04.28.2011 06:52 AM

KCCCC Day 34: Orange Crush – ingredients and nutritional information (with important Akin-related update)


  • Don’t feel like you’re alone in not seeing this historic change comingnobody saw this historic change coming. All of the professional pundits, pollsters and politicos – an alliteration, as well as the people who get paid to be smart about politics – didn’t see it coming, either. I challenge you to find one one person, one, who said this sometime in the past year: “The Liberal Party will drop to a distant third place. The NDP will surge and have a shot at defeating Stephen Harper on election night.” You won’t find anyone who said that, out loud. Not even Jack Layton believed it.
  • Figuring out what the Libs and Cons did wrong is easy. And, one thing I will predict – entire forests will be felled, soon enough, to print up articles, essays and books which will analyze the reasons why the Reformatories (as even conservatives agree) and the Grits (in particular) did badly. But the Dippers? Wacko Jacko? That’s a lot harder to understand. Here are a few of my suggested ingredients in the Orange Crush.
  • Jack Layton is likeable (and has few calories). He’s Taliban Jack, he’s Wacko Jacko, he’s all those things right-wing media call him – but he’s also the most likeable of all the federal leaders. Polls have been showing that for years, now they’re showing it at precisely the best possible moment for him. If the campaign has devolved into a great big HOAG contest – that is, “who is the one who is a Hell Of A Guy” – Layton wins, hands down. Iggy is quite likeable in person, in my opinion, but loses in a televised HOAG showdown with Jack. Harper’s people, meanwhile, had decided likeability didn’t matter – a decision they will come to regret, profoundly. Sixty-five per cent of the country dislike Stephen Harper. They needed to fix that, and they didn’t. Too late now!
  • His party’s policies are irrelevant (and contain ingredients that are very bad for you). They have some not-bad policies – and they have some that are plain nutty (like reopening the Constitution, or multiple billions in promises that Jacko doesn’t know how to pay for). But, in the main, his party’s policies don’t matter. Canadians have decided they want to vote for someone they like, not for someone with the best policies. Jack, they like. Harper, especially, they don’t. The policy analysis of many Canadians: Harper and Ignatieff are too right-wing. I’m voting for the only guy who isn’t right wing.
  • His party’s team is irrelevant (and have no nutritional value whatsoever). Name five of their candidates – ones who don’t currently hold a seat. Name two or three. Can’t, can you? Me, neither. The Dippers aren’t popular because of their team – because they don’t really have a team (and that’s why their strength in places like Quebec may end up being largely illusory – they literally have no one on the ground to GOTV). It’s a big problem for them on E-day. Cue the screams of righteous indignation about rep by pop on Tuesday morning.
  • But what do YOU think? Why did the Orange Crush happen? Comments are open – and welcome.

AKIN-RELATED UPDATE: Take it away, Sun News colleague David Akin:

Warren: “nobody saw this historic change coming. All of the professional pundits, pollsters and politicos – an alliteration, as well as the people who get paid to be smart about politics – didn’t see it coming, either.”

Er, ahem, I know I write a lot of drivel but, as my predictions are rarely write, I’m going to poke my head up on this:

Here’s me on March 21, writing five days before writ drop:

My hunch is that if they can boost their popular vote on e-day to anything above 20 per cent, they stand a very real chance of becoming the official opposition in a scenario where the Tories win a majority and the Liberal vote collapses.”

Mind you, in that blog post, I thought Layton would back the budget!

225 Comments

  1. Political Outsider says:

    Regardless of what happens on May 2nd – Harper majority, Layton minority, Iggy engineers the greatest comeback in Canadian political history – one thing is certain: on May 3rd, Wareen Kinsella will write an article explaining how the result is good news for Dalton McGuinty and bad news for Hudak, Hillier et al.

  2. Mike L says:

    Hmm…I, like most, am not too sure why. However, perhaps there could be an anti-incumbency feeling among voters similar to whole Rob Ford win last fall (albeit on the opposite side of the political spectrum).

    Now, I’m far too young to remember, but didn’t something like this happen when Rae won as Premier in 1990?

    I’ll be curious to see what happens provincially this fall in Ontario. That being said, it would really worry me if people blindly make Hudak Premier of Ontario.

    • AndrewOpala says:

      1990 was a mid-election-campaign turn around … I think Patti Starr was there, but Rae had a bunch of good NDPers that were about to retire from Politics. Plus there was the Meech Lake Accord that the Liberals had been part of. But I think that the polls didn’t predict a majority win. Even Bob Rae was close to losing his own riding to Alan Tonks.

      It was merely the voter split/turnout on election day.

      *old enough to remember*

      … going back to watch DejaView channel … and Hogan’s Heroes

      • JenS says:

        And nobody – NOBODY – was more surprised at the NDP win than Bob Rae. Incidentally, I think history has remembered him unfairly. The economy was tanking at that point, and it had next to nothing to do with him. But the two, though mostly coincident, are forever linked in people’s minds.

        • MississaugaLibPeter says:

          Rae had a very assorted (meaning “poor”) supporting cast. The same thing that Layton has.

          • JenS says:

            Yes. I agree. Layton’s running a bunch of pylons in Que and now, there’s a chance those pylons could get a vote. Hold me. I’m scared.

  3. Dr.J says:

    Like the guy from La Press said in Quebec it is JACK,JACK,JACK….reminds me of the Mario Dumont/ADQ wave before. As a political junkie this is interesting to watch to say the least and would of never predicted or even thought about this senario even if I was hammered!! It does look pretty clear now that the guy with the ‘tasche’ is going to take out the BLOC and that is a good thing for the entire country….riding this wave throughout the rest of Canada into 24 Sussex? I don’t have a clue but wouldn’t bet on it or agaisn’t it. Also you are wrong W, I can name 3 NDP candidates…Larry,Curly and Moe.

  4. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Surprised by the approval rating for May, who seems to depend on not being included in televised debates for media coverage. What can anyone remember about the Green Party or their platform from last time around other than the leader thought it was a good idea to take on MacKay and the fight to be in the Leaders Debate. I think she’s an attention-seeker. She will continue to find ways to be a victim for exposure until the Greens decide to do something positive for the environment and replace her.

    As for the per vote subsidy, I understand its role in supporting an accessible democratic system but I can’t count the number of times someone from the Green Party has asked me to vote for them — not so much because they expect to elect someone, but because of the twoonie or what ever it is that comes to them for each vote — so, in effect, having me vote for them is their fundraising strategy?!

    • She actually said on CBC radio yesterday that had she been included in the debates, we wouldn’t be seeing an orange wave sweeping across the country. (words to that effect)

      • scott d says:

        May is delusional. You cant find two Greens who agree on what Green is. Typical of May and the Greens, their lack of success is ALWAYS somebody the fault of somebody else..

      • MattMcD says:

        I was listening to CBC Radio driving home from work one late night and the free airtime for parties came on. First Elizabeth May and the Green Party “Vote for a party that will abolish oil tankers!” and then right after that, the Rhino Party. “Vote for a party that will abolish the moon!”

        The debates wouldn’t have helped the Green’s fortunes. Not sharing ad space with the Rhinos would be a start. Advertising properly would be a start.

        And maybe just maybe having a non-vegan based platform might help.

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        Well, at least she’s modest.

        • Craig Chamberlain says:

          (Do you suppose she fantasizes about being on a televised debate where the other party leaders turn to her and say, “Oh, Elizabeth, we had no idea you were so right! And witty, too! Hey, guys, let’s all agree that Elizabeth should be PM!…”

  5. Canadian Kate says:

    Warren, not to put too fine a point on it, but until the Orange Crush actually happens, I won’t be commenting on how this came to be. Something’s up but with FPTP it may not shake out the way we think it will (and we all think differently, I’m still betting, not a lot, but betting on a Con majority.)

    Perhaps on Tuesday we’ll all be talking about the death of traditional political polling.

    In the meantime, I keep thinking of the 400 students that joined the Facebook Vote Mob at Carleton and the 40 who actually turned out. And the fact that in my riding with a higher proportion of university educated voters than the provincial and federal average. Despite that, 60% of us aren’t university educated. Translated to the youth, 60% of them are not in university but are unemployed (therefore, it’s the economy) or filing taxes (and will thus think a lot about the party that talks about lowering taxes.)

    • James says:

      There’s still a lot of time between now and election day for people to seriously contemplate the NDP in power or opposition. This NDP surge is nothing more than a personality-cult around Jack. I think people will conclude that there is simply too much at stake for radical change in the country and will vote for a Conservative majority.

  6. It’s a referendum on the state of national politics in this country – Layton comes to the table with the cleanest hands. Voters are sick and tired of the raging partisanship and just plain meanness of the Tories. They still haven’t forgiven the Liberals as Adscam is still fresh in people’s minds and I think voters are dead freaking sick of the ENDLESS election speculation by the mainstream news media which we’ve been stuck in since Martin won his minority.

    In short – people are fed up. And the people are always right – it’s just that sometimes our “rightness” comes back to bite us in the ass years down the road when we come to realize the cost of our desire for change.

    Prediction? Harper will leave. Ignatieff is done. We’re likely going to see an NDP government on Tuesday morning or a cobbled merger between the NDP and Liberals who either cross the floor or a coalition agreement between what’s left of the Liberals and the NDP. Harper will have his throne speech defeated and we’re going to be living in an orange world for a few years.

    • Namesake says:

      hey, kudos for saying something real — and, most likely, true — instead of just the usual trash-talking that you and so many of the what-are-you-doing-here-anyway hecklers here do.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever trashed talked anyone here, but I thank you for your compliment. I’m a realist about politics in Canada – despite one’s political leanings, the electorate is always right. Even when they’re wrong.

      • Ron says:

        pot the kettle called saying you’re just as black

    • Intrep says:

      “We’re likely going to see an NDP government on Tuesday morning…..”

      And with that statement, a shudder just went up the backs of every non-NDP voter in the Province of Ontario. That scenario would be the shortest route to economic meltdown in this country, (similar to Ontario under Bob Rae), not to mention Western separation.

      • I live in the west – I think threats of Western separation are largely irrelevant unless a newly minted NDP government decides to raid the cupboard in Alberta and Saskatchewan to pay for all their promises. I shudder at the prospect of an NDP government, but I do look forward very much to seeing the party under the close scrutiny of reporters. Questions will be asked, chiefly, how precisely, NDP, do you plan to pay for all these promises when we’re $50 Billion in the hole already? They’re either going to have to cut programs and services or raise taxes. Look for a much more expensive country to live in should they win because the NDP won’t risk alienating the public sector as they make up a large part of their base.

        • Intrep says:

          Cap and Trade = some really ticked off Western Canadians. Does it equal separation? Put it this way: the west can afford to go on their own if they wanted to….unlike Quebec.

          • smelter rat says:

            You couldn’t find 5 westerners who could tell you what “cap and trade” means if you tried.

          • smelter rat says:

            The “west” is not just Alberta, Gord.

          • Ditto. Gord, stop telling us westerners what *you* think westerners really believe.

            Even in Alberta there is no unanimity. 1/3 of Albertans in the last election voted for Liberals, NDP, and Greens. In B.C. talk of separation generates laughter. And hey, we have cap and trade here, or will have when the government finally gets off their butts and meets the obligations they set for themselves.

            We’ve had NDP governments here; the population is willing to embrace them again. Any government can make a mess of things – look at Harper – biggest deficit in history and added tens of billions back to our country’s debt load. According to him he didn’t see it coming, no one could. Bullshit. The country was already sinking into historic levels of deficit when he called election 08 and finance ministry records prove it. He and Flaherty out and out lied.

            Yeah, they’ve got weakness in their bench. So did the Conservatives. A NDP lead coalition with the Liberals could fill in the experience gaps. They can reach out to the Senate. They’ll be able to bring in their own staff and consultants and there’ll be plenty interesting in helping.

            The 70s are gone. The world has changed. Any government, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Rhino – will understand, or be made to understand, the financing limitations they have. The public service running the show in the background will make it very clear to whoever has power what their limitations are and what the ramifications are if they choose to ignore sane advice.

            The biggest problem Liberals or Conservatives have with a New Democrat government is that they will loose the monopoly on “experience” and once lost, they aren’t ever going to get it back. Just imagine Election 42 or 43 if Dippers have had a hand at the helm by then, and the country hasn’t fallen apart – which it won’t.

            What might fall apart are the Liberals if blue Grits defect in a big enough block, or, worse, the party decides to align itself firmly with Harper – making Layton’s charge of Liberals propping up Harper look at lot more than just a slogan.

            As far as prop rep, I do believe it’ll be an issue but not for the NDP, for the Liberals.

          • Cam says:

            Exxon, who owns give or take 69% of Imperial Oil, just reported U.S. profit in the last quarter of $11 billion. The oil companies are reaping huge profits at the expense of all consumers. Taxing a significant part of the oil company profits is not going to slow down the industry out west. To suggest otherwise is simply fear mongering, or greed.

        • JS Rothwell says:

          I live in the geographic west, British Columbia & there’s no talk of separation except for the usual whackaloons. Since our prairie neighbours consistent refer to the West as Saskatchewan & Alberta should we start referring to ourselves as pacific Canadians?

          I’d be happy just being a Canadian but that’s me.

          • MississaugaLibPeter says:

            Mr. Belcourt, my grade 8 social studies teacher at St. Cyril Elementary in Calgary, in 1979, called the new nation ALSASKMAN.

      • Nastyboy says:

        Oh please. STFU with this western separation garbage. There is no separation movement in Alberta or any other western province. We Albertans get ticked off from time to time when we’re taken for granted and told what horrible Canadians we are by Eastern Urban lefties, but there is no credible separation movement here. Never will be.

    • que sera sera says:

      I agree.

      I think everyone is sick of Harper’s ugliness & contempt. I think Iggy was damaged beyond repair by Harper’s years of attack ads – even though Iggy fought a valiant campaign. I also think Harper is benefiting from damaging blow back from his ugly attack ads. In effect, the ugly war of “personality” tainted both Harper & Iggy and left Jack free to waltz up the high road, alone.

      Also, although Harper’s @ 30% base is unshakable in their adoration of their anointed one, Harper has done everything in his power to alienate every other voter in Canada by attacking so many sacred cows, institutions, people & gender. I often wondered over the last two years of targeted insults & debauchery (too numerous to list!) where Harper was going to find the extra votes to give him a majority. Certainly not from the “Lieberals”, “Fibtards” or “Dippers”, “Taliban Jack” or women who have been told to “STFU “or “you ethnic people” or the assaulted civil service”.

      I have good hopes for Iggy – I think he did a good job fighting a tainted uphill battle. I admire Jack Layton for being the warrior he is. Harper handed the election away on an expensive silver platter of righteousness, patronization & a belief in the profound stupidity of the Canadian electorate. Harper campaigned like an American politico – and the insult is still reverbating throughout Canada.

      • smelter rat says:

        And yet the G&M editors think he’s just dandy. I shake my head. And cancelled my subscription.

      • Que Sera Sera: Well put. Condescension rubs us the wrong way. Harper deigned to speak to the Great Unwashed only because his handlers told him to do so. And the LPC campaigned too closely to the Conservatives. Warren’s quote says it all:

        “The policy analysis of many Canadians: Harper and Ignatieff are too right-wing. I’m voting for the only guy who isn’t right wing.”

    • pomo says:

      Wow – I agree? Am I dreaming? Good post Sean.

      Actually, I have noted less trash talk from all sides here in the last little while. It’s interesting, and rather…nice? Kinda Canadian?

      Again – wow. About everything.

      • Thanks for the compliment – I lean conservative but have voted Liberal in the past (Chretien 3X the man rocks, plain and simple) and would be voting Liberal in this election if the vote actually meant something, but I’m in Saskatoon Rosetown Biggar and I gotta vote Tory to keep the riding from going orange!!! It’s too close to call out here.

        Despite all the rhetoric the people are always right. The system, despite its problems works and the electorate must be respected. Maybe this election will humble those who consider themselves to be our betters.

    • Cam says:

      Sean, I agree.

  7. Canadian Kate says:

    Correction: “And that my riding has a higher proportion of university educated voters than the provincial and federal average.”

  8. Deke says:

    Methinks this is the law of unintended consequences. Remember most voters did not vote Conservative. Remember the Conservatives spent a gazillion dollars smearing excrement on M. Ignatief and some of it stuck. So what do voters do….move to the next anti-harper cookie on the sheet. Which means that the rise of socialist cabal is the direct result of the conservative war room and Harper endorsed smears. sheeesh.

    • W.B. says:

      So if vote splitting works for the Conservatives they will look like geniuses in trashing Ignatieff beyond repair early and often. But as you say the personal destruction of Ignatieff didn’t overcome the deep seated distrust of Harper, so the voters turned off Ignatieff went to Layton.
      The irony is if the Conservatives were too successful Layton could get enough votes to rise above vote splitting and start stealing seats from Conservatives. Hard to see that happening, but if it did, their Ignatieff hate campaign (only in it for himself) will be seen as a huge blunder. They must wonder why they didn’t try to destroy Layton as well or at least bring him down a peg before the writ. But they may have thought he carried too much good will.
      Boils down to: will vote splitting hand seats to Cons in Ontario, or will NDP surge rob them of seats in Quebec and BC?
      But giving Layton a free ride makes it look like the CPC war room can make mistakes.
      One more thing: that Canada jacket is a far cry from sweater boy of the last campaign. What’s that about?

  9. WDM says:

    1.What have the Conservatives done wrong? Their scare tactics backfired, albeit not in the way one would have expected. The anti-Conservative vote is coalescing around an Opposition Party. I’d also add the Conservatives have come across as incredibly arrogant in this campaign, shrugging off any notion they’ve made any mistakes. I suppose one always has to have their back up in politics, but if you’re going to do that, you probably shouldn’t be slapping the media around at the same time.

    2. What have the Liberals done wrong? In this campaign? Not all that much, really. I think Ignatieff has looked good on the campaign trail, for the most part the advertising has been good, they’ve dealt swiftly with the hiccups they’ve had fall in their laps and Liberals themselves seem more enthused with Mr. Ignatieff than they did at the beginning of the campaign. The reason the Liberals are third isn’t because of the last month or so, it’s the culmination of 30 years of shifting political tides. No strength in the West, barely any in Quebec and weak in rural Canada. They need to re-invent themselves, find new approaches to policy and focus on what issues matter to various groups of people, and if they’re lucky find a few that no one else is talking about. Rightly or wrongly, the Liberals have no policy or issue that they own anymore. Very difficult to be squeezed out on virtually every policy issue, as it means it becomes hard to gain support amongst Canadians for whom these issues are top of mind matters.

    • Brian says:

      The Liberals have done three things wrong.

      Error 1. This statement is true: “Rightly or wrongly, the Liberals have no policy or issue that they own anymore.” And it was a big mistake. They chould have changed that, but didn’t, because they were too focused on low-level sniping on micro-issues. Consider: somehow, Oda’s “not” became more important both before and during the campaign than, say, proroguing Parliament twice to avoid Parliament. Sure, issues like that were irresistible, and made great online fodder. But they should have lasted a day’s news cycle, no more.

      The Facebook thing was a similar distraction – mentioned three times in the debate. When the media was covering it, it was fun – but in 2 hours a national debate, mentioning it 3 times as evidence of anti-democratic behavior? Petty. So Canadians are shifting to the less petty option… a guy who says “proportional representation! End the Senate” when asked about anti-democratic issues, and says it with a smile… I don’t agree with either position, but Layton’s convinced me HE believes it.

      Error 2. Related: LPC peeps prepped Ignatieff to be a sloganeering negative puppet in the debate instead of a guy brimming with ideas to make a better Canada – in sharp contrast to Ignatieff’s own approach on the road. Highlighted Layton’s happy mood by making the contrast more obvious. I still want to know who did that prep work.

      Error 3. No decisive punch. In retrospect, this was a frontrunner campaign run for a guy perched on the edge of third place. Liberal HQ was already declaring victory over the NDP just two weeks in, congratulating itself in public for its genius, but they hadn’t done anything to kill them off – no bold stance to bring the NDP voters onside and close the deal. Ditto on the right; soft Tories waiting for just *one* bold commitment on democratic reform or the deficit that they could cling to as justification to vote away for a day… well, they weren’t even given that.

      Me, I read the red book, and honestly can’t remember a damn thing in the whole document.

      The Conservative campaign has been surreal, too. But at least it has a clear strategy (win with the base +1 in key ridings, boosted by immigrant value voters in the burbs and wedge issue voters rurally, circle the wagons with “they’re all agin’ us” to keep existing seats secure). CPC HQ might yet win with that approach. But it’s hard to discern a Liberal strategy, especially considering the fact that it was the Liberals who were most excited to trigger this in the first place.

    • CQ says:

      Both the CPC and Libs made their primary mistakes preceding the election campaign itself! The CPC was plain stupid to plunk the G20 into the very core of Toronto at the start of Summer and then flush Tony’s upper crust vacation land riding with the cash. That attitude is costing a lot of majority potential. Then there was this steady stream of small stuff always dragging at their image.
      The Libs should never have appointed Ignatieff after he was already beaten by Dion; they should have either changed the page or reached back to a clutch of 90s proven challengers. Even back then, were there no bilingual and capable women already established within the party?

      Layton himself is running a controlled message campaign. Jack, Olivia, and Peggy. No one else; he should be making some of his appearances while surrounded with former prov. and fed. NDP leaders and stars like Etobicoke’s Ruth Grier.
      For all that, who knows how the seat projection will turn out. (I’ll guess the NDP might also find part of its additional riding victories at the outer ends of the country – Maritimes and B.C.)

  10. scanner says:

    “Name one NDP candidate” The guy in my riding, Matt Kellway. He was around here months before the writ dropped, introducing himself to the neighbourhood, listening to people, making himself known. He has an uphill battle against Maria Mina, longtime Liberal MP, but he’s been holding his own and he has the thing the NDP has had before – troops on the ground. He’s been on my doorstep twice since the writ. Haven’t seen any of the other guys. Oh, and who could not name Peggy Nash? Where I think the NDP is lean is in the upper level infrastructure – people that a party can call on to actually govern – the deputies and advisers. That was a real problem for Bob Rae (that and the pushback from the Ontario Civil Service senior administrators).

    • pomo says:

      One NDP I know…My representative in the HOC, Megan Leslie. Voted rookie MP of the year, very hardworking on committees, known to the riding, accessible, smart and one of the few MPS who have supporters that are supporting HER rather than the party. She is popular herself, with or without Jack Layton. In fact, I have talked to more than a few who are pretty circumspect about Jack. Still love Megan though.

    • Riley says:

      The NDP have lots of very successful people from Well managed provincial governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba where you are talking about a dozen years of growth and balanced budgets in each Province. Though not directly the same as running the federal government there are similarities.

      • Brian says:

        I agree with that on a staff level. But the few of the better veterans from that lot seem to be on ballots in seats the NDP is likely to win, even after the Orange Crush.

        That could be a problem.

    • JStanton says:

      Mr. Harper and his supporters all had in common a lack of experience, education, skill, wisdom and maturity, yet, to hear them tell it, Canada has never been in better shape (despite all evidence to the contrary).

      I have no fears about NDP governance. They have enormously skilled people to call upon, but, most importantly, they have goodwill, that critical ingredient that Mr. Harper and his functionaries displaced with “meaness”.

      .

  11. Mike_02 says:

    Matthew Yglesias offers an explanation here:

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/04/multi-party-systems-and-attack-ads/

    and Joshua Tucker goes into some detail about attack ads here:

    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/04/negative_campaigning_in_multi-.html#more

    A teaching moment for the Conservatives — watch your potty mouth, it could lead you to ruin.

  12. Robert McClelland says:

    Something nobody has noticed is that Layton and the NDP have essentially run the same campaign message for the past few elections; I will work with everyone to get things done. This message is reaching an electorate wearied by combative politics and now looking for co-operative politics from their leaders.

    • wilson says:

      Agree. All those faux scandals and name calling need to stop.
      Ignatieff refused to work with PMSH from the minute he arrived on the scene,
      arms folded, report card in hand.
      Libs thought (cheered on by the media and pundits) that they were just one scandal away from doing in Harper.
      Too much hate, not enough policy.
      And today we hear “Conservatives can go to hell”….. Ignatieff

      • smelter rat says:

        wilson attempts to re-write history again. Not surprising. Harperbots are like that.

        • Ron says:

          funny how anyone who does not agree with your side of history is a conbot or harper bot…
          oh yeah that’s right, the left calls it being tolerant and progressive

      • JS Rothwell says:

        Well wilson, as a voter who is still, for the most part undecided, you guys are doing the crappiest job ever trying to entice my vote. Scare me? Why not try convincing me without talking points.

  13. Namesake says:

    Not what you asked, but I blame the Cons’ thick Teflon coating which insulated most of their support from budging — and thus placed a cap on the LPC, leaving them, sigh, free to burrow down to the floor, starting with whoever prepped MI for the English debate — squarely on:

    CTV. Which is how the bulk of the unilingual English-speaking population over age 30-something gets the bulk of their political news. And which has been more like a local sports broadcaster going easy on their local team (whom they have a lucrative broadcast contract with); ignoring and trivializing its shortcomings so as not to jeopardize sales, and either largely ignoring, trivializing, or just trash-talking its rivals.

  14. Amit Dubey says:

    Dear Warren,

    I take issue with your claim that “reopening the constitution” is nutty. This was your generation’s failure. That failure has led to successive BQ majorities in Quebec, which basically means that, politically, Quebec has been outside of Canada. My generation would like the distinct society issue dealt with, and then move on, with Quebec and English Canada together deciding on issues that matter, like the economy.

    If you were to ask me “why the orange crush happened” — in the case of Quebec, this is exactly it. Jack Layton offered to do what every other English Canadian politician is too scared to do. To offer to Quebecers the chance to feel Canadian again. Then English Canada joined in because people love siding with a winner.

    Also, with respect to GOTV, this is important on the margins, but I think the effect is minor compared to regional and national swings. Two elections are pertinent. First, the UK general election in 2010, where the LibDems surged from 3rd place to 2nd place but were unable to win any new seats, even in constituencies like mine which were specifically targeted and had massive local operations. After spending the previous 24 hours on getting out the vote and scrutineering, I was shocked that our efforts did nothing to prevent the national last minute national swing back to Labour.

    The second election is Ontario’s in 1991, where the NDP came out with a surprise majority, wining many ridings where they had weak local operations. I hope that doesn’t happen this time around — I remember the weeks (was it months?) of scandals after the election, as poorly vetted MPs did their laundry out in public.

    • CQ says:

      It would be good to finally have a real constitutional discussion without the pork barrel side issues such as Senate seat top-ups all around. And maybe to do so without a ceaseless series of closed door first minister, and first ministers only, meetings.

      • lance says:

        Did you just say that if we’re going to go to the trouble of re-opening the Constitution we must only address Quebec’s issues with it and to heck with anyone else?

  15. MississaugaPeter says:

    Two parties led by right of centre leaders (Con – Harper, Lib – Ignatieff) gave the centre and left of centre to Layton.

    Simple, but I did not see it coming.

    Being on the right side of the fence on Afghanistan definitely helped in Quebec (and is paying dividends across the country).

    Ignatieff not rejecting fighter jets outright is another difference between the right of centre vs. Layton. I personally prefer (and millions out there prefer) Layton spending the money on us rather than on U.S. weapons manufacturers.

    Question: If both Con and NDP get 120 seats, where does Ignatieff go with his 40? The reality is that he personally is closer to Harper than to Layton. The Liberal Party is not, but will Ignatieff be in the driver’s seat to make the decision or will it be a caucus decision?

  16. billg says:

    Problem is Robert, combative politics works, its made Canada into what I think is the best country in the world to live in. Its thanks to Trudeau for “fuddle duddle” and “bleeding hearts”. Its Mulroney willing to fight anyone anytime over Free Trade and the GST. Its Jean Chretien and the battles with the banks and the provinces. I dont want a “wishy washy feel good lets all sit down together and reflect” govt because, they dont work…Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Iceland and half the friggen EU have all felt the effect of touch feely coaltions. You think Merkel is co-operative in Germany? The NDP believe that everyone can have what they want in a Democracy, it cant happen. If you believe in your platform and your ideas you’ll fight tooth and nail for them. I’m pissed at Harper, Im pissed at the LPC for allowing a party of Socialistic zealots to even get on the front page. Co-operative politics? Ya, like negotiating with the Taliban…”you cant stone women under 12″…!! God, I’ll donate to Manley, Tobin…cripes I’ll buy a LPC memebership if you get McKenna back….anything to stop Canada going the route of Spain and Greece and Italy.

    • Robert McClelland says:

      All you have to do is look at what combative politics has created, bill. Take the gun registry for example. Chretien rammed it down our throats with his majority and not a care in the world about who it upset. A co-operative approach would have dealt with many of the complaints that have caused it to be such a divisive issue since it was implemented.

      • JStanton says:

        The idea was more about helping to prevent the murders of women by their spouses with long guns, (which it has), the ease with which the criminal element acquires firearms and uses them, and generally, to advance the requirements of public safety, rather than to cater to your tender emotional sensibilities.

        Sorry bud; saving lives has a greater priority than convenience and hurt feelings.

        Now, this is not to say that the financial cost is forgivable, or that the cops don’t misuse it, or that its mal-administration is acceptable, by any means. I’ll leave CGN to address those issues though.

        .

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Co-operative/coalition style politics exist in more countries than just the PIIGS, you’re being selective. Plus, you state combative politics works, yet in same post are pissed with Harper for his performance. Which is it?

      Anyhow, the Cons have been throwing so much shite at the Libs the past few years that it got under their fingernails and they started to reek of it themselves. Things like NOTgate and sabotaging the Census (while being so nonchalant and dismissive about it all- talk about Trudeau-like arrogance) have given a general impression that they only know how to rule through a combo of deception and fear-mongering– the exact combo they always used to accuse Libs of. Turns out the rules apply to them too.

  17. MontrealElite says:

    Orange Crush brought to you by an electorate that prefers a happy leader good at being a demagogoue.

    Programs based in reality? Who cares, everyone has lied to us in the past.

    I guess Jack’s candidate is in Vegas because betting it all on black is one way of paying for his ridiculous platform.

    • JStanton says:

      … easy now. Jack hasn’t even arrived, and you are dissing him like Harper-after-5-years.

      Lets have a proportional response here…

      .

  18. MontrealElite says:

    Who says Harpo’s a robot…catch him checking out the interviewer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhlMiCtrr84&feature=player_embedded

  19. David Akin says:

    Warren: “nobody saw this historic change coming. All of the professional pundits, pollsters and politicos – an alliteration, as well as the people who get paid to be smart about politics – didn’t see it coming, either.”

    Er, ahem, I know I write a lot of drivel but, as my predictions are rarely write, I’m going to poke my head up on this:

    Here’s me on March 21, writing five days before writ drop:
    “My hunch is that if they can boost their popular vote on e-day to anything above 20 per cent, they stand a very real chance of becoming the official opposition in a scenario where the Tories win a majority and the Liberal vote collapses.” [http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2011/3/21/4776865.html]

    Mind you, in that blog post, I thought Layton would back the budget!

    • Namesake says:

      Nice try, but that’s far more of an empty, non-empirical syllogism than an actual prediction;

      to wit (with some premises combines, and others missing, which people can reconstruct or fill in themselves):

      – Seats are (roughly) determined by the amount of popular support, if/when that translates into votes.
      – The Party with the second-most seats becomes the Official Opposition.
      – If the Party currently with the most seats expands its number of seats to win over 50% of them, it will have captured more of the popular vote to do so.
      – Hence, there will be less popular vote left for the remaining Parties, and under Harpermentiary Rules, at best, they can only be Opposition Parties.
      – If the party that is currently the Official Opposition suffers a “collapse” of popular support, it is unlikely to win as many seats as it had.
      – There is a cap on both the votes and seats available to one of the other opposition Parties, which is only based in one region.
      – With its main competitor losing seats and the other one severely constrained in the number it CAN get, the third Party is thus likely to capture some of the votes and seats of that competitor, to become the Official Opposition in its stead.

      The only thing that prevents this from being practically a tautology is that it ignores the dark horse, that there’s a fifth party which could conceivably come out of nowhere and vault all the way to second place.

  20. Riley says:

    The globe endorsed Harper the last two elections too. But nobody reads the globe anyway/more most people get their news online now at places like this.

  21. fritz says:

    I got a good feel of just how panicked the Liberals are last night when Rob Silver was warning us, on P&P, that if the NDP won, the first thing they would do was nationalize Air Canada.

    Come on, are you kidding me; thats your best argument against Jack Layton. Most Canadians who actually fly that airline would be more than happy to go back to the days when it was a crown corporation and actually provided good service to its passengers.

    • Namesake says:

      No, they’re all honouring the PMO’s request to stop covering the election and concentrate on the Royal Wedding.

    • W.B. says:

      I too was surprised to see Silver pretty much lose it under the pressure. Joan Crockett looked shell shocked and at a loss for anything to say except PMO talking points. Ian Capstick actually made some reasonable comments.

      I would like to get someones insight into Greg Weston’s comment that there must be something really big beneath this firing of Patrick Muttart(Sp) over a pretty run of the mill mistake if it was that. A lot more there, he says. Warren?

      • Namesake says:

        well, the chatter in the Star & CBC articles was just that Guy Giorno had it in for him… as he did for Carson. But since Giorno’s also touted as being very knowledgeable & (almost alone in the Party) actually seriously concerned about conflict of interest lobbying rules, maybe he didn’t like what he saw about Muttart working simultaneously for Sun Media and the CPC, among other things.

  22. Be fair. The NDP strategists at least pretended to see it coming for 25 years now.

  23. JS Rothwell says:

    Im fine with taking a break from “fiscal sanity” if it puts an end to the bullying and divisive governing of Stephen Harper. I don’t work in oil so my career will most likely improve.

  24. Mike_02 says:

    WRT the Globe and Mail, here is another, more fitting Junius quote:

    “When a person is determined to believe something, the very absurdity of the doctrine confirms them in their faith.”

  25. smelter rat says:

    “Nationally safe”?? Only if you believe in autocracy.

  26. AndrewOpala says:

    When I was standing in line to vote on Monday, I noticed a sign that we pay people from $160 to $240 a day when they work on elections. And then it hit me that all the money spent on an election is paid to Canadians! Then I thought that having elections is an awesome way to get women to stop watching “The View” for a couple of days a year. Then I thought we live in the greatest country in the world!

    • Patrick says:

      Or we could just pay election workers to dig a hole for two-and-a-half weeks and then pay them to fill it in for another two-and-a-half weeks. Same level of productive value – nil.

      • Namesake says:

        Tell that to all the people rebelling against their dictatorships. And to all our soldiers and their families, who’ve fought and died to defend their right to do so.

        Contempt for Parliament, contempt for democracy: the Contempt Party of Canada.

        This election will be worth every penny to bring it down (albeit likely in stages, with a mess of Contempt & non-con (!) votes to follow the various reports and court cases to follow over the next few months).

        • Patrick says:

          Would you please settle down. At least when Ignatieff stumps with that clap-trap he can be excused as having to employ a campaign persona. He doesn’t believe it. It’s just part of the game. When you come off as a blind apparatchik, it’s hard to sift through the rest of your posts to discover if you’re contributing anything of value.

          • Ted H says:

            Do you think Harper actually believes the crap he puts out, or is he employing a campaign persona as well? Too bad his campaign persona doesn’t look a great deal like a human persona.

          • Namesake says:

            When you say, in a political forum, when Canada has just declared war on a country trying to establish the right to have democratic elections, that elections are a waste of money, you forfeit any rights not to be derided in the strongest possible terms. Piss off.

          • Ron says:

            patrick
            here here
            I applaud you

      • sezme says:

        The cynicism is strong in this one!

      • Philip says:

        Tell that to the men who are strapping weapons onto the beds of their pick-up trucks in Libya and going down the road to fight the regime’s main battle tanks. Tell that to the brave men and women who stood up to regime security forces and thugs all around the Middle East.
        I realize that freedom and democracy are no longer core values in the Conservative Party, Patrick, but coming to a political web site and moaning on about how elections don’t matter is a bit rich.

    • Jan says:

      Great country despite the fact there are still some cavemen roaming free.

  27. Supernaut says:

    I very much agree with you Warren – never in my wildest dreams did I see this coming. Without further ado, my useless after-the-fact mental flatulence on the issue:

    Connection: People are going for Jack because his success has captured their imaginations, and they can now begin to project themselves onto him and the NDP narrative. Illustrations as follows.

    Male nostalgia: Nostalgia the positive sense. A good proportion of angry white middle-aged and older men were once young, optimistic hippie-ish guys with full heads of hair and horizons of infinite promise ahead of them. In a lot of cases that guy is still inside, somewhere. Seeing Jack get traction causes the inner Burton Cummings to stir, and reminds these men that no one LIKES being sad, angry, isolated, and fading, and that maybe – just MAYBE – it’s not inevitable. Both Jack and Steve are growing older. Which of the two do you think the average aging male voter would like to be?

    The fairer sex: The mirror image of the previous statement. Jack’s a lady-killer. The smart, successful, dependable kind with just enough ego to make him interesting, but not enough to make him a jerk. He can jam out like a mofo, and then give a speech like he owns the room. Social proof of independent and awesome Olivia Chow looking at him adorably. When he starts talking about inclusiveness, GLBT rights, child care, social justice, a woman’s right to choose, it’s case closed. Women GET it.

    Jack-o Fidelis: Jack never was expected to win, ever. And yet, he stayed. He kept at it. So people feel he’s not in it for power, something that they don’t feel about the other two. People trust integrity, and his political career demonstrates it. People want to see the diligent hard-working humble guy finally win in the end, because they probably see themselves the same way and hope that they too – can come out on top in the end. If it can happen for Jack, maybe, just maybe, it can happen for them, too.

    Hope vs. Fear: Obama for all his imperfections, tapped into the hunger for hope (Note – illustration only. Jack =/= Barry). Harper has run on doom and gloom. Life is crap. Vote for me, or it will get even worse. A lot of people have felt pessimistic for a long time, but very few of them WANT to. So there’s a pent-up demand for some optimism. Once people see it as a viable, possible, real alternative, look out. Harper by contrast now looks even more dour, so it becomes a self-enforcing feedback mechanism.

    The Cane, the Prostate, the Courage: Hits home in ways that can’t be overstated with an aging electorate. Calling it sympathy doesn’t even begin to capture it.

    Likeability vs. policy – false dichotomy? People implicitly understand that in a complex world that policy is malleable and outcomes are unpredictable. I suspect in the case of Layton people think he has their broad best interests at heart and even if his policies go wrong, the results won’t change the country they love.

    One last observation: Once these factors of this quality gain traction, they’re extremely hard to counter without making yourself look like a small, mean, unsexy jerk.

    Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Interested in other people’s opinions and insights!

    • Ted H says:

      Thanks Super.., I love your analysis of Jack’s appeal and if he wins big on Election Day I will never doubt my faith in the genius of the Canadian people.

      Who cares about his economic policy, the Conservatives have no economic policy, despite being touted as good money managers they are lousy, they have blown off a surplus and are totally unimaginative in planning for Canada’s economic future, we can’t do worse than them. Harper is the dullest, ugliest sham of a leader we have ever had. I consider myself a Liberal but I would even pick Mulroney over Harper any day.

      I heard some Montreal Jewish voters discussing Harper’s Israel policies on the radio over the weekend. One of them said that despite his apparent Israel friendly stance, Harper is “Not a Mench”. Maybe that should be a campaign slogan ” Harper is not a Mench” Layton is obviously a mench, a man with strengh but still with a heart and a social concience. I will vote Liberal because I told my local candidate I would so I will keep my word but I have no problem with an “Orange crush”, anything and I mean anything is better for Canada than a Harper majority, he leads a wrecking crew, not a government.

    • Ian says:

      Supernaut, thanks for a thoughtful and enjoyable post! I think you are right-on with the gender analysis. You said you’re interested in other ideas, so here’s just one factor to add to your list.

      The NDP has been working hard for a long time in Quebec. Certainly its current rise there is partly due to external factors but it would never be happening without those substantial efforts, and it’s a vindication of Layton’s strategy (helped by Mulcair). What’s more, the NDP breakthrough in Quebec (at least in the polls, so far) led to another little breakthrough into the English Canadian media.

      Here’s what I mean: The national English Canadian media has never taken the federal NDP seriously. The narrative is always about Liberals vs Conservatives. This marginalizes the NDP and makes it appear to be a futile choice for many English Canadians.

      I think that when polls showed a sudden NDP rise in Quebec, it broke the English media narrative. The NDP could no longer be dismissed, and suddenly everyone had to look and say, “Hey, these guys are getting something done!”

      What I’m thinking is that the NDP worked steadily in one solitude (French Canada) in order to break the bubble of the other (English Canada).

      Maybe I’m wrong, but if I’m just a little bit right then I think it’s an interesting story about politics in a country with two linguistic communities.

  28. Mike London says:

    It’s not a protest vote. People look at Layton, and like what they see. Ignatieff turned people off. Harper has the same group of people supporting him now as he did when the election was called.

    As Warren said, nobody predicted this, but that’s the beauty of elections; we really never know what will happen.

    If we do get an NDP minority government, well, let’s see how they do. Maybe it will be a good thing for the country, maybe it won’t work out. Stay tuned.

  29. MontrealElite says:

    Yeah WOW…only the 3rd consecutive time.

  30. James says:

    Hi Warren, I think the NDP surge is more of a protest vote, and I don’t think the support it is enjoying is particularly deep-rooted. You can’t sustain support based solely on the leader being likeable and popular – right now, it’s all just a one-man Jacko show. In addition, many NDP candidates are total political neophytes (such as university students); a report in yesterday’s Globe and Mail revealed two NDP candidates were presently on vacation!!

    Nonetheless, there is a new political realignment going on the country that is just in its infancy stages; I see the NDP becoming more centrist and the main alternative to the Conservatives. In other words, trouble for the Liberals. The NDP is also growing among voters 18-35, and among women.

    The Globe and Mail endorsed the Conservatives in today’s editorial; its editorial cartoon featured the Liberals as the Titanic headed toward the iceberg. The main criticism of the Liberal Party is this: “But his campaign failed to show how the Conservative government has failed, and why he and the Liberals are a preferred alternative”.

    • Ian says:

      The campaign might be a one-man show but that’s hardly a fair assessment of the party and its candidates. I think you’re just repeating a point without really examining the evidence.

      Mulcair
      Dewar
      Nash
      Chow
      Davies
      Cullen
      Saganash
      etc

      There is a lot of experience and intelligence there. At least, there’s no less than there was among Harper’s first crop of elected MP’s. I’m not saying you have to agree with their politics, but to cast them as a bunch of rubes and newbies is a really worthless critique. Surely you (and Warren) can do better.

  31. kyliep says:

    Are we rushing the post-mortem a little bit here? Given that the mortem hasn’t happened yet. It’s one thing to be fed up with other parties and to tell a pollster that you’ll vote for the guy you like and it’s quite another to actually mark your ballot for that party for the first time ever. I’m not saying I doubt the polls, I’m just saying it’s far too early to assume that the NDP will get more seats than the Libs or that Harper won’t get his majority. Or perhaps I’m being overly cautious, and that those of you here who know people who are looking at internal polling and prepping for GOTV on Monday have a better sense of what is actually going to happen. Is it all over? Is a Harper majority out of reach? If you know the answer to this, please share, as it will help me sleep better.

  32. mamapeggie says:

    I’m just sick! Well, CBC CTV GLOBAL – will you now stop spinning every thing the PM says – stop the bashing of Stephen Harper.
    The Conservative Party Bashing was started by Jean Cretein and followed by Paul Martin and M Iggy. Preston Manning tried to fight the press – Stockwell Day tried to fight the press and Stephen Harper tried to avoid the negative press. I guess Canada really is voting for the “have a beer with” nice guy who has already started back tracking on his promises. And Now Jack isn’t taking press questions in Alberta. WAKE UP CANADA!!!!

    • Namesake says:

      “isn’t taking press questions.” snicker. What’s been tolerated — nay, celebrated, as a sign of strength — from Harper for the past 5 years, particularly among his Western base, is suddenly decried as an affront to democracy. Self-righteous Harpocrisy.

      • Ron says:

        so when Harper does it, it’s an affront to democracy
        when your boy does it, well it’s tit for tat
        you nailed it with self righteous hypocrisy

        • Namesake says:

          ok, I’ll break my IgNor roN rule & reply:

          1) Layton’s ^NOT my boy; I’ve been fighting for the Libs (with the occasional judicious use of a cattle prod to try to correct their course);

          2) it’s actually a pretty hollow complaint: even if Layton didn’t take q’s just that once, in Edmonton, before an especially hostile press, well, maybe he had good reason (he IS a battling cancer & recovering from hip surgery and running an exhausting campaign that has even the decades younger press accompanying him like Rosie feeling sleep wiped, sleep-deprived, and snarky), and he’s certainly been taking tons of q’s on any topic pretty much every where else;

          3) I wasn’t actually saying it’s just fine that he did that: I was just snickering at the irony, turning the tables on the conbots and paying them in kind. I.e., being an asshole — just like YOU.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      If Stephen Harper has tried to avoid negative press then I’m the mayor of magicland. He consistently does things to shoot himself in the foot.

  33. wassup says:

    Us cons spent our entire lives living in the shadows of the Liberano machine. We dreamed of the day when a asteroid would fall out the sky and kill the beast. Now, to our complete surprise that day may be upon us.

    Growing up in the Maritimes, I watched helplessly as Liberal after Liberal (and more than a few of the olde “Progressive Cs: aka Vichy Sympat”) abused their power and stole from the people. David “I’m entitled to MY entitlements” Dingwall callously expropriated funding for much needed safety upgrade of a 4 lane highway connecting Nova Scotia to New Brunswick. He used the millions of dollars to repave backwater roads in his out of way Cape Breton riding, including his own back lane. The result was more needless deaths of innocent Nova Scotians through the treacherous Wentworth Valley, including friends and family.

    Over time we came to accept the fact that the Liberanos would be our overlords. In the Maritimes a culture of conformity arose. By the time I finally “went down the road”, the entire population of the region had been brainwashed into the Liberal creed of “Anyone But Harper”. To disagree was to illicit the wrath of the Cult, the “Cult of Conformity”.

    If you want to understand why we hate your party (not you individually by the way), you need to understand what it was like to be on the outside of the “Big Red Machine”. What it was like to suffer under Pontius “Dingwall” Pilate. What it was like to NOT be a card carrying “made man” Liberano. Then, maybe, just maybe, you will start to understand what motivates us to go out everyday, and put up lawn signs, attend rallys, staff phone banks, donate to the Conservative cause, and just keep fighting you, everywhere and all the time.

    • Namesake says:

      Even though your new bosses are every bit as corrupt, in just a fraction of the time, as the ousted ones you’re still railing against? Do you like being a pawn?

      • wassup says:

        Being a “pawn” is infinitely better than being under the thumb of a Liberano enforcer any day of the week. Only a (soon to be former) Liberal Elitist of Privilege (LEP) could even ask a question like that.

    • Mike London says:

      I’d argue that the NDP ended what you’re speaking of, not the Conservatives.

      • wassup says:

        Replacing one Elitist Left Wing Party (The Liberals) that expropriated the wages and savings of ordinary Canadians to fund out-sized salaries and surreal benefits packages for lazy Public Servants with a Party (The NDP) even further to Left and even farther from the working people of Canada is most certainly not what I and millions of Conservatives are talking about.

        • Ted H says:

          I would hardly call the Conservatives near to the working people of Canada. No one who actually works for a living has any business voting Conservative. I quote my favourite bumper sticker ” There are two kinds of Republicans, millionaires and suckers”. Simply substitute Conservative for Repub. I hope you are a millionaire, it isn’t polite to call someone a sucker.

          • wassup says:

            Of course I’m a Private Sector sucker. I didn’t manage to get a Public “Millionaire” Servant job. I foolishly thought it as better to go into debt and get a University education than to drop out of school and become a jail guard.

            Wow was I wrong. My jail guard neighbour and his Ontario Government Worker spouse just retired to the South of France. Started “working” for the Public Sector Union Bosses in 1979, straight outta “high school”, today they are millionaires many times over, thanks to the “sucker” taxpayer and their DB Pensions with full inflation indexing…for life.

            I did however study Finance, and I know a thing or two about actuarial science.

            I know virtually every lazy public servant in this country who manages to show up for “work” a few months of the year for 30 years will have DB Pension with a NPV (Net Present Value, Idiot) of at least 1.5 to 2.5 Million Dollars. Not to mention a one or two year “departure” salary bonus when they finally decide to retire to their luxury villa in the South of France.

            Explain to me how it makes sense for an average private sector “Sucker” worker in the GTA to vote for a Left Wing Public Sector Union Controlled Party that will raise his/her taxes to increase the extreme wealth of its union bosses?

        • Ted H says:

          Millionaire public servants? Extreme wealth of union bosses? Private sector sucker? My dear Wassup, I think you have some issues going on here other than just a frank assesment of the current political scene.

    • MontrealElite says:

      Us cons spent our entire lives living in the shadows of the Liberano machine

      Guess you missed the Mulroney years kid.

    • Michael says:

      So you replaced David “I’m entitled to my entitlements” Dingwall, with Tony “Twitter” Clement. You expropriated G20 money to build $100K gazebos in the middle of nowhere. Harper turned into a Keynsian and pumped stimulus money into Conservatice ridings so fast it made your head spin. Yet somehow the Conservatives are different and better than your so-called “Liberanos”
      Dude, give your head a shake. This is why people are turning to the NDP. They tried giving the Condervatives (Reformers) a chance. But for all of Harper’s talk to cleaning up government and being accountable, well ..it was just talk. And with all due respect to Pete Townsend, meet the new boss same as the old boss.

      Now we vote for the NDP and hope we don’t get fooled again.

      • wassup says:

        What would you propose, a revolution? Godspeed with that.

        Let’s start with a Harper majority.

        That should cut down the number of Keynesian demanding, latte sucking, pseudo-intellectual Liberal MPs who think they are masters of the dismal science.

        Let Harper do what he does best, keep the Government from further destroying the lives and welfare of Canadians who work for a living.

        • Michael says:

          I would propose that Harper try and stick to his principles, if he has any.

          During the last election Harper and his finance minister went to great pains to tell voters that under no circumstances would their government run a deficit. Deficits were bad for the economy. This was in response to questions about his about his promised GST rate cut. Harper, a trained economist and supposed best manager of the economy failed to see, or at least publically acknowledge the coming of a recession. Stock market tanking? Well that represents a buying opportunity.

          Now Harper tells anyone that will listen, that it was his government’s stimulus spending and management of the economy that has saved us. So which is it? Are deficits bad as Stephen Harper the trained U of C economist told us? Or are they good, as Stephen Harper the PM has practiced?

          Harper rode into Ottawa on a promise to clean up government and make it more accountable to the people. He rode a wave of voter anger against Liberals doling out the goodies to their friends. Seems to me he is no different. Now that it is expedient and politically advantageous to dole out money to Conservative ridings, he does it. When it is advantageous to stack the Senate, he does it.

          Can’t he just tell us what he stands for, and then do what he says? And don’t fall back on the old chestnut of, well the Liberals did it. Because you told us you were different, and we believed you. Now you must be held to that higher standard.

          And really, the government has destroyed our lives and welfare? We live in one of the most prosperous, peaceful countries in the world. How exactly has the government destoryed your life? Because mine is pretty good.

          • wassup says:

            I’m sure your life is wonderful,you are either the recipient of an education funded in large part by private sector working stiffs, or a government “Millionaire” Public Servant, or both.

            Try telling your wacked out quasi-theories of governing to the real citizens of this country. The people who are turning to the Conservative Party are folks who struggle everyday under the burden of paying more and more of their meager private sector wages in tax, after tax, after tax on tax, to support your fat cat, poorly educated, lazy, Public Sector Union Bosses.

            Stimulus/deficit spending was a Sophie’s Choice that kept the minority conservative government alive while a ravenous pack of left wing radical MPs screamed for “more, more, more”.

            Now go back to the Starbucks and keep working on those “deep thoughts”. Meanwhile, let the rest of us get on with trying to build this country

      • Namesake says:

        Sigh. Altho’ ‘wassup’ here hates socialism, he’s actually much like a Bolshevik, who threw off the czarist (Lib. party) govt for what was supposed to be the open gov’t of the people, but is still so blinded with hate that he can’t see that, like Lenin, Harper studied and knew his enemies all too well, and soon became just like them. It’s time to throw THESE bums out, now, dumb-dumb.

        • wassup says:

          After a lifetime of watching the Left Wing chew through our national wealth and impoverish the people, all the while smiling and telling us it was for our own good, I can assure you I am anything but blinded by hate. I’m waaaaay beyond that. You’re just too fat, dumb, and happy to realize what happened around here.

          Conservatives in Canada are determined. We’ve long since decided we nothing to lose anymore, so now, we fight back. We fight your flawed “big government” wealth destroying ideas, your fatal attraction to restrictions on personal liberty and freedom, and we fight your pathetic attempts to brainwash the population into your cult of conformity. The revolution wasn’t televised, but your leftist ideology is most certainly defeated.

          • Derek Pearce says:

            “Chew through our wealth and impoverish the people.” This is the Con equivalent of “Crosses being burned as we speak.” The hyperbole has to be turned down on all sides. This type of shrill “Banks are the root of all evil” stuff is annoying from the NDP, and this type of shrill “all public servants are fat cats taking away my ability to buy Timmy a new bike” is equally annoying from Cons.

    • JStanton says:

      … guess it must be too wet to plant, farm boy. That explains why you are sitting in misery, sucking your 50 ale so early in the day, while the rest of keep a country together that you call your own.

      .

    • It doesn’t matter which party is in power, if in power long enough, shit flies will come a buzzin looking for a free meal.

      Bad people are attracted to people in power. It doesn’t matter which party or which leader is at the helm, criminals will work their way in from the edges, quietly and largely unnoticed until one day they are found out. Doesn’t matter which party.

      Repeat that last thought 100 times. 1000 times.

      You can choose to look at the bad actors and blame the entire system, or not. It’s your choice to play the angry dude persona all the time, but how boring.

      Any Canadian government is going to eventually be tarnished with petty thieves somewhere on the periphery and any Canadian government should expose and prosecute them and move on. A few millions here or there is nothing; we have police and courts to deal with that.

      I’m much more concerned about the big discussions that affect billions in spending or affect millions of Canadians. We shouldn’t be distracted by relative side shows when there are big things that could be done in our country, or big things undone.

      You can effectively criticize on a policy or decision basis what the Chretien or Mulroney or Martin or Harper governments did without once looking at the scandals of any, and Canadians would be much better served by those types of discussions than the petty scandals and infantile name calling all sides routinely get engaged in.

      But if you want to keep on using your infantile ‘liberano’ catch phrase (how original), even though soon it’ll be almost a decade since that sorry episode transpired, go right ahead and waste your time. What goes around comes around — keep playing the scandal card and just wait, eventually the same smelly crap will cover a Harper government.

      The stench of corruption already swirls around Harper’s government. We’ve seen the murky mists of ethical corruption gathering around those associated with this government and the longer the government stays in power, the higher and smellier the fog will get.

      If you actually cared about better government you’d be pretty distressed *right now* that your guy, your party, have completely turned their back on the high minded ideals that made Reform a movement in the West in the first place. The very nature of Harper’s methods are democratically corrupt. You probably call it “winning” or “playing hard”, but serving our democracy and playing hard to “win” are not the same thing and there’s no doubt that Harper’s cavalier approach to democracy in Canada goes 180 degrees against everything the Western based Reform ‘movement’ was supposed to correct in Ottawa.

      In a nutshell, that last thought is probably why the NDP are enjoying a surge of support. People have figured out that the fight for power between the two traditional parties dating back to confederation is all about one old boys club against another, with very little difference in between. Canadians seem to be saying “screw you both, I’m going with smiling Jack even though I don’t really know what the ride will be like, I at least feel comfortable that it’ll be different and he seems to actually care about us little folks even when an election isn’t on.”

      Reform said “The West Wants In”; Reform supporters however weren’t saying “We Want Our Western Old-Boys Network In” to replace one of the Toronto or Montreal clubs. Westerners wanted in but at a much more personal and individual level and Manning smartly looked at reforms that would appeal to individuals. Harper has more or less chucked them all in the ditch.

      Is that really what you want?

      Or do you even know what you want? Somehow I doubt it.

  34. J.G. Love says:

    Jack signed a deal with the Devil. Literally. Cons have some grainy photos of it you know.

  35. Namesake says:

    hmm, if by “UP” you mean (when looking at both Nanos & EKOS in tandem) are 5 points DOWN in AB but pretty much exactly where they were in the SK/MB & BC compared to the 2008 results, then, yeah;

    and if by the “last stand” of non-Western Canada against the Harper Gov’t you mean to liken PMS to Sitting Bull, then, yeah: fair comparison.

    • Even if there is a little swoon in NDP support in BC, it won’t likely cost them any seats. Whether the swoon in Nanos numbers means anything or not is debatable. Also note Layton is having a big rally in Burnaby on Saturday. At a film studio. Hmnn.

      In BC it could be the Conservatives can pick up some seats from Liberals who get hurt by any shift to the NDP by former Liberal voters. Maybe Dosanjh/Van South. Esquimalt.

      But if we want to talk about lost seat potential better to look at the Conservatives pointing down, big time, in Atlantic Canada, down in Ontario, a solid downtrend for almost the entire campaign in Quebec.

    • fritz says:

      Gord I wouldn’t bother cherry picking data from Nanos to prove your point. There are only a few seats in play on the Prairies so the ND vote is only important in 10-15 seats. The movement is also within the MOE.
      If you want to quote Nanos polls you can use the Quebec data which shows the NDP at 42.5% which is 4.4% higher than the BQ won 49 seats with in 2008> It also shows the CPC declining from 26% to 13.5% in Quebec since the writ was dropped. There are 40 -50+ seats in play there.
      Neither is useful taken out of it’s regional context.

  36. bell says:

    In another dimension a conversation like this could have/should have happened…

    Iggy – “Harper’s time is up…I want to go now”
    Iggy Advisor – “Iggy, now is not be the right time, these ethics issues have not yet settled in with the voters, we need to make sure we have something positive to offer to compliment our attacks on Harper, we also risk the backlash of forcing an election just as Jack is battling cancer and recovering from hip surgery. We can’t risk bleeding off con votes and having them leak to Jack.”

    Also, although I stake no claim to predicting the Orange Crush, I have right from the beginning stated that there could be a backlash to triggering an election while one of your opponents is fighting health issues. Jack’s cane has worked as well as Lucien’s.

  37. David_M says:

    Hi Warren,
    On several occasions you’ve written that you felt the Liberal platform was too far to the right yet I’ve read plenty of commentary, mostly blog replies mind you, about how the Liberals went too far to the left.
    I’m wondering if the electorate is as confused as I am as to where the Liberal Party is on the let right scale.

    • Warren says:

      No I haven’t. I’ve said it was progressive, and they should’ve talked it up more. Said that on Sun News just yesterday afternoon, in fact.

      What I have said is that Iggy’s default position (Iraq, Afghanistan, oil sands, etc.) is to be conservative.

  38. Steven says:

    The NDP vote beyond its base is the equivalent of the American “Know-nothing” voter mentality: deliberately uninformed and reckless.

    I live in a riding (Newmarket-Aurora – Ontario) where the NDP candidate has been simply “phoning it in” and has been a no-show at the two major community debates and was frightening in her ignorance and vapidity in a televised debate.

    Now it’s only Jack Layton NDP signs popping up everywhere without mention of the candiate’s name.

    While “HOAG-NESS” is desirable for any government leader, it has to come with responsibility and prudence (e.g. Pearson, Chretien, etc.).

    Facts: The NDP promises to re-open the constitution issue with Quebec, spend billions of dollars in expenditures with no realistic costing ( ref. CBC “Reality Check). It’s membership sponsors and supports boycotts of visiting Israeli academics, and remains a charter member of the Socialist International.

    Wake up to that on May 3 and see how it feels!

  39. Dennis says:

    The NDP “surge” in polls is just voting intention; an easy way to protest. What happens when they go into the voting booth (those who even vote) will be another story. NDP popular vote will be way up, but seats, not so much.

  40. Joey Rapaport says:

    SCARY numbers!!! Praying for either the Libs or Cons to pull this one out, gotta keep the NDP far, far, far, far away from power!

    • Dennis says:

      Anybody but Jack.

      • Ron says:

        caught Jack on CPAC being drilled by the reporters
        he did well and stayed on message and they challenged him on it (especially on the missing in action candidates)
        however if they keep it up and people pay attention who knows what can happen to his current popularity
        it could go up or could come down

  41. Big Old Goofy Man says:

    Does the Count now detect a whiff of sulphur from Lenin-lite?

  42. sezme says:

    Call me crazy, but if the knives hadn’t come out for Dion, the LIbs wouldn’t be in this mess today. In any case, I’m pleased as punch, as long as the Cons don’t somehow pull a majority out of the hat. I believe there have been many, many suppressed NDP voters over the years who didn’t actually vote their conscience because they didn’t want to waste their votes. With Quebec(!) leading the way, it’s now been demonstrated that and NDP vote won’t be wasted. This is a Gladwellesque tipping point, like the way gay marriage went from being vilified to accepted by the majority in about five years: people looked around, saw that their neighbours were no longer freaking out at the idea, then said to themselves, “why the hell not?” Ideas often gain common currency unpredictably but suddenly.

  43. John says:

    Warren you ought to update your post once again, as someone else predicted this MUCH before. It was dismissed at the time as a self-serving rant, but it did still predict the NDP would overtake the Liberals.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/dions-wife-goes-rogue/article1372858/

    Stephane Dion’s wife wrote in November, 2009:

    “The Liberal Party is falling apart, and will not recover. Like all liberal parties in Europe, it will become a weakling at the mercy of ephemeral coalitions. By refusing the historic coalition that would have placed it at the helm of the left, it will be punished by history.”

    Her rant goes on for awhile from there (you can read the whole thing at the link above). Her point about Dion doing better than Ignatieff is debatable (you would probably agree with what she says in there about the treatment of Jean Chretien though) and we can all disagree that the Liberal Party won’t recover (I think it will), but she was clearly predicting the NDP to overtake us.

    • Warren says:

      Did she say NDP?

      • John says:

        I suppose you could read it differently, but she said after having turned down a coalition as HEAD of the left (she couldn’t be referring to anyone else but the NDP), the Liberal Party will continue to decline in support and become supplanted by the junior left wing party. She doesn’t name the NDP, but surely she was predicting the NDP would overtake the Liberals no? You can read the whole write-up at that link though if it doesn’t seem clear from that quote in the previous comment.

        I still say she was probably the earliest to predict the NDP would pass the Liberals in the next election even if it was self-serving of her to say so.

        • Namesake says:

          Perhaps you could rethink the word choice at the end, there: someone could be biased about an issue because they’re so close to it, given a personal relationship, but that doesn’t necessarily make their analysis “self-serving,” at all. Particularly when there’s nothing to be gained apart (‘vindication’ and ‘told you so’ won’t buy a cup of coffee.)

  44. dave says:

    Just an added comment on Conservative governance is the article over at “www.thetyee.ca” by Nikiforuk on Carson and the oil industry. Thanks to APTN for pointing out this ice berg.

    (No wonder nobody wants to talk about environment and energy during this election campaign!)

  45. Supernaut says:

    Harper spies his majority:

    http://i.imgur.com/wzB3O.jpg

  46. It’s this damned cult of personality and wish for kings that is the problem. Aided and abetted by the anomie of the information and communication revolution.

  47. Mark says:

    The NDP, as shown through history, is more than capable of good pragmatic governance. Think Romanow, Gary Doer, or Tommy Douglas. All were fiscally responsible reasonable governments. If they ever form power at the federal level, I expect it to be a tad lefter than the Cretien Liberals, nothing to worry about. Sure, there are a few blemishes on record, notably Bob Rae or Dosnanjh, but hey, they’re both Liberals now, so it kind of takes the wind out of Grits who’d try and attack the NDP on that account. I still say everyone should vote strategically, but I more than welcome the prospect of Jack Layton as PM.

    • The Doctor says:

      The NDP made BC a business-unfriendly, fiscally disastrous basket case for a decade in the 1990s. They were a complete disaster out here — I note you just mention Dossanjh, who was a late entry to the wrecking crew. Harcourt and Glen Clark initiated the damage. Dossanjh was finishing the job when we threw him out.

      • Mark says:

        Fair enough, but my point is that conservative and liberal governments have brought about periods of disastrous governance too. Everyone has sucked at one time or another in Canadian history. This idea that the NDP in a position of leadership automatically equates to failure is just simply not sure. History has shown that they can be fiscally responsible and in many cases that the “dipper”, tax and spend label is not necessarily applicable.

  48. GPAlta says:

    I believe that what the Liberals did wrong was to kick all of the smart people out of their party when Martin took over. It is easy to see even from here that more people support the Liberals now because of faith than confidence. And faith has been waning as the Liberals have refused good ideas and alienated good people for no good reason.

    I think that what we can see now is that a big part of the Liberal base for many years has been the small “s” socialists who didn’t want to throw their vote away and who have voted strategically with the Liberals in every election.

    Now it is time for Liberals to return the favour. We all said NDP supporters should vote strategically to get rid of Harper when the shoe was on the other foot, so the question is, do we really believe in getting rid of Harper or not?

  49. Mike London says:

    It really seems that the more people pile on Layton, his numbers keep going up. I think it was Elly Alboim (sp?) who said a couple of weeks ago that waves are very difficult to stop.

    On another subject, it was refreshing to see Chretien last night. Remember when the country was positive, upbeat, and viewed favourably on the International scene? The cover story from the Economist saying Canada was cool? Look where we are now. This big boring oaf is PM, and our policies are regressive.

    Barack Obama must be thinking, “They’re not going to re-elect big fat Steve again, are they?” 🙂

  50. AndrewOpala says:

    Everyone is going to look very silly when the conservatives have the most seats, the liberals are still in second and the ndp gain 3. And parliament looks pretty much the same as it always did. I think that, now that the Habs are out of the playoffs the blue-gray election night colouring of Quebec will remain. I made that all up BTW. I’m learning from the politicians. Now if someone calls me out on it, how should I respond?

    • Ron says:

      make up several talking points
      use the words coalition, regime, tax and spend
      sprinkle in the word democracy and you should be good to go

  51. Mike says:

    I would hesitate to call the Manitoba NDP government successful in balancing a budget. It has been done with the usual sleight of hand and questionable accounting practices with Manitoba Hydro. That said, Gary Doer was very successful in keeping the party from moving too far to the left.

    As a lifelong “red” Tory or “blue” Liberal, I have been quite dismayed at the level of political discourse – particularly this last decade. Each of us will have our own opinion about who is more responsible, although sometimes I find the nearly visceral hatred of “Harper” with the word being emphasized as though it was a swear word unfortunate.

    If in fact the NDP makes significant gains, or somehow becomes the governing party, I think that Canadians will wake up in a month or two and wonder “what the heck did we do!” Since I am self employed and write cheques out to the government every month I am not a better class of Canadian than anyone, but I certainly connect to the taxes I pay, and pay for my employees, at least once and usually twice a month – no matter whether the receivables come in on time. I have dealt with the runaway inflation that was in part created by government programs that reached unsustainable levels in the 70’s and 80’s. I have dealt with a dollar dropping like a stone because a vocal and organized minority in Quebec would never give up the hope of separating. I have lived through the tax increases and the necessary belt tightening of the 90’s to put things right. (most Liberals should be proud of that, but few give the GST its full credit for its role).

    So I am wary of promises to provide everything under the sun to us. We can trade a few tax points around, but essentially we as a country are probably paying as much as we can afford to, in aggregate. These big programs need to be managed, and we can’t afford to promise open ended cheques ad infinitum. So Jack can promise away, until he actually has to step up and follow through. That will be interesting for all of us, and it may not be pretty.

    I find it really interesting that the current government gets vilified for running a deficit, which during the economic meltdown was the correct thing to do, but which also was at least in part due to the influence of the minority situation. I find that sort of parsing of the criticism a bit disingenuous.

    I suspect that all the parties have become more message controlled and autocratic, which is a shame. I have never favoured proportional representation because I felt it would “balkanize” us even more. Perhaps that is a discussion for the future. Should the “reform” wing of the conservative party ever get real control over the Conservative agenda I will have to judge accordingly. However, I believe that there are a lot of people like me who find the prospect of an NDP national goverment pretty horrifying for the fiscal damage it could do. I’m prepared to take Harper at his word that he is not going after the abortion issue – to name one – rather than take a chance that Jacko and his merry band get control.

    Finally, I’m not against having a social conscience, but we all have to realize that there is only so much money around, and especially with the health care issue, the potential is there to have this get completely out of control. No one can address the issue without fear of every other stakeholder pouncing to extract its pound of flesh to its advantage. This is true of many other issues as well. Reduced to 30 second sound bites, instead of useful discourse.

    It would be nice if for one period we could get the adults into the room to work on some sustainable solutions to difficult issues. But that will involve toning down the rhetoric to fire up the various political bases. I guess I must be dreaming!

    • AndrewOpala says:

      Hey Mike I empathize with you quite a bit. Check out my MP – Paul Szabo. I bet you’d like him as I do.

      I have another theory. I think – and I’ve been a voice crying out in the wilderness on this – that Ignatieff needs to learn to play the piano. Playing the piano works.

      Timeline:
      1. NDP in third place
      2. YouTube video of Layton playing Boogie Woogie music
      3. NDP vying for first
      4. YouTube video of Layton playing Happy Birthday for the elderly in a nursing home
      5. Landslide NDP win, with Canada leaving the Commonwealth and Jack bing crowned king
      6. Layton saves a cat from a tree (while playing the piano)
      7. US joins Canada as a Territory … not a Province … a friggin Territory and everyone is proud to call themselves Canadian

      … music soothes the savage breast!

  52. Supernaut says:

    Today, the Toronto Sun has hardly a negative peep about Jack while the NP is losing it’s shit that the gawdliss cawmies are at the gates. Normally I’d chalk the Sun’s stance up to encouraging vote splitting (like Harper’s mid-week silence), but then there’s the SUN-Peladeau-Muttart thing. The more I think about it, the weirder if gets. I have two theories, but I’m keeping them to myself :o).

    • Warren says:

      The Sun likes populists. And they’re not afraid of people who disagree with them, as I’ve learned personally.

      • Supernaut says:

        They do indeed. Which makes me think of a third theory (pure idle speculation, of course). Maybe the CPC campaign repeatedly rejected suggestions of going populist a la Ford Nation, and instead decided to go with the weird David Lynch/Twin Peaks approach. Now that the wheels are coming off and the generational best shot to seize the state apparatus and remake the country is receding, the beast is starting to bite itself.

      • kyliep says:

        Except in their letters to the editor section, where they insist on inserting a one-line rebuke to any opinion contrary to their liking.

    • Namesake says:

      Well, don’t forget, the CPC played footsie with him for the longest time about subsidizing his stadium, but then left him with blue… pucks. And then Ignatieff stepped into the lurch. Money talks.

  53. 1. Frank Graves last night said that editorials have an almost *immeasurable* impact on voter intentions.

    2. As far as “wow”, the Globe has been Tory friendly for 100 years; here’s where they swung over the last six decades:

    1953 – Progressive Conservative
    1957 – Progressive Conservative
    1962 – Progressive Conservative
    1965 – Progressive Conservative
    1968 – Liberal
    1972 – Liberal
    1974 – Progressive Conservative
    1979 – Progressive Conservative
    1980 – Progressive Conservative
    1984 – Progressive Conservative
    1988 – Progressive Conservative
    1993 – Liberal
    1997 – Progressive Conservative
    2000 – Liberal
    2004 – Liberal
    2006 – Conservative
    2008 – Conservative
    2011 – Conservative

    Tortured would be one adjective I would apply to their reasoning in today’s endorsement, not to mention the 2008 justifications they offered. You can read the past six decades worth of recommendations here.

    From the above list you can see that an endorsement is no guarantee their pick wins.

  54. fritz says:

    Yeah along with the Sun & the National Post they make up that giant left wing media bias in Canadian newspapers.
    My big question is will the Toronto star endorse the NDP? Now that would be worth noting.

  55. fritz says:

    Andrew Coyne endorses the Liberals. I’m not sure what to make of that move. It may only prove WK’s point that the Liberals ran a campaign that was too far to the right.

    • The Doctor says:

      Coyne is also a big believer in proper democratic process, the sanctity of Parliamentary institutions, etc. Coyne has an almost Boy Scout-like view of how things ought to be run in Ottawa (e.g., he loathes retail politics and pork-barrelling), so it’s no surprise to me that he would cite those reasons for supporting the LPC in his article.

      I agree that generally and congenitally, Coyne is a Blue Liberal/Red Tory.

  56. DaveinMapleRidge says:

    It’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I am a firm supporter of the CPC.

    However, I for one am sorry to see this happen to the Liberal Party. It is my belief that we need the option to switch our votes to another party in order to keep the party in government in line. With the Liberals prospectively devastated, our only viable option will be the NDP, which is not a party of the center by any means.

    This is looking to be a disaster of Kim Cambell-esque proportions. If Harper and his folks have miscalculated this will also be a disaster for the country, as a socialist government will kick the economy decisively in the teeth. Not that I believe the NDP have the numbers to even win a minority, but coalition, blah, blah, etc etc …

    I certainly hope the CPC can come up the middle for a majority, but it is worrisome. Harper certainly is playing for keeps in this one, and very close to the line.

    • James says:

      The Liberals alienated a lot of its supporters and they decamped elsewhere. It’s called taking many of your constituencies for granted (e.g. assorted ethnic and religious groups).

      The Bloc is imploding for similar reasons as the Liberals: it arrogantly assumed that it had a permanent hold on francophone Quebec voters, and that its politcal capital would never run out. They did not suppose that they could be re-examined in a more critical light. Elections always make people refocus.

      If there’s one lesson out of this whole election it is this: any political party must nurture its support with ongoing outreach, and never take anything for granted.

      • The Doctor says:

        Amen.

        • Ron says:

          I have to agree with Dave
          Our politics has become so fractured, so exclusionary
          I too want a strong Liberal party to choose from…Blue Liberal – Red Tory
          to me they are the same breed

          James
          so true
          the minute a party takes it’s political base for granted, it’s toast

  57. JStanton says:

    … gord, gord, you never fail to disappoint. Your cognitive dissonance is now legendary.

    Mr. Harper and his flock of pigeons have run the country into the ground. We have never been in deeper debt, our liabilities have never been higher, our tax regime never more disastrous. Our children’s futures have never looked more hopeless, and it appears we will now all have to work like dogs until we drop dead. Thanks for nothing gord.

    .

  58. The Doctor says:

    Some of the reasons for the orange surge: the Liberals (especially) and the CPC both designed campaigns that barely even considered the fact that the NDP existed. Both the Liberals and the CPC are guilty of a sort of political narcissism. So the scenario now reminds me of that scene you sometimes see in action movies, where the two macho gunfighters have shot each other full of holes, and then that little guy that everybody forgot about, who was hiding under the table during the crossfire, emerges, walks over the dead bodies, snatches the money from the till and walks out whistling a happy tune.

    The fact that the LPC and CPC didn’t even envision the possibility of the NDP being a factor is clear, when we now see that they have no compelling counter-attack in the face of this surge.

    On a related point, the LPC ran a commercial during the hockey games last night that was striking to me for its utter ineffectuality. It’s that one where the LPC simultaneously bashes Layton and Harper for stuff they cooperated on. The commercial is a bust for so many reasons. First of all, it’s trying to simultaneously fight a two-front war, which arguably no political commercial can or should do. Secondly, the premise is weak — the LPC, tacitly or otherwise, also cooperated with the CPC on certain matters, but more to the point, the whole idea of the LPC trying to score electoral points by making Layton out to be Harper’s lap dog, or a CPC toady, is pretty far-fetched. If that commercial is the best that the Liberal brain trust can come up with, then I really wonder whether they’re tripping on hallucinogenic drugs or something.

  59. Dude Love says:

    Follow me, don’t follow me
    I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
    Collar me, don’t collar me
    I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
    We are agents of the free
    I’ve had my fun and now its time to
    Serve your conscience overseas (over me, not over me)
    Coming in fast, over me

  60. Cam says:

    Hey, while I hate to see the Liberals get their butt kicked, I also don’t at this point give a hoot who forms government, just as long as it isn’t a Harper majority. Give smiling Jack a chance. It seems difficult to understand how Jack as PM won’t suffer the same fate as the Bob Rae NDP in Ontario. BTW A good butt kicking sometimes brings about a positive change.

  61. Ann Jarnet says:

    30 days ago, my students who are voting for the very first time, indicated a preference for Liberal or Bloc parties. I asked them again yesterday, and the three-letter shout, NDP, made the building shake. I asked why; they replied that Jack seems positive; they’re not interested in squabbling, and dirty pool. They see Jack as forward-looking and feel hopeful. It was a great discussion — they were so animated.

  62. Big Old Goofy Man says:

    In the unlikely event that Harper doesn’t get his majority,what would be the possibilities that the Conservatives and Liberals unite to prevent Lenin-lite from detroying Canada?

    • Relax, Big Old Goofy: The NDP are social democrats, not communists. They won’t ruin the economy in Canada anymore than the NDP ruined Ontario in the 90’s. Ontario went thru a recession in the 90’s. The NDP happened to be in power. They borrowed a bit too much. I lived in Ontario during the 90’s and the sky did not fall. Then Mike Harris decided to apply his common sense to the public accounts and Ontario was left with a bigger deficit than the one bequeathed to us by Bob Rae’s NDP. Them’s the facts.

      • The Doctor says:

        Explain to me, then, the disastrous job that the NDP did running BC in the 1990s.

        Hint: start with “fast ferries that cost a fortune in taxparyers’ money and did not even work.”

        It was basically a union kleptocracy.

    • Namesake says:

      too bad you didn’t listen to the rest of that John Prine album with more attention: maybe you’d recognize that this one, written about GW Bush, applies equally to PMSH

      http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/prine-john/some-humans-aint-human-15762.html

      • Big Old Goofy Man says:

        You have proof that JP has even heard of Harper?

        • Namesake says:

          well, I’d be VERY surprised if he hasn’t, since he’s a politically aware folk singer who’s performed regularly on the Folk Fest. circuit in Canada, and performed with Sarah Harmer not too long ago, etc.

          But I didn’t say or mean that this song — from his 2005 album! when Harper wasn’t really worthy of his notice, yet — was literally written about Harper,

          but that its sentiments about whom it WAS written about — Bush, whom he characterized as cold-hearted, hypocritical monster — could easily be transferred to apply to Harper w/o a loss of meaning …incl. about his wanting to wage an unjust war in Iraq. (And before you complain, “yeah, well, so did Iggy,” bear in mind that Iggy was more concerned about the yet to be reckoned with genocide of the Kurds and not just with what mythical weapons they might be developing.)

          • Big Old Goofy Man says:

            A)”maybe you’d recognize that this one, written about GW Bush, applies equally to PMSH”

            (B)”But I didn’t say or mean that this song — from his 2005 album! when Harper wasn’t really worthy of his notice, yet — was literally written about Harper,”

            So which one is it ?

          • Namesake says:

            Both. Its writing was inspired by Bush (Prine said so, in an Austin City Limits concert).

            But as I see it, its message — they’re sub-human — is applicable to other Neo-Con pol’s and spokesthingies, too.

            Now, Quit Hollerin’ at Me

          • Big Old Goofy Man says:

            Well we’ll see how you feel when the Liberal party starts supporting the Conservatives just to stay relevant.

  63. wannabeapiper says:

    Oh boy, ho hum and sigh..and now he is swearing- “A combative Michael Ignatieff has stepped up criticisms of his political rivals, saying Jack Layton is “getting a free ride” and telling Conservatives “they can go to hell.” ‘

    At least he could have had enough class to say-” they can go fuddle duddle themselves”.

  64. Supernaut says:

    @shrewsdrool from Twitter: Anyone pull today’s number from Nanos rolling average? C 32.8%; L 17.2%; N 39.8% YIKES!

    • kyliep says:

      if these numbers are even close to translating to votes, we have gone beyond ‘holy s**t’ territory and are now deep in ‘s**t my effing pants’ territory. apologies for the language, btw.

      last time i was this shocked at poll numbers was last year when then candidate now (sigh)mayor rob ford’s numbers began to eclipse that of the frontrunning george smitherman. there was a general sense in toronto, when he launched his campaign, that there was no way that a conservative could possibly win the mayoralty in left wing toronto. what seems to have happened then and may be happening now is that a certain type of vote is coalescing around a candidate/party with the greatest perceived credbility in that area. in the case of mr. ford, it was a message of cutting costs and respect for taxpayers, that resonated for a lot of people in a city that had just gone through a long and costly garbage strike. for jack and the ndp, who are seen (rightly or wrong) with the most consistent and reliable progressive message. harper seems to have 35% of the country fully behind him. a good part of the other 65% who want something else are apparently seeing the ndp as the most credible progressive alternative. i’m not saying this is true. i’m saying this is the perception. my theory, or final two cents on this pre-post-mortem.

      • Supernaut says:

        An interesting analogy, one that’s got me thinking. Since the rise of Reform, the right has thought it’s had a lock on populism.

        But what we’re seeing now with Jack looks to be a genuine populist surge.

        Also interesting is the weirdness going on between the right-populist SUN chain and the CPC. I suspect that there’s dissatisfaction with the perceived decision to eschew of a Ford Nation approach, especially now that the campaign is not working out as hoped.

        I guess this might be a bit of a wake-up call for those on the right who’ve sneeringly smeared the left as latte-sipping elitists for way too long. Excuse me while I go cry for them.

  65. Supernaut says:

    Nanos leadership #’s for yesterday now out: http://www.nanosresearch.com/election2011/20110427-LeadershipE.pdf

    308 reports “Conservatives Struggling in Quebec”:http://www.threehundredeight.blogspot.com/

  66. Craig Chamberlain says:

    NDP AS ORANGE CRUSH, HERE, JAN. 4TH, 2011 (SORT OF)

    Sean says:
    January 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    “Liberals are not Socialists” OK, lets consider that… healthcare, Kyoto, CPP, student loans, national daycare, NEP, no bank mergers, the Green Shift, bilingualism, funding of rights groups, national day care, CBC, gun control, long form census.. sigh… thank goodness Canadians can depend on the LPOC to hold back the socialist menace.

    Saying “no” to a merger is like Pepsi refusing to buy out Coca Cola because the executives honestly believe that Coca Cola does not make Cola.

    Reply
    Mr. Chamberlain says:
    January 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    No, the Liberals saying no to a merger with the NDP is like
    Coca Cola refusing to cook up New Coke by adding Orange Crush to
    Old Coke. Who wants to drink that?! Thanks for clarifying all that
    you would consider Socialist. I guess that makes a lot of us
    Socialists! Which is exactly your strategy. Good to have your help
    in defining what Socialism is! I imagine Mr. Harper would be more
    than happy to tell us how Socialist we are, especially after a
    merger. I get it. Really. You want to move the centre to the right
    by calling us Socialist, then getting us to trip over ourselves in
    proving we aren’t. I guess that is what the Conservatives mean by
    transparency. Over and out.

  67. Martin says:

    Its all about leadership. Chretien was trying to give a simple lesson in this last night. Keep it simple. “They want to buy planes but they cannot afford the engines. They want to build prisons but there are no prisoners.” That stuff sticks in voters’ minds. By contrast, when Ignatieff came on afterwards I could not figure out what point he was trying to make. He sounded like a university professor trying to be cool. (Oh yeah I forgot, that is what he is.)

    All of which is to say that perhaps Layton is attractive due to his perceived leadership skills.

    • The Doctor says:

      Point taken, although the LPC spending its time now gunning at Harper seems to be somewhat beside the point (hint: Harper ain’t the one whop’s eating the LPC’s lunch right now).

    • Stuart says:

      I really love Chretien. Everything about him is just awesome.

      That speech reminded me of all the reasons I’ve ever voted Liberal and made want to go and camp outside my polling station until it opens Monday morning.

    • Michael says:

      The man sure does have some incredible political instincts. He played the “little guy from Schawinagan” schtick for all it was worth.

      Whether it is Ignatieff or the rest of the Liberal heirarchy but they sure do not have their finger on the pulse of the voting public. I can’t believe that all Harper has done they could not make anything stick.

      Their biggest mistake was letting the Conservatives be seen as sound managers of the economy. For the last two years the Liberals should have been telling anyone that would listen that they were the ones that left a surplus, that Harper turned around and squandered. That it was the rules Cretien & Martin brought in that made the Canadian economy so stable. They took their eye off of the ball.

      • JStanton says:

        … bingo. Mr.Harper has led them around by the nose. He has completely dominated them. It doesnt matter what he says; they apparently belive it as truth.

        .

  68. J. Coates says:

    I don’t have any qualms about Jacko, but the assorted Marxist-Leninist infiltrators in the NDP are what would worry me, and they do exist. That’s what turned me off from the NDP many years ago.

  69. jaredc says:

    Any explanation will also have to incorporate the fact that Layton wasn’t perceived as THAT likeable until the third or fourth week of the campaign, when his leaderhship numbers started to skyrocket. In fact, if you look at the Nanos Nightly tracking poll graph, Layton’s personal numbers actually fell BELOW Ignatieff’s for a while at the beginning of the campaign, and the same Nanos poll taht shows the NDP up towards 31% now had the NDP trending down towards 13% when we were 2 weeks into the campaign. so while people are going to rush to conclude that it was “all about Jack” and his likeability (i.e. simple answer) — that may be the perception now, but it wasn’t INTRINSICALLY so (and it didn’t make much difference for a decade). so what the hell happened? as the campaign was hardly about policy, something about perception feeding on perception, and the power of polls to CREATE changes in reality, not just reflect them, i suspect will be big parts of a complete answer.

    • Michael says:

      The English language debate changed everything. Up to that point the Liberals were running a decent campaign. Donations were up, volunteers were coming back to the party, and Ignatieff was playing well at his town hall style campaign stops.

      During the debate Ignatieff didn’t really connect with voters. But when Jack brought up his attendance record in the House of Commons, that was the knock out punch. The fact tjat Ignatieff didn’t have a good response sealed his fate. A seasoned politician/campaigner can think on his feet and resond. Ignatieff sputered and floundered, but never gave a compelling reason why he was not in the House for votes.

      The thing is, Jack knew it was a low blow. One that should have easily been swatted away. That my friends was when the wind went out of the Liberal sails, and the tide turned.

      • Patrick Hamilton says:

        I would agree that moment was a turning point…….I remember answering myself………Yes, I missed some votes, but as Leader of HM Loyal Opposition, I was out engaging Canadians directly……blah, blah, blah…..but I just remember the stony silence in response…..Of course if he had responded with that kind of excuse, the Cons would have been all over him with the “just visiting” label. So I expect it was a case of damned if he did, damned if he didnt…
        I also feel that he could have changed his patter for the debates a bit……..the old saw of meeting(insert person here: older woman, single mom, unemployed student) and the programs that the Liberal party had designed to help these people was starting to sound a bit stale.
        We wanted to see/hear a Messiah, and what we got was quite ordinary, and a bit flat…..
        I do remember a feeling of lunchbag letdown afterwards.

    • Namesake says:

      Except that the Nanos Leadership Index DOESN’T track “likability,” does it now, so this is all very Roseanne Roseannadanna-ish (‘Ne-ver mind’)

      (it only asks about Trust, Competence, and Vision for country)

      • George says:

        It is still true that the NDP campaign was flagging by the second week. The NDP numbers were down, and Jack Layton wasn’t doing much better than Michael Ignatieff on many of the personal indicators — be they leadership, trust, vision, best prime minister, or what have you (do people take “likeability” as a compound of these elements? I don’t think anybody directly measures “likeablity”, whatever that really is.) Then something big happened that shifted a lot of perceptions.

        Whatever the full explanation is, I agree that saying it has to do with Jack Layton’s personality or “likeability” in any sense of that term won’t tell us much in reality. It hasn’t mattered for many elections — why should it matter now? And why was the change so sudden and dramatic? Why did it start in Quebec, and graudually pick up in other parts of the country? The media hype surely had something to do with it. Personally, I wish the media would spend more time scrutinizing the various platforms so voters can make an informed choice than making a big

  70. fritz says:

    I’m finding it interesting how the Liberals and Tories are reacting to the possibility that the NDP might somehow win the elections.

    There is the disbelief that it could even be happening – ‘Are Canadians really that stupid?’.

    And there’s the it’s the end of the world gambit – ‘the markets will collapse and our GDP will sink to that of a third world country’.

    Or it’s their candidates are nutbars and idiots – ‘imagine Libby Davis as foreign affairs minister’.

    Finally it’s all the fault of those crazy Quebecois who don’t know what they are doing – ‘What the hell is happening in Quebec?’

    The LPC & CPC deserve whatever happens to them on Monday for just the sheer arrogance of there belief they are the only parties capable and deserving of ruling the country. It’s the real reason the NDP is where they are today.

  71. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Quebec lit the grass fire. Over Afghanistan and the oil fields.

  72. DL says:

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win!

  73. George says:

    It is still true that the NDP campaign was flagging by the second week. The NDP numbers were down, and Jack Layton wasn’t doing much better than Michael Ignatieff on many of the personal indicators — be they leadership, trust, vision, best prime minister, or what have you (do people take “likeability” as a compound of these elements? I don’t think anybody directly measures “likeablity”, whatever that really is.) Then something big happened that shifted a lot of perceptions.

    Whatever the full explanation is, I agree that saying it has to do with Jack Layton’s personality or “likeability” in any sense of that term won’t tell us much in reality. It hasn’t mattered for many elections — why should it matter now? And why was the change so sudden and dramatic? Why did it start in Quebec, and graudually pick up in other parts of the country? The media hype surely had something to do with it. Personally, I wish the media would spend more time scrutinizing the various platforms so voters can make an informed choice than making a big deal of polls.

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