Red Tory has a leadership report card poll, to coincide with the looming summer break. I would like to add a scorecard for the various parties, as they stand now. The general thesis, nobody should be happy:
You spend billions of dollars, in complete betrayal of the notion of fiscal conservatism, all in the name of a drive towards majority, and you end up with your support waning badly. I have never seen a government so consumed with re-election get so little for their trouble. A complete failure in convincing Canadians that Harper deserves a majority.
Even worse, the government has fumbled so badly in the budget aftermath, that a general perception is developing that these people are mean-spirited, divisive bullies, whose competence is in question. Harper has not only failed to connect with Canadians, he seems to be alienating great swaths of the electorate with his demeanor.
The Liberals greatest asset to date is Tory ineptitude, and you could argue the Conservatives savior has been Liberal ineffectiveness. Despite a lengthy leadership, which was supposed to re-invent the party, it is still quite a challenge to understand where exactly the Liberals are headed under Dion. We're not Harper seems to be the rallying cry, but that notion is about as inspiring as the Conservatives penchant for Liberal bashing.
While the polls show a solid foundation, I subscribe to the idea that the Liberals have failed to capitalize on Harper's missteps. If not for Dion's uneven performance to date, coupled with a lack of focus, we would probably be looking at Liberal numbers touching 40%. While the Conservatives have fallen back, the Liberals have been stagnant for months, which is a curious historical circumstance. In fact, and this is just a hunch, I believe the Conservatives would be even lower, if not for hesitation with the Liberals, and lack of an alternative for many swing voters.
If it was simply a question of polls, then the NDP would get a D as well, but there has been a few areas where NDP supporters can crow about success. The NDP has been fairly effective in parliament, given their numbers and Layton deserves credit for getting the Clean Air Act to committee. In my mind, despite the fact that the revisions are dead, that coup by the NDP was probably the most significant event in this parliament. That committee has also been instrumental in bringing the opposition together, finding a commonality and focusing on the real "enemy".
The NDP has serious problems, not the least of which is the Green Party surge and their own concerning poll numbers. One caveat, recruiting Former Quebec Liberal environment minister Thomas Mulcair to run as an NDP candidate in a fall by-election may prove to be a major story for the NDP in Quebec.
While the NDP has problems, at least you know where they stand on issues, good or bad. The best thing the NDP has done recently is distance themselves from any idea of collusion with the Conservatives, and they are finally starting to hammer the government like ideology would demand.
A few bumps in the road, but you have to give May credit for keeping the Green Party in the conversation. Despite having no official voice in parliament, May has managed to draw attention from the national media, which is quite the accomplishment.
The Greens are consistently hovering around 10% in the polls, and are challenging the NDP in a couple provinces. Still seen as an environmental party, there does appear to be some progress in expanding the Greens draw. If you are a Green supporter, there is plenty of room for optimism.
Duceppe made a serious error with the PQ leadership, but the fact of the matter, it hasn't hurt the Bloc in the polls. People don't agree with Conservative policy, the Liberals appear completely out of touch, which keeps the Bloc in the game, when actions should suggest otherwise.
Status quo for the Bloc, no momentum, but still relevant, hence the fair grade.
One fact appears clear, Canadians aren't particularly impressed with anyone at the moment. A general apathy, some disgust and a lack of inspiration all speak to the general failure of our political parties to resonate with Canadians. With that reality in mind, it is hard to give anyone a particularly glowing review. Agree or disagree?