09.25.2017 07:34 AM

About that Forum poll: Tories 39, Libs 35, Dippers 15

Three things.

One, it’s Forum. They’re the ones who said there’d be a Parti Québécois majority, a BC NDP majority, a Wildrose majority, and…you get the picture.

Two, it’s a poll. Every single poll in the U.S. Presidential campaign got the outcome wrong, for weeks. Polls aren’t terribly reliable, these days.

Three, as my lovely and talented wife said on Global News this morning, Trudeau’s government is at the halfway point in its mandate – and, as the Premiers, members of the Liberal Caucus and everyone in Canada has said, they’ve done a piss-poor job of communicating the small business tax changes.


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Blandy Scheer can’t be the reason for this – he’s the worst new Conservative leader since Joe Clark.  It can’t be anything the NDP are doing, either – they’re at 15 per cent, have no leader, and are now only protected by endangered species laws.

Something else is at work here.  My take is still this, as expressed at the tail end of last week’s column: This government is now at the two-year mark. The indications of entitlement and arrogance — and cynicism — are everywhere to be seen.

Your take, of course, is welcome.  Comments are open.


  1. BlueGritr says:

    I can’t see the Liberals lead being under 40 points; and I see the Conservatives at 32 (on a very good day). Another factor: come election time, on the campaign trail, nobody does retail politics like JT. Awkward Scheer’s CPC will finish with 80 seats; and buffoons like Gerry Ritz will haunt the party the way the Myron Thompson-types did in 2004.

  2. Pedant says:

    Clearly this poll is not worth commenting on until it is validated by other polling firms.

    I still don’t see what’s so bad about Scheer. Bland often works. Harper, McGuinty, Bourassa, Campbell, Filmon, even Pearson, to name but a few bland(ish) but successful Canadian politicians.

    Maybe Justin’s cringe-worthy faux-emotional speaking style is starting to grate on people? Did you listen to his UN speech (to a mostly empty room)? for a substitute drama teacher he’s not terribly adept at making contrived words seem genuine.

    Lastly, I think the NDP and Conservatives going after the Eau-bros for their reluctance to tax THEIR OWN trust funds while simultaneously attacking small-business owners as tax cheats is a winning tactic. It will stick, I believe. Probably not enough to defeat the Libs in 2019 though.

  3. Matt says:

    May just be the historical trend of the Conservative Party of Canada polling better in the Fall and Winter than they do in the Spring and Summer.

    As for the Liberals communicating the small business tax reforms, I think it’s more than their communication. The Liberal have sold this whole this as a tax fairness plan. Getting the wealthy to pay their fair share and closing “loopholes” not available to the “middle class”. Well, as more and more people start to ask exactly what the wealthy like Trudeau and Morneau pay now and will pay after the reforms are brought, in they are realizing it has nothing to do with tax fairness, and it isn’t the wealthy who will take the hit. Plus, you may remember the Liberals promised to close tax loophole used by CEO’s of Canada’s biggest corporations to protect assets like stock options……until Morneau was personally lobbied by his Bay Street buddies.

    Just this weekend Global News’ Business Report discovered the majority of Trudeau and Morneau’s wealth is held in numbered corporations (Trudeau has 3, Morneau has 8) and family trusts.

    Two things that their new tax “fairness” plan won’t be touching.

    Yes, it is Forum – But more than just Forum got those elections you mentioned wrong. And technically, the polling in the US election was half correct. Every polling company had Clinton winning the popular vote.

  4. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    The small business/farming tax changes are NOT just a communication problem. They impact negatively how most small business and farms operate regardless of size because it is taking a sledgehammer to the problem, particularly with regards to growth. Small business growth is lumpy. It is necessary to retain earnings for extended periods of time to raise capital to growth and to provide stability for down times. The changes also further weaponizes the CRA where one is guilty until proven innocent.

    The trust fund “twins” and their media narrative spinners are wrong.

    • Gyor says:

      That’s actually true, I know a Garden Centre owner who makes a lot of money in the spring, then it rappers off in summer, gets worse in Autumn and aside from selling some Christmas trees, is basically not generating income at all in the Winter, this could royay screw him.

      Anyway, I think it’s the Liberals habit of screwing up everything they touch, but yeah while other mistakes and broken promises lead up to this point, I think small business owners and doctors might be pushing back hard against this one.

      And once the NDP gets a new leader, if there is any kind of bump at all, it could get worse for the Liberals, even the NDP at 25% is majorly concerning with Trudeau, especially if the Tories start gaining at the same time.

    • Kev says:

      Retaining earnings for purposes of the business is not impacted in any way. So that’s your imaginary problem solved.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Sure, it’s Forum but the forward-moving colossus has hit a major self-inflicted roadblock…Harper lost the election before it happened and Trudeau won the campaign, practically no one thought he would.

    Right now, this Prime Minister is undermining his own government’s credibility. Some of the tax changes are good but most are not. They need to put even more emphasis on tax havens and couple it with the acceptable parts of the present approach. Tax policy should never be a zero-sum game.

  6. doconnor says:

    Most US election polls where within 2 or 3 percent of the results, within their margin of error and Clinton did get the most votes, as predicted.

    Historically the NDP usually hovered around 10%, so 15% isn’t too bad.

  7. Miles Lunn says:

    It could be a rogue poll or it could be methodology. The last Mainstreet poll only showed the Liberals five points ahead when they only counted decided, but jumped to 11 points when it included leaning so I’ve found since the Tories have a strong base, if you only do decided voters, they tend to perform better than if you include leaners. I’ve also found IVR polls tend to give the Tories the best results (Forum, Mainstreet, and Ekos) while online polls the worst (Campaign Research, Abacus, and Ipsos) and I think that has a lot to do with demographic bias. IVR tend to oversample seniors who the Tories do best amongst while online polls tend to oversample millennials who are most likely to go Liberal so in many ways I think voter turnout will be a big question in 2019. If voter turnout falls below 60%, I could see the Liberals losing their majority and maybe even a Tory minority whereas if it stays in the high 60s the Liberals should win again, its just a matter of the size and whether the NDP takes enough millennials to reduce them to a minority or not.

    As for the arrogance of the Liberals, I think the real problem is a lot of Liberals assume they have the next election in the bag and that is a very dangerous attitude to take and one that can bite them. Basically I hear many Liberals saying we need to run to the left to beat down the NDP (forgetting about they also need centrist votes too, not just left wing ones to win) and that the Tories are so extreme we will easily beat them (They said that about Harper in 2006 and with Scheer being unknown a lot depends on whether on the campaign trail in September 2019 and October 2019 he comes across as a hard right type or a moderate type, but always a bad strategy to base winning on your opponent screwing up) and so the Liberals need to be careful. The odds are highly favourable to win the next election, but no election is ever in the bag and its arrogance that ultimately can be one’s downfall. Just ask Theresa May across the pond who had a 20 point lead so called an opportunistic snap election, refused to do many interviews, refused to participate in the debates, otherwise took the arrogant attitude she would easily win and nearly lost to the hardcore socialist Jeremy Corbyn. That should be a warning of the dangers of arrogance.

  8. Kevin says:

    I think you’re right about the sense of entitlement and arrogance, and you’re right about the calibre of Scheer. I hit a wall with the communication screwup though. Liberals don’t have a big history of ham-fisted communications so why the big fuck up now? Is there perhaps a rock to look under or something?

  9. Miles Lunn says:

    Maybe they are onto something albeit perhaps an exaggeration. Nanos today is out with it being 38.5% Liberals and 32.5% Tories which is a 6 point Liberal lead, but Nanos unlike Forum is a four week rolling poll whereas Forum is a snapshot and last week Nanos showed 40.9% Liberals and 30% Tories so a 2.5% jump for the Tories this week and 2.4% drop for the Liberals so while I am skeptical the Tories are actually ahead, the Liberals may not be in so good shape. I think their arrogance is starting to get to them and they are also forgetting it is the centre, not left where elections are won and lost. They are doing a good job pushing the NDP numbers down, but in doing so, they are pushing some Red Tories and Blue Liberals over to the Tories. I agree Scheer isn’t the brightest light, but if Trudeau et al continue to be arrogant it could bite them hard. Lets remember in 1995 Chretien had around a 40 point lead and barely held onto his majority in 1997 so Trudeau doesn’t have the cushion or the divided opposition Chretien faced.

    • BlueGritr says:

      In 1997, Mr. Chretien faced off against divided conservatives. Against a united conservative front, I venture to say that Mr. Chretien would have been handed a minority government, accelerating the efforts of Mr. Martin to further undermine the man from Shawinigan.

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