For Whom the Poll Tells

Today’s Big Number is Thirty-Eight(38).

With the comfortable space of 2 years between them and the last election, and with the next one hovering tantalizingly on the horizon, the latest Angus Reid poll shows the CPC well ahead at 38%.  38%… I can almost hear the saliva dripping from conservative fangs across the nation… 38%… so close and yet so far.

Or maybe not.  The poll also finds the LPC in somewhat more disarray than could be considered strategically opportune at this pivotal pre-election moment.  Once again a majority of LPC voters are expressing dissatisfaction with their party’s leadership.  Only 38% would keep Iggy as leader, and the rest would presumably drop him like a dead donkey:

While large majorities of Tory and NDP supporters are content with Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, only 38 per cent of Liberal voters in 2008 would keep Michael Ignatieff at the helm.

38% of Liberal voters would keep Iggy at the helm?  38% of the Canadian electorate would vote CPC?  Coincidence?  Hmm??

But check out the “Attributes” section of the poll.  Respondents were scathing in their assessment of Ignatieff, saying he was more boring and out of touch, less intelligent, and only slightly less arrogant than Harper:

Does that mean Iggy’s 7% more boring than Stephen Harper?  That’s quite an achievement, when you think about it.

Are MC Harper’s little musical interludes working their PR magic?   Come on Iggy, time for some one-upmanship:  think Ladies’ Night at the Eldorado.  You might still lose the next election, but nobody will call you “boring”.

16 Responses to “For Whom the Poll Tells”


  1. 1 Ricky Barnes Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I would gladly take him to Ladies night.

    That would explain the 3 more confidence votes the other night. The LPC again voted to keep Harper in government….

    See the touble for the LPC is that they keep singing the same tune, 113 times they have played the same song. It gets a little boring and if you keep dancing to Harpers Fiddle well, you have to expect people will go with the guy calling the shots vs the guy that is dancing to the other guys song.

  2. 2 Kim Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Great title! One question. If Layton is so well respected, why don’t the polls reflect that?

  3. 3 B York Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I don’t think a single opposition leader is doing it for the electorate at large. Harper keeps himself safe by trying to soften his image – killing us softly with his songs. I think Ignatieff, Layton and May just lack something to get people rallying behind them other than tried and true supporters. None of them have performed with fire while in the opposition or outside of Parliament.

  4. 4 JJ Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Ricky

    if you keep dancing to Harpers Fiddle well, you have to expect people will go with the guy calling the shots vs the guy that is dancing to the other guys song.

    Well put, great metaphor. The Liberals do themselves a disservice by continually voting with the CPC and not making clear that there’s even a difference between them and the CPC. (Which makes you wonder if there is much difference between them.)

  5. 5 JJ Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Kim – It appears that people like Jack Layton personally, they just don’t like his party. Which is sort of understandable, since people are focused on fiscal responsibility which is not thought of as the NDP’s strong suit.

  6. 6 JJ Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Beijing

    I don’t think a single opposition leader is doing it for the electorate at large.

    You’re right — apart from Duceppe, who seems to be fairly popular in Quebec (though irrelevant outside of it), none of them turn the electorate’s crank. Which is fortunate for Harper, because the voters aren’t exactly on fire for him either… he sort of wins by default.

  7. 7 fhg1893 Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Well, there’s a lot at play here isn’t there?

    For one thing, the center is shifting right, which is to be expected somewhat after a long period of generally left-wing hegemony.

    A number of people are concerned with the spread of Islam, and the political left has done worse than nothing to counter apologists, both Islamic and secular. Sweden has reportedly become the per-capital rape-capital of Europe after all, something which appears to be related to the tacit toleration of a socio-politico-religious culture that is at a right angle to generally accepted Swedish live-and-let-live tolerance. It may already be too late for Sweden, but it’s not to late for us, or so the mantra goes. Tolerance has morphed into Harper derangement syndrome, and a vehement condemnation of all things Israeli, possibly including casual antisemitism.

    Further, it seems that the left, in an apparent betrayal of the principles of liberty, and personal freedoms has become the fascist, draconian group of thugs that they’re so often throw at the Conservatives. The well-intentioned human rights movement in this and other liberal democracies has become a cudgel against free-speech, laws are passed not to serve the people, but to abuse and subjugate them, we have a Charter of rights without teeth, and major problem with the abuse of police powers, especially in Ontario. And don’t get me started about our gun laws…

    As you point out JJ, fiscal responsibility and leadership is sorely lacking, and people believe, perhaps mistakenly, that the Tories are the solution to government intrusion and fiscal mismanagement. After the gun registry, the Liberals have completely yielded the narrative of sound fiscal management. If any regular readers doubt that, just realize that this is a party that wants to buy a few wings of stealth fighters that have even the most ardent military hawks wringing their hands and gritting their teeth.

    Finally, as has been frequently lamented, Iggy is without policy; no platform, no ideas, nothing new in the Liberal party. Instead of some serious soul-searching, the Liberals seem to be obsessed with finding a new messiah, a neo-Trudeau, if you will. Of course, no such leader can or will emerge unless the Liberals really spend some time, and get their political ducks in a row; they need to return to the true principles of liberalism. This of course, appears to be like kryptonite to the Liberals; Iggy blew all kinds of money on a “policy conference” that failed to produce any policy. Honestly, it looked more like an academic circle-jerk than a political think-tank. Then he went on a coast-to-coast bus tour to meet “the Canadians,” (Would have cost THIS Canadian $30.00 for lunch with Iggy, not counting parking, tip, etc.) which didn’t do anything for his fortunes either. He’s got only what, one battle to his credit so far, and it’s actually ended up being better for the Conservatives, than it has for the Liberals? Iggy has to be something OTHER than notStephenHarper, something he has so far failed to do.

    This doesn’t take into account the problems with health-care, old-age pensions, demographic bombs, and the real-estate bubble. And all this time, the only thing Iggy has ever managed to “win” is a single vote on a whipped private members’ bill that only served to fill Tory coffers with private donations!

    The Liberals have come to stand for NOTHING, and so long as the Conservatives appear to stand for anything at all, even shit that makes no sense, Canadians will continually choose the Conservatives.

    So I guess, in other words, though I’m even not gay, or female, I think I’d pay to see Iggy do ladies night at the Eldorado, if only so that I might be able to say that he was entertaining…

  8. 8 JJ Monday, December 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Hi fhg! How goes the battle 8) To some of your points:

    For one thing, the center is shifting right, which is to be expected somewhat after a long period of generally left-wing hegemony.

    No doubt. These are different times than the Liberal Glory Days, and people have different concerns: jobs, the economy, their future etc. It’s not surprising to see a shift rightward as our concerns are dictated more by pragmatism and self-preservation than altruism. For good or ill, in most societies altruism is a luxury and these are not luxurious times (relative to the 70s and 80s).

    A number of people are concerned with the spread of Islam, and the political left has done worse than nothing to counter apologists

    I’ve never really *gotten* this right-wing meme about the left’s so-called love affair with Islam. IMO all organized religion is destructive & manipulative bullshit for the most part, especially militant fundamentalism, of which radical islam is a particularly vicious example. But all the paranoia about sympathy for jihadists and antisemitism on the left… it seems antithetical to me.
    So I’ll leave that one alone for now…

    it seems that the left, in an apparent betrayal of the principles of liberty, and personal freedoms has become the fascist, draconian group of thugs that they’re so often throw at the Conservatives.

    You got that right. The censorious left was on full display in all their free speech-muzzling glory during the licensing hearings for Sun TV, aka “Fox News North”. Some were just truly concerned about the station receiving preferential licensing, but just as many were quite upfront with the opinion that it shouldn’t be allowed on the air at all. Check out the comments with this post at Dawg’s, and you’ll see what I mean.

    After the gun registry, the Liberals have completely yielded the narrative of sound fiscal management.

    Fiscal restraint has never been the Liberals’ strong suit anyway, and the LGR was the pinnacle of their economic foolishness. (I think I once called the LGR something like “a brainless money-sucking monument to Liberal dumbness and pandering”, ha.)

    Instead of some serious soul-searching, the Liberals seem to be obsessed with finding a new messiah, a neo-Trudeau,

    Exactly — they seem to think that a charismatic leader will make people forget that they swing any way the wind blows, but stand for *nothing*. Some even think Justin Trudeau may be their party’s saviour. And that is the problem — Libs have to start realizing that we are in new and different and more serious times. The Trudeaupian big government laurels they’ve been resting on have passed their best before date: time to move back to something closer to classical liberalism.

    The Liberals have come to stand for NOTHING, and so long as the Conservatives appear to stand for anything at all, even shit that makes no sense, Canadians will continually choose the Conservatives.

    I remarked at another blog that the next election will likely yield a narrow CPC majority, largely won by default. Nobody else has given the voters a reason to vote for them other than not being the CPC. Fail.

  9. 9 Peter Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 5:55 am

    JJ:

    Here is a piece by Dan Gardner (hardly a Harper-loving right winger)that speaks to your points. I confess to being astounded at how so much of the left is responding to this change in the zeitgeist by screaming even more shrilly about racism, police-states, etc., and how a somewhat anal, boring PM governing from the center-right is repeatedly cast in the image of Himmler. Or how three generations of progressive, secular, universal education are being swiftly undone by Glen Beck and Sarah Palin, not to mention those wicked “Christianists”. Or how polls that show more people would rather be stuck on a desert island with Jack Layton than Stephen Harper are evidence of imminent, tectonic change.

    There are a lot of bright minds on the left, so who is asking “How did the noble working class yearning for peace and social justice suddenly become a bunch of racist, Don Cherry-loving chickenhawks simply by putting a down payment on a suburban starter home?” “How are we increasingly coming to see all of rural, small town and suburban Canada as enemy territory (not to mention ethnic Canada)?” “Can somebody here tell the Boomers their time is up and that we really should try and understand how the world looks through the eyes of the young?”

  10. 10 fhg1893 Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    @JJ re: Islam.

    The left has been pushing tolerance and respect for other cultures and religions yes?

    Well, the thing about Islam in general (YES, IN GENERAL) is that it sometimes pushes the boundaries of things we ought not to tolerate at all. I’m talking things like rape, discrimination based on religion, discrimination based on gender, honour killings, mandatory modesty codes, blasphemy laws etc.

    Now, some Muslims will say that these social ills are cultural, and not Islamic, but this is at best, a half-truth. The truth is, that most of these things stem from either the Qu’ran and/or the hadith. So why aren’t all Muslims raging maniacs? Well, many Muslims aren’t very observant. I mean, wouldn’t you be? If you were born into a religion that ordered you to kill unbelievers risking your life, and possibly engage in suicide bombing, wouldn’t you think twice about adhering strictly to the sayings of a guy who lived 1400 years ago?

    So, the right-wing meme is essentially this: under the aegis of tolerance, and cultural respect, Islam is allowed to spread into the West, but secular values like the liberation of women, and equality before the law are not allowed to spread into the middle-east. This is all backed up strongly by the Qu’ran, the hadith, and therefore you find these things enshrined in Shariah law. It’s not a CULTURAL thing; it’s an ISLAMIC thing.

    So essentially as observant Muslims move into Western democracies, they tend to want to bring their traditions with them, and they often don’t want to give them up. Rather, since Islam asserts its supremacy over all “Earthly” laws, some Muslims expect Western society to change to suit them, and not the other way around.

    When there’s A LOT of observant Muslims immigrating into a Western democracy, they tend to form Islamic ghettos where Shariah is the defacto system of laws, because secular authority is not recognized or respected by the immigrants. There are currently ~750 “no-go zones” in France. I believe the French euphemism is “zones of cultural sensitivity,” you can actually look them up on-line. These are places where the police cannot enter; if they try, they are forced to leave because of the threat of violence from the residents who are almost exclusively immigrants. Thus, rapes and other crimes cannot be investigated, and police are being prevented from doing their jobs. There’s YouTube video available of this happening. This has in effect ceded significant portions of France where shariah is the defacto legal system, and the lawful french authorities are powerless to assert their legitimate authority. France is not the only place where this is happening; it is a phenomena spreading throughout Europe, I only mention it because France appears to be the most visible example.

    So, since Ontario contemplated allowing shariah tribunals a few years ago, the right wing is highly aware of the spread of Islam in western liberal democracies, and they don’t want to see Canada go the same way. When the right wing speaks up about this, the left wing tends to react with accusations of Islamaphobia, racism and insults. Granted, the right sometimes phrases their concerns in objectionable language, but that alone shouldn’t reduce, marginalize or dismiss their concerns.

    Sadly there’s sometimes also a pro Judeo-Christian subtext to these arguments which tend to by like kryptonite to the left. I think that’s unfortunate because I think a purely secular argument is possible. I don’t pretend to understand this irrational hatred of Judaism and Christianity, I guess there’s some white guilt or something going on with the left. Whatever.

    In any case, that’s basically it. Islamic dogma openly calls for the subjugation and dominance of all non-Muslims, the right objects to that, and the left sees this as intolerant. The right responds to the left with the meme that the left is enabling radical Islam, which appears at least at face value to be partially true.

  11. 11 JJ Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Hi Peter! Thanks for the link — astute article from Gardner, who as you say, could hardly be considered a right-winger. Maybe there’s hope.

    I confess to being astounded at how so much of the left is responding to this change in the zeitgeist by screaming even more shrilly about racism, police-states, etc.

    Sigh. There has been a change in the zeitgeist, which as fhg pointed out above, seems like the natural outcome of an extended period of liberal dominance. Unfortunately liberals (and I mean small-l liberals like myself) have become so smug and complacent that they can’t bring themselves to admit that people might actually want something else.

    Go to Progressive Bloggers and you’ll find some dreaming about bringing back the glory days of Trudeaupia by installing Justin as LPC leader. Others complain about the dumbness of the electorate and how they need to be “led back” to the path of liberal righteousness. (Yeah, that’ll win them over.) What you won’t find is much deep thought about the possibility that it might be time for liberals to recalibrate for the new century.

    …and how a somewhat anal, boring PM governing from the center-right is repeatedly cast in the image of Himmler.

    No kidding. There are plenty of good reasons to criticize Harper (from both liberal and conservative POVs, for that matter), but the idea that he’s a tinpot dictator running a totalitarian fascist “regime” isn’t one of them. The more people pull this kind of hyperbole out of their asses, the worse it looks — like we can’t think of any valid reasons to criticize Harper, so we just make stuff up.

    There are a lot of bright minds on the left, so who is asking “How did the noble working class yearning for peace and social justice suddenly become a bunch of racist, Don Cherry-loving chickenhawks simply by putting a down payment on a suburban starter home?”

    When you find out, let me know 😐

  12. 12 JJ Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

    fhg

    The left has been pushing tolerance and respect for other cultures and religions yes?

    That’s what right-wingers are talking about when they go on and on about “the left and islam”? Geez. I don’t think we mean being tolerant of guys that fly planes into buildings, but that’s just me.

  13. 13 Cornelius T. Zen Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Orthodox Judaism, Fundamental Christianity and Sharia Islam share one thing in common: they all blame Eve, they all hate women. Misogyny and homophobia are closely related, because gay men remind the rock-ribbed religious of women, and gay women are, after all, women. Women are to blame for the separation of man from his God. remember? It was all so cool until Eve bit the furshlugginer apple. Woman is the downfall of Man, and therefore, Man must control Woman in order to please God, who, after all is Male, and therefore, Perfect. Right. So much for Evolution. I have left the realm of the Hopeless Romantic, and now live comfortably as a Heartless Cynic.
    Rafe Mair put it best when he quoted: “In politics, you don’t have to be a 10 to be a winner. You can win by being a 3, when everybody else around you is a 2.” Harpoon is a 1, and Iggy is a zero, and that makes Harpoon a winner by default, which is so Canadian, eh?
    There was a time when the message of Christ was one of peace, love and understanding. Then Paul took over, and Christianity became mainstream, and we has met the enemy, and he is us.
    The Devil is redundant, and on the pogey – CTZen

  14. 14 fhg1893 Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    JJ – Pretty much. I’m guessing that it’s the combination of the leftist abandonment of traditional left-wing ideas in favor of rolling-over and playing dead in the face of Islamism, and the willingness to attack those who speak out against Islamism.

    Pat Condell explains this better than I did:

  15. 15 J. A. Baker Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I’m guessing that it’s the combination of the leftist abandonment of traditional left-wing ideas in favor of rolling-over and playing dead in the face of Islamism, and the willingness to attack those who speak out against Islamism.

    See, what you call “rolling over and playing dead in the face of Islamism,” rational people call “revulsion at being ordered by the right wing to believe that every single Muslim on the face of the planet is a terrorist looking for a place to happen.”

    The “Muslim = Terrorist” trope has about as much validity as the most hysterical anti-Semitic tropes (which is to say, none at all). Not every Muslim is a terrorist, and not all terrorists are Muslim.

    Frankly, this insistence by right-wingers that there is a Muslim Problem™, much less that it requires a Final Soilution™, reeks of something out of last century. There’s film of the last time this was tried, but it’s seventy years old and the narration is in German.

    And no, all of your ginned-up self-flagellating victim card-playing persecution highs aren’t going to change that.

    Incidentally, if we’re going to play “YouTube Wars,” here’s a video for you to ponder:

  16. 16 fhg1893 Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

    J. A. Baker – Well, I didn’t actually intend to bait anyone into saying something so stupid; my intention was rather to try to inform. But since you’ve so graciously proved just about everything that the right has alleged about the left well, this should be lots of fun!

    First of all, I invoke Godwin’s law.

    But since that’s a bit of a cop-out on my part, I get to do this:

    First you say, “rational people call “revulsion at being ordered by the right wing to believe that every single Muslim on the face of the planet is a terrorist looking for a place to happen.”

    It was YOU who mentioned terrorism, I made NO SUCH ACCUSATION. I DID talk about Islamism of which, terrorism plays a part, however, that was not the whole of the point, or even close to the main argument. Rather, I mentioned suicide bombing only in PASSING, and as an attempt to draw a distinction between RATIONAL Muslims, and IRRATIONAL Muslims.

    I also said, and I quote, “So why aren’t all Muslims raging maniacs? Well, many Muslims aren’t very observant. I mean, wouldn’t you be? If you were born into a religion that ordered you to kill unbelievers risking your life, and possibly engage in suicide bombing, wouldn’t you think twice about adhering strictly to the sayings of a guy who lived 1400 years ago? ”

    Now why would I say something so rational? Couldn’t be because I’m thinking about this situation rationally now could it?

    Then you say, “The “Muslim = Terrorist” trope has about as much validity as the most hysterical anti-Semitic tropes (which is to say, none at all).”

    And you go on to link the Wikipedia page on the assassination of Dr. Tiller, and a post about how the Palestinians recently helped the Israelis in battling the recent forest fires in Israel.

    In the former, you are so off base, it’s not even funny. I’m fully aware that there are Christian terrorists in this world, thanks!

    Know where I found this? http://www.battlefocused.org/spiritual-warfare/ For reasons that are about to become clear, I found that on the Wild Hunt blog.

    What is damned offensive about your baseless insinuation is that you have the audacity, or the intellectual sloth, I’m not sure which, to think that I’m a Christian Conservative, and therefore sympathize with Christian terrorism, rather than being properly outraged by the murder of Dr. Tiller. While I may hold some Conservative views, I rather think that Mr. Condell was correct in saying that my natural constituency had been poisoned by a bunch of left-wing loonies. As for the Christian part well…

    Now see, this? This is the part where I out myself on the internet, because something as hateful, hysterical, and stupid as you posted deserves just such a response. Check this out: http://forums.kingstonpagans.ca/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=87

    See that? That’s an essay that I wrote. See those symbols at the top? Yeah… Oops.

    So not only am I not Christian, or even an Atheist, like Pat Condell is, I’m about as far from Christianity as possible.

    While the latter link is certainly interesting, I don’t think it excuses the the barrage of rocket attacks that the Israelis have been subjected to. But that’s besides the point; I don’t have any particular interest in Israel, or the middle-east. I do however know, that I don’t want shariah law in Canada thanks very much.

    Oh, BTW, I also happen to have German ancestry, of which I’m quite proud. So, that not only makes you ignorant, but I think that just might make you into a racist.

    And now I think I’ve wasted enough time on such a self described “jabbering stooge.” The label certainly seems to fit…


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