Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who Will Win The Barbeque War?

I can't remember another year where the summer break has received so much attention. The barbeque circuit is the political focus, as though flipping a few burgers can cure all ills. It's nice that the leaders are going to spend the summer rubbing elbows with the "people", but I find the whole idea largely irrelevant in terms of political fate.

In Liberal circles, a great onus has been placed on Dion's summer of the meet and greet. I'm not trashing the idea, in fact I think it is healthy, but I also don't have any faith whatsoever that the exercise will prove relevant politically. I'm calling it the "getting to know me" tour, but its reach is so limited that Liberal strategists had better hatch some other schemes to turn around public perception.

All the leaders will be doing the barbeque circuit this summer, which effectively cancels out any advantage. Dion can tour the country, but it's not like Harper won't be doing the same, with the added advantage of making an announcement here, photo-op with foreign leaders there, etc. If anything, the summer presents more opportunity for Harper, Dion and others will be hard pressed to make any news, now that the glare of parliament is gone.

In terms of fundraising, rallying the partisan troops and getting feedback, all good. When it comes to real political relevance, not so much.


ottlib said...

The Conservatives will get a boost because of the incumbent advantage. It will not be solid and it will be prone to erosion in the Fall.

The Liberals will largely be ignored unless Mr. Dion puts on a silly cowboy outfit. The same goes for the NDP and the Greens.

Canadians will largely ignore politics unless something happens over the summer to divert their attention away from enjoying it. Last year it was the Israel/Hizbollah war. Who knows what it will be this year? Afghanistan?

Note, except for the ridings directly effected the coming by-elections will have little impact on the political scene this summer.

When September rolls around we will find ourselves back where we have been for over a year.

ottlib said...

Oops, that last sentence should read: When September rolls around we will still be where we have been for over a year.

Tomm said...


I don't know Dion. Just the bad imaging he projects during QP and on Duffy, etc. However RT was saying that he has one-on-one charisma.

If so, he needs to go to the barbeques and meet some key party members so they become comfortable as organizers. It looks also to be important if the LPC fund raising is so far below the CPC that there is an obvious disparity in ability to get their message out when the Liberals finally pull the pin on this government.


Paladiea said...

Hey Steve, since you don't seem to have an email, I guess I'll just proposition you here.

Olaf and I are trying to set up a non-partisan debate site, and I'd be delighted if you want to participate.

Email me at