Musings —04.08.2011 06:47 AM—
- The tale of the tape in Hamilton: The Liberal and Conservatives were in the Hammer last night for rallies. Thus, journalists were wondering who would have the biggest and best crowd. Here, then is an account from SFH’s manager, Hammer Dom, who was there to tell the tale: “W, just back home – attended Iggy’s Town Hall here in Hamilton. Over a thousand people, they let anyone in, he answered 15+ questions from anyone with a hand up. Man of the people. What a wonderful, charasmatic, intelligent and in-touch individual. Harper’s rally, 300 people, and the bus load of McMaster students that were at Iggy’s show – we’ll, they were barred from Harpers an hour before. Conservative shit-show. Igg’s next PM – I promise you.”
- Is Hammer Dom right? Well, let’s pore through this morning’s entrails, shall we? The Spectator, the Hammer’s paper of record, has this headline this morning: IGNATIEFF DRAWS THREE TIMES THE CROWD THAT HARPER DID. Is that a big deal? It sure is. Federal Liberals have been dead in the water in the Hammer for almost seven years – principally due to what the Martin team did to Sheila Copps. The party has had little on the ground there, in the interim, but they still pulled in 1,000 Hamiltonians last night. Like, wow!
- What do the polls say, in Hamilton and elsewhere? As prognosticated in this space for the past nearly-two-weeks, (a) campaigns matter and (b) the Reformatories have indeed, as Dom says, been running a dismal campaign – while Ignatieff’s has been better than everyone expected. Sayeth the soothsayers: “The Conservatives are clinging to a six-point lead on the Liberals nationally but the critical gap is closing in Ontario, a new poll shows…“It still looks like Mr. (Stephen) Harper will win a minority, but that is by no means a sure thing – particularly with these differences in Ontario,” said pollster Frank Graves. “What is quite clear is that a majority is really unlikely.”
- The Cons are trapped: As all know now, they were using the RCMP (illegally) to eject citizens. The RCMP has now admitted they made a mistake, and won’t do that anymore. Now, the Cons are stuck: they can’t do much about protestors on their own – if they touch a person, it’s assault. Thus, they’re stuck with coverage of residents of the Hammer speaking up. As happens in, you know, a democracy.
- What does that all mean for the good people of the Hammer? It means that, despite being the subject of all manner of Conservative blandishments and affection, Ontario is slowly turning its back on the Angry Man from Alberta. And, as one of the smart Anderson brothers point out, the Cons need to “up their game” in Hamilton, Ontario and elsewhere – and particularly in the debates. I have long felt Iggy will do very well in the debates – and that, seeing things thereafter slipping away, the Tories will unleash a barrage of attack ads unlike anything this country has ever seen. It might work. It has before (cf. “bomb the bridges,” circa 1988).
- TV talking head is heard from: How nice. Perhaps he could invite the Canada Israel Committee’s favourite white supremacist, too. He has before. What’s the Hamilton angle? Um, er.
- Salutin in the Star! On Iggy! I think Rick might be from Hamilton. He was there once, at the very least. Anyhow, so sayeth Rick: “[Ignatieff] was an awful candidate, a gift to Stephen Harper like the second coming of Stéphane Dion. Now he looks comfortable in his own skin, and in Canada. I don’t think he’ll make voters wince, the way he used to…Harper…seems off his game. He keeps flubbing it, starting with his early campaign challenge to a one-on-one debate, which he suddenly retreated from when Ignatieff agreed. Wouldn’t Harper, the acclaimed chess master, have anticipated that move?”
- Pic of the day: Iggy is swallowed up by Grit logo in Hamilton! Caption contest!