03.25.2011 05:12 AM

In today’s Sun: If Ipsos is right, is it 1984 all over again?

“If Ipsos’ Thursday night bombshell is to be believed, 1984 is happening all over again.

Ipsos has long been regarded as the gold standard in the Canadian polling industry. My political consulting firm uses them and so do plenty of others, including past Liberal and Tory governments. So the numbers found in its latest survey of public opinion can’t be dismissed. Instead, nervous Grits could perhaps regard the numbers as they would, say, the words carved on the federal Liberal Party’s tombstone.

Conservatives, up to 43%. Liberals, down to 24%. NDP, unchanged at 16%.

And if you just look at voting preferences of those absolutely certain to trek to polling stations, according to Ipsos, the Cons go up to 45%, and the Grits slide to 23%.”


  1. Danica C says:

    I can only imagine what the numbers will become if Ignatieff keeps dodging the “coalition question” with reporters.

    • JStanton says:

      … why should Mr. Ignatieff play to the Harper coalition discourse as parroted by Conservative media mouthpieces? If he wins a majority, the coalition issue is moot. If he doesn’t, the issue is there to be explored. How complex is that?

      The extent to which Mr. Harper has painted the Canadian democratic process as somehow inappropriate or even illegal, is the true measure of his demagoguery, and reason enough for Canadians to do whatever it takes to rid him of office.

      And this means voting for whatever Liberal or NDP candidate is sure to beat the Tory.

      • Because I suspect most voters aren’t crazy about the idea of a coalition with the Bloc. They might be in favor or a coalition that doesn’t include a party that wants to destroy the country, but it can’t include separatists.

        This is going to be a major theme and the smart thing for Ignatieff to do would be to rule it out immediately, otherwise its a club for the Tories to beat him with.

        • JStanton says:

          … lots of hyperbole, but no facts. If Quebecers elect someone to parliament, the elected is still an MP, and their party still represents Canadians in Parliament. You don’t get to nullify Quebec voters, just like we dont get to nullify Alberta voters for electing a Harperite government that has already done more to “destroy the country” than the seperation of Quebec ever could.


        • kat says:

          Asked and answered or does the media need Ignatiff top draw a picture…. Anyone got a Red and Blue crayon?

      • Dave Roberts says:

        “…why should Mr. Ignatieff play to the Harper coalition discourse as parroted by Conservative media mouthpieces?”

        Maybe because Canadians have a right to know Ignatieff’s intentions either way. All he has to say is it’s a possibility or completely out of the question. Until he clarifies his POV he’ll bleed Liberal support.

        • JStanton says:

          … we already know his intentions. He will assess the opportunities when the time comes, and act in accordance with parliamentary practices and Canadian law to further the LPC – just like every other leader in his position, since the begining of time. Why hold Mr. Ignatieff to a special set of rules that you have invented, and that no other leaders need adhere to?


      • kat says:

        Only in your mind. Do you also need a box of crayons? What part of Red Door or Blue Door choice do you not understand?

  2. Lance says:

    Even if Ignatieff comes clean about his coalition intentions right now, Harper will have been proven right; he has already painted himself into a corner, and he let Harper trap him there. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but Ignatieff should have dealt with this issue definitively and finally a long time ago and not waited until everyone is ready to go on the campaign trail. There is no way that he can avoid it forever, and gobbledygook answers/dodging are not going to cut it.

    • Lance says:

      Futher, he should just come out and run with a coaltion ticket openly now if he is going to do it. From what I understand, people are receptive to the idea of a coalition if it’s out there in the open. They’d probably get enough votes doing it that way with coalesced support so that just the Liberals/NDP can make it work without the Bloc being involved. All it would take is for some egos to be set aside for the sake of the greater goal of getting rid of Harper, which is what the Opposition wants anyway. But people are going to be seriously pissed off if they try it again on the sly which is exactly what the cons are able to make fester.

      • Lance says:

        This is what happens if you end up with a leader with next to zero political instincts. So again, it is damned if you do, damned if you don’t; Ignatieff should have settled this a long time ago. What the hell was Donolo thinking?

        • Pat says:

          He might as well, Lance. I believe the man has been suffering from a gigantic case of buyer’s remorse since he returned to Canada.

          This whole Ignatieff thing never went according to plan…He’s a victim of the same sort of opportunism and impatience that befell Belinda Stronach. They did not anticipate the tide that swept the Liberals from their traditional position as ‘natural governing party’.

          I think Ignatieff knew all along he was not ideologically suited to the LPC (at least to a very significant segment of it), but that channel was the apparent and probable path to the PMO. And he’s looked terribly clumsy staking out positions that run contrary to his principles for the sole sake of political advantage. Of course that’s part of team-ball in politics but he’s just not a first-stringer in this game.

          I like him. I feel for him. And I wish him all the best when he pursues greener pastures offshore – which I’ve little doubt is in the very near future for him.

  3. Kasey says:

    On Tv last nite,Jennifer Ditchburn laughed when someone I think Evan read out that poll…she said, I assume she meant Decima…thats strange, we have them even, even in Ontariio.

  4. Dude Love says:

    Maybe Ignatieff just wants out of politics and the only way to do it is to lose the election, have a leadership review and get someone who can rally the troops and resonates with Canadians.

    Just because someone is book smart, doesn’t make them politically savvy.

    • Cath says:

      kind of an expensive and arrogant thing to do if he wants out – how about the grass roots of the party just pass a hat, give the guy a going away party and a parting gift and push for that -rebuilding the membership and support base was promised?

      • Chris says:

        I think that this is something that both Ignatieff and the Liberal party need to do.

        Call it a cleansing by fire, if you will – the cons have been able to use the liberal party as a punching bag since they took power. An election, no matter the result, will hopefully clean the slate to an extent.

    • Michael Reintjes says:

      Like Bob Rae?

    • kat says:

      Dream on…. desperate CONS LOLOLOL

  5. Dr.J says:

    What is the answer to the coalition question? Red door?Blue door? orange door? green door? powder blue door? what’s that? The answer needs to be a clear yes or no.

  6. Derek Pearce says:

    It cannot be 1984 all over again because of the Bloc. There is no way the Conservatives will sweep Quebec like Mulroney did. Minority again.

  7. eattv says:

    And then on the other hand, we see this in this morning’s Globe:


    I find it all very confusing, to tell the truth.

  8. Brad says:

    It will be difficult to beat a party that is using our tax dollars to promote themselves. The bright side is, if he gets his majority, maybe then he will finally concentrate on running the country instead of berating the Liberal Party, but that will never happen.

    • Chris says:

      Gord, you’re going to be a busy guy over the next month or so! Hopefully you’ll still have time to do your dayjob while responding to almost every post on this blog.

      Don’t let yourself get too deep – you could end up an easy target for a bored troll.

    • Ted says:

      Not the victim card. The democracy card.

      The abuses of government by Harper is what this election is about.

  9. Or it could be the other Mulroney scenario, remember 151-2?

    The productivity of Parliament has been dismal in the last two sessions and voters expect more. Minority governments used to be characterized by a degree of cooperation.

  10. Philip says:

    It really isn’t as if the Ispos poll matters now. The non-confidence motion is going to get tabled today and passed. The election buses are fueled and ready. No party is turning back now, so releasing that poll to great fanfare does seem kind of pointless. If there is a Conservative majority out there, then go out and earn it from the voters. It’s Harper’s majority to lose.

    • Philip says:

      Nope. This is Harper’s big election, to win or merely get by on. The NDP left the door comPletely open, there was extra money to bring up the senior’s money to a respectable level. Harper just cut the prospect of any compromise off at the pass. Harper wanted this election and now he has it.

  11. Pete says:

    WK, you were wrong when you said there would not be an election and you’re going to be proven wrong again. Iggy has enough ammo to make a game changer in this election and I predict he will play even dirtier than the Harpercrites………if that’s possible.

    • JStanton says:

      Mr. Ignatieff doesn’t have to play dirty to win. By aggressively making clear the shortcomings of Mr. Harper, and the failures of the Harper government, he can ensure the fence-sitters don’t go Conservative. By going uber-Personian, he can maintain his existing support. After that, he needs to make Quebecers fall in love with him, by whatever means possible. And the West… well, there are no new votes there.

      • Michael Reintjes says:

        Quebec will never fall in love with a politician who isn’t from Quebec and will vote Bloc. Iggy’s long absence from Canada will only make matters worse when trying to paint himself as some kind of Broker for Quebec.

        • JStanton says:

          Quebecers will do what’s best for Quebec. They may decide that Mr. Ignatieff in Ottawa is a better choice than Mr. Harper.

          As for how they perceive Mr. Ignatieff… even the basest Quebecer has more socio-political sophistication than Mr. Harper’s rural Western redneck base, so it’s poinless to paint them with the same brush.


  12. billg says:

    Nah. 135 minimum to 150 seats max for the Cons. Now, if the Coalition question continues to be an issue, then, it could get to 190 seats for the Cons. And another issue is, Harper has been warning of this for a year now and has been mocked for it, now, if Ignatief wont answer the question it brings up the image of secret meetings in dark hallways, an image the LPC would rather the voters have of Harper and not their leader. Ignatief has to address this next week or it will be 1984 all over again.

  13. DL says:

    If the Conservatives fall short of a majority – how do we know they wouldn’t seek a whole different kind of coalition – a Conservative/Liberal “grand coalition” like what they have in the UK? It would make a lot of sense. Harper and Ignatieff are not far apart on most issues. Ignatieff could be Harper’s foreign affairs minister. The Liberals could get half a dozen cabinet portfolios and a share of the patronage and the only policy concession the Tories would have to make would be to restore the long form of the census.

  14. Michael Slavitch says:

    The devil is in the details: The Conservatives are doing extremely well where they do extremely well: Massive leads in ridings they already hold doesn’t help them. Where the rubber hits the road is the targeted ridings, and that’s not going so well. The problem is, it’s not going so well for the Liberals either. In tossup seats the undecideds are huge, which means that this is anyone’s game.

  15. billg says:

    JStanton: bullshit, those are just Iggys mega spun counter points.
    wow..that was easy, no debate and no worrys, just say the word bullshit.

    • JStanton says:

      … its “bullshit” because there are no facts in you argument, just a repeating of Mr. Harper’s invention, calculated to disturb his bigoted base.


  16. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Kinda finding it quite remarkable that a certain pair of words has not yet been uttered by the MSM regarding this coalition question.

    You know.


    …at least not yet.

  17. Windsurfer says:

    Hey Warren – too bad this joint has turned into Blogging Tories. They must be worried to be spending so much time here reading from their playbook amidst a hostile crowd.

    Not to worry – democracy will be served. Went to the Lib nomination last night in my local riding and the burghers are pumped.

    Cash flowed, babies were kissed, signs were ordered.

    Let the battle begin.

    • Philip says:

      Hell yeah!!!! LPC is getting our election on! After decades of voting in elections I’m about to work my first one as a volunteer. I’m pretty stoked. It took Harper to actually get me to join a political party, donate money to it and volunteer.

  18. Ted says:

    This poll is a wake-up call and a call to arms. In 1984, Liberals were tired, on the way out, divided; so no way this is like 1984.

    But it is a wake-up call: Harper has used 100s of millions of taxpayer dollars effectively to get his message out and the truth about their conduct and their competence is buried. Liberals have to work harder and come together quicker to get the message out.

    All pundits in all recent elections have predicted the government of the day to sail ahead in the first week as they hold the cards and the advantage. But thereafter the opposition parties start to slowly get equal treatment in the media and a level playing field.

    The polls are actually better than the Ipsos numbers. The number of undecideds has really shot up in the last couple of weeks and the trust and confidence in Harper personally has really gone down a lot. Polls of seniors – who vote – shows a marked decline for Harper. And that’s before campaign ads. Polls on the issues of most concern to Canadians favour the Liberals.

    Don’t know where it ends up, but it’s certainly not going to be like 1984 (remember Mulroney won over 50% then). As results go, probably more like 1963 is my guess.

  19. dave says:

    Just caught on tv the list of failings that Ignatieff gave in the House of Commons, and the additions by Cullen.
    The lists look accurate to me.
    But, of course, the polls say the Conservatives will get a majority.

    So the opposition should just give the Conservative Government a stern warning and go on with the budget debate.

    Yeah, right!

  20. Harvey Mushman says:

    So what does Michael Ignatieff really think about forming a coalition government with the NDP and Bloc?

    December 4, 2008 Ignatieff signs on to the agreement calling the coalition a “viable alternative government.”

    Dec. 7, 2008 “A coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition.”

    Dec 10, 2008 “I told caucus I will vote non-confidence in this government. I am prepared to enter into a coalition government if that is what the Governor General asks me to do,”

    January 28, 2009 Ignatieff-led Liberals support the Harper Conservatives in a confidence vote over the budget.

    January 31, 2009: Ignatieff says the coalition government would have been “unstable, politically illegitimate to many Canadians and divisive” – one report quoted him as saying it would have “profoundly, profoundly and durably divided the country.” (Montreal Gazette)

    May 2009: Ignatieff says “There was also a question concerning the legitimacy of the coalition that troubled me,” (MacLean’s)

    September 2009: ” ‘The Liberal party will not agree to form a coalition,’ Ignatieff said flatly. ‘We do not support a coalition today or tomorrow’.” (CP)

    June 6, 2010: Ignatieff says coalition governments are “perfectly legitimate” and he’d be prepared to lead one if that’s the hand Canadian voters deal him in the next election. (CP)

    March 24, 2011 “Ignatieff ducks coalition questions.” (Montreal Gazette)

    So to summarize…spin the wheel…where she stops, nobody knows.

    • Chris says:

      Ahh, politics – where thoughtfullness, nuance and willingness to alter a position is spun as the greatest weakness, while blind pursuit of an unshakable goal is the ultimate virtue.

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        Really? You honestly believe that these quotes represent some sort of “thoughtful” and “nuanced” position by Ignatieff?

        It’s clear what they represent… In a “nut shell” Ignatieff is saying “if it’s going to make me PM…it’s legitimate…count me in! If it makes my poll numbers take a dive…oh…then it’s an illegitimate scam that will divide the country and I want nothing to do with it.”

        IMO Ignatieff made a huge mistake by signing the 2008 coalition agreement…but making a point of signing it last…to make the point that…well…really…I didn’t REALLY support it.

        So much for standing up for one’s principles. He “dumped” his coalition partners like a hot potato as soon as Conservative polling numbers soared to 53% as a result of the coalition threat.

        • kat says:

          Not as bad as making history…. the government you named after yourself (Harper government) is found in contempt. Way to make history. Or it’s 2004 and you’re desperate to bring down Paul Martin so you sign a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc and send a letter to the GG…. LOLOLOL

  21. billy says:

    I don’t understand the connection. The majority of people don’t follow politics daily, and what was it? 50 % thought Oda was someone from Egypt. So these numbers won’t reflect election day, at least I don’t think so.

    Once everyone can start campaigning like the conservatives did with the “economic action plan” that just cost 26 million, and over 150 million total numbers will change. So for now, the polls will be biased until more and more info comes out on what is happening in parliament, and will continue to be shoved down the throats of Canadians. It will happen. I’m not saying the Liberals will win a minority, but I do expect the cons to lose a few seats when all is said and done.

    I wish more media outlets would look at the National Citizens Coalition, and why Harper was president of an organization that is FOR private healthcare. If MP’s continue to say that if we buy these jets and prisons, health care will fall apart and might be turned private because we are in such debt is a scare tactic for liberals, just like the cons and a “coalition”, even though the model we follow is now a coalition government.

  22. ANGELA MULAR says:

    Happy about the election. It is the only time that my arrogant and obnoxious liberal MP talks to her voters….Never returns phone callls. Insults taxpayers like me concerned about high taxes in Toronto… I am voting PC….I don’t like Mr. Harper…I detest Iggy and the issue of trust and ethics is just too hypocritical for voters who are tired of being as stupid ATM bank machines…

  23. ANGELA MULAR says:

    I also want to add that Ignatieff and His Liberal advisors bullied their way into my father’s Etobicoke lakeshore Riding…They will not insult and bully Canadian taxpayers… He is not entitled to be Prime Minister and has not earned the right…..The question is why did the Liberal Party choose such a hopeless leader for the Liberal Party?

    • kat says:

      How much of my tax $$$$ are the CONS paying you for spamming these lies? Hey look, there’s a shiny object over there and Harper wants you to check it out.

  24. billy says:

    Another thing about Ignatieff about not being back for us. Well, why don’t we throw that question backs in Flaherty’s face. I believe he went to Princeton, double standard anyone?

  25. John Testor says:

    I remember when the Liberal Party actually was able to run an election (yes an WK was a backroomer then).

    Now, the LPC is a joke and only a mere shadow of what they were. I mean, they have one credible (Ralph Goodale) and one ex-NDPer wannabe (Bobby Rae) who might make leaders. Goodale doesn’t want it, Bobby does.

    Until the LPC gets a genuine and CREDIBLE leader (and Trudeau ain’t it either), it will continue to languish on the opposition benches.

    The CPC will have to really screw up badly (and they will at some time in the future) before the LPC will have a chance at government again.

    I just wish they could be a credible opposition, but they only come across as angry and petulant men and women.

    I can’t stand the NDP’s policies, but at least they ask relevant questions in QP, and carry themselves in a somewhat better manner in the House.

  26. kat says:

    Hey Gord, see that shiny object over there…. Harper wants you to check it out.

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