What exactly is the Liberal strategy in Quebec? There is no way to sugarcoat this finding, in fact it is beyond alarming:
Liberal leader Stephane Dion continues to see his popularity plummet in Quebec. A new Leger marketing poll reveals he's the fourth most popular leader in this province. When asked who would make the best prime minister, only 12 per cent of Quebecers said Dion, whereas 16 per cent said NDP leader Jack Layton and Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was way ahead with 36 per cent. Across the country however, Dion's in second place tied with Layton at 13 per cent support. Harper's still well in the lead nationally at 34 per cent. If an election were held today, the poll suggests 37 per cent of Canadians would vote Conservative, 30 per cent would vote Liberal and 14 per cent would vote NDP.
A francophone Liberal leader, fourth in his home province. I suppose you can spin the national numbers, using the knowledge that Dion is new and Canadians still don't have a firm impression of him. However, in Quebec, all the excuses evaporate and you are left with a staggering deficit.
I was actually thinking about Quebec and the Liberals in recent days. I get no sense of a coherent plan to re-capture Quebecers imagination. I don't see a sense of urgency in Dion's appearances. Where is the high-profile messaging, to demonstrate to Quebecers that the Liberal Party is moving forward. Is the party simply prepared to present Mr. Clarity Act, and win a few seats in Montreal?
Dion needs to re-invent himself. A concerted, focused, tenacious campaign to bring Quebecers back to the Liberal fold, to some degree. All I see at the moment is a passive, stale approach, that seems to rely on Harper's failings, more than Liberal inspiration.