What this poll reveals, or more correctly, what is relevant moving forward, another finding that shows just how unpopular a coalition is with the Canadian public. It's so unpopular in this poll that we find contradictory results. For example, Canadians largely disagree with the process of installing Ignatieff, without a proper democratic expression, that doesn't consult the rank and file (the result is expected, especially when you ask if people prefer elitism or democracy). Okay, so Canadians disapprove of the Liberals installing Ignatieff. However, and this is key, when asked if "Liberal politicians in Ottawa were right to force Stephane Dion to step down immediately because his coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois was so unpopular", all of sudden the vast majority suddenly think it was right to turf Dion (63% to 37%). The Liberals shouldn't choose leaders through an elitist process, but when you connect the question to the dreaded coalition, it's fine by me. I consider the disconnect here to be another stark example of the poison that is the coalition. The pollster also points to the "conflicting results".
More bad news for the coalition, not only is it largely unpopular, but Canadians aren't particularly engaged, they can't really decipher the difference between what Dion agreed too, and what Ignatieff is now arguing ("a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily...). Apparently, we just see separatists, socialists and a powergrab, don't expect a detaled analysis of the merits:
The Liberals are not successful at distancing themselves from the coalition policy that enraged Canadian voters and led to Dion’s premature departure in early December. Almost half of Canadians (46%) consider the current policy of “a coalition if necessary but not necessarily a coalition” to be essentially the same as the Liberal policy under Dion, as shown in table 2f. Irrespective of whether they perceive the policy as the same or different from under Dion, a 58% majority considers the new Liberal policy as bad policy, as shown in table 2f.
The continuation of the Liberal commitment to the coalition idea is a major reason explaining why Liberal support is stalled despite having a new leader.
Liberal commitment to the coalition idea harms the Liberals not only because of public opposition to the policy itself but also because the policy reinforces public perceptions of the party as unauthentic. During the height of the controversy over the coalition in early December, most Canadians believed the Opposition parties were motivated mainly or entirely by a desire for power rather than by an honest belief that Harper was a bad manager of the economy
Here's where all the Conservatives can get weak in the knee, the horserace numbers:
The pollster concludes that the only reason the Liberal number is up, because they are drawing support away from their coalition parties, but also hemorrhaging to the Conservatives. I don't really buy that argument, you could easily make the case that much of the NDP erosion in the west is moving directly to the Cons, although the Quebec numbers do suggest some Bloc support moving the Libs way (Libs 42%, Bloc 28%, Cons 16%, NDP 7%- don't get too excited, margin of error is large with a 600 national sample). Anyways, I'll make the same point I made a BCL's and prior, any pollster that asks coalition questions will get these horserace numbers, people simply reject the idea and flock to the party that has no role. I'm actually surprised the Lib vote is this high, considering the Con total, but it's mostly a whatever for me, unless of course we jump off the coalition cliff, then they're real baby. For now, I'll stick with the AR horserace only poll, that showed a much closer result, and also showed how far Harper's stature has fallen, because of this crisis. These coalition polls tend to mask Harper's role, and I maintain the damage is real and sustained. I'm sure the Conservative koolaid crowd will disagree, but if they want to delude themselves, have it at, works for me.
Conclusion. Unless Harper goes the poison pill route, or the budget so misses the mark to be obscene, the coalition is an albatross that any prudent person should avoid. That's my view, and the above poll is just further validation.