Poll Nazi tells Harper

Whoops!  Looks like all the Divide-and-Conquer tactics, all the abortions and guns that have been furiously lobbed our way from the PMO over the past few months, aren’t enough to make stubborn Canadians fall in love with CRAP, and might even piss us off a little.

According to the latest EKOS poll released today, we are sooooo not impressed with the whole “Culture War” thing, it’s just sooooo Last Decade:

33%!?? — it’s enough to make a grown man cry.  And Stephen Harper, too.

What happened?  Does the weekly tracking tell the tale?:

Maybe not.

I take it to mean that no matter how much we might beef and bitch at each other, when push comes to shove, pitting Canadian against Canadian isn’t a winning formula.  The temporary polarization has only served to put us on edge and apparently, make us get a little more serious about this “voting” thing.  But it doesn’t look like the CPC is reaping the rewards of their divide-and-conquering:  if an election were held today, they’d barely hang onto their minority government status.

Who knows, maybe we’re just riding a wave of that “Throw the bums out!” zeitgeist emanating from south of the border.  (We are all teabaggers now.)

Or maybe the Iggster’s bus tour worked?

And did I just hear an anguished, tear-choked scream from beyond the eastern horizon?  It seemed to be crying “eLEEEEEEEEETS!!!”

NEXT!

4 Responses to “Poll Nazi tells Harper”


  1. 1 fhg1893 Friday, October 1, 2010 at 8:57 am

    JJ – I think that Ignatieff’s position is deceptively weak, but first, Harper’s strategy seems to be emerging.

    Harper’s move on the gun registry might have been a master-stroke after all, because he’s effectively trounced Jack Layton, who is now hemorrhaging support left and right. Given the overall direction of Layton’s numbers, he’s going to be lucky to retain any of his rural caucus. Harper has taken one contender out of the fight, which means that in a campaign, he can focus on Ignatieff, because Layton has nowhere left to turn for votes. Rural Canadians see the NDP as turn-coats, while left-wing urban Canadians must be thinking of voting strategically to get rid of Harper, or have become disgusted with federal politics, something which suits Harper just fine. A razor-thin majority might be within reach if Harper doesn’t loose too much urban support in Ontario. And Ontario is seething in partisan rage against McGuinty right now; the provincial Tories look like they’re going to get their best result since Harris, which is pretty scary. So two factors play into Harper’s favor: all he has to do, is link the provincial Liberals, with the federal ones. That is a task made very easy thanks to Ignatieff’s new house leader. And second, he just has to unleash more advertising in the style of the “just visiting” adds that seem to have kept Ignatieff’s numbers so low thus far. So, what this must mean is that Harper is planning on taking it to Ignatieff on the campaign trail. Notice how quiet the attack adds have been lately? Harper has been stockpiling ammunition to throw at Iggy. With the rural vote well in hand, it’s a matter of winning over urban Canada, and that’s got to be something he thinks he can do by making Iggy look bad, something that he’s been very good at so far, and something which Iggy’s leadership scores consistently reflect.

    As for Ignatieff, he’s in more trouble than the polls reflect. For one thing, the Liberals are still divided, and Bob Rae has been very busy nipping at Ignatieff’s heals. And, while Ignatieff has kept enough support to survive, he hasn’t been able to take significant support away from Harper, his gains having come at more at Layton’s expense than Harper’s. There’s also the failure to deliver any kind of platform. Ignatieff’s only talking point so far has been to criticize the government, and distinguish himself by being something other than Harper. To some degree, that’s his job, but what Canadians have lacked so far is a reason to vote FOR Ignatieff. A Liberal election platform is going to need to be rock-solid, and Ignatieff will personally need to counter whatever personal attacks Harper has stored up for him. Ignatieff needs to campaign on what he and the Liberals stand for; he’s already yielded the initiative, at least when he’s on the offensive, to Harper.

    So, Harper has a pretty solid, motivated base, and even Ignatieffs most well-aimed blows haven’t significantly shaken Harper’s numbers. We don’t really know what Harper has up his sleeve to throw at Ignatieff, because so far, he hasn’t had to use it. We know that Iggy has said some very controversial things in the past, and might prove to be unelectable, if Harper can make it stick. Harper’s track-record however, is good. Harper is a seasoned campaigner, Ignatieff is a rookie.

    Ignatieff on the other hand is all offense, with no apparent defense to speak of. Perhaps it’s there, but his base of support, that is, left-wing voters seem to be split three ways, something which works in Harper’s favor. Ignatieff needs to provide a viable alternative, and that’s a narrative that has so far failed to materialize. In order to break the Tory hold, Ignatieff needs it to be absolutely stellar and truly devastating. It’s not impossible, but I don’t see Ignatieff as having the charisma, and the personal capacity for reinvention to be able to pull it off.

  2. 2 JJ Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:09 am

    fhg

    Harper’s move on the gun registry might have been a master-stroke after all, because he’s effectively trounced Jack Layton, who is now hemorrhaging support left and right.

    Agreed.
    The Globe & Mail did a piece on this poll, and they suggested that the waning NDP support was angry pro-registry people fleeing to the LPC — but it is also angry anti-registry people fleeing to the CPC. Note that both parties show an uptick in support.

    However, if Harper’s intention was to get voters to run away from the NDP and consolidate them into either the Liberals or the CPC, I’m not so sure it’s a great idea. It certainly takes away from the “coalition of socialists and separatists” talking point, and the divided vote on the left, which is always a good thing for the CPC. If I were Harper I’d want to keep the NDP as popular as possible.

    A razor-thin majority might be within reach if Harper doesn’t loose too much urban support in Ontario

    Last time out, Harper got within spitting distance of a majority, just shy by 12 seats. Individual issues like the gun registry aside, most voters will vote for the devil they know rather than an unknown quantity like Ignatieff. (Also as you point out, there’s lots of McGuinty rage that could spill over in Ontario.) So there’s some merit to this point.

    Also, I think this supposed “urban conservative outrage” against Harper because of the gun registry is way overstated — urban conservatives are NOT going to start voting Liberal in droves over one issue, especially one that, in their view, doesn’t even affect them.

    but what Canadians have lacked so far is a reason to vote FOR Ignatieff.

    Exactly, that’s what it takes to win in a big way. People wanted to vote for Chretien (at least liberals did). Or look at Obama — he won with such a landslide because people really wanted to go out and vote for the guy. It’s hard to motivate people by saying “I suck less than the other guy”… and really, do we really know that he sucks less? I don’t. To me, the LPC always seems to be in total disarray, like herding cats. One thing about Harper, he keeps his crew on message and in lockstep at all times, and voters like that.

    Harper has a pretty solid, motivated base

    Which is something the other side definitely does NOT have. To me, the LPC base (and the NDP base, for that matter) looks like a loose coalition of a lot of little bases all with their own different interests.

    Having said all that, this is just one poll, and every poll seems to tell a different story.

    My person opinion is that the CPC is probably still a bit shy of a majority. One thing that this culture war strategy accomplished was to remind people of Harper’s Hidden Agenda 😉

  3. 3 balbulican Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 3:56 am

    A “solid, motivated base”.

    A party “on message”.

    A party “in lockstep”.

    A party of gun-lovers united against socialists.

    Gosh. It all sounds so appealing.

  4. 4 JJ Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Balb – Rings some bells, doesn’t it 😐

    It may not sound that appealing to you (or me). But voters in general seem to find “on message-in lockstep” preferable to the disarray and conflict that (IMO) characterizes real democracy.

    People might complain about politics-as-usual, but they seem to like it that way. The Harper gov’t has fucked up in all kinds of ways, including big spending which should be anathema to conservatives, but unless something catastrophic happens, the next election will probably yield pretty much the same results as the last one.


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