation about the world with him over dinner. However, he came in too green. A few years in Commons isn’t enough to hone your political instincts. He just hasn’t been through the wringer enough times to get the leathery hide plus the combination of optimism plus cynicism to be able to take advantage of the political winds, spin it into something that the voting public will like (or bear) to hear, and get real, consistent ideas out to people.

      When the leadership convention happened, I was rooting for Rae. What seems to have happened is that the Liberal base, in wanting to be able to respond to the Tory threat, moved away from Rae in favour of Ignatieff (and ultimately getting neither) for two reasons:
      1) Bob had too much baggage in Ontario;
      2) Michael could appeal to soft Tory voters who were uncomfortable with the Reform aspects of the new party.
      Nowhere in that decision did I see the Liberals looking beyond the question of “what’s our best shot at winning the next election?” That’s still the impression I get: entitlement over vision, tactics over strategy, looking to the Liberals’ past over thinking about Canada’s future. I kind of felt that the Liberals needed a spanking from the electorate after all of the Chretien / Martin infighting in order to get them back to acting like a single political party again. I don’t think they’ve taken enough whacks with the switch yet to get the message. That’s unfortunate because Liberals have done great things for this country. When they work together and listen to us.

  7. William M says:

    I’ve given up on Ignatieff to be honest. He had a great opportunity to stand up for his call for greater transparency with the audited MP expense issue and he dropped the ball. While he seems to be getting to the right position, he’s flip flopping there. Harper is still against it but Ignatieff just doesn’t get it.

    Why doesn’t he just tell his MP’s to voluntarily open their books to the AG.

    He lacks the populist and killer instinct required. He’s a good man, just not the right one.

    • JStanton says:

      well, I agree; a good guy, but he hasn’t worked out. I think that the LPC is broken. They sand-bagged their biggest winner, and have been electing long-shot candidates for PM ever since.

      Mr. Ignatieff has had almost 18 months, and simply watched from the sidelines as every opportunity to get the country out of this rut has passed by. I know its bad form to actually say it, but we are passed the time of niceties. Mr. Ignatieff has had his chance, and now he’s done. We didn’t hire him to sit and watch Mr. Harper run roughshod over our institutions; we hired him to lay a severe beating on Mr. Harper at every opportunity, and to then throw Mr. Harper out of the ring.

      Mr. Ignatieff’s strategy appears instead to focus on waiting for Mr. Harper to get old and fat, before he gets out of his seat. An increasing number of Liberals are working on another timeline however. If the LPC won’t field a winning candidate, then Liberals will find their own, in the other party.

      Jack, we have always liked you; now, I think, we have come to love you!

      • james smith says:

        JStanton,

        While I don’t totally disagree with your POV I have to take exception on your love of Mr L; he has far & away enough love for himself to make-up for the other 85% of us!
        Dude, ever lived anywhere near the City of Toronto? Ever seen this power couple in action? They are no small part of the reason the City of Toronto is broken. Thinking of what damage they could do to the planet if they were anywhere near the car keys to the federal government makes me break out in a cold sweat!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I think a lot more is going to happen once the election is called. It’s surprising how some peaceful people can fight, once the fight has been officially called, and there is a lot at stake.
      Thinking about the English pacifists, who, when the war started – ended up flying those tiny Mosquito? planes over the English Channel, during the Battle of Britain. And I’m sure there are other examples – from soldiers to boxers, to politicians. Artists and poets can be among the fiercest, in fact.

  8. abe says:

    Unbelievable. What do the the Libs have to do to gain any ground? How can the Cons screw so much up and still have the support they do?

  9. Riley Hennessey says:

    This argument you are making is just an excuse for the Liberal numbers to be low. It’s like when I used to come home with a bad grade on a test and I’d say “but Mom, everybody did poorly, not just me!” and my mom would say, “well I don’t care about those other kids, I only care about your future.”

    These numbers are a disaster. Take a look at trend lines of the Liberal Party in ANY polling data from September to now. The ONLY time they crack 30% is when Harper screws up or the media pounce on “scandal” like prorogation, detainees, etc. In other words, the only way Liberals get above 30 is due to outside factors. On his own, Iggy commands a hefty 25%??? that is awful and the party needs to ask itself why Dion, Iggy, etc can’t scrape above 30.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    It’s just a poll. Nothing ever stays the same. And – there’s nothing wrong with being low, or even extremely low — because the only direction to go then, is up.

  11. mclea says:

    If you ever want to write a book on confirmation bias, make sure to read every single comment that Elizabeth has written.

    She just absolutely blows my mind. No way she’s a real person.

  12. Brian says:

    “Liberals, you need to give people a reason to vote for you.”

    I agree.

    A few months ago, I’d have thought it would have to be a mildly bold, mildly interesting basket of ideas. And that still wouldn’t hurt.

    But now I think it has to be an oxygen-sucking, once-in-a-lifetime firestorm of an idea, something so radical that NDPers and Greens and Blocquistes and Democratic Conservatives ™ will walk away from their party for one election just to make sure it happens.

  13. hugger says:

    My view is that the quicker the Libs dump the culture war the better it will be for them. They have picked the wrong battlegrounds and the polls attest to that. I would also suggest making an effort to get in touch with mainstream Canadian attitudes via open dialogue as opposed to delivering in depth speechiness based on having already decided what it is that Canadians want and don’t want.

    The biggest single movement that the Liberals could tap into is Canadian sentiments toward Corporate manipulations. That of course would mean stepping outside of the comfort zone. Germany’s Ms. Merkel made a major step in that direction recently regarding short selling.

    As long as the Liberals continue to play a role that I would compare to a Chinese wind chime, they won’t inspire significant additional support. Especially Green Party supporters. Although many Liberal supporters view them as just sheep temporarily lost from the flock, they are mistaken. Greens might support the Liberals if there were sound policy reasons to do so, and they saw a significant difference from the CPC on issues that actually affect their day to day lives and the future. Likely they would need to feel that proposed policies are substantial and that they could actually trust the Liberals to follow through as well.

  14. allegra fortissima says:

    Apparently the Liberal “War Room” doesn’t function – Machiavelli’s mastermind is definitely missing!

  15. Riff says:

    The US mad-as-hell Tea Party protest movement has spread to Canada. It is playing out, and will continue to play out, in a different way and with different results in Canada.
    We don’t have a Canadian version, yet, of Sarah Palin, who continues to fuel hatred for Washington and all the incumbent politicians who can’t or won’t show much empathy for the social and economic problems confronted by a large swath of Americans. There are similar figures among the Reformatories, like Ezra Levant and several journalists for example but no one with her ability to move the masses of angry voters.

    Canadians consider all three mainline parties, Reformatories, Libbers and Dippers, as being far too focused on their own particular narrow interests rather than on the broader social and economic interests of citizens.

    Many angry Canadians are parking their votes with the Green and Bloc Québécois parties and many remain undecided about how they might vote next time out.

    Harper’s revanchist Conservative party is benefiting from this ongoing attack on government, the state and all politicians.

    Harper’s Conservative Party remains largely the party of angry, white, middle-aged men but now appears to be consolidating its hold at around 35% by attracting more angry young men and even women from across the political spectrum.

    With the centre-left deeply divided between several parties – red, orange, green, and Bloc – Harper Conservatives will be able to govern for a longtime with a minority of seats.

    • Danny says:

      In BC at least, the same mindset of the Tea Party is coming together with Bill Vanderzalm’s anti HST movement. While the people in Ontario seem to be rolling over and taking it.

  16. H Holmes says:

    Three things.
    1. The Large Drop in Tory support started after EKOS polled for others in the middle of January.
    Any polling data used by EKOS for reference should start middle of January. Which has shown the conservatives holding there own if not increasing their lead.

    2. The liberals keep throwing voting blocks out of the party. The latest ones are strong prolife catholics. This was the backbone of the party, now we are happy to see them go. Canadians have always liked their politicians to be social centrists with the supreme court sorting out social values. For some reason we have decided not be that way anymore. Where the conservatives are doing outreach, we mock people with different values. Our party really should be working at being more inclusive. Belittling prolife catholics or making farmers criminals through gun laws has really shrunk our base. In the US, Obama went move to the middle and tried to include hunters and the prolifers.

    3. People care about their money. Nothing else will have as big an impact as how the government spends money, or takes it in.

    • Danny says:

      Agreed. Those Catholics are moving to the Conservatives, in spite of Harpers promise not to open up the debate. It is a ‘red meat’ issue for his core.
      Cutting spending to the Toronto Gay pride parade, again red meat, and can be played to the masses as an honest attempt to rein in spending. ‘Where would the Liberals cut?!’
      The Cons are also working the minority groups really well. Votes the Liberals have taken from granted for too long.
      The economy is improving, the deficit is falling, things are only going to get better for the Cons.

  17. Riff says:

    Few Canadian, given his low rating in a long series of polls, ever considered that he would become Prime Minister one day. In fact, Harper himself despaired that he did not have what it takes to become PM and wanted to quit after the election of 2004.
    The Liberal war room has failed miserably in defining the Liberal Leader and informing Canadians what the Liberal party stands for in 2010, not 1968, not 1980, not 1993, and most certainly not 2004.
    Times have changed and are changing rapidly. Liberals need to find new policies and new approaches to governance that keep their fundamental liberal values timely and attractive to liberal minded voters throughout the entire centre-left spectrum. In short, build a new big tent of like-minded Canadian voters.
    Canadians need democratic reform, social reform, and economic reform. Surely Ignatieff and his Party can design new policies and programs that address the needs of Canadians in all three areas.
    If not, the Liberal Party deserves to die a slow painful death in the same way that the populist Progressive Conservative Party of John Diefenbaker died a long, slow and painful death between 1963 and 1993.

  18. DB says:

    A wise man once said that polls don’t matter until the writ drops, and the campaign is underway. His name was Warren, something or other.
    Anyway, I’m going to hold of on hitting the panic button.

  19. James Smith says:

    As a sophomoric partizan, I hate to admit that folks are just not connecting with Iggy.
    My wife (who has never cared for the leader) tells me she would have answered Green to surveyor’s inquiry. Just for context, when I met her (let’s just say PET was the PM) she, like many Albertains I’ve know spoke like a Dipper but voted Tory, but since we’ve been together she has always voted Grit – at least that’s what she tells me 😉 When I ask her & others they can’t point to a specific set of things, they don’t hate him, they just don’t care for him either.
    I think we Grits have done this to ourselves, one can say “lack of policies” but M. Dion had lots of policies, we can point to the Right Wing Reactionary spin machine – but they are not doing really much better, we can say boring but so is the Present PM AND Mr Mcguinty . Folks have seen Iggy as leader for more than a year now, & well, he ain’t connecting. So if I was him, I would be having a couple of drinks with some of the past leaders & some of the potential new leaders.

  20. George says:

    It may be time to gain some small measure of understanding of how the “parking” of votes is impacting the traditional parties…all of which are down…Tories from 37.7 to 34.4 (3.3%), NDP from 18.3 to 15.3 (3.0%) and Libs from 26.3 to 25.1 (1.2%). The BLOC is up from 10.0 to 10.6 and Greens jump from 6.8 to 12 (+ 5.2%).
    EKOS also does not report “undecided” numbers, even though the “pox on all your houses” theory might indicate that those numbers are high and climbing. Shame we can’t see that measure of the problem you highlight.
    It would be interesting…perhaps even illuminating…to see a pollster run a “preferential ballot” as a horse race question. This is particularly salient at this time, given all the chatter about voting reform coming from the UK.

  21. George K says:

    Warren, good article. I think what’s happening is that years of corruption, abuse and dishonesty are taking their toll, and many Canadians (like myself) are becoming quite apathetic about a political system and political parties that don’t seem to work for “the people”. Parliament is a joke. If MPs from all parties would start each day thinking about “What can I do for the good of the country?” vs. “How can I spin for our party’s benefit?”, perhaps Canadians would be more engaged. Conservatives will generally retain their core support (although I know many on the social liberal/fiscal conservative side like myself who won’t vote for them again). Liberals need to redefine themselves – what do they stand FOR, not just what they are against – and it better be different than the NDP.

  22. e says:

    There hasn’t been a liberal war room for years… and those in charge need to change that and start talking to Canadians

  23. James Bow says:

    I have to agree with the assessment others have that it isn’t enough to be anti-Conservative. You have to be pro-something.

    The combined numbers for the Conservative and Liberal Parties are at historic lows. If you combine the PC and Reform vote in the 1993, 1997 and 2000 elections, the Liberals and the Conservatives together have never polled below 60% in an election, and 70% is more common. A recent poll placed combined Liberal and Conservative support at below 60%, with the Conservatives below 33.3.

    This means, as you say Warren, that the electorate is saying “a pox on all your houses”. The Greens are large beneficiaries of this because they’ve never been elected. Right now they are a safe protest vote. The NDP used to be that safe protest vote, but I fear that they’ve been (unfairly) stigmatized.

    So, what do you do about it?

    You need to give the electorate a reason to vote for you. You need policy. Now, I’ve heard a fair argument that it would be a mistake to introduce policy so early before an election. Doing so makes the policy stale come election time. Maybe that’s true. But perhaps it depends on the policy. If you can find a single policy that’s easy to articulate, that defines your party well in the eyes of the electorate, and makes the Conservatives look bad, you will have a winner.

    I suggest that Ignatieff puts forward the following: a Liberal government will enact all of the government openness and accountability provisions that the Conservatives promised in the 2006 election campaign, but failed to live up to in the four years since. This includes giving the federal budget office a workable budget, finally putting forward a head of the appointments commission that all parties can live with, and severely improving access to information.

    This is something very positive that I’d be happy to vote for. And each time you talk about it, you remind the electorate that this is precisely what the Conservatives promised to deliver back when we elected them to office, but what they’ve singularly and spectacularly failed to deliver.

  24. Brian says:

    @ e

    Um, no. I don’t want to be talked to by a “war room.”

    I’ve turned on the Conservatives because they complained about pettiness and partisanship only to replace it with far more pettiness and far worse partisanship, I don’t want the Liberals to up the ante further, I want them to stop the poker game altogether.

    I want to see leaders who talk *with* us, not to us. And who understand the risks posed by the problems outlined in the recent liberal policy conference and countless other events like it. I want leaders who will directly and courageously with Canadians to attack those problems, instead of focusing their attention on the next cheap shot or the next media hit.

  25. Philippe says:

    I think it’s time for the Libs to come out with some bold headline-grabbing policy initiatives. Inspire people, give them a reason to get excited again.

  26. Lipman says:

    Ignatieff stepped up when the Liberal Party needed a leader after the Dion disaster, and deserves credit for this. He tried to pull the party together, but he blinked when WK and the rest of the strategists were ready for an election. But against the current breed of Conservatives, we cannot afford to give up on him. In an election, he’ll out-perform Harper.

    There is no silver lining in that poll for Harper. He simply cannot increase his support to 40 percent.

    • Raymond says:

      He’s been there before.
      Several times, in fact.

      • Lipman says:

        If he was at 40, it was for less than a New York minute. He cannot win a majority. Why? Because the guy represents the Reform Party.

        Muldoon didn’t have this sort of trouble…

        • Raymond says:

          Muldoon was a Quebecer, sir, and after the poor taste left in many mouths by Trudeau (and the marvelous leadership of Turner), the masses were ready to jump to anything non-Liberal.

          People once said Harper would never, EVER, be PM.

          Time will tell.

    • James Curran says:

      “Ignatieff stepped up when the Liberal Party needed a leader after the Dion disaster, and deserves credit for this. He tried to pull the party together,”

      Um. Wrong. He siezed power and further divided an already divided party and has done absolutely nothing to pull the party together. His team -being the largest group of bridge burners there is – continue, as we speak, to destroy riding associations and alienate life long liberals across the entire country. The second quarter fundraising numbers will be more dismal than the first and the membership numbers are sad.

      Rocci Rossi, unfortunately, is about to suffer the same fate with the same “leadership” team.

      And, no, I’m not including WK when I’m talking about MI’s team.

  27. jenjen says:

    Well if the economy is truly about to hit the skids- which some economists think it will- due to crisis in Europe and China- then I actually think Harper would precipitate an election very soon.

    Why do you think he chose the specific timing of the last election? He knew wall street would crash and felt that his chances for a majority were better to go before the downturn. Many on Wall Street at that time expected the crash to occur in early 2009 rather than late 2008. So he just ended up miscalculating the timing of the downturn. After all there are a number of economic problems that could emerge in the coming months – specifically the bursting of a housing bubble (which Harper frankly created with his policies at CMHC) or a commodities bubble.

    So I guess the question is – why do people think Harper does not want an election? He would probably like nothing more than to go to the polls – using the Afghan detainee issue or another topic as an excuse.

  28. Steve Gallagher says:

    We used to call the creatures ‘Devilfish,” and I don’t know why. We ate them, these creatures
    were like a cross between Abalone and Squid.

    Regardless.

    White people would go out and find the holes they made in the sand, so they could breathe,
    the Devilfish, not the white people. Then they would pour bleach into the hole, which would piss off the Devilfish, (wouldn’t it piss anybody off?) and they would spring into action. Then the white folks would take the Devilfish home, cook it up, and complain about the odd flavour. (Note sp)

    Anyway, when I went to Haidaguay it was interesting that the folks there used a sharpened red cedar stick, never saw anyone using a yellow stick but it could of happened, anyway, point is,
    the Devilfish would go back to their habitat (hole dug in the beach) after being poked with the stick, (sap or some irritant I guess) but not the bleach.

    Then the devilfish would grab on to the stick and they were pretty easy to yank out of the sand.

    Tasted good too. Like plank smoked salmon. Which will all be gone too, soon.

    Hey, maybe something New Foundlanders and Britsh Columbians will agree on.

    Point of the story,
    I think Lenny Bruce made it all a long time ago.

    Cheers
    Steve

  29. H Holmes says:

    A final thing.
    Since the liberals starting running on the abortion issue, and pretty much only the abortion issue, on February 2nd.
    We went from a 1 point lead to being 10 points down.

    Don’t think wedging out the biggest voting block in Canada (Prolife Catholics) won’t hurt you.

    Let the supreme court deal with difficult social issues. It worked great since Trudeau brought in the charter of rights.

    • Elizabeth says:

      You cannot abandon principles just because a religious group doesn’t like them.
      That’s what Harper does, because he’ll do anything to get votes. In fact, we don’t know what his principles really are.

      I’d rather vote for a party that stands firm on its principles, and isn’t pushed easily pushed around. These things change from generation to generation, decade to decade. You can’t just shift with whatever wind comes along. Women have the right to sovereignty over their own bodies, they have the right to choice – and that is where the government of the country has to be separate from churches; because churches won’t give us that.

      • H Holmes says:

        There are lots of prolife people in the liberal party.
        You are saying that they are not welcome in your party and you are making them choose a side.
        It just so happens that the side they choose is conservative and overwhelmingly so.

        Why not let the supreme court deal with this.
        This was the position of the liberal party until 2004 and this change of position was the start of the decline of the party,where we stopped relying on the good judgment of the supreme court for making decisions and moved to making social policy on the fly.

        By the way it wasn’t even an issue until the Liberal party brought it up.

        We need to get back to a big tent which includes religious groups and come up with ideas that are supported by a large group of voters and not fight on issues that are already decided.

  30. Steve Gallagher says:

    I have to give up drinking beer in the afternoon. The real point of my story is
    that the Haiad folks knew that by not using Bleach another squid would likely come
    back to a very close spot on the same beach but that usind bleach poisoned everything
    for quite a while.

    Cheers
    SteveBHTA

  31. Robbie says:

    More worrisome than these poll numbers is the declining Canadian birthrate now at 1.6 off the min. 2.1 needed to fund future programs. This means regardless who holds power social programs will become unsustainable within 15 -20 years.

    Add to that the steady decreases in voter turnouts in the last few federal elections and, ‘Houston we’ve got a problem’.

    Apathy is detrimental to democratic health.

  32. parnel says:

    I think the polls are strongly suggesting the “left” should merge. Harper is very unpopular. If the NDP would get rid of their arrogance,and there is some indication that is happening, the green vote would dissipate and we would have a LIberal majority.

    • James Bow says:

      But the Liberals are not a party of the left, they’re a party of the centre, and in this country, the centre is as distinct from the left as it is from the right. A merged Liberal-NDP party would either be too far to the left for centrists, or too far for the right for leftists. Someone would lose their voice in parliament.

      Why should either the centre or the left disenfranchise itself by losing a party that speaks for them, just to (maybe) twist the electoral results in the new party’s favour? And note it might not work. Note that the Conservatives are still polling below the combined popular vote the PCs and the Reform party used to take as separate entities in 1993, 1997 and 2000.

      If we want to end the fact that a party that more than 60% of Canadians oppose runs the risk of winning a majority of seats in parliament, let’s bring in proportional representation and force cooperation on the parties in parliament. Otherwise, let’s not try to build a majority by cutting voices out of the system. More people will respond by just refusing to vote.

      • eattv says:

        I believe that if Rae could convince the electorate in Ontario that with the Liberal instead of the NDP party philosophy behind him, there’s no way they’d ever see Rae Days again, he could sway a lot of ‘red dippers’ to vote for the Libs. Frankly, with the Libs at these numbers in the polls, what have you got to lose?

  33. Sean says:

    …very interesting “At Issue” panel tonight… will Layton and Iggy (just like Baldwin and Lafontaine, MacDonald and Brown) do the *right thing* and put CANADA b/4 their own egos? time will tell…. chance to do something bold and historic… isn’t that why Iggy got into this in the first place?!

      • Catherine says:

        I a coalition is in the works between the NDP and Liberals (the speculation is that Jean and Ed are the designers) that as basic as is sounds Ignatieff is too far right to pull it off effectively. Under a different leader I think it’s do-able provided that turf wars don’t erupt and that both parties get into something they can’t get out of very easily. How trusting of each other would each be? If there’s the slightest doubt on either side it’s doomed before it gets off the ground.

        I also assume that Harper would like nothing better than to fight an election against a very public coalition at the moment because the bad taste for coalitions still exists in the minds of those who don’t follow politics much and who were insulted by it once before.

        Have a great weekend Warren – black flies are killers this year!

  34. DeeDee says:

    I’m probably out there with these observatons but…

    Four years ago the Conservatives set out to change Canadians – to move Canadians’ attitudes towards right-wing Conservative ideology. They haven’t been successful, as evidenced by the polls. They make be taking advantage of current demographics – after all as we age, we do become more concerned about our money and our safety, but Canadian values haven’t really changed all that much.

    Honestly though, did anyone really believe a professor would ignite and excite Canadian politics! Having said that, Ignatief comes across to me as (now) playing politics and planning his moves strategically (and not really all that well). Perhaps if he spoke from the heart, Canadians might hear a message that deep down they want to hear.

  35. Michael Bussiere says:

    Bottom line: nobody, but nobody except for political junkies are even remotely thinking politics these days. So, numbers are bent out of shape, people are sick and tired of politics and politicians in general, and nothing is catching anybody’s imagination or attention. Again, to the junkies, nobody wants to talk, think, or consider politics right now. Besides, the Liberals can’t be in power all the time, forever waiting, forever expecting to return. Beyond the sickening attitude and the smarmy tactics, there is no reason to boot Harper. He’s doing the job, like it or not. Let him have his fun and play PM until he turns even more repulsive, then nature will, as it always does, take its course. Forget it, enjoy the summer, and hope for better days. The pendulum always swings and will again – when the time is right!

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