Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interesting Roundtable

CBC's "At Issue" panel tonight, spent a good deal of time on Dion and his carbon plan. In case anyone missed it, I thought I'd post a few quotes from the various commentary, commentary which was fairly supportive. A pollster who knows the mood, a fiscal conservative and a center-left academic, all agreeing that that this might just be good politics afterall:

Andrew Coyne:

"In this case, you have a policy that is widely praised, by people that know something about the subject. It fits a narrative of him, as sort of the principled guy who take stands that aren't necessarily popular, but right for the country...It gets it off him, it gets it on to policy, it gets him on his preferred narrative. And, finally it gets a clear distinction with the Conservatives, because they will not go there, there not going to minimize their differences, as they so often do. Even the NDP has criticized this, so the Liberals will own this issue"

Peter Mansbridge:

"Is this the hail mary pass Allan?"

Allan Gregg:

"Well, it's certainly his best chance of winning the next election... By actually inviting controversy, by adopting something that is clearly going to engage a wide level of debate, he is certainly making it a ballot box issue... And, he's also trying to consolidate the center-left, which is now split. He's lost whatever advantage he had initially on the environment, so it is a high risk strategy, but I think it has the potential to have a high reward."

Christopher Waddell:

"I think there is a real opportunity for the Liberals on this issue, and frankly the public, both citizens and business, is about a hundred miles ahead of government on this issue. If you look internationally, many countries on the world already are pricing carbon in their economy somewhere...we're falling behind on this, and we are going to actually PAY for this, if we don't get our act together... The difficulty, can you explain it? But, what they might have going for them here, there seems to be a change in politics, in which ideas might have more importance."


Gregg:

"We've talked before, how the Conservatives have been so adept at luring the Liberals into a trap, Afghanistan, citing Quebec as a nation... This may be an instance where the Liberals are luring the Conservatives, they want to make it a ballot issue... if they can get the Conservatives to come out and fight on their terrain, it will become a ballot issue and they will become competitive."

Food for thought.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You're way out of line here.

Dion should be dumped and this policy is political suicide.

Red Tory, WK, and MOS have SPOKEN!!!
Therefore, it's been decided.

Steve V said...

At the very least, it demonstrates there are many different ways to view this policy, and that it's certainly not a political slam dunk either way.

Powell lucas said...

Who cares what Dion says. When your favourability rating is at 10% you can say what you like and it won't make any difference.

Anonymous said...

Ya, what Powell said!

Take... that!

Scott Tribe said...

...except Powell and anonymous, if the majority of the public already agree with Dion and the Liberals, and they know the only way to get this policy is to vote Liberal, that gives Dion an advantage. Remember.. we vote for parties up here, not for leaders or presidents.

burlivespipe said...

Add the element that Harper can't make hay even when it's sunny, due to his own narcissistic, antisocial, impersonal distain for people, that kind of leaves more than a few people who may revisit their opinion on Dion if they find something beyond his personality that they agree on -- how about that he's got integrity?! Another no-go for Harper...
But isn't that Janice from Saskatoon a pill? Can't she get off the NdP script for a moment, it's as tho she was handed Chantel's response and told to just make it prairie folksy. I swear, the NdP still think we're the gov't...

Anonymous said...

Believe angus poll but ignore NANOS....??????? us something wrong with your brains.

Francesco said...

Look at the nanos polling numbers from this morning ...those are credible...the ones from angus and the use on online polling is statistically (sp?) in accurate, actually angus' results have always been an outlier...as for the carbon tax...great policy but need to sell it properly to canadians...

Greg said...

No wonder Coyne likes it. The Liberal proposal as it now stands is merely a shift taxation from progressive income tax to a regressive gas tax. I am all for a carbon tax, but if it is just an excuse to make the rich richer, I must object.

RuralSandi said...

Powell Lucas and Anon - in 2004 Harper polled from 19% down to 10% from Apr to Sept - take that!

...any risk is considered political suicide - but every once in a while in history it works and the mood in the US is "change" and perhaps that's what's happening here - doing politics differently.

Anonymous said...

If Liberals are going after Green vote, then get bold and lay out a 21st Century plan with Suzuki, Gore, the economists Stern, Rubin and others endorsing it. This can only help with Dion's "decisiveness" issue.

Steve V said...

"the ones from angus and the use on online polling is statistically (sp?) in accurate, actually angus' results have always been an outlier..."

That's just ignorant nonsense to be frank. If you look at the last two provincial elections, this outfit was the most accurate. Also, the British government for cripes sake, uses this exact methodology for its polling. It would be nice for a change, if someone could present some evidence to back up this "outlier" crap, instead of just using the tired "online" comment, without anything to support it, except that it's "different".

I would add, the NANOS leadership numbers are completely analogous to this poll, which actually speaks to its independent validity. Does that mean this is the best poll available? Nope, but it isn't something to fluff off either, driven by one's own bias, because they don't like the answer.

Why don't you go look at the Quebec and Manitoba election results, compare it with what this poll predicted, then get back to me and we can discuss the "outlier" stuff. K?

Steve V said...

One more point, the NANOS poll done three weeks ago had Dion at 11% for competency. Wow, what an outlier!

Now, the national numbers are different, and I would take NANOS over anyone, but it's more important to look at the trends within an outfit, then it is the differing results between.

liberazzi said...

Dion might be awkward and a poor communicator, but he is a smart chap and remember he is an esteemed political scientist, so he must have some idea of how to play the game.

Wayward Son said...

Andrew Coyne also wrote a very positive piece about the Dion carbon tax in the current issue of Macleans magazine.

As for Dion committing political suicide: maybe, maybe not. I am currently reading a new book by Arthur Herman called "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age." So far it is a great book (far too many biographies of Gandhi and Churchill are written by devoted followers who spin everything to make them look perfect, whereas this book has plenty of harsh criticism of both)

But anyways these two guys made lots of decisions that were deemed suicidal by the press and many of their own allies at the time. Now that doesn't mean that I am comparing Dion to either of them, but it does mean that risk can have its rewards.

Anonymous said...

Peter Newman? Is that fop hosting The National now?

Steve V said...

Oops :)