Musings —04.07.2011 06:48 AM—
- The pollsters, the pundits and the professors: All seem to agree that – mainly due to a better-than-expected Liberal campaign, and a piss-poor Reformatory campaign – some shifts are underway. Iggy’s personal numbers are up, and his party’s, a bit; Harper’s own, and that of his party, have stalled. As things stand now, the much-lusted-after majority is gone.
- So sayeth the Star’s Les: Writes he: “Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff appears to be winning hearts and minds on the election trail even though his party still lags the Conservatives by a wide margin, a new national poll shows. At the same time, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s performance has led to a slight erosion of his appeal since the election kicked off.” It surprises me, frankly: I didn’t think the stumbles by Harper and his army would start to be reflected in the polls until next week, when the debates are taking place. It suggests that voters know this campaign has been Harper’s worst since 2004, and have been reacting accordingly.
- Bernard Who? Bernard Lord is (almost literally) the Conservative Party’s Frank McKenna. He is (a) a male (b) a former Premier (c) from New Brunswick and (d) always talked about by journalists. In the case of both men, too, the parties they belong to don’t really see them as leadership material, or even particularly remember them. At all. So why do terrific columnists still write about them? Beats me.
- The Gunter canary in the coal mine: My personal litmus test for “Harper has gone too far” stories is Lorne Gunter. If the long-serving Alberta scribe, who is as conservative as conservative gets, says Harper and his team have stumbled, I immediately know that other conservatives feel likewise. Thus, the Awish Aslam disaster: while Lorne goes to some lengths to describe (accurately) how political parties work to prevent their events from being derailed, he also (accurately) expresses distaste about what happened to this young woman. Worth a read, Mr. Harper.
- A referendum on Iggy: I think that overstates things, a bit, but Mr. Hepburn is certainly right in suggesting that the debates are pivotal. And, given that Harper has traditionally done badly – even against not-so-hot debaters like Messrs. Martin and Dion – I think that, ten days from now, the Reformatories will be looking at a “burn the bridges” plan.
- He wasn’t the first: I was doing dress rehearsals, last night, for Sun TV with David Akin and Mercedes Stephenson. David suggested that the now-dumped “whites rights” Liberal candidate was a first for the Grits. I reminded him that he wasn’t – we actually had Ernst Zundel run for the leadership in 1968, before he became a notorious Holocaust denier!
- Pic of the day: To illustrate a piece on how politicians deal with confrontations, the Star ran this beaut. Ah, the good old days!