Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Ekos Poll: 3.1-pt Conservative Lead

The new EKOS poll shows that things aren't changing too much, as both major parties make modest gains. But the Tory lead is starting to strengthen.With a gain of 2.2 points since EKOS's last poll, the Conservatives are at 33.4%. The Liberals, gaining 1.3 points, are at 30.3%. The NDP has lost 0.7 points and stands at 15.8%, while the Greens (10.4%) are down 1.4 points.

So, a little life by both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

In Ontario, both the Liberals and Conservatives are up about a point, but the Liberals maintain the slimmest of leads (36.2% to 36.0%). The NDP is stable.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois drops three points to 33%. The Liberals gain two and are at 27.4%. The Conservatives also gain two, but are still low at 18.2%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives gain one but are still struggling at 31.3%. The Liberals lose three and the NDP gains two, putting them at a tie at 26.4%.

In the smaller regions, no real surprises. The Conservatives are up six in Alberta, the Liberals are up seven in the Prairies, and the NDP loses four points to the Conservatives in Atlantic Canada.

Toronto doesn't show much movement (Tories up two, Liberals down one, NDP down two), and neither does Montreal (Liberals up three, Conservatives and NDP down one, and Bloc down two).

The Conservatives would win 127 seats with this poll, 63 of them out West, 46 in Ontario, 9 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals would win 106 seats, 19 of them in the West (note, for future reference, that the North is included in this "West), 48 in Ontario, 20 in Quebec, and 19 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP would win 29 seats, 13 of them out West, 12 in Ontario, and 4 in Atlantic Canada.

The Bloc wins 46 seats, while the Greens are shut out again.

Nothing much new in this poll, though one thing it indicates is that the Conservative drop has likely ended, and we will probably see their numbers rebound a little. However, I don't think we will return to the double-digit leads.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Tory lead is purely due to the olympics.

    When Canada crushed Russia last night, I bought a CPC membership and will be voting for Harper for infinity.

    All this because of the 'olympics glow'.

    It worked on me, and will work on you as well.

    BTW - Ironically thanks to prorougation, the cons have been out of government for about 2 months already - cons get their highest numbers when they don't do anything at all...

  3. The one thing I notice is the seat projection.

    The Libs/NDP would end up with more seats than the cons.

    I guess Harper has a new best friend in Duceppe.

    Hey wait a minute isn't he a good for nothing "separatist"

  4. Yup, 135 beats 127 - Harper would DEAD if these were the results of the next election.

    I wonder what ex-PM Harper would do with the rest of his life? He's never had a "real job" outside of politics in his entire life. Although he calls himself an "economist" its debatable whether he really has the right to use that term for himself. He has a MA in in Economics from a second frate university and has never worked a day in his life as an "economist". I guess if his degree had been in philosophy - he would be calling himself a "philosopher". He doesn't appear to have any philanthropic interests of any kind to keep him busy - so what would he do as a washed up ex-PM who must over 50?

    I know he's a cat lover - maybe he can take over an animal shelter?

  5. That was an unusual poll because the two largest parties moved in the same direction. The Tories and Grits have almost always moved in opposition through the currest series of Ekos polls.

    Secondly, they both moved up, at the expense of every smaller party including "Other". It's a rare week when neither of the largest parties annoys the polled public sufficiently to be rapped.

    Our culture loves a single proximate cause for every event. I'll offer my glib oversimplification: there were few and minor cross-aisle spitballs fired by either the Liberals or the Conservatives. (Yes, that's a hopelessly non-quantitative statement.) Causal or coincidental? Were the pollees rewarding good behaviour?

    Of course, these numbers could well be just a statistical blip; the changes are well within margins of error. We'll know in two or three weeks.

  6. Mais Oui

    The sweet sweet irony of it all.

    Monsieur Harper

    Monsieur Duceepe

    A match made in heaven

  7. DL

    Congrats to you mate.

    Telling it like it is about Monsieur Harper.

    Refreshing to hear the truth about Harper and his qualifications.

    Nobody in the media ever seems to bring it up.

    Wonder why?

  8. I would guess that the CPC uptick has little to do with Olympics and a lot to do with prorogation being out of the news. I expect the CPC to rebound to 35 - 36 percent in the polls once parliament resumes sitting. The big kerfufle over prorogation hurt the CPC short term but does little to change the fact that Canadians at this point in time prefer Harper over his rivals. Further his rivals are afraid to tell Canadians they may be planning some sort of arrangement after the next election. Harper will make sure that Canadians know that. That should be enough to prevent such a scheme from working as the CPC will then as now have more seats that the LPC and NDP combined. Finally I don't see the NDP as wanting an election where it could lose a third of its members unless the Conservatives unveil something out of Shadow's dreams.

  9. I think Earl is only partially right here. The Olympics have distracted the public from politics temporarily. Several of TV's political shows are off for the Games. Things like Tom Clark's Power Play are off for the duration. Lots of people watch these shows and are informed by them. CBC's Power And Politics is a poor replacement IMO.

    As a result the more hardened are doing the polls and the others are not bothering.

  10. Just as an aside the possibility of a majority Govt for any party in the next decade(?) looks highly remote.

    Between the East-West split and the Bloc control of so many seats there just isn't a chance IMO. The nearest we've seen was I think last summer and that would have been a bare majority.

    I think in consequence we have to accept the idea of minority and coalition Govt's for the foreseeable future.

  11. Hi Earl,

    Once parliament starts sitting again what happens?

    All those pesky little issues are going to crop up again.

    Afghan detainees, deficit etc, etc,

    What is going to happen if the conservatives still refuse to hand over those documents re Afghanistan.

    They could be charged with contempt of parliament.

    As always thoughts welcome

  12. 49 said:
    "What is going to happen if the conservatives still refuse to hand over those documents re Afghanistan.

    They could be charged with contempt of parliament."

    Yes that pesky little matter is still around and viable. Now it may depend on two factors.

    First is how far the Opposition will push on this?

    Second is, and I think it's a guarantee, how far the Tories will go to resist?

    On the second will they be willing to dissolve the House and go to the people over this? Hard question to answer.

  13. Earl: I expect the CPC to rebound to 35 - 36 percent in the polls once parliament resumes sitting.

    I'll respectfully disagree with your prediction of a post-prorogation Conservative bounce. I'm guessing that Afghan detainees will again be front and centre at the same time as the Tories are hammered for a lacklustre budget. The Conservatives want us all to change the channel and move on from pre-prorogation issues, but the people, the opposition and the media may have other ideas.

    Today's government really does do better when it's not being held to account in Parliament. This is not a healthy state of affairs.

    It won't make any difference either way; an election is not in the cards until this fall at the earliest. That's an eternity in voter preferences.

  14. AJR79:

    I don't like consumption taxes because they are regressive by nature and costly to administer both for the the primary and secondary collector. In addition they discourage tourism, especially from the US, because Americans recoil at the though of paying anywhere from 12 to 15% on top of the price of something.

    There is a much better way to collect consumption taxes and to pass the cost savings on to tax payers. The idea isn't mine but it is a good one. Levey a consumption tax to be split between the Federal and Provincial governments as they see fit at source, like income tax. At the end of the year settle up just we now do with income tax. Basically it works like this:

    Income + borrowing = income to consume with (A). From A take savings to get the actual of amount of income spent on consumption. Pay higher rebates to low income people, and you have the perfect consumption tax. You also have a tax that isn't as amenable to under the table dealings. Now a consumer saves 12 or 15 percent just by paying cash. The service provider pays no income taxes, an even greater loss. With the Personal Consumption Tax there isn't the incentive for consumers to pay cash. Also money spent out of Canada is taxed as consumption, something that sales taxes can't accomplish. Finally the price you see is what you pay. Not only does that help us with tourism it helps stimulate consumer demand in Canada.

  15. Hi Peter,

    I hope the opposition pushes as hard as it has to.

    If the cons keep resisting the public is really going to start to wonder what they are hiding.

    That will not look so good for the cons.

  16. 49

    Yes I agree the Opposition has to mount maximum pressure, agreed.

    The real unknown is just how much the Tories will do to resist.

    They may try the Court route but that is a definite loser although a great time waster.

    Would Harpo be willing to pull the plug and call for dissolution?? That's the real question I think.

  17. In the next election Canadians will face a STARK choice. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that any way you slice it - there WILL be another "hung parliament". The question is do you want a Liberal/NDP accord to that guarantees stability for the next few years OR do you want a Tory minority government dependent on the BQ for its survival that is probably making back room deals with the BQ to survive?

    Those are the stakes. Do you want Liberal/NDP rule or Tory/BQ rule.

  18. DL said:
    "Those are the stakes. Do you want Liberal/NDP rule or Tory/BQ rule."

    You could rewrite that in a way that makes it more stark.

    Do you want rule by two National parties or by one National/one Separatist ??

  19. I always thought that it was just a matter of time before the Tories start to cooperate in a big way - they actually have a lot in common. They both want to destroy the ability of the federal government to do anything.

  20. The tracjectory is clear, time to catch the opposition flat flooted and go to the polls in the spring.

    PS what is up with all the talk about Canada doing poorly at the Olympics or Own the Podium being a bad idea ??

    We're on track for most golds ever, first time winning the gold lead ever, and most medals ever.

  21. If you wanted to "catch the opposition flat-footed" the time to do it was last fall. Now its too late - you can call a spring election if you want. And, get hit with the wrath of Canadians for either calling or engineering an election that no one wants and come back with 20 Tory MPs flushed down the toilet. In the last election, the Tories had a 12 point lead over the Liberals - a three point lead would mean losing a ton of seats. I seriously doubt the Tories are that stupid (though you can never underestimate just how bad a strategist Harpoon can be)

  22. Shadow

    I like you I really do

    You have a very unique ability to throw the fertilizer around.

    The real question is does anybody ou there buy it.

  23. Left Winger,

    That was by far the best live I've read/heard today. Thumbs up, mate.

    Anyways, with these sort of numbers, I suspect the Liberals wouldn't bother with a Dipper accord. What would be the point? If the Liberals by themselves are within this sort of striking distance of the Conservatives, there would be no reason to form an alliance with the NDP in any sort of formal way, either with a coalition or through another Accord.

    No, there would have to be a large explosion in NDP support for any formal talks to begin. I'm talking 20-25%. Only then would it be clear that the Liberals couldn't form the government without the NDP's support. At the current moment, this isn't the reality. The Liberals, with enough of a push, could form the government by themselves. Don't need the Dippers for it.

  24. DL, Peter, John and 49 Steps:

    Your position presupposes a number of things. On the detaineee issue the Liberals are at least as involved as the Conservatives. Warnings were first issued and ignored as early as 2001. The Liberals co-operated with the US in sending Canadian nationals abroad for rendition. See Mr. Arar. That is direct involvement in torture in my books.

    Secondly if Harper doesn't try and hide on the issue then for 60%+ of the population you have a non issue. They don't care. The 30 something percent who do care were never going to vote for Stephen Harper. I'm still saying approach the issue head on and expose the Liberal double standards.

  25. Volkov

    I agree

    If the libs can manage to hold it together and have a strong campaign, they could form government.

    I think the writing is on the wall for Harper. He reached his apex, and time is not on his side.

    (I really do like Shadow)

  26. Hey guys this is what elections are for!

    Nobody would blame Harper for one because there are no poison pills in the budget.

    The oppo will want to cut a deal in exchange for support he just needs to refuse on the basis of the deficit.

    If EKOS has Harper around 35-36 then I say go for it.

    Last election they had the CPC 3 points lower than they should be, Greens 3 points higher. With the addition of "other" the skew is probably worse.

    A good campaign, a money advantage, a good organization, and a nice crop of candidates should provide a ballot box advantage.

    So we'll see what the numbers look like a week from now. A little higher for the CPC and I say go for it, a little lower and I say cut a deal.

  27. "On the detainee issue the Liberals are at least as involved as the Conservatives. "

    Looks like we have another Tory troll !!

    Now lets get the facts out correctly for a change and damn the talking points.

    From the time we arrived until late 2004 we turned over any detainees to the Americans. Then the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted and Martin told General (Scumbag) Hillier to get a deal with the Afghans re detainees. He did and the Martin Govt signed off on it.

    Two months later Martin was defeated and Harper took power. So the ball was firmly in Harper's court !! Not long after Colvin started sending memos up the chain which were ignored for 18 months at least. This is all documented before the committee despite the "spin" we hear !!

    As to Arar that was a CSIS deal and info is now surfacing that CSIS has been out of control for years and I don't see the CRAP doing any better on this than the Libs. Lot's of blame for all re Arar.

  28. Just a question for anybody who can answer.

    Wasn't there info coming out that Minister Mckay did meet with the international Red Cross re torture of Afghan detainees.

    I believe Minister O'Connor also met with them.

    My question is still this if there was nothing damning in those documents why won't the cons release them unredacted.

    Seems to me if there was anything in there to slam the liberals they would only be too happy for that to come out.

    Earl: I believe a great many Canadians care about this issue.
    Human rights and Canadian values are important to a lot of Canadians.

  29. 49 Steps:

    My friends and aquantances include more non Conservatives than Conservatives by far and yet only one person cares. She`d never vote CPC. Many of my NDP friends think the detainees are getting what is coming to them. I think they are wrong. However I have yet to see any suggestions other than building our own prisons for detainees anything that would deal effectively with the problem. The prison idea is a non starter. We don`t have the troops to man or protect it. Any polls I`ve seen says that the abuse is not a vote getter. The bigger issue is if Harper is perceived to be covering it up. again I say don`t hold back and let the chips fall where they may. Shadow wants an election. I the opposition pushes hard enough they may get one although I really don`t think much will change. Perhaps I`m viewing the world through rose coloured glasses.

  30. Earl,

    I respect your argument. But will agree to disagree with you on it.

    In my opinion it smells of a cover up, which would be very damaging to Harper and the cons.

    Is it not possible that some of the detainees captured were completely inocent of any wrong doing?

    I don't defend the taliban in any way shape or form, however we have standards, one of them being we do not condone torture.

    I for one do not wan't to see Canada sink to the level of those creeps.

  31. Earl: The bigger issue is if Harper is perceived to be covering it up.

    Indeed. This is a classic own goal; the Conservatives could have defused the whole issue at the beginning with a different approach.

    Canadians are ready to accept that the detainee problem was difficult and took some time to resolve. If the debate was framed as the number of months it took to arrive at a solution, the public would agree or at least forgive and forget quickly. The message should have been, "In the fog of war, things weren't right. But we fixed them as quickly as anybody could have." A Grit reply of, "But we would have fixed it four months sooner!" would sound lame, and more to the point, boring. Wet towels all around signal that the story is over.

    The defence-through-superior-firepower savaging of Colvin had the reverse effect of fanning the flames. When a politician hides things, people assume that they have something to hide (and that it's not just an innate compulsion). Bad knee-jerk reaction. Prorogation compounded the mistake.

    Will the Tories learn? I don't think so; defence through attack is in the DNA of the entire current inner circle. But if they could, they might see their way to a majority.

  32. I think stories like this tend to blow the lid off opposition conspiracy theories:

    The committee studying these issues will resume shortly. We'll know more then.

    All the fuss about a cover up and prorogation being used to shut down the committee has been discredited.

    As you can see from the article the gov't whip has pledged to have the committee up and running shortly.

  33. Shadow,

    Once again another good one.

    You still haven't answered a question I asked you two days ago.

    When are the conservatives going to release all the documents pertaining to Afghanistan UNREDACTED1111

  34. The poll seems to indicate a growth in Tory support mostly coming from Alta. I don't think the opposition would be worried about that. Consequently, I think things remain in the holding pattern.

    Maybe it's just that I'm so used to seeing so much election speculation in the papers, that the absence of it makes me feel it's almost impossible for it to happen. Yet, someone has to back the budget.

    The Afghanistan committee getting interrupted may have given the Conservatives some way of neutering it's impact, (Or findings) but I doubt it. Also, taking over the senate removes another one of their arguements about interference. (Power is often a political liability after all)

    I dunno where things go from here.


    Stephen Harper approval rate: 33%, which is exactly the same as CPC support.

    Ignatieff approval rate: 22%, which is much lower than LPC support.

    Therefore, no one has lukewarm support for the CPC.

    In other words, Harper may have painted himself into a corner, making it hard to win over more non=aligned voters. Maybe by acting in a more conciliatory manner, Harper can win back some lost support, but he hasn't done so for the past four years.

  36. The Ekos poll also shows Layton with 40% approval and that he is the only federal leader who is approved by a larger percentage than disapprove.

  37. PS:

    According to Environics its Tories 31%, Grits 30%, NDP 16%

  38. DL,

    That's because Jack Layton is never in charge of anything that really matters. His competency can hardly come under fire if he is rarely in charge of anything by which to judge him on.

    The same thing happens in Britain, where more often than not Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats has a higher approval rating than both Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Yet the only reason why is because all he has to do is sit there, look pretty, and spout off progressive quotes every once in awhile.

    Now, it certainly does help Jack if his approval ratings are high, but it certainly doesn't work out to anything truly tangible. You can be seen in a positive manner, but still be next to irrelevant.

  39. I seem to recall Ed Broadbent had very high approval ratings as well.

    Don't get me wrong he is a very decent gentleman, but he never had a chance of becoming Prime Minister.

    Did not most Canadians view him as the leader who would make the best Prime Minister.

    That never wen't anywhere

  40. What had Ignatieff ever run??? Besides even on the question of ":who would make the best PM?" according to Nanos Layton beats Ignatieff.

  41. 49 Steps as regards torture I completely agree. What then is your take on the Chretien and Martin setting three Canadians up for torture in Syria and Eygpt in the 2001 - 2004 period?

    Also I think you are mistaking the reported attitudes of others I've quoted for my own thoughts. I do not condone torture, be they Taliban or Al Quada. Torture is wrong! And yes innocents have been captured and turned over the Afghans and tortured. I for one can't wait for us to leave.

  42. DL,

    Remember these aren't popularity contests, these leadership polls. They're about how Canadians view their leaders on the issues in terms of competency and character. That's why the Liberals, even with a leader with low leadership index scores, are still leaps and bounds ahead of the NDP. It's because they're the more popular alternative.

    So even if Ignatieff wasn't running, the situation would be the same. The Liberals would still be far ahead of the NDP just on the basis that they're the other governing party, they're the official opposition, they're the ones in the news more often, etc. It's why the idea that Jack Layton will be Prime Minister is folly; he won't, no NDP leader will, not until the NDP replaces the Liberals as the main alternative to the Conservatives.

  43. The point is that Layton is an asset to the NDP - he runs ahead of the party. Iggy on the other hand is a liability to the Liberals he runs behind the party.

    I'd rather have a popular leader than an unpopular leader. I'm not saying the NDP is going to win the next election - but having a popular leader like Layton sure helps drive the numbers up and win more seats and influence!

  44. DL I have to agree with Volkov, look at Mays ratings as well. Much higher than her party. Because we know that Layton and May will never be PM. In most cases it's hard for pollsters to really gage the support third and fourth party leaders have when it is very unlikely they will hold power.

    Iggy hasn't run anything but he probably could run a decent government. It's not him I'm worried about but the tax and spend Liberals around him.

    I also think Iggy would do himself a world of good by standing for something even if it is tax increases coupled with some specific spending cuts to get out of the deficit. Canadians don't want to go back to where we were in 1995. The party that offers the most realistic plan to conquer the deficit, not necessarily the easiest on paper, will likely win the next election. And that my friends is what the next election is going to be about, not the Afghan detainee issue unless Harper suckers the opposition in.

  45. DL,

    Sure, it may, depending. But, again, Layton isn't popular - he's just viewed as competent for what he does in his position as a third party leader. There isn't a single person I know that likes Jack Layton. They think that he is a good NDP leader, and that he may make a good minister for something, or maybe even make a good mayor, but they don't say "Oh, Jack Layton, I really like that guy." He's viewed positively, but not popularly. There's a difference.

  46. Earl,

    I'm sorry if I misinterpreted some of your commentary.

    Re 2001-2004 Chretien/Martin that was also wrong.

    When something is wrong it's wrong, and it doesn't matter what party is in charge

  47. Jack Layton?

    If I was polled today i'd voice my approval of him. He's shown bravery and determination in his fight against cancer.

    He's also shed light on one of the male cancers. All the media and popular campaigns are about breast cancer, pink ribbons and all that.

    Cancer specific to men is often less talked about, less understood, and frankly less fashionable.

    I don't know if other people feel the same as me and that's why he's gotten a bump in his numbers.

  48. Layton has always had good approval numbers, but as I said, its because he's a third party leader, and they don't have the same liabilities and have to address the same issues as government and official opposition leaders do. His cancer status may have somewhat of an effect, but I doubt it.

    And how exactly has Layton shed any light on male cancer? He's been essentially mum on the subject. Just because he has it, doesn't mean he's now a super advocate for it. It's that sort of hype that brings about these false positives of public support.

  49. Shadow

    Earlier I said I liked you.

    I still do

    You just come off with anything and everything.

    You are probably the least politically correct commentor on this board, or any board.

    I will just sit back and relax and wait for the reaction

    Have a nice night buddy


  51. Hey Left Winger it may be politically incorrect but it certainly seems to be the case.

    All the media attention, the celebrity causes, and the corporate campaigns tend to focus on breast cancer.

    Certain cancers like lung, throat, and mouth cancer are stigmatized because everyone thinks you're a smoker if you get it.

    Anal cancer? Good grief what corporation is going to fundraise to cure that ? And yet people do die from it, like Farrah Fawcet did.

    There's been some fundraising and awareness campaigns around playoff time, beard growing competitions to raise money for testicular cancer. Which is good.

    Anyways this is a case where the gov't definetly needs to take the lead and do the funding. And people/companies should really give to groups fighting ALL kinds of cancer not specific ones.

    Otherwise you have this ridiculous situation where certain cancers get more research dollars because they are more marketable or because people want to show solidarity with women and prove what feminists they are.

  52. Volkov I think Jack Layton's press conference stood in stark relief to how Danny Williams handled his condition.

    I don't think he's been mum on the subject at all, he's been very open on the subject.

  53. Shadow

    Thank you for that scintillating lesson.

    I feel so much more educated now.

    No need to get your knickers in a knot.

    Your statements can stand on their own.

  54. Peter said...
    49 remember this??


    Guess what. They just imposed new taxes on airport services.

    Domestic Flight = $2.50
    Cross Border = $4.30
    International Flight = $8.90

    Enjoy !

    25 February, 2010 17:40

    Come on Peter this is nothing more than a gotcha moment. I doubt that any politician is going to come out against this tax. Who is going to "Yes get rid of the extra security, we don't need it and don't care if Canadians have to travel to third countries to get to the US."

    OTOH high Canadian taxes are why when I fly out of Buffalo airport all I see are Canadian cars. Flying is from Buffalo means going through customs at the border, always easier and huge savings unless I'm flying domestic. I'd never fly anywhere in the US or international from Canada because of the cost difference and convenience.

  55. Here's your challenge Volkov and others on the left:

    The idea of the coalition will not die a quiet death. No matter how far off the election and no matter what the Liberals and NDP say many people will not believe them. There are a lot of right leaning Liberals and undecided who I think will vote CPC rather than cast a vote for a possible coalition. Again JMHO.

  56. Earl,

    You know Guy Lauzon is a Conservative MP, right? I wouldn't put too much stock in his spin.

    But, as someone within the Liberal establishment, I haven't heard anything about these talks. Granted, I might not be very high up on the grapevine, but I think I'd hear something like this. The Liberals are expecting to go at it alone, and if the issue of coalition does become one that needs to be addressed, it will be one addressed in full view of Canadians.

  57. Earl,

    I don't consider myself to be a leftie. I am right in the centre where I like it.

    Me thinks the article is just some conservative mischief making.

    For one the Bloc agreed to support the Libs/NDP, on confidence motions.

    They had no seats in cabinet, and wer'e not part of drafting any legislation.

    Is the coalition really the only thing the conservatives have to talk about?

    As I said it's conservative mischief making.

    In my opinion.

  58. Volkov,

    It looks like the conservatives intend to flog this coalition horse to death.

    What I find most amusing is that when Martin was Prime Minister, and Harper expected an election call, he teamed with Layton and Duceppe to pen a letter to the GG, asking her to keep all her options open.

    The conservative say it's not the same thing.

    Do we know exactly what those three were planning?

  59. 49 Steps,

    We don't, really, though if I were to guess, it would have been somewhat of an informal accord between the Conservatives and the Bloc in the event of a Conservative minority, and maybe the NDP would get a word in edgewise as well.

    I remember when Duceppe stood up in the House with that paper in hand - I nearly fell out of my chair. It was one of the most beautiful moments in Canadian political history. The faces on the government side... lol.

    The Conservatives will continue to beat this dead horse, though. The Liberals won't do anything with a coalition without making sure its extremely transparent to the public. That's the major issue with the 2008 coalition - it was seen as illegitimate, because no one voted on it, and no one was told about it.

  60. To put it more succinctly, Canadians don't hate the idea of a coalition, but they do hate the idea of an illegitimate government.

  61. Volkov:

    My apologies I didn't know he was a CPC MP or I would not have posted it.

  62. Bringing up the coalition isn't flogging a dead horse its smart strategy.

    By making an issue out of this its going to force Ignatieff to go on the record. Maybe is no longer an option.

    If he says yes it hurts him in the election, if he says no it lets Harper keep gov't without a majority.

  63. 49 Steps and Volkov: First I want to say I'm really pleased where this blog has gone in the last week. We can talk to each other pleasantly despite our obvious differences.

    Secondly you bet the CPC will beat this coalition thing to death. And the Bloc did sign an accord with Liberals and NDP. If I was a CPC strategist preparing an election add, I'd be sure to show the three leaders sitting on the podium together signing the documents. With the caption: "Can you trust them when they say they won't do it again?"

    I very much like political strategy and that's how I'd play it.

  64. Earl,

    It's alright, it isn't as if Lauzon is exactly a high profile MP to begin with.

    Anyways, of course it would be a good strategy, though I think it wouldn't be as effective, simply because the picture of the three leaders is of Layton, Duceppe, and Dion - not Ignatieff, who was always rumoured to be very lukewarm to the idea of the coalition. Iggy was also the one who ended the idea of the coalition. An attack on him for the coalition won't be seen as too credible, in my opinion.

  65. Earl,

    I like to think that I am pleasant or at least try to be.

    As for political strategy and ads
    I can think of some whoppers the liberals have at their disposal

    How about the "No deficit no recession", A conservative government will never tax income trusts.

    Though my own personal favourite is "Canada is nothing but a third rate socialist country"

    In an election campaign Harper is going to have quite a lot of defending of his record to do, so I wouldn't count my chickens just yet.

  66. 49 steps:

    Those are old promises and quotes. The CPC can easily do the same thing with Iggy quotes. He said a lot of nasty things about Canada when living the US and UK. I don't think we want to get into that battle. Or maybe you do.

    The income trust issue is already an election old and if you didn't vote against the CPC last time on the issue I doubt that you will this time. Same as a national daycare program. It was in the original red book I believe. Now 17 years later its still being promised. You have to know which battles to fight. I see the LPC openings in the area of Harper's partisanship being over the top. That's something Canadians really don't care for and an excellent opening for the opposition.

  67. Earl,

    I think the Liberals are trying to weave a narrative about Harper.

    One example is the prorogation of parliament. If Harper doesn't like something he shuts it down.

    Another is the handbook given to conservatives, on how to disrupt parliamentary committees.

    His over the top partisianship, as another.

    His accusing anyone of disagreeing with him as a "Liberal Hack"

    Remember Linda Keene, and the bank economist last week.

    I take your point on old quotes, they can be thrown around in both directions.

    There is still going to be a lot for Harper to defend, and I hope this time the Liberals can pull it together, and run a much stronger campaign.

  68. Volkov, whether you like it or not - many, many Canadians DO like Jack Layton as a person and believe he would make a good PM. AS has been mentioned when people are asked "who would make the best PM?" Layton tends to get 17 or 18% - and is ahead of Ignatieff. I've seen other polls that show that Layton wins hands down when people are asked who they would most like to have a beer with, have dinner with, would most trust to babysit their kids and would be most likely to help them change a tire. These are not just opinion son my part - they are FACTS. I'm sure it galls you as a big "L" Liberal - but A LOT of Canadians sincerely like Jack Layton and have a lot of affection for him.

    As for qualifications, I'd put him up against Iggy any day of the week. Layton has run whole areas of the government in the City of Toronto having been chair of the board of health etc... and he led the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also written books on poverty and homeless and the national housing crisis. He also, i might add, has a PhD in Political Economy and taught urban planning.

    Michael Ignatieff on the other hand has ZERO experience administering anything in politics. He has written a few esoteric books on philosophy and human rights - but its not clear that he has ever "thought thoughts" about any domestic issue and he has never been in charge of anything. I'm not saying that Iggy doesn't have an impressive resume in his own way - but I think that by any objective standard - Jack Layton is more qualified to be PM of Canada than Ignatieff is.

  69. DL,

    I never said Jack Layton was never qualified. In fact, if anything, I think I made a point of saying that a lot of people think Layton is qualified. But, again, being viewed positively doesn't mean you are necessarily popular. A lot of people thought John Turner was a hell of a guy, if a little dim, but certainly competent; yet he was never popular as a leader.

    You can rattle your sword at me all you want about Jack Layton and his qualifications, and I'll certainly agree. He does have more experience than Ignatieff. He does have a lot of appeal. But the man simply isn't a popular figure, not any more than Harper or Ignatieff are, at least not outside of our own respective parties.

    You can't prove me wrong, either. He's no Ed Broadbent. He's certainly not a Tommy Douglas. Jack Layton is competent, but it doesn't make him popular.

  70. I guess it all depends on how you define being "popular". I think that when you are the leader of a third party and more people think you would make the best PM then think that of the leader of the opposition - that is a sign of POPULARITY. I think that when you have a higher level of approval than any other party leader - that is a sign of POPULARITY. I think that when you consistently run ahead of your own party that is a sign of personal POPULARITY.

    How do you define popularity?? However you define it - it sure doesn't apply to Igantieff

  71. DL Layton might be popular, but he doesn't come come to Harper on the PM index that Nanos does. That's the true test of whether or not Canadians want Layton as PM. So far they don't. Case Closed!

  72. DL,

    Popularity is whether or not Layton's competency translates into more victories for his party. It hasn't, not to the extent that it should have according to you and your super-mega-endorsement of Jack Layton. Like I said; he is seen as competent, but he isn't popular.

    And yeah, Ignatieff isn't popular. I never said he was. I personally think oodles of the guy, but I know he isn't popular as a leader. Never claimed the opposite.

    In all honesty, no federal leader is popular right now. Not Layton, not Harper, not Iggy, not May, not Duceppe. It's a pretty sad field.

  73. Volkov,

    My question is this

    How much of a factor does the party leader play into a person's decision on how to vote.

    For me I will be completely honest I would vote Liberal no matter who their leader was.

    I am sure there are NDP/Con voters who feel the same about their party.

    I will repeat an earlier point Ed Broadbent was also extremely popular with Canadians, but thay didn't vote for him as PM

    I think Jack Layton has the qualifications to be PM

    That doesn't mean I would vote for him.

  74. 49 Steps,

    A party's leader is a big factor. Jack Layton is an asset to his party, to be sure. But, as I've been trying to explain; just because Layton is viewed as competent, doesn't mean he is actually popular.

    Layton will never be considered Prime Minister, because his party, as it currently is, will never form the government. As a third party, the NDP are in the position whereby they can have really good leaders, but it won't give them too much of an advantage over government parties with bad leaders because the government parties are tried and tested, while third parties are not. People like being able to place a safe bet, which is why in 1990, after Bob Rae's win, the next day, no one would admit voting for the NDP, and it was a mystery as to how he ever got elected.

    So, Layton can be one of the best NDP leaders, but he will be dragged down by virtue of his position as the NDP leader. If he were running for mayor of Toronto, it's different, because that's all him; running as the head of a parliamentary caucus of near-socialists is a completely different matter altogether.

  75. In the election before Layton became NDP leader, the NDP took a paltry 8.5% of the vote. Since he became leader the NDP has taken 15.5%, then 17.5%, then 18.2% of the vote. I think that when you more than double your party's support and triple the seat count - you can lay some claim to having been an asset to your party and to being popular among the swing segments that our party needs to appeal to.

  76. Volkov,

    Harper has a low approval rating right now at 33% (Ignatieff also)

    It seems to me Harper has hit his ceiling.

    He will probably never be trusted enough by Canadians to be handed a majority.

    The writing is on the wall.

    Will the Cons still have him front and centre in sn election campaign, or try and hide him.

    DL I acknowledged Mr Layton was well qualified for the job as PM,
    that doesn't mean I or a lot of other Canadians would vote for him.

  77. Leaders make a huge difference and get most of the media focus during an election.

    Like Dion before him Ignatieff is weaker then the Liberal party brand itself.

    By virtue of that alone one would expect their numbers to go down in a campaign.

    Layton on the other hand should raise the NDP's numbers during a campaign.

  78. Well

    Here's my take

    I wish we has a "none of the above choice"

    When you think about it that guy would probably win the election in a landslide.

  79. "none of the above choice"

    ... Brewster's millions.

    A good movie for the 80's. Has to spend 30 million in 30 days to inherit 300. That campaign was one of the ways. I always liked Richard Pryor.

  80. Shadow I agree with ya on own the podium.

    We have already surpassed the most golds ever won by Canadians.

    I don't know if we will make it to 24 medals like we did last go round, but it should be close. Even so we have mostly gold this time rather than silvers and bronzes.

    We are yet guaranteed 2 curling medals this week (gold or silver) And men's hockey is on the same track (finally).

    With those three we could still equal most golds at olympics germany has scored 12 a coupld times. Soviets got 13 once. Norway and the US have never been above 10.

    But add in 4ths and 5ths to the entire mix? We sit only a couple finishes back of the top ranked Americans. In a multitude of sports or events that we weren't even competitive in (who would have thought we would win am ice dance gold over the Russians)

    Own the podium may not have translated into the number of bronzes we were hoping for, but Canada's performance over all is hugely improved. And I am sure looking forward to Canada contending and possibly even winning most golds.

  81. As for individual achievements, this one is large.

    Clara Hughes became the first athlete to win multiple medals, in both summer and winter games...


  82. Hey Barcs its pretty amazing when you think that we have 30 million people and our athletes get about 22 million dollars.

    America has 300 million people and their athletes get about 222 million because of some crazy sweatheart deal with the IOC about broadcasting rights and various corporate and state funding.

    Norway has even less people but they are heavily funded by their gov't I believe.

    Its just amazing how much talent Canada can produce.

  83. 49

    You know the problem with this "Order To Produce" that's hanging over the Govt is if the Opposition does not enforce it then in the future the Parliament will have lost the power to control the executive.

    So let's hope that at least some of the opposition MP's have the balls to go after this.

  84. Peter what's holding back the documents isn't any claim to executive power.

    Its laws passed by previous parliaments.

    A legal clarification by the Supreme Court would be helpful.

  85. Hi Peter

    I'm hoping like you

    I would like to know what's in those documents that the conservatives don't want us to see or know.

    To me it reeks of a cover up.

    Errol Mendes was saying that the conservatives must hand those documents over in their unredacted form.

    I hope the opposition can find their spines and hold the conservatives to account.

  86. Hi 49 steps i'm not surprise Errol Mendes is saying that.

    He's a partisan Liberal, records show he's donated money to them in the past.

    Unfortunately the media gives the false impression that he's a non-partisan, uninterested in political constitutional scholar.

  87. 49

    Another interesting development on this House rights issue

  88. Hi Peter,

    If you are still aroung

    Go up to the above thread and take a looksy

  89. Hi Shadow,

    Errol Mendes may be a liberal

    But please do not diminish his qualifications to speak on these matters.

    He is very well qualified

    I have also seen conservatives speaking who back up his position

  90. 49 steps I frankly don't care what Errol Mendes has to say.

    He always lines up on the coalition side of things. Like lawyer using his knowledge to come up with arguements that suits his clients.

    Whether he honestly believes what he's saying or not is irrelevent so long as it advances the Liberal party.


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