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Nanos Poll: Gap narrows to 6 points, Liberals release new ad.

There are a lot of polls out there. You also have a lot of newspapers declaring this and that over their particular poll they’ve sponsored without mentioning a thing about other polls that may contradict their specific pollster’s narrative. See the doom and gloom predictions of the Toronto Star and Jim Travers in this past Saturday edition for evidence of that.

Well, Nanos has come out with their tracking poll today, and it shows a tightening of the race down to 6 points between the Liberals and the Cons, down from 8 points the past 2 days. Note also the big undecided vote in that poll – this election is still in play, despite what some in the media would have you think. Decima is still showing a good lead for the Cons, but their poll is also trending well for the Liberals (they have gained back 6 points against the Cons in the past 2 Decima polls), and as BigCityLib and Steve say, the Conservatives policies and such may be coming under greater scrutiny now by the electorate… and the warm and fuzzy sweater ads may be wearing off.

With all that said, the timing of this new ad below to be played in the English language market by the Liberals is well-timed, in my view. It’s a little harder in tone, which I think is going to be necessary, but exudes a positive frame at the end.  Keep hitting them where it hurts, as Warren K. opines today, and don’t be afraid to hit hard.

UPDATE @ 3:52 pm: Warren approves of the new ad.

Stating the obvious.

Warren Kinsella knows how to run a war-room. While commenting on the Ryan Sparrow suspension for stupid over-the-top partisan remarks toward a dead soldier’s father, he gets it that this week has been a series of gaffes for the Conservatives, and not indicative of a well-oiled Conservatives machine, as some journalists have laughably been claiming. As noted in the prior blogpost, Mr. Travers and Fife and Duffy and other journalists should take note. Read the Globe and Mail while you’re at it, because they obviously get that point too.

Update @ 2:35pm: Ha ha. Hilarious post from Dr Dawg on the Cons. war room troubles, once again proving a […]

A counter-point to the media narrative of the Conservatives “well oiled election machine”

One opinion I’ve held about political blogs in general in Canada is that one thing they can be useful for is to point out stuff that the traditional media might not be covering – ie. they may all have decided on a narrative for this election campaign, and will stick to it regardless of whether events pop up that contradicts that narrative. The blogosphere can point out that this “narrative” is not necessarily the case.

For example, the Conservatives first week of the campaign has hardly been a stellar one or an example of a well-oiled machine. You had “Puffin-Gate” occurring. You had the controversy over Elizabeth May’s inclusions in […]

Liberals promise to ban military assault weapons if elected.

I haven’t seen this yet in the media in my quick scan of headlines (though I expect it will be soon) but I saw this press release from the Liberals that should resonate in many urban centres across Canada. The Liberals will ban military assault weapons and add them to the prohibited weapons list if elected, which was very appropriately announced by Dion at Dawson College, the scene of a tragic shooting of a young girl in 2006:

Mr. Dion at an event at Dawson College (said) “Military assault weapons have no connection to hunting or sport shooting, and serve absolutely no purpose in our society. No one outside of the military needs these weapons and we would all be safer without them in Canada.” A Liberal government would ensure that the list of prohibited weapons is updated to include all military assault weapons. This approach was supported last Thursday by Coroner Jacques Ramsay in his report into the tragic shootings at Dawson College in 2006.

So, Dion is endorsing the official coroner’s report on this by promising to implement it as a policy. I’ll be very interested to see if Harper and his Public Safety Minister Stockwell Days does as well.

In addition, Dion promised that the government’s firearms advisory committee would be made to reflect broader opinions across Canada then it currently is now:

Under the Conservatives the committee had been quietly stacked with firearms enthusiasts, providing little in the way of unbiased advice. “While the voices of legitimate gun owners deserve to be heard on the committee, we will ensure that there are representatives of major police associations – like the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association, health and safety experts and true advocates of gun control on the committee.

I also like Dion saying that “Stephen Harper cannot be tough on crime when he is soft on guns”. I think that is a prefect way to show Harper and the Conservatives have a double standard on this “tough on crime” spiel that this right-wing bunch tend to use to try to portray everyone else as soft. Reminding voters that Harper and the Conservatives are ideologues comparable to the National Rifle Association and their Republican allies is a good line of attack. Gun control and their visceral opposition to it is a soft spot in the Conservative armour – at least in urban Canada.

Harper and the Conservatives: Promise Breakers

I’d like to point you all to a new website that The BC Liberal campaign has launched as of this morning: Promisebreakers.ca.

This sort of fits into the theme some of the progressive blogging community did on Sunday, when we were detailing all of the Conservatives broken promises from their last campaign. In this specific case, promisebreakers.ca is a comprehensive audit of the Conservatives’ BC platform for the last election, detailing every broken promise. It was obviously cleverly timed to come on line to coincide with Stephen Harper’s visit to the Vancouver area this morning.

Check it out. You’ll see quite a few “Promise Made; Promise Broken” lines over there. […]

Pointing out Conservative failures in Liberal speeches and ads is not going “negative”

I know there’s been some debate going on as to whether the Liberals should be going negative and if so, what type of “negative” we should be doing. I for one, think that the Liberals are doing the right campaign tactics when they are very tough on the Conservatives on such issues as the listeriosis outbreak:

The Liberals launched their first attack of the onrushing election campaign by accusing the Harper government of undermining food safety in the same way the Mike Harris Tories weakened water safety in Walkerton, Ont., a decade ago…Those of us from Ontario – and those across the country – remember Walkerton,” said Toronto MP Carolyn Bennett, who accompanied Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion at a news conference wrapping up a party caucus meeting here…”We remember when there was an active decision to reduce inspections and what happened to the health of those people in Walkerton,” said Bennett, MP for the riding of St. Paul’s, and the Liberal health critic. Cuts in regulatory spending by the Harris government in the mid-1990s contributed to the E. coli water tragedy that cost seven lives in Walkerton in 2000, according to the report of a public inquiry.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion on the same issue at the same press conference, calling for Agriculture Minister Ritz’s firing:

“Starting March 1, a change has been made that put our inspection situation where inspectors are more inspecting paper than meat,” Dion said. “And under the circumstances, because this change has been covered up, the minister cannot stay the minister.” Dion said that, like the Harris Tories, the Harper Conservatives “don’t believe in the role of the government” in regulating business. Dion noted that three key members of the Harper government – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Environment Minister John Baird and Health Minister Tony Clement – were in Harris’s cabinet

There is nothing “negative” about pointing out how the Conservatives ideology and averseness to government regulation may have contributed to this health crisis, as the provincial Conservatives in Ontario under Mike Harris did in connection to Walkerton. That goes for going at them over such things as their own refusal to publish details about their own environmental plan to combat Greenhouse gases. Pointing out that this isn’t showing “strong leadership”, but hiding facts from the Canadian public again is not negative, but fair ball.

Personally, not only do I want to see more press conferences or campaign rallies doing similar themes to what Bennett and Dion did, but I want to see the same thing running in the Liberals campaign advertisement ads on radio and tv when the election campaign officially get started, (presuming Michaelle Jean doesn’t throw a curveball at Harper when he visits her).

UPDATE: Want to counter those pre-election election ads on Harper’s “strong leadership”? Liberal strategists and our party would be well advised to use some of the points that Carol Goar makes to shred that claim to pieces, and all done with facts, not personal attacks. Put those facts in the LPC ads, and have Dion and other Liberals pepper your speeches with these facts.

UPDATE 2 @ 2:14pm: I agree with Jennifer Smith’s approach, which I believe is the same thing that I’m advocating.

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