Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stuck

The new EKOS shows some minor change, but really the key storyline- how can the Liberals get some traction? Part of the Liberal dip this week is due to a bizarre 18% tally on the first day of polling. If you remove this 20 out of 20 anomaly, then the numbers really haven't changed week to week. However, that quirk isn't relevant to the wider problem the Liberals face, namely this wall of support hovering around 30%.

It would seem the Jaffer/Guergis affair isn't having much impact, and while the Conservatives are down a couple percent since this blew up, the Liberals have received no benefit. I'd add, although we don't have the actual release, Angus Reid also went on record earlier in the week, stating their polling showed no change, the Conservatives still enjoy a decent lead. That reaffirmation does tend to demonstrate a inherent problem with the Liberal brand, but that's hardly news. Factor in a basic fact, namely that the Conservatives and Harper are eroding in terms of perception, the inability to capitalize becomes more acute. At the moment, it's a "least worst" proposition, which does provide opportunity, but also shows just how tarnished and entirely unmotivating.

The Liberals are doing a good job releasing bits of policy, and those announcements might bear fruit over time. Beyond that, it seems to me the imperative is actually rocking the boat a bit, grabbing attention, in a way that forces people to take a brief moment to notice. There's a certain blandness that hovers around the Liberals, and conventional tactics don't seem to bear fruit.

This isn't a doom and gloom post, because ultimately the more you criticize the Liberals circumstance, the more it highlights the failings of the Conservatives, that they can't take advantage (this works in reverse as well). On top of that, the NDP rarely achieve their 2008 percentage, further evidence that they aren't exactly resonating or capitalizing on discontent with the principles. Using the wide lens, it's a depressing picture, wherein voters simply find nothing to get behind in any compelling way, their bored silly and Ottawa is a distant irritant.

Coke and dubious characters sells newspapers, but when it comes to vote intention, it would appear it does little to reinvent the political landscape.

28 comments:

Tom said...

Funny how when the LPC drops 1.7% its a minor change. If the CPC drops 1% its an avalanche. The LPC are in deep, deep trouble.
Culture of defeat!

Northern PoV said...

jeez I wish there was an edit function......

check our stormin norman

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/spector-vision/cbc-pollsterliberal-adviser/article1542838/

despite being a dink with a partisan purpose, he actually makes some good points today

cheers

Steve V said...

"despite being a dink with a partisan purpose, he actually makes some good points today"

No he doesn't. I laughed my ass off, hearing a complete and utter hack try to undermine a pollster. Funny how he's never asked any questions about Oopsos, despite their absymal track record. That's what I look at, the numbers, weird that way.


Tom

Well considering we went from the Cons biggest lead of the year to "neck and neck" last week, it's a bit different. Enjoy your bias.

Steve V said...

And yes, the Libs are in "deep, deep trouble", which makes you wonder why the Cons are stinking up the joint, 7% below the last election. Hello in there!

Gayle said...

The poll reflects how apathetic people are with politics in general. Unfortunately, apathy works in the conservatives' favour.

Harper needs people to ignore him. That way when he comes out with his juicy soundbites no one notices he's a liar and a hypocrite. Do you think if Canadians were paying attention they would ignore the fact he has become the most secretive and unaccountable PM in decades?

Ti-Guy said...

It bothers me that you think the Liberals should be reacting to these polls, which tell us nothing at all.

They don't even report the undecided anymore and they tell us nothing about what's motivating people to choose to vote one way or the other.

The only thing these polls do is determine the limits of "acceptable" opinion, which is another way of just telling the public to think a particular way because everyone else is.

Sorry for the rant...still smarting over that latest Ipsos fiasco, when I had to endure fatuous ninnies (including Tom Flanagan on the CBC) using it to proclaim that the Liberals were experiencing a precipitous drop in popularity, when in fact, they weren't.

Steve V said...

I think they actually tell us a great deal. As for undecideds, they vote less, so hardly any comfort.

I don't bother with Oopsos Reid anymore. The Rasmussen of Canada.

JimBobby said...

I reckon the elephant in the room is named Michael. The Liberals are stuck because the voters just can't warm up to Iggy. I don't think it's entirely impossible for Ignatieff to mount a major PR blitz aimed at making him not only likable but understandable vis-a-vis his/LPC's differences from the devil they know. Not impossible but dang difficult and he's had a lot of time now without gaining much support, if any.

Dion was probably too much the treehuggin' absent-minded perfesser but at least he was a likable sorta feller. I figger if you get up close to Ig, the smell of erudition an' pomposity gets a little thick.

Maybe the ivory towers of academia ain't the best place to find a political streetfighter who can take on the nastyass Cons.

JB

Steve V said...

On the plus side, it's not like Iggy is burned into our souls, he's still pretty much a blank slate. I see room to define, people don't have strong opinions, like the other more established leaders.

RuralSandi said...

On April 16th I got a call from EKOS - polling. I said I would answer the questions. A voice tape/woman's voice asks the questions and you press "1", "2", etc. for your answer.

But I found interesting at the end of it all they asked if I was willing to answer more polling questions - I said yes and the voice said my telephone number was recorded and someone would phone me back in a few days.

Well, well - April 21st I get that call (EKOS showing on my call display) and the woman (real person this time) said that someone in my household said they were interested in doing polling questions from time to time. I said it was me, but I have some questions of my own. I asked what these polls were and she said they were a research firm. I asked if they would be political questions and she said yes. I asked who the research/polling questions were for......The Government of Canada under the company Probit - EKOS on my call display.

hmmmm.........taxpayers paying for Harper's polling

Tof KW said...

JimBobby said...
The Liberals are stuck because the voters just can't warm up to Iggy.

JimBobby, with all due respect, this 'likability' factor the media goes on about is a farce. You don't have to like a leader, you just have to respect them. Regardless of what his cheerleaders say, Canadians don't like Harper much at all, but somehow he still got the CPC in power didn't he?

Putting that whole 1968 Trudeaumania spell aside, old Pierre was really an arrogant SOB that was really out of touch with the middle-class. But he sure commanded everyone's respect, no matter if you voted for him or not.

For that matter there is another term Canadians call arrogant SOB's ...they call them Prime Minister. Diefenbaker, Mulroney and Chr├ętien all fit in this category.

And frankly, you have to be if you want to get involved in leading a political party. I think this was a huge part of Dion's leadership problems; he was an honest, intelligent person who wasn't an arrogant SOB.

This whole 'have-a-beer' thing is a pox on the governance of this nation. I don't want to have a beer with any of the people I vote for; I just want them to know at least as much about the world as I do (preferably more), to be competent at their jobs, and hope they follow through on at least some of their campaign promises.

By the way, Harper and the Reformatories fail on all three of the personal benchmarks I've just outlined.

Steve V said...

Sandi

You should forward that to Spector ;)

Ti-Guy said...

I think they actually tell us a great deal.

No, they don't. Only data elicited from a survey tell us anything. The absence of data tells us nothing at all.

You can speculate, but that is in fact, quite often worse than knowing nothing. That's a big part of what's motivating the Tea Partiers, for one thing.

Steve V said...

Oh okay, I'm just speculating that the Libs aren't getting traction, Canadians haven't warmed to Ignatieff and we want out of Afghanistan. Leave me to my delusions.

Ti-Guy said...

Hear hear, TofKW. I want an SOB to deal with the other SOB's who run the World and ruin it for the rest of us, all the time.

I'm not sure that's Iggy though, but then, I don't look necessarily to the PM to be the one and only SOB. We do have cabinet government (for the time being at least) and there are others who can be called up to fill that role, when the need arises.

That said, all of this is a terrible way to run a democracy. I much prefer a consensus/collegial approach. But it's what we're stuck with.

Holly Stick said...

According to Leger, we think Peter MacKay would be a good leader.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Peter+MacKay+Conservative+leader+Poll/2935551/story.html

Tof KW said...

Mon Dieu!!!

Bad enough that backstabbing weasel MacKay finished first (Charest doesn't have a chance, too many bridges burned now) - but Stockwell (the earth is 6000 years old) Day, and Epic Financial Fail Flaherty, both finishing ahead of Bernard Lord???

The Grits are living under gray skies now; but one day when the CPC is going though a leadership campaign you folks will be smiling again.

BTW - thanks for posting that Holly.

Steve V said...

"The Grits are living under gray skies now; but one day when the CPC is going though a leadership campaign you folks will be smiling again."

I know that day is coming, and I will enjoy every moment of it.

Tof KW said...

I know that day is coming, and I will enjoy every moment of it.

Actually that day may be sooner than many people realize, Harper's own hometown paper printed this. I'm making sure I got a full case of beer in the fridge that weekend - whenever it happens. :)

BTW - good for the Grits if Bernard Lord isn't the next leader. He's the only one of the lot that could get me voting for the CPC, provided he gets the manure smell of the Reformers out of the party.

Steve V said...

If the Libs can shave off 20-25 Con seats in the next election, Harper's mandate reduced significantly, that alone should fuel the fractures behind this united front veneer. I believe this is Harper's last election, barring a majority.

Tof KW said...

I believe this is Harper's last election, barring a majority.

After four kicks at the can as leader and still no majority, you can count on that. Even if he hangs on after a narrow win, the leadership challenges will be out in the open. They won't give him a 5th chance. That's why I think Harper is dangerous now, this is his political survival at stake; as the other elections were an aggregation of his popularity to win a majority.

ottlib said...

The Opposition Party leading the party in power in between elections is the exception not the rule.

The fact it has happened twice since this gang got elected in 2006 is the result of two honeymoons for the Liberal leaders corresponding with serious political missteps by Mr. Harper.

That is not likely to happen again before the next election (hopefully) so we should not be surprised that the Liberals are trailing the Conservatives.

Certainly Liberals would prefer if they were above the 30% mark but if that were the case the Conservatives would probably be above the 35% mark.

Instead the Conservatives find themselves mired in the 30 range four years into government. With each passing day it will become more difficult for the Conservatives to push that number upwards as more and more Canadians become fatigued by their government.

Mr. Ignatieff is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing. He is attacking the government on its many scandals while introducing policy and beginning to delineate himself and the Liberal Party from Mr. Harper and the Conservatives.

This will not pay dividends now. The Liberals can forget about gaining any lasting "traction" before the next election. They might close the gap a little more and conversely the Conservatives might open a slightly bigger lead but in both cases they will short-lived.

Northern PoV said...

Ti-Guy
you are starting to sound like another nut that hangs around and bugs Steve about his over-indulgence in poll tracking. (that clutters-up an otherwise decent blog)

"The only thing these polls do is determine the limits of "acceptable" opinion, which is another way of just telling the public to think a particular way because everyone else is."

look out

Steve V said...

LOL. Hey, looks like Spector was a flyer, cuz Kory came prepared to swamp Graves this afternoon. Classless move.

Ti-Guy said...

you are starting to sound like another nut that hangs around and bugs Steve about his over-indulgence in poll tracking. (that clutters-up an otherwise decent blog)

It needs to be said. The problem reveals itself on election day or with other matters that rely on opinion (such as the state of the economy in terms of consumer confidence shortly before a catastrophic economic collapse that *no one* saw coming) and we find out how disastrously wrong everyone has been.

We make better decisions for ourselves when we're less concerned with what others are doing. And when we make better decisions for ourselves, we make better decisions in aggregate.

Sir Gallahad said...

Steve,

I couldn't get in on the above thread.

Have a good camping trip, and enjoy the time with your son.

They grow up so fast.

Omar said...

Say hello to the black flies for me!
Bzzzzz...

Steve V said...

To early for black flies.