Image to Gladden the Heart of Globe Marketing Director

Middle son, on way to school yesterday morn. Started with the sports pages – he was concerned about what is happening with our beloved Raptors – and ended up on news pages.

You’ll notice he wasn’t reading the Post opinion pages.

He’s a smart kid, what can I say.

Not Good. Speaks for Itself.

Winter Olympics Cool Heat Placed on Harper:
Diversion Gives Harper’s Tories (37%) a Boost over Ignatieff’s Grits (29%)
Ignatieff Tumbles to just 21% who Believe He’d Make the Best Prime Minister, Far Back of Harper (46%) and Badly Trailing Layton (33%)

Toronto, ON – The Vancouver 2010 Games have given Olympians and Canadians alike the gift of a renewed sense of pride and patriotism, but they also have imparted on Stephen Harper a gift of his own – a diversion from the heat placed on him over the detainee issue and his subsequent decision to prorogue parliament. This diversion of attention has resulted in a boost in the polls for the reigning Conservatives, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global Television.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive the support of 37% of decided voters (up 3 points from one month ago), while Ignatieff and the Liberals have lost some ground in the polls and would now receive only 29% of the vote (down 2 points) nationally. The Liberals (40%) and Conservatives (37%) are now statistically tied in the seat-rich province of Ontario.

Jack Layton’s NDP would receive 16% of the vote (down 1 point) across the country, while the Green Party would garner 7% support (down 1 point). The Bloc rests at 9% nationally (unchanged), which represents 39% of the vote in the province of Quebec (up 2 points).

The data also reveal that the underlying fundamentals of leadership favour Prime Minister Stephen Harper over his opposition rivals. Further, leadership issues for the Liberals may continue into the future as Jack Layton has overtaken Michael Ignatieff in every category of leadership attributes studied.

Nearly one half (46%) of Canadians believe that Stephen Harper would make the best Prime Minister of Canada, an increase of 3 points since this question was last asked nearly one year ago. By comparison, fewer than half as many (21%) believe that Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition, would make the best Prime Minister, a dramatic drop of 12 points since last year. The biggest gainer is NDP Leader Jack Layton as one in three (33%) believe that he would make the best Prime Minister, up 10 points from last year, now making him second-choice among Canadians.

Stephen Harper also has a leg up on his rivals when it comes to some more specific leadership traits:

• Someone you can trust: Harper (40%, unchanged), Layton (35%, up 10 points), Ignatieff (19%, down 9 points), Duceppe (6%, down 1 point).
• Someone who will get things done: Harper (43%, unchanged), Layton (30%, up 8 points), Ignatieff (21%, down 7 point), Duceppe (6%, down 1 point).
• Someone who has what it takes to lead Canada: Harper (45%, up 2 points), Layton (29%, up 10 points), Ignatieff (22%, down 13 points), Duceppe (4%, up 1 point).
• Someone who has a vision of Canada that you can support: Harper (40%, down 2 points), Layton (32%, up 8 points), Ignatieff (24%, down 6 points), Duceppe (4%, unchanged).
• Someone who knows when to compromise for the greater good: Harper (37%, down 1 point), Layton (35%, up 10 point), Ignatieff (22%, down 10 points), Duceppe (5%, down 1 point).
• Someone who is best to manage during tough economic times: Harper (46%, unchanged), Layton (26%, up 9 points), Ignatieff (24%, down 8 points), Duceppe (5%, unchanged).
• Despite trying to shake the label of being someone who has a hidden agenda, Harper (45%, down 3 points) continues to lead in this attribute, although significantly more Canadians now believe that Ignatieff (34%, up 13 points) has a hidden agenda, while fewer feel the same way about Layton (16%, down 9 points) and Duceppe (4%, down 2 points).
• Finally, Layton (41%, up 12 points) leads when it comes to someone who is open to the ideas of others, while Harper (32%, unchanged), Ignatieff (22%, down 12 points) and Duceppe (6%, unchanged) trail.

UPDATE: …and their competitor says it’s a tie. People will pick the poll that corresponds most to their bias, I suspect.

The Smoker in Chief

Barack Obama: president, smoker.

I’m not sure why, but I thought he’d quit. I guess he hasn’t.

It’s weird, too. Every politician I’ve worked for, pretty much, has been a non-smoker. Few of them get enough exercise, and some of them are obliged to occasionally eat fast food, but the vast majority of them avoid tobacco.

A photo of a smoking politico looks really, really bad, of course. But the fact is that the clichéd smoke-filled backrooms aren’t so smoke-filled anymore. Politicians have, in this case at least, generally practiced what they preach.

Libertarian conservatives will be torn by the Smoking Obama Story. On the one hand, they viscerally despise him. On the other hand, nutbar conservatives actually regard smoking as a manifestation of personal freedom and liberty and all that hooey. When it’s just a dumb and dirty habit.

As anyone who reads this web site knows, I love all Democratic presidents (except Jimmy Carter) – and I really love Barack Obama.

I sure wish he wouldn’t smoke, however. Among other things, he’s setting a bad example.

Quit, Obama, quit!

The Targets: God-Like Geniuses

Last night SFH played at Mitzi’s Sister and raised a couple hundred bucks for Chilean earthquake relief. A fine time was had by all. Rayman wasn’t arrested, so that’s an improvement.

We also opened for this group of teens from the UK – The Targets. These guys – lead singer Conrad in particular – have the spark, you know? They’ve got it. They blew everyone away.

Check out the vid for one of their hits, ‘Wake Up’and watch for them as they move towards a town near you.

How Very Sad

My goodness gracious! The Free Speech Warrior – the one who is suing me for, um, exercising my free speech – is somehow no longer on the speaker’s list for the conference I told you about the other day! How ever do these things happen?

Oh, and here’s this bit from the National Post:

[“The [Law Society] found Mr. Levant violated the following rules of professional conduct: to “respect and uphold the law in personal conduct,” to “seek to improve the justice system,” to not ” act in a manner that might weaken public respect for the law,” to be “courteous and candid,” and to not “harass any person or discriminate against any person” on various prohibited grounds.”

Have a nice day, buddy!

Good Morning, Mr. Hudak!

The sold-out Ontario Liberal Heritage Dinner is tonight. As you sit at home this evening, contemplating that fact, please let me share with you an interesting little blog post that is a must-read:

Given the poor results the PC’s have had under the Hudak regime so far, (running an angry and unsuccessful campaign in St. Paul’s, getting crushed in Toronto Centre, and now looking down the barrel at another defeat in the critical riding of Ottawa West-Nepean) and in particular, the very negative press which emerged following the PC tactics outside, and particularly inside the Legislature during the last sitting. Many in the caucus, particularly those on the Red Tory wing of the party and the more experienced MPP’s, including such high profile figures such as Deputy Leader Christine Elliott, Education critic Elizabeth Witmer, and Chief Whip/Finance Critic/longest serving PC MPP, had expressed displeasure with the rough and tumble tactics of the Hudak/Hillier axis within the party, whose strategy was promoted by Medulun. With the Tories looking at a probable loss in an important swing riding of OW-N, could caucus unrest push more Hudakites out of the way as the more moderate wing of the party calls for a re-think of strategy?

Have a nice night, Timmy. We certainly will!

Yours sincerely,


(h/t to BCL)