Globe and Mail announces Comical Ali as new editor-in-chief (updated)

There’s no other way to explain their reliance on “internal” polling by John Tory, about John Tory. Nate Silver in the New York Times on such “polls,” here.

Background on the sterling company in question here and here and here and here and here and, of course, here. Way to go, Globe! You haven’t hurt your credibility, at all!

UPDATE: And here’s what the governing body for Canadian pollsters says about the Globe and Mail’s single source: “The actions of Campaign Research have likely caused the Canadian public to lose confidence in marketing research and have tarnished the image of the marketing research profession.” 

I can understand why John Tory’s desperate, pathetic, flip-flopping’ campaign would be interested in seeing the Globe regurgitate the crap of the guy who (a) gave us Rob Ford (b) has achieved past distinction, inter alia, for being criminally charged for making death threats.  But how, pray tell, is it in the Globe’s interest to diminish their reputation in this way?


BREAKING: SFH abandons punk rock, embraces Eurotrash dance club genre

Shocking as it may be, Canada’s best-loved geriatric punks have abandoned punk rock. As you will see in the video below, SFH has decided to become modern, and the resulting tune – ‘Eighties Dance Song’ – will be the biggest hit of the year.

What is Davey singing? I don’t know. I think it is: “I’m going to Spain for three weeks, and I’m convinced the other guys are going to kick me out of the band.”


In Tuesday’s Sun: at least one guy knew he was “just visiting”

What I want to know is this: when he told Harvard University that he was indeed returning to a full-time teaching position in Boston – when he signed on the dotted line, and finally confirmed that he was indeed “just visiting” – could Michael Ignatieff hear a cock crow, somewhere, for the third time?

If he didn’t, the rest of us sure did. Now that he has fulfilled the political prophesy about him, what more is there to say about Michael Ignatieff?

Not much. The Conservative Party alleged that he was “just visiting,” Ignatieff denied that he was “just visiting,” and – as we all learned this week – he was indeed “just visiting.” That’s his footnote in history, now.

Unlike 2011, when all of the Liberal Party was highly indignant about the Conservatives’ multi-million-dollar “just visiting” attack ad campaign, no one jumped to defend Ignatieff’s integrity and patriotism this time. Just a few lonely voices online, mostly saying everyone should just leave him alone. The popular reaction was one of disdain, not anger.

Conspicuously absent from this puny chorus, rallying to defend the former Liberal Party leader, was the rather distinctive voice of current Liberal Party leader. Not a peep was heard from him. The silence was deafening, in fact.

It’s not like the two men don’t know each other. Back in 2010-2011, Trudeau was regularly spotted in 409-S, the Opposition Leader’s offices (now occupied, thanks to Ignatieff and his adroit campaign staff, by one Thomas Mulcair). He would attend meetings with Ignatieff and other senior caucus Liberals in the boardroom, winking merrily at staff along the way.

In those days, Trudeau was nominally part of the Ignatieff circle of advisors, but he also sort of wasn’t. He was there, but he wasn’t there. When a big decision was being discussed, no one ever said: “We should check this out with Justin first.” Ever.

In retrospect, it appears that Justin Trudeau was shrewdly playing the long game. The previous leader, Stephane Dion, barely disguised his lack of enthusiasm for Pierre Trudeau’s eldest son. He made Justin’s life difficult.

Ignatieff didn’t do likewise, but it was clear he relied on his old nemesis/bestie Bob Rae far more than he ever relied on Justin Trudeau. He regarded Trudeau as “young.” Trudeau, for his part, looked quite content with that.

It is possible that Trudeau knew the train-wreck that lay ahead, and wanted to be far from the wreckage when it happened. It is possible – even likely – that he knew that Ignatieff did not connect with everyday people in the way that he did. After all: even in those days, Justin Trudeau was far more of a fundraising draw than Michael Ignatieff.

So, he bided his time. When the Liberal Party of Canada was reduced to its worst showing in history, and Ignatieff lost his own seat, Justin Trudeau was the first name on every Liberal’s lips. Not Bob Rae. When Rae finally accepted this – bitterly, reluctantly – the table was set for Justin. The leadership race was a mere formality.

Justin Trudeau – as the increasingly-frustrated Conservatives are learning, with their attack ads that barely register on voters – does politics the way he boxes: he plays the long game. He undersells, and then he overpowers.

Evidence of Trudeau’s long-game strategy found in this week’s sad return of Michael Ignatieff to Harvard.

It is not a case of Michael, we hardly knew ye. It is more a case of: Michael, Justin Trudeau knew you better than you knew yourself.


#TOPOLI: what they’re saying about the T.O. mayoralty race

  • National Post: “Polls aside – who believes polls any more? – the general impression is that Olivia Chow started as the favourite with about a third of the vote, and is still there. By taking time of for rehab, Ford opened the way for fellow conservative John Tory, but the former businessman, civic activist and provincial party leader has failed to gain much ground.”
  • Toronto Star, reader comments: “[Rob Ford’s] completely delusional…I can’t wait for this city to be a Ford free zone…Please just go away.”
  • National Post: “Ask an average Torontonian where any of the candidates stand and you might get this: Chow seems like a nice person…Tory also seems like a nice person. His whole plan was to build a new subway line, but then he changed it to something else, something to do with GO trains. I think.”
  • Toronto Star, poll:  “Chow had 34 per cent support, Ford 27 per cent, Tory 24 per cent.”
  • National Post: “Tory, who should be breathing down Chow’s neck, suffers from vagueness. His campaign site reads like a corporate action plan: a binder complete with colour co-ordinated dividers with snappy titles and pledges to ‘find and eliminate the real waste at City Hall and invest in Torontonians’ priorities.’ OK, but how?”
  • Sun Media: “Last night, Olivia Chow unveiled two new radio ads in her campaign to win the job of Mayor of Toronto. The two ads are ‘attack ads’  and they go after the incumbent, Rob Ford. As far as attack ads go, they’re pretty slick and may make you chuckle.”
  • National Post: “Chow has several advantages: everyone knows who she is; she has the left-wing vote all to herself; her ideas may not be overwhelming, but they’re hard to criticize. Also, the other candidates, all being more conservative, have fractured the vote without managing to produce a clear alternative to Chow’s program.”
  • Torontoist: “Olivia Chow has her faults, she has never been one to speak meaningless drivel. Simply put: Rob Ford is a liar, and Karen Stintz is a hack, and Olivia Chow is neither of these things. We are not going to engage in false equivalencies just to make Chow appear as bad as those other two for the sake of ‘balance.'”
  • National Post: “[Tory] based his challenge largely on a pledge to end years of civic jabbering and finally build a new subway that would relieve the stress on the overcrowded, aging, existing system. But he couldn’t explain how he’d pay for it, then suddenly shifted to a new plan…While it might be a good idea, it complicated his own message and left voters wondering what happened to his original great idea and, once again, where the money would come from.”