Musings —04.14.2011 06:50 AM—
- Bonjour! As you know, I was at the final Raptors game of the season last night (we lost, comme toujours, to the Miami Heat), so I wasn’t able to watch the French-language leaders’ debate. So I invited readers to analyze the debate on their own – but I was surprised how few did. How come?
- Because the vote is settling in?: In a typically mild-mannered piece, the Globe’s Radwanski opines that the political parties don’t have much time left to sway the vote. Says Adam: “Next weekend is when the leaders will have a last chance to make an enduring impression as families and friends gather for the holiday and take in the hockey playoffs. It’s then, says pollster Nik Nanos, that the election will be discussed. Impressions will be exchanged, then cemented.” Historically, Harper’s core vote has never been that big. But over the past few elections, he’s incrementally grown it – and, now, he’s openly appealing for a majority. To stop that – and because they rashly were scared off of cooperation with the NDP by Harper’s propaganda machine – Ignatieff needs to unleash a massive and massively creative ad wave in the remaining days, one aimed at (a) getting lazy Lib voters off the couch, and (b) aimed at getting the support of worried Dipper voters who know that a vote for Jack is a vote for Stephen (because it is).
- Because anglos don’t pay enough attention to doings in Quebec?: When they should. As I told my friend Charles Adler yesterday, the Quebec debate affects the outcome of the national result. In the past three elections, Canada has been without a majority government because the Bloc takes so many seats in la belle province. Quebec matters to the national outcome more than any other province.
- Because the result seems pre-ordained?: Hebert, who knows more about Quebec than anyone, is fatalistic about the rest of the race: “To close the prohibitive gap between his party and the front-running Conservatives, Ignatieff needed the debates to recast the campaign in his favour. There is little evidence that happened. While Ignatieff did rise to the occasion of his first-ever appearances on the leaders podium, his opposition rivals also proved to be well up to the task of using the debates to consolidate their positions.” She may be right – she often is – but I think Iggy has turned in a solid turn in the debates. His problem is that Harper has, too.
- Because…beats me. But Ipsos says that Iggy, among all the federalist leaders, won the French debate: “…after a solid performance in the English-language debate, Stephen Harper stumbles and performs considerably under expectations with only 12% indicating that he won the debate (down 7 points). Both Michael Ignatieff (22%, up 7 points) and Jack Layton (19%, up 3 points) had solid showings, improving on Francophones pre-debate expectations.” Viewers clearly felt Ignatieff did very well. You can therefore expect to see his standing up-tick in the coming days.
- …and what are overall the standings, by the by? Your daily poll crack, Nanos, pegs the gap at eight, not the saturnalian 21-point claim we saw yesterday. Says Nanos: Cons 38, Libs 31, NDP 18. There’s still some time left – despite what some pundits say – for some smart advertising to affect the outcome.
- Pic of the day: Oh my Lord, this one – from last night – cries out for a caption!