Monday, May 15, 2006

Harper's Support is Weak

I have read several MSM pieces, and blog entries, that make the assumption that the Harper government is doing quite well in connecting with Canadians. Polling seems to drive this sentiment, even though the raw support numbers show minimal or no growth for the new government, depending on your poll of choice. I think it folly to argue that this government enjoys solid support when you look at numbers like these:
Q. In putting this budget forward, do you think that the federal government is thinking more about the long term interests of Canadians or thinking more about its chances of winning a majority in the next election?

Thinking more about long term interests of Canadians- 22%

Thinking more about chances of winning a majority next election- 64%

No opinion- 14%

Translation, even though Canadians liked the tax relief in the budget, they are under no illusions as too motivation. Interesting, that despite the continual pleas that Harper is working for Canadians, people can look past the veneer and see the self-interest at play. Numbers like these offer a clue into the possible opposition strategy as we move forward. Historically, it is quite early in a mandate for people to question a new government's true intentions.

This government is quite arrogant, in the sense that they openly speak of their electoral ambition and how policy is framed within this lens. This position attaches little nobility to governance and the above numbers speak to an awareness of the "marketing strategy". No matter how popular the policy, the opposition will have an opening if Canadians feel legislation is purely political. For the Liberals, it is essential that they formulate a vision which can make the comparison between genuine principle and hyper-politicism. Harper is vulnerable, and will remain so, precisely because he is governing with the singular goal, that is obvious to all. Canadians don't have time to pour over the nuances of policy, but this politicism is so overwhelming, a simple glance or two reveals it. This fact is the soft-underbelly of this government and offers the best opportunity for the opposition to trump the propaganda.


Anonymous said...

The fact that for profit media outlets are the ones commissioning the polls; the fact that none of these polls are peer evaluated or analyzed for bias in questioning or the preamble to the questions, and especially for the fact that biased media who do the polls are the ones actually influencing public opinion by misleading headlines and propaganda laden stories and opinions come from an ill informed public would make Stephen Harper's comment that "if governing this country was going to be dictated by opinion polls then we should just appoint Angus Reid as Prime Minister".

Sometimes the mark of a good leader in any capacity is a person who is able to make the tought decisions that may be unpopular but ultimately the right ones.

Paul Martin's swaying in the wind was his downfall. Earnscliffe pollsters ran his office, ran his campaigns and ultimately tried to run this country with near disastrous consequences.

So - from a former market researcher the truth is that you can make the polls say whatever you want. That is how whole countries can be manipulated by propaganda.

It is time for Canadians to think for themselves don't you think.

The fact that Paul Martin

Steve V said...


"mark of a good leader in any capacity is a person who is able to make the tought decisions that may be unpopular but ultimately the right ones."

Please cite one example of this with regards to Harper? Every move he makes is done with "popularity" in mind.

Anonymous said...

Only One??? Okay - not allowing the press to intrude on the families grief when the soldier's caskets were returned.

Another one- being honest with Canadians that achieving Kyoto GHG targets are impossible - the goals are good and lofty but they are having to start now at 35% over the starting point.

Kelowna Accord - being honest that the goals are good but the actions towards those goals are flawed - there is no plan and Kelownas did not properly address the needs of 79% of Aboriginals who live off reserve. Trying to put in accountability measures for the $9 billion PER YEAR We already give to aboriginal programs which has many of the aboriginal leaders now screaming that we should not be able to follow the money we give them.

Taking measures to get the guy who had the complicated soft wood file to cross the floor for his expertise (Emmerson)

Taking measures to assure that Montreal had a voice in cabinet (Fortier)

I could go on but you Liberals are better at pointing out these "unpopular" according to opinion polls actions.

And, there will be more - count on it. Doing the right thing is not always popular. Doing the right thing is often the hardest decisions of all.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Steve, but I think we rely too much on polls. And Craig, you sound like a 20-year-old idealist who can't release himself from Big Daddy's coattails. Now, I'm no steenken Liebral, and I'm no Con, and I'm no Dipper, either. Nor am I involved in any political party. And that's because I do think for myself. You would do best to take your own advice and think for yourself, so blinded are you by neo-con rhetoric.

Steve V said...


The casket decision was clearly a political move to blunt falling support for the war.

Kyoto is very unpopular with his Alberta base, which is precisely why he put Klein's Kyoto hatchet person at the helm of the environment portfolio.

The Kelowna Accord is simply a way to pay for taxcuts.

If Harper had any clue to the blowback over Emerson and Fortier he would have never brought them in.

Try again :)


I agree with you on polls, but unfortunately they set the tone for how the media covers the government. I think this finding is useful, in the sense it shows that Canadians appreciate the government's motivations.

Anonymous said...

I am actually a retired 58 year old Albertan. I have lived long enough to think for myself thank you.

In Alberta - we are not fixated on unreachable Kyoto targets written on a pice of paper - we are more into getting real results. Alberta is leading the way in wind power, pulp and paper co-generation, building ethanol plants and investing multi-millions in clean energy technology.

Things happen out here - we don't sit around bashing governments - we get busy trying to find solutions.

Plus - I live near a large army base and have a pretty good insight into the tragedy that was Liberal neglect and empty rhetoric compared to true leadership that makes the army families walk a little taller and prouder since Harper took over.

So be careful how you stereotype.
If you are a student just be glad you live in a country where 90% of your eduction costs are paid for by the taxpayer. Figure that out - an average student's cost to the post secondary institition is $70,000. The average tuition cost is $4,000 per year.

And you want more.

Anyways - sorry for the rant. I am more into a helping hand up society than a hand out society.

I guess Alberta is not a socialist bastion. Around here that attitude is for failures or lazy people.

Anonymous said...


You are an embarrassment for the rest of us who live in Alberta.

Some of us are intelligent enough to see through the lies and bullshit that Harper and his counterparts in Alberta shovel upon us daily. the difference is that you can't seem to do research beyond what they tell you, which is why you parrot the same thing the "sun" publications put out... written with crayons, by people who know only how to use crayons.

In your supposed 58 years, clearly you've done nothing more than accept what is being told to you, and you fail to do any further research in the matter.

As for finding solutions, any ideas on Coal Bed Methane or how about the big scar that's visible from sattelites called the "tar sands", you know the one that take twice the energy to produce what is created?

Great solutions craig, with albertans like you I'm confident we'll all be living in a wasteland, but you're such an old fart you likely don't care what you're leaving to your grandchildren.


Anonymous said...


FYI Craig, where do you get the stats that 90% of a student's education costs are covered by government???

Last time I checked, in Alberta they were targeting 75, and similarly in other provinces. Now maybe when you annoying"boomers" went to school you paid 2000 annually, however presently at the U of C you're talking AT LEAST 4000, PER SEMESTER, plus books, materials etc...

Don't even attempt to sell the youth of this nation short with that crap. The kids who attended university in the 60's and 70's had it far better than us - in fact many of you even defaulted on your loans with no consequence. I will have just paid mine off this year - and I'm 36.

Again, typical loser shooting off his mouth without any research or fact to back it up.