03.08.2015 10:42 AM

Abacus: what do you want in a leader?

  • Mulcair: serious, competent. 
  • Harper: serious, experienced.
  • Trudeau: young, modern. 

Poll here.

What do you think will be the ballot question on voting day? What will it be in the Spring? What will it be in the Fall?

Be a pundit!


  1. James Smith says:

    The ballot question will be:

    “JT; he’s just not Cromulent enough”

  2. Lance says:

    Spring – economy and security.
    Fall – economy and security

    Unless something unexpected happens between now and either, of course.

    (I know…..boring, LOL)

  3. Mervyn Norton says:

    Bruce Anderson (from Abacus) hit it on the head last month on the At Issue panel on CBC: we tend to vote for which of the party leaders best represents our own values (allowing for some influence from local candidates). The campaigns, including debates, will matter in allowing us to get a better sense of opposition challengers.

    With a Trudeau in the room, the immediate question will be whether he can hold his own or even exceed expectations, compared to the others. If Justin does well, he will pick up support from both Conservative and NDP leaners. If he stumbles, Mulcair will pick up Liberal leaners, more so than Harper.

    Conclusion still the same as before: unless the unlikely happens and Harper wins a majority, one of the others will lead a new government, probably as an informal coalition. My own ballot question is: Who should be the one to lead the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017?

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      Notwithstanding my ballot question, I expect many, many will be voting strategically to unseat Harper, by voting for the Liberal or NDP or Green candidate with the best chance to win the local seat.

      • Lance says:

        Strategic voting for ABC would take a massive coordination of effort. With low voter turnout and so many tuning out?

        Ain’t gonna happen.

    • davie says:

      A couple of decades ago an American, Howard Gardner ( he of the several intelligences), suggested that leadership includes being able to articulate the narrative of those one is leading.
      The present PM has done this for that solid core that votes for his crew. His present narrative is that are enemies are everywhere and he is the only one able to protect us. Important part of his narrative to dissuade people from voting.
      My guy, TM, has a narrative that is fairly nuts and bolts. It, too, is the narrative of a core of support. His narrative will get support if JT does not come up with sound detail for his narrative.
      EM has a narrative that kind of mixes a respect for our institutions (especially parliament and democracy) with quite new needs regarding protection of our waters and atmosphere.
      JT has had a narrative going that seems a tad fuzzy just now, but has a basic of optimism and inclusion. If, or when, he fills in a bit more substance to hang onto, he is in a pretty good position.

  4. graham watt says:

    Why just young, modern for Trudeau? That’s bias right in the guts of the polling question. Why not Serious, young, modern? One might as well say of Mulcair and Harper, Serious, middle-aged. But that would bias them against the question of Trudeau being just young, and implying not serious, wouldn’t it? Is JT is not serious? A lot of people, young, middle and old think he is according to Nanos. This Abacas poll hits the nail on the head of problems with pollsters. It is incredibly easy to unintentionally push bias. In my experience, when the pollsters get farther away from numbers, and begin to go past even qualititative research into what one might call quasitative research, the closer they come to being mere entertainers, and the upcoming election is too serious for this frivolous kind of thing.

    • reader says:

      Agree the wording of the questions make a difference. For the issue you pick out, serious, the choice was serious versus fun.

      Of the 3 leaders, it is not surprising that Canadians see Trudeau as the most fun. Trudeau’s lower number on serious could be in part a reflection of that fact. The answers might have been different if the pollster had chosen serious versus frivolous.

      I don’t see why fun is on the list at all, but if it is on the list, it should be paired with boring, not with serious.

  5. Steve T says:

    I question the “competent” attribute of Mulcair. Competent at what? Lobbing criticisms and complaints as an opposition leader is a far cry from running a G7 country (both domestically and internationally).

    • reader says:

      Mulcair does not appear to have particularly distinguished himself at winning by-elections, raising money, bringing in more members, attracting better candidates, or making Canadians want to vote for his party (based on polls and by-elections). I suspect competent is an impression from how he speaks – he’s articulate and can be forceful.

    • davie says:

      I find a lot of clichés hard to understand. Calling a party a ‘tax and spend’ party is one of them. I just cannot find, in my experience or reading, a party in government that has not taken in taxes and then spent that revenue.

      Another is the whine that the opposition is opposing. That the opposition is criticizing. Perhaps a person who uses this as if it were a valid point could explain just exactly what the role of an opposition is in a parliamentary system.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Davie……suspicion creeps in when the opposition opposes absolutely everything, just for the sake of opposing. Even things that could possibly be beneficial.

        Just gets kind of boring and annoying and leaves a perception that they are just way too negative, and not very happy people.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Harper: Don’t change proven horses in mid-stream;

    Mulcair: A New Way for Canada;

    Trudeau: Back to the Canada you remember.

  7. Malcolm Jolley says:

    The economy, stupid.

  8. Ridiculosity says:

    Ballot question: Have you had enough of Harper?

    When: Spring. (Because Harper knows Canadians have had enough of Harper.)

  9. Wolfer says:

    Read my new blog. It’s exactly like my old blog but it’s yellow.


  10. Robert Jago says:

    I think the unconscious ballot question will be – who is more like Hillary? Trudeau or Harper?

  11. Tiger says:

    Harper for 24 Sussex.
    Mulcair for Stornoway.
    Trudeau for Ben Mulroney’s job (he’s been around long enough).

  12. EB says:

    Ballot question won’t matter. Lowest voter turnout ever. There are terrorists everywhere. Too afraid to vote. Time to stock up the bunker, and hunker down.

  13. terence quinn says:

    time for change and a new vision for Canada to be unveiled by Trudeau at election time.

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