The latest Globe and Mail poll that shows a dead heat is quite frankly a disaster for the Conservatives. Even if the poll is slightly off, and the Tories still enjoy a marginal gap, it really is bad news all around. Despite the transparent overtures, the lack of a credible opposition, the benefit of a robust economy and the “newness” factor, the Conservatives go nowhere. I guess policy really does matter.
The more Canadians get to know this government, the less attractive they become. The simple fact, the Conservative philosophy doesn’t resonate with the majority of Canadians. Canada isn’t Bush country. How disheartening for Harper, given his obsession with attaining a majority.
The really concerning aspect of the latest polling, for the first time since the election the calendar is no longer kind to Conservatives. As evidenced by the last few weeks, the Liberal leadership is garnering more press and greater interest. It is reasonable to assume that the Liberals will enjoy even greater exposure as the leadership race reaches crescendo. Barring some exceptional development, you can expect a Liberal bounce in the polls following the convention, simply as a function of historical precedent. The new leader will enjoy his own “honeymoon” period, that should provide soft coverage and many puff pieces- the press is unlikely to hammer a new leader.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the government looks to the spring budget as their next best opportunity to sell Canadians on their agenda and possibly force an election. Interesting to note, the Liberals may well see the spring as their best opportunity too. Liberal strategists should be ecstatic today, because the Party has made it through the bleak period relatively unscathed, with much promise for the future.