09.27.2012 12:21 PM

Holy camoly

The NDP are four points ahead of the Conservatives? Wow!

Sets up my Sunday Sun column, nicely, however.  Free snippet:

Among Liberals, there isn’t much dispute that the cabal of staffers who did the work, the Conservative Research Group (CRG), did their jobs very well. CRG helped remove Paul Martin from power, and made mincemeat of Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff.   They folded, spindled, and mutilated successive Liberal leaders – and policies – with brutal efficiency.

Since obtaining a Parliamentary majority, the CRG kill machine has gone napping.  They have barely taken note of the selection of Angry Tom Mulcair as leader of the New Democrats.  They have done nothing to maul Mulcair in the way that they mauled Martin, Dion and Ignatieff.  As a result, successive polls have shown the NDP at, or near, Conservative Party support levels.

A very senior Harper-circle thinker recently acknowledged that the Conservatives have, indeed, cooled it on the daily campaign stuff.  The reason? Finally securing a Parliamentary majority.  That, and staffer fatigue.  “It was exhausting,” said this fellow, who would know. “But they’ll be back.”

 

18 Comments

  1. bigcitylib says:

    Well, frankly, I think they have gone after Mulcair but it hasn’t worked. The NDP fights back; the LPoC mostly didn’t. And their “stick it to the blue-eyed sheikhs” message seems to be resonating.

  2. Dan F says:

    As I’ve been saying for a few months now, by the time the #LPC leadership race is done, Harper will have dropped to third place. At that point, the entire dynamic of the next election changes, and it becomes a race between Libs & NDP. No need for a merger. Economic Conservatives worried about an NDP government will return to their home in the Liberal Party.

  3. Steven says:

    I thought you didn’t believe in polls? 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    Of course we will continue to be treated to rubbish articles from lazy know-nothing national columnists who claim the Cons are invincible when 70% of Canadians wouldn’t support them — presumably because they don’t agree with the misguided conservative worldview and retrograde policies.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    To be competent economic managers is one thing. To be perceived as competent economic managers is quite another. Economic management seems to be the issue that gets Canadians where they live. Now I wonder, is it at all possible that the Liberal Party of Canada could soon find itself with a leadership candidate who might just have strong to impeccable economic credentials. Maybe, just maybe.

  6. Mike says:

    CRG was not created until well after Paul Martin had returned to sailing his yacht.

  7. michael hale says:

    They aren’t sleeping. they are holding fire until the Libs have a leader. The Cons want a two party system, where centrist voters have nowhere to go but to them. they will unload on whoever wins the Lib leadership and once they’ve dispatched that person, they’ll move on to Mr. Angry.

    The Libs need to be ready to spend and defend.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      What’s missing is the Rat Pack of the eighties. Remember Sheila leaping over the table at Crosby? Definitely much cheaper to sic a half dozen rabid, foaming at the mouth ‘mad as hell’ young turks on Harper. I don’t know why he is not being hounded at every barbeque, or carefully sterilised talking point deliveries. If you have no money to pay for it, (media) then earn it, and nothing sells papers like politicians leaping over tables….

  8. Fred says:

    Justin Trudeau is capable of saving this country. Harper has the all the charisma and intellect of a two day old baked potato wrapped in aluminum foil. Trudeau has copious amounts of both charisma and intellect. Besides, to quote an inter web wit, ‘I would vote for Bozo the Clown if it would end of the Harper regime’.

  9. andy says:

    But Harper IS Bozo The Clown!
    What a conundrum!

  10. Patrick says:

    They’re so effective a Conservative paper should honour them by getting the brand name right: pretty sure it’s the Conservative Resource Group, not Research Group.

    Disagree they’ve not taken notice of Mulcair, though. They’re just not quite sure how to address him, especially with the sensitivity of the Quebec situation. Tom is the first truly daunting political leader Harper has confronted in his entire leadership, and the first completely liberated from the corruption millstone which brought our perennially unpopular, untrustworthy PM to power in the first place.

    Their initial attack site crashed and burned in a haze of public and media mockery. The “carbon tax” redux has similarly begun to flame out. It’s not even working in the West, and a hopeless failure in critical Ontario thus far. Problem with their team, ruthless, amoral and unscrupulous as they are, is that they’re accustomed to fighting opponents who are caricatures of themselves and could be trusted not to fight back effectively. The truth is, master tactician as he’s often portrayed, Harper has until now never faced a credible national leader with a firm, unified political base. Not once. A Mulcair, just like a Chretien or a Mulroney (not in partisanship but roots) in the old days, is a much tougher animal to just beat into submission with facile, mindless lines.

    Add to that the fact that the NDP’s political team is sharpening and deepening every week, every day, and it’s a considerably tougher political slog than modern CRG has ever confronted. They will indeed be back, but they`re going to have to remake their playbook to protect and increasingly tennuous hold on power.

    My personal guess, as a long time proponent of progressive unity recently designated as an “enemy” by our esteemed host, is they see a Trudeau-led LPC appealing to EXACTLY, PRECISELY the same core demographics the NDP needs to cement unequivocally to get over the top and win national power: women, youth, soft progressive Québec nationalists weary of both unity wars and the Harper agenda, and soft on-the-fence progressives who embraced Jack`s extraordinary 2011 campaign but aren`t sure whether they`ll sustain their NDP support in 2015 or revert to their usual custom of embracing the Liberals.

    If you hold each of those points to be true (or even some of them), in a sense for now the best CRG strategy is to simply let Trudeau exploit his natural media advantage and shut up as the eternal, mind-numbingly futile and often shockingly vitriolic LPC/NDP schism heats up, coming up the middle to win another majority with a shockingly low plurality in 2015.

    Only time will tell, but I really feel they’re backing off strategically for now.

    • Kaplan says:

      Very astute analysis. Mulcair is a beast of a politician, and Harper (and the Liberals) have, I suspect, drastically underestimated his abilities (and that of the NDP political team).

  11. !o! says:

    Also, abacus just released a poll showing CPC/NDP tie at 35.

    The previous abacus poll, Aug 10-12, had CPC at 37, NDP at 32.

    http://abacusdata.ca/2012/09/24/federal-politics-conservatives-and-ndp-tied-at-35/

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