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Poor Steven Harper: He can’t buy the people’s love (or votes).

As pointed out by Red Tory today, we had conservative bloggers like Steve Janke howling with glee at the personal leaders preference out of the Sun yesterday which showed Dion’s personal rating in 3rd place, and also showing that he’s a concern troll, asking how much more us Liberals would tolerate of this supposed weakness we have at leadership.

Unfortunately for Janke, and others of like mind, we elect parties to power here in Canada, not presidents. Leadership ratings aren’t the be-all and end-all to getting elected (as pointed out by Darren here). This morning, the Con. party that Mr. Harper leads has now, with all this supposed Liberal leadership weakness, and with all these tax cuts designed to give them a boost in electoral fortunes, managed to fall into a dead-heat tie with the Liberals in the latest Strategic Council Poll:

The survey by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail/CTV News shows the two parties each with the support of 32 per cent of Canadians. The Conservatives had led the Liberals 34 per cent to 29 per cent in a poll taken two weeks before the mini-budget, which included income-tax relief and a one-percentage-point cut to the GST.

I love this quote by Peter Donolo:

“Two weeks ago, when they had their mini-budget, with billions and billions of tax cuts, they couldn’t have imagined that the Canadian public would thank them by seeing their numbers drop,” he said.

Maybe I should be asking Mr. Janke and other BT’ers how long is it going to take to realize that voters and people simply aren’t that comfortable with the Con. party or their policies to trust giving it a majority government. An example of one such policy that makes voters uncomfortable? A majority of voters disagree with the Cons. decision to no longer seek clemency for Canadians who face the death penalty in other countries.

At the moment, there is enough discomfort out there with Con. policies to not even guarantee the Cons’ re-election, despite what voters may think of Mr. Dion, and despite the Cons. attempts to seduce voters with tax cuts.

I could have also talked about the NDP drop in support in this poll, or the fact the Greens are now, for the first time, actually ahead of the NDP nationally (though obviously within the MOE and for all intents and purposes a dead-heat) , but I’ll leave others to talk about that angle of the story. I believe the real story here is the voting public isn’t buying what the Cons. are trying to sell.

9 comments to Poor Steven Harper: He can’t buy the people’s love (or votes).

  • For the record, I don’t howl.  I chortle.  It’s a lot more dignified.

  • ALW,

    <I>And a lot of people vote based on who the leader is.  What else could possibly explain, for example, the Tory success in Quebec, where all issued-based polling shows them squarely offside with most Quebec public opinion? </I>

    Really?  Because the last four elections I voted in (Ontario twice, Federal twice) the person who the polls indicated was the choice as the best leader — lost or took a big hit on election night.  (Martin, Martin again, Eves, Tory)

    Leadership numbers are interesting but they are hardly a good barometer for party success.  Ask Stephen Harper.  He once was at 10% as the Leader of the Opposition and that was after more than a year in the job!  Look where he is today.  Well, at least for now. 😉

  • Oldschool

    Maybe Dion is feeling brave . . . bring on the election!!!

    Polls in Ontario always amuse me . . . a lot of these folks are direct descendants of the United Empire Loyalists . . . they ran from the US in 1770’s cause they luved getting taxed by the English King . . . now they substitute lieberals. Guess there are parallels there, but we’ll save that for another day!!

  • efarrer

    [quote comment="10260"]What I love about Liberal Bloggers is that when this poll comes out, it must be gospel, but when Ipsos released their 4 poll in 4 weeks showing a 12-14 point Torie advantage, these same people cried at the top of their lungs that the poll was not right. Guys, you can’t be selective and decide which poll you want to trust.  Personally, I think both polls are out to lunch, and I am waiting for SES to release their poll this week.  Ipsos is too high, and SC is too low, somewhere in the middle is where the actual numbers lie.  Probably somewhere around 36-30 for the Tories, meaning an election would give pretty much the exact same result!  No advantage to either side. There is a significant chunk of Canadians who are right of centre, and there are a significant chunk of Canadians who are left of centre, and there are smaller chunks that are either right wing or left wing.  This is the new reality.  The Tories will be above 30%, and probably around 35-37%.  The Libs will be around 29-32%.  The rest will be left to the NDP, Bloc, Greens and others.[/quote]

    The reason Ipsos is decried so often is the numbers are always a minimum of 5 points above any other polling firm.  Regardless of any circumstance if two or three polls conme on the same day ipsos is 4-5% higher at a minimum.  The real question and the one people are ignoring is where the green votes will actually go on election day. Will they stay green, or will they go either red or orange. My money is on red. Likewise I think we will continue to see NDP support fall towards the liberals.

    All the liberals from the sponsership mess are gone. That can’t be used against the party, and won’t be as the tories have election funding related garbage they don’t want to talk about.

  • Rick

    What I love about Liberal Bloggers is that when this poll comes out, it must be gospel, but when Ipsos released their 4 poll in 4 weeks showing a 12-14 point Torie advantage, these same people cried at the top of their lungs that the poll was not right.

    Guys, you can’t be selective and decide which poll you want to trust.  Personally, I think both polls are out to lunch, and I am waiting for SES to release their poll this week.  Ipsos is too high, and SC is too low, somewhere in the middle is where the actual numbers lie.  Probably somewhere around 36-30 for the Tories, meaning an election would give pretty much the exact same result! 

    No advantage to either side.

    There is a significant chunk of Canadians who are right of centre, and there are a significant chunk of Canadians who are left of centre, and there are smaller chunks that are either right wing or left wing.  This is the new reality.  The Tories will be above 30%, and probably around 35-37%.  The Libs will be around 29-32%.  The rest will be left to the NDP, Bloc, Greens and others.

  • marta

    Heh  that is what I am always telling everywhere   There is a very solid base    and we can widen it  with   green-policies    people-care policies    future oriented progressive thinking policies   peace oriented  humanist policies   for all people  with all colors. and Nations….ect ect… instead of the raw  and unfeeling GREED  of the conservativeBrand.they care about one thing  only   THE MONEY   for any price  regardless…

     just watch us now LOLOLOL

     I Must "confess’ I personally really and   unmistakable  HATE Harper… for many many reasons ,,,

  • Dan

    ALW,
    It’s not as if we couldn’t have seen your comment coming either.

    You’ve taken what appears to be a descriptive claim by Scott and turned into a normative one. The passage you quote isn’t about what Canadians ought to do, it’s about what they do, in fact, do (this is especially apparent if you click through the link). Nice straw man you have there.

  • ALW

    So! Friggin! Predictable!

    Unfortunately for Janke, and others of like mind, we elect parties to power here in Canada, not presidents.

    Er, unfortunately for you, you don’t get to decide why and how people choose who they vote for.  And a lot of people vote based on who the leader is.  What else could possibly explain, for example, the Tory success in Quebec, where all issued-based polling shows them squarely offside with most Quebec public opinion? 

    I sincerely hope the entire Liberal Party walks into the next election sharing your mindset.  Your hatred of Harper is blinding you to the reality that most Canadians don’t share in such hatred. 

  • The latest Strategic poll clearly shows that Dion has a solid Liberal base on which to build for the next election. Harper’s attempt to buy his way into majority territory with tax cuts simply hasn’t  worked.  And now the Mulroney fiasco which is blind-siding Harper will make it doubly difficult to achieve a Conservative majority.  Dion has said on more than one occasion that he expects to be prime minister of Canada. I think he will. 

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