Musings —04.04.2011 06:48 AM—
- And so begins Week Two, sort of: Right about now, 600,000 or so Canadians, from coast to coast, are receiving copies of the Metro free paper give-away, wrapped in a pithy and sunny description of the Liberal platform. In Halifax, Dartmouth ferry commuters are being handed the paper by Michael Ignatieff – elsewhere, members of his caucus. It’s a brilliant tactic by my pal Bob Richardson. And I write about that, and other stuff, in tomorrow’s Sun.
- Poll palaver: Here’s the latest: “The Conservatives have opened up a 14-point lead over the Liberals, according to a Nanos daily tracking poll, and start the second full week of the election campaign sitting firmly above the 40-per-cent mark – the kind of support that typically leads to a majority government.” That’s Ipsos-sized, but here’s the point I always make about these horseracey polls during campaigns: the job of a campaign isn’t to analyze polls, or even read them; the role of a campaign is to change the polls. The Reformatories, IMHO, are running a complacent, arrogant campaign, one that doesn’t build support; the Liberals are running an edgy campaign that seeks to attract attention and expand their base. Am I right? Am I wrong?
- Lobby this: Registered lobbyists – you know, dastardly people like the Salvation Army, United Church and a plethora of environmentalists and farmers – are being told they aren’t allowed to work on this, or any, election campaign. My expert analysis: that’s STUPID. I spoke to this Hill Times reporter, and told her that it is absurd that folks who lobby are being denied democratic participation. What do you think?
- The Conservatives seem to think their own rules are stupid, too: Check this out – my friend Ken Boessenkool is in the Con war room, anyway – see here. Ken’s played a key war room role in every Harper campaign, and would be influential were he in the war room or not. It’s a dumb Harper-era rule, and one that will only trip up Harperites. Joe and Jane Frontporch don’t give a crap about insider stuff like this.
- Rumour du jour: I’m hearing Iggy is in a good mood, assisted in that regard by his spouse. Harper, meanwhile, is apparently quite unhappy about his campaign team so far (and he should be) and is dropping the F-bomb far and wide. Who’s got dish?
- Harper’s a chicken, part ad infinitum: Rick Mercer, he of Doris Day fame, isn’t letting it go. Neither should the Liberals. Repeat over and over: “I’m not afraid to debate Stephen Harper about [FILL IN BLANK]. He’s afraid, however. He challenged me to a one-on-one debate, I immediately said yes, and then he chickened out.” Everywhere Iggy goes, everytime he gets asked about something, say that. And travel with an empty chair with Harper’s name on it. It’s a useful visual reminder, too.
- Best war room so far? The Libs, led by my former colleagues Kevin Bosch, Ben Parsons, Brian Clow and others. These guys are very dedicated, and lethal in the extreme. As I pointed out in this morning’s Hill Times, they’ve stomped all over the Tory message machine, just about every day. That’s how a war room wins.
- Where’s that bus? By the time you read this, Tony Philips is somewhere under that big Reformatory bus, the one used to flatten countless Conservative political staffers. Unbeknownst to many, Philips is from Belleville, and was a LIBERAL who worked on the 2004 candidates’ campaign, and was even on the executive there. He was one of those super-ambitious Young Liberals who wanted to make a name for himself. ( I guess he now has.) He became a Conservative in 2007-2008 after he moved to Ottawa, and had been unsuccessful getting a job in a Liberal office.
- Pic of the day: From the weekend. Kennedy analyzes it, here. Caption contest!
“Listen, you little delinquent, do you want a friggin’ doughnut or not? I don’t have time to stand here for this facile agitprop bullshit all day.”