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Tidbit Thursday – Harper destroys the Senate to save it, and new Ekos poll confirms dead heat.

A new Ekos poll comes out in line with Decima’s results, making me again question Ipsos Reid’s poll results and whether it was an outlier (as others have done today) as well as wondering if the NDP bloggers who jumped all over that one result and declaring the end of Liberalism will now admit they jumped the gun a bit too soon with that declaration. Also, Harper apparently is destroying the Senate (and his past pious pronouncements on Senate Reform) to save the Senate, or something.

First the Ekos poll:

Conservatives – 32.6 (-0.2)
Liberals – 30.9 (+0.7)
NDP – 15.7 (-1.4)
Green – 11.3 (+0.3)
BQ – 9.5 (+0.8) (37.1) (+2.1)
Undecided – 15.1 (-0.7)

As I said, pretty close and in line with the Decima polling results earlier this week, showing a dead heat. I see Kady O’Malley has just updated her blogpost at Maclean’s with the Ekos regional numbers; some interesting #’s in there to mull over.

Secondly, I can’t tell you how amused I am at seeing Harper about to stack the Senate with 9 more of his Conservative cronies. It’s his right as Prime Minister to do so, and he’s not doing anything different from prior Liberal PM’s. The difference is that he openly has said the past 13 years that he would be different, and that he would not appoint Senators, so the hypocrisy and flip-flop on this is very blatant. I’ll be interested to see how many “principled Conservatives” out there can actually write or say with a straight face that this is defensible on Harper’s part, and/or try to defend this move as not betraying Reform/Conservative principles on the Senate. (I see at least one Conservative blogger is a bit dismayed – which is a credit to him actually)

Some rather direct quotes of what Harper has said prior on this topic can be found here, but here are a couple of my favorites that show the Senate Harpocrisy this Prime Minister has shown with these new appointments:

“Despite the fine work of many individual Senators, the Upper House remains a dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the Prime Minister.” (Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004)

“A conservative government will not appoint to the senate anyone who does not have a mandate from the people.”
(Conservative Party website during 2006 election)

It reminds me of Brian Mulroney, slamming John Turner in the 1984 debates that “he had an option” not to fill the Senate with Liberal appointees of Pierre Trudeau’s, and then turning around and stacking the Senate over his 9 year tenure, even going so far as to enlarge the Senate to allow him to add additional Conservative Senators so that he could pass the Goods and Services tax into law. The Conservatives, as you can see, have been hypocrites/Harpocrites on the issue of the Senate in their various incarnations of their party for a very long time.

One other point: Harper’s argument that he’s doing this to help pass democratic reforms for the Senate – which I’ve titled as being Harper’s version of “I need to destroy the Senate and my principles to save the Senate” is utter nonsense. Full-scale Senate reform to change the Senate entails opening the Constitution back up and getting the provinces to approve the changes – something a few of them have said at this point they will not do. This exercise is little more then trying to get as many Conservative hacks in place before Harper potentially loses in an imminent election.

As Don Martin of the National Post (who is no friend of the Liberals) writes:

An ideological politician who was disgusted at watching Parliament’s upper house turned into a vote-stacking exercise, where only the faintest of sober second thoughts actually take place, Mr. Harper has turned ruthlessly partisan in making his Senate appointments, elevating party loyalty into a key consideration for the cushiest job on the Hill.

UPDATE: I see John is too proud to admit he might have made a mistake with his declarations on the Liberals party and leader after the Ipsos poll came out. What does it prove? Not much, other then NDP’ers can just be as partisan as any other party supporter out there, particularly when evidence comes out that their positions aren’t probably correct. That leaves The Jurist as the other major NDP blogger who jumped on the “Liberals are dead” bandwagon after the Ipsos poll came out. We’ll have to wait and see if he can muster up a retraction, or try to move the goalposts as well.


7 comments to Tidbit Thursday – Harper destroys the Senate to save it, and new Ekos poll confirms dead heat.

  • The Liberals were neck and neck until a disastrous policy followed up with an underfunded disastrous campaign.

    As far as I know, the Carbon Tax isnt coming back, and the Liberals will be able to spend the maximum this time. I think the NDP is hoping Ignatieff stumbles along the way but simply assuming everything will be the same is wearing orange-coloured glasses at best

  • I’ll have to echo Dr. Dawg and ask, what’s to retract? The Ipsos-Reid polling number was what it was, the other recent polling offers a different conclusion, and I’ve incorporated both into my analysis.

    And the theme of the linked post wasn’t “the Liberals are dead”, it was “the Liberals’ position is worsening along the same lines of what happened under Dion” – which is true regardless of which set of polls one looks at.

  • all i see is a bug 16% question mark which means WHO THE [email protected]#$ GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THIS POLL

  • Joseph

    Well, I’m kinda dizzy now so in that sense it’s certainly spin of some type ;).

  • Scott:

    I see dead people.

    You keep talking about goalposts, but my original article could have cited the pathetic results of the EKOS and Decima polls instead, and my points would have been just as valid.

    • Respectfully, Dawg, I think you’re dancing around this. You trumpeted a poll with an 11 point Conservative lead that even the Harper Conservatives were questioning, as a justification for that post of yours declaring the Liberal Party and the Iggy brand more or less dead. You said to me after I pointed out the Decima poll to you and my stance that you might have been a bit hasty in your conclusions that you’d wait until you saw the Ekos poll before deciding on a retraction. Now, we have the Ekos poll out, that confirms Decima.. and you’re trying to use those results to justify a blogpost saying the Liberals were dead after such a bad Ipsos result?

      We call that triangulation.. or spin.. and not very good spin 😉

      • @Scott Tribe, We call that triangulation…

        We do? As I understand it, in politics triangulation refers to the attempt to place yourself either outside the left-right continuum or so exactly in the middle of it that you can claim support from all sides and hope not to offend any. The master of triangulation in modern politics was probably Bill Clinton. So what does that have to do with this little dust-up?

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