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Cons 31, Libs 30. New SC poll. Prorogation hurting Cons: pollster

There are a lot more “elitists” out there that care about their Parliament getting unnecessarily prorogued then cabinet minister Tony Clement thinks apparently, if this new SC poll is any indication:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has paid a large price in popularity for shutting down Parliament, with his Conservatives effectively tied with Liberals in a new poll by The Strategic Counsel. Conservatives are at 31 per cent, compared to 30 per cent for Liberals, in the poll conducted by Strategic Counsel late last week, as controversy was starting to build over Harper’s prorogation of Parliament until March 3.

“Proroguing of Parliament has hurt the Tory brand,” said Tim Woolstencroft, the managing partner at Strategic Counsel, who believes that Harper’s Conservatives must be seeing the same kind of numbers, because the government has appeared to be in a defensive posture all week. “I think the government is worried about it,” Woolstencroft said.

As cheery as these numbers will make Liberals, I will still agree with the SC pollster that the Liberals need to do a lot more then sit around and let things happen. I will again point to Steve V’s blogpost and again agree with him when he says if the Liberals want to try and position themselves as the party for those Canadians angry with this prorogation to use as their vehicle of discontent, they need to have a proposal of democratic reforms to propose to the public;  preferably sooner rather then later, when the risk of this anger dying down is greater (preferably within the next couple of weeks, just before or just after the scheduled CAPP rallies are taking place).

EDIT: In the meantime, I’d love to hear a journalist ask Tony whether he underestimated the amount of elitists living in Canada.

UPDATE @ 4:38 pm: Steve V talks about this poll and another one released by Angus-Reid. It has a wider gap of 6, but thats down from a margin of 9 from the last AR poll. More interesting is the concurrent poll that Angus-Reid took on Canadians views on Harper’s prorogation of Parliament. They aren’t impressed, and as Steve says, dangerous numbers for Harper.

6 comments to Cons 31, Libs 30. New SC poll. Prorogation hurting Cons: pollster

  • johnnyblog

    Nice try guys. The latest poll yesterday had the Tories at 34% up from 31% on January 13th. This thing peaked last week. Good luck trying to make this an election issue. There will be a clear choice for Canadians in the next election. A government that wants to cut spending and return our country to fiscal stability (no thanks to the massive deficits demanded by the Liberal/NDP coalition last year..upon threat of a non-confidence vote)…or big tax/big spending Liberal/NDP?BQ coalition that will make the current deficit look like a bar tab. Paul Martin’s Liberals are gone. The new Liberals are FAAAARR to the left of Paul Martin. Canada will pull out of Afghanistan and the economy will improve. Harper is judged best able to manage the economy in virtually every poll. The economy will be the question for the next election (not childish little personality issues and stunts by angry left wingers who are throwing a tantrum because their appratus is being systematically dismantled). When the Liberals lost power they decided to use a network of civil servants and the senate to attack the government relentlessly. These so-called whistleblowers are partisan plants who have been taking their best shots at the government (and taking their instructions from Liberal HQ). As of this month the senate campaign to block legislation and manipulate committees (not at the request of the Canadian people, but at the request of Liberal HQ) will come to an end. Similarly the Tories have quite rightly replaced vocal Liberal partisans in senior civil service positions. We have seen the Liberals pathetically do their best over four years to generate psuedo-scandal after psuedo-scandal. But unlike the Liberals (who stole $1000 million in public funds and interfered in the Development Bank for personal gain), Harper’s government is clean as a whistle. 62% of all Canadians do not believe that the pro-rogue was to dodge the Afghan detainee issue (it’s hard to call it a scandal as there is no actual evidence of any Afghan’s being beaten). Good luck trying to get Canadians worried about Afghan’s beating Afghans (what a laugh). And good luck trying to get Canadians (at least those other than the 10,000 NDP and Liberal activists that staged their fizzled out protest the other day) to care about parliamentary procedure. In less than 20 days the government will be back in parliament on schedule with a new budget. The time will seem to have passed so quickly the public will quickly wonder what all the fuss was about (it’s hard to suggest that democracy was destroyed when people will be able to see them on CSPAN bickering away in a couple of weeks). Harper will gain 10% as soon as any writ is dropped and people are reminded of the Liberal plan to seize power in a coup (with the NDP and BQ). The new Liberal policy regarding proroguing is designed to prevent Harper from going to the GG to stop the next coup. Good luck with that. Don’t forget Harper will pick the next GG, not Ignatieff. Now do you really think he will be so stupid as to pick one who will buy in to the Liberal play book? Nope. If your sad little coalition votes non-confidence immediately after an election, Harper’s GG will simply call another election and let the people vent their frustration on the coup plotters for wasting our money.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @johnnyblog, wow dude, you are crazy and have terrible netiquette for commenting. Ever heard of paragraphs so maybe someone could read your rant?

  • Anon ABC

    I agree with JB on no prorogation w/o a full HOC majority vote. I think, however, that there is a time and place for prorogation if done w/o partisan purposes.

    I do agree with JB that Iggy needs to make this one of a package of democratic reforms that the Libs need to propose urgently, strongly and continuously. Other reforms that immediately come to mind: (a) mechanism for appointment of Senators, (b) mechanism for appointment of the GG, and (c) hopefully, electoral reforms as well. Fairvote Canada has made good arguments in support of the latter.

    Harper had a window in the aftermath of the Adscam scandal where, if he had followed through with most of the promises to clean up the sleaze left behind by previous Libs and Cons govts, he would likely have had a majority by now.

    It is really up to Iggy whether he can ride this horse of prorogation/democratic discontent by delivering really meaningful democratic reforms and giving us the good govt most of us want. These types of oppotunities do not occur often — are Iggy and the Libs up to the challenge or is it MOTS if and when they do get back into power?

  • I think Iggy has said he wouldn’t prorogue under similar circumstances. IMO, he should go further. Proposing a structural change to the prorogation process would ride on the anti-prorogue wave. Either no prorogue w/o a full HOC majority vote or the elimination of prorogation altogether. I favour the latter and I think it would resonate with voters.

    An interesting thing about the polls… the shift must be chalked up almost entirely to Harper’s blunder. If the opposition had got out in front of this a lot sooner and a lot more strongly, they’d have made even bigger gains. When the other guy drops the ball, pick it up and run fast.

  • SteveV

    We need to get aggressive and offer some reform alternatives. We will squander this opportunity, if Liberals get “conservative”, if you know what I mean. It’s sitting there, GRAB IT!

  • bull caller

    Harper is live on CBC right now… spin stephen spin….

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