Friday, March 11, 2011

Poll Schmoll?

I pose the title as a question, because I'm not sure if I'm mad or crazy like a fox. Two polls yesterday, one showing a massive Conservative lead, the other decent but formidable, the wider picture from all pollsters, it doesn't look particularly good for team Liberal. And yet, I remain unfazed, despite the fact I keep expecting the numbers to turn back and they show no indication of doing so. Both releases yesterday, particularly Angus Reid, capture this week from hell for the Conservatives, and NARY a dent, no traction for the opposition, the Conservative resemble teflon.

Is this denial, is this heart before head, because rationally it's hard to believe the Liberals are the ones pushing for an election. Cautious words from some quarters clearly warranted, but I still want to plow ahead, still believe we are in the best shape since the Conservatives took office. A leader with dreadful numbers, yet I see a person who has FINALLY found his voice, a certain authenticity now that seemed lacking before. I note Hebert commented on Ignatieff last night, sensing a change in the rhetoric to a more genuine place. My feelings changed with the caucus speech Ignatieff made, I think that a watershed moment, a little known secret now, but a presentation that can resonate come a campaign.

I'm not sure the Liberals have a "vision" yet, but I think they have a narrative now, they can contrast, they can differentiate, they can hammer the government with a coherent logic, armed with SCADS of third party validation. There is now so much material available, a virtual buffet of attack ad ready fronts, that can be woven into a powerful rejection of the very foundation these Conservatives first won office. Andrew Coyne used the proper term "debatable" when we discuss comparisons with the past Liberal government on ethics, transparency. I would submit, the fact we can even cobble together a "debatable" argument to make the comparison, argue a Conservative government WORSE than the dirty Liberals, a simply REMARKABLE evolution.

Outright victory, hard to see, given the hard math. However, despite the current "snapshots", the dire prognostications, I remain cautiously optimistic that we have finally found the "goods" that will cause people to give a second look. It now falls to the OLO to make the case, the material is there, the contrast has been developed, if the messenger can forcefully grap people's attention, opportunity despite current circumstance. In addition, again referencing Andrew Coyne, we are now in the rare situation where principle is trumping the polls, a party actually moving forward on a conviction, rather than simply trying to find the perfect weather vane moment. Ignatieff said he "relishes" a fight on the issues discussed the past couple weeks, and I concur. The debate goes to the heart of our democracy, I think cynics will be surprised, ONCE AGAIN, that people can be stirred from their slumber when core tenets are challenged, debated. A latent passion does exist, rather than frustrated, I see potential spark, which could challenge the conventional wisdom.

The polls are dreadful, as bad as they've been, there is no silver lining to be found, logic dictates a reconsideration. And yet, I'm more eager than ever to see the opposition vote non confidence and go to the people. Craziness, I know...


Anonymous said...


I don't trust AR polls at all. And by that, I don't mean I think they're flawed. I mean I think they are pure rubbish designed to push whatever meme they are supporting at the time.

To me they are the Rasmussen of the North. Rasmussen is known for pushing an extraordinary (as in almost as many polls as other polling units combined) with a bias toward the right on every issue. They flood the US media with poll after poll. It gets eaten up and digested. When push comes to shove, their polls remarkably right themselves just in time for elections.

But in any cycle in between, you might as well toss their results into the trash heap.

So my suggestion that the AR poll showing the conservatives surging and the liberals falling to historic lows flying in the face of the worst headlines Harper has seen (and that's saying a lot) means one of two things:

1) They know the government is going to fall and they want to plant the idea that a conservative majority is a given.


2) They want desperately to convince some party (or some members of the parties) to keep them afloat until they can mitigate the situation.

I'm voting for 2 in this instance.

Of course that's just a theory, but I've been observing Rasmussen down south for a long time. And my spidey-sense is pretty good with them. I can pretty much tell you what the Rasmussen polls say before I even look at them now . . . on any topic. I can write the headline and then look at the numbers.

So either I'm psychic or I have their number.

AR is starting to feel the same to me ;).

Steve V said...

I agree Rasmussen, was always amazed that anyone gave it credence. AR, not sure, their record is actually pretty good- one caveat, not sure if an online panel is reactive enough to events on the ground.

Morakon said...

It's go time. Bring on an election. The Liberals better have a good ad campaign when this thing gets started.

ridenrain said...

Why waste $200 million in an election, just to get rid of a lame duck leader?

Steve V said...

300 million.

Tof KW said...

Why waste $200 million in an election, just to get rid of a lame duck leader?

Because Harper's a lying piece of shit and his corrupt government must go!

...and as Steve pointed out it's $300 million.

Tof KW said...

Oh, I'd like to point out now that Harper was trailing Martin by 5-6% on the advent of the 2005-06 election campaign.

ottlib said...

Steve said: "Is this denial, is this heart before head, because rationally it's hard to believe the Liberals are the ones pushing for an election."

ridenrain said: "Why waste $200 million in an election, just to get rid of a lame duck leader?"

That pretty much sums it up does it not?

The polls say the Liberals should back off but they are not. In fact it would seem they are upping the rhetoric if Mr. Ignatieff's performance yesterday is any indication.

Meanwhile a Conservative supporter like Rain posts a comment indicating he does not want an election when the polls seem to be indicating that his party will win and win big during one.

The weak is pushing for an election while the strong is trying to prevent it.


Perhaps because the public polls are not showing the true picture, perhaps inadvertently or as John says with intent.

Perhaps Conservatives realize that most voters vote against a party not for it and the Conservatives have given voters alot of reasons not to vote for them in recent weeks.

Perhaps despite their rhetoric they have noticed that Mr. Ignatieff has improved his retail political skills considerably over the last few months and he will be a very formidable opponent.

Perhaps all of the above.

This next election is going to be a crap shoot for the Conservatives. They have the most to lose and they know there is a very real possibility that they will lose. So they and their many cheerleaders in the chattering classes are going to do their very best to prevent one until the conditions are a little more comfortable for them.

The Liberals recognise this reality and that is why they are pushing for an election.

Tof KW said...

You're being too nice to the troll ottlib - but well stated, and it certainly speaks volumes doesn't it?

Steve V said...


That is a great point, why is there an absense of "bring it on" for the conbots, like we've seen previously when polls are favorable? They apparently have us right where they want, majority looks possible and yet from all quarters I sense not wanting an election, whether it be their spinmeisters, supporters, favorable media pundits. Why is right, and maybe it says we aren't that crazy afterall.

ridenrain said...

If only 5% of Canadians bother to follow politics, they won’t have seen the flood of fabricated scandals and none are as universally disliked as ADSCAM or the coalition. Their cynical and already know all parties are the same so crying hypocrites won’t matter either. Their going to look at the economy, how the government is affecting their lives and the leaders. Liberals themselves came up with “the tourist” and it resonates with the public.
Do please proceed though. I know the Conservatives can afford it.

Steve V said...

Really? Did Harper come to power on the "economy"? Exactly. I find it hilarious that Cons who once championed ethics, accountability, the CORNERSTONE of their entire campaign, no say none of it matters.

Sean Cummings said...

Jaheebus - things must be right freaking terrible when Liberal bloggers start quoting Andrew Coyne.

Steve V said...


Once again, you quote someone else, but offer NOTHING that speaks to the argument. Step it up, your commentary offers ZIP.

Tof KW said...

rid-of-brain ...why if the Libs are headed for certain defeat, are you urging them to back down? Why not indulge the Liberal Party in their suicidal tendencies?

I smell fear ...big time!

BTW - you are your kind are hypocritical slime for supporting a lying, corrupt, spend-happy piece of shit faux-conservative gang of fratboys. I wouldn't mind the Reform-based agenda so much (I really don't care for the LGR as an example, and agree with more money to the military and our legal system) but the transparency and accountability aspects were the primary reason for Harper winning power. How your movement has fallen from the ideals of the circa-1993 Reform Party!!! Preston Manning must be shaking his head right now.

Sean Cummings said...

There is no argument, Steve. I was simply observing the irony of a Liberal blogger quoting a conservative pundit as a measure of how bad things are in Liberal-town.

I live in Saskatoon. The Liberal Party is non-existent here. I can't see how they can win an election with polling numbers that low. That's why I am in favor of an election now - perhaps it will be the complete decimation of the Liberal Party to get the party to realize it needs to rebuild from the ground up rather than go ahead messiah searching.

Remember when Iggy was supposed to be the Liberal Jesus? How's that working out for you given that your primary opponent is a control freak who flouts parliamentary authority on a whim and who shits on democracy?

Steve V said...

That isn't irony btw.. Again, you haven't commented on the context, just some lazy guilt by association line. It's entirely unconvincing...

I don't see the apocalypse, sorry...

Sean Cummings said...

A partisan Liberal blogger quoting a conservative pundit to bolster his argument isn't irony?

Um ... okay.

Gene Rayburn said...

And Sean used Saskatoon as reference for Canada as a whole. Sean and Ridofbrain seem to showing a similar trend: confusing personal opinion and conjecture with reality

Paul said...

This Conservative government is not different than the last Liberal one we had, nor is different than the Conservative one before that. Government and lack of ethics go hand in hand. Those of you screamiing about a corrupt government, where ya bin the last 25 years? The public is not going to kick Harper out until they see something better...
So the question becomes: why isn't the Liberal Party better?

marie said...

I agree John.A poll is only as good as the questions framed and where the majority of people polled happen to reside.

False polls most of the time. The only ones that do count are after the writ is dropped and the way questions areframed and the actual election polls.

Not enough land phones but cell phone owned by mostly the very young ignorant Canadians and not the majority of the elder Canadians whom a lot do not own CP's or connect to the internet,as well as on line polls that can easily be manipulated.

Im voting for 2) as well.

Steve V said...


Really? Why did the last gov't get kicked out? I seem to remember the ECONOMY humming along, surplus ridiculous, employment absurdly high, and yet... Where have you been?

Gayle said...

"If only 5% of Canadians bother to follow politics, they won’t have seen the flood of ... scandals"

(Suggesting the In and Out fraud, and being found to be prima facie in contempt of parliament three times is "fabricated" is just stupid. Grow up).

If only 5% of Canadians follow politics between elections, far more than that follow politics during the election. Striking now means these scandals will be front and centre in a campaign. People will be paying attention.

It seems apparent the LPC believe they have something to run on. I have to believe they also have a vision for the country and that will come out in an election.

Canada has elected liberal governments over and over again. The truth is we are comfortable with them and I think that if the LPC are able to show 1) Harper is NOT the PM he promised to be (which will be easy to do), and 2) they have a reasonable, solid plan for governing, Canadians will be comfortable returning to a liberal government.

The LPC need the election to get people to pay attention to Harper's dishonest government.

Steve V said...

Just to clarify, they say 15% pay attention between elections.

Tof KW said...

Paul wrote:
Government and lack of ethics go hand in hand.

Interesting, a CPC supporter now admitting their government is corrupt. Well Paul, its nice to see someone being honest about it.

However ethics, accountability and transparency are indeed serious issues. And it was for these very reasons that Harper was elected, certainly not the economy. The economy was doing extremely well thanks to Paul Martin, and still is thanks to his work from the 90's.

So the question becomes have the Liberals learned their lesson from Adscam? I think after 5 years in opposition they've figured something about how rushing money out the door during crisis without proper safeguards isn't a good idea. I'm waiting to see their policies on this, which I'm told are in the can and waiting for the election call.

So the question to the voters is do you vote for the government you know are lying and corrupt, or the ones who say they've learned and will enact changes.

This will be an interesting election, that's for sure.

Steve V said...


What is funny, how ethics no longer matter, everybody does it, contrasted with the prior holier than thou stances. Still find it amazing, completely sold out every single one of their supposed principles, all in the name of keeping power. Where are you old reformers, where are you??

Omar said...

Where are you old reformers, where are you??

I often wonder where all the old Red Tories are? Why the hell doesn't someone like Joe Clark come out and speak against this foul government? I don't get it. Is he not concerned about the current state of the nation? Apparently not.

Paul said...

"Really? Why did the last gov't get kicked out? I seem to remember the ECONOMY humming along"

and it was....but the stealing thing really got in the way. Again wasting/overspending is one thing, stealing public money is a different animal.

"Interesting, a CPC supporter now admitting their government is corrupt. Well Paul, its nice to see someone being honest about it."

Nice spin...did you actually read my post? Why am I a CPC supporter?
Was it something I said, or am I not partisan enough?

Question remains...Why isn't the Liberal Party better?

Kirk said...

With satellite TV I see the ads run on local stations for various parts of the country. In the Maritimes the Cons are running 4 ads per 1 hour show.

A massive multi 10's of million dollar advertising campaign using both CPC dollars and govt dollars verses scant coverage on the news.

Guess which is winning?

Steve V said...

There is no question the barrage of ads, CPC and one's I'm paying for, are having an impact on poll numbers. That also means, once the campaign starts and it's a level playing field, one has to wonder if it holds up?

Kirk said...

Oh, and Paul. The Conservatives did steal money, $100,000 in the "in-and-out" scandal.

They were trying to steal $800,000 by submitting forged invoices but EC caught on to their scheme before they could steal the full $800,000.

DL said...

Its worth noting that in Nov. 2005 most polls gave the Liberals about a 10 point lead over the Tories. In fact, I remember very well how for the first two weeks of December 2005 people were scratching their heads over how the Liberals still had a double digit lead over the Tories despite all the Gomery stuff and despite the consensus among pundits that the Liberal campaign was not very good while the Tory campaign was landing a lot of hits...eventually there was a tipping point and the Liberals tumbled. Of course one GIGANTIC difference was that in 2006 you had a 13 year old government not a 5 year old government - so the "time for a change" sentiment was far more powerful. Another example, in BC in 2009, the BC "so-called" Liberals spent a gazillion dollars before the writ was dropped vilifying Carol James and the BC NDP and had as much as a 16 point lead when they called the election...a month later when the votes were counted after the NDP had run a reasonably competent campaign and actually ran ads attacking the government - that 16% lead shrank to just a 3% lead. ...and the moral of the story is???

Paul said...

"Oh, and Paul. The Conservatives did steal money, $100,000 in the "in-and-out" scandal."

And from who did they "steal" it from?

And yet the Qestion remains: Why isn't the Liberal Party better?

Kirk said...

...and the moral of the story is???

Elections matter.

Or, polls are for dogs.

Kirk said...

Paul, Paul, Paul. They stole it from the Canadian taxpayer by submitting forged invoices which were reimbursed at 60% of their value.

And you claim you aren't a Conservative...

Gene Rayburn said...

he isnt. he's a moron

Gene Rayburn said...

and to rephrase Paul's question

Why are the conservatives so lacking?

Tof KW said...

Paul, it's pretty clear from your past statements and even the ones here today that you support the Harper Government.

"And yet the Qestion remains: Why isn't the Liberal Party better?"

Paul, you do realize at this point that Ignatieff, Rae, Kennedy, Brison, McTeague, Bennett, Trudeau, Dosanjh, Garneau, Hall-Findlay, Holland, etc ...have as much to do with Adscam; as Harper and his cabinet ministers had to do with Mulroney's Airbus Scandal.

Not as much as I'd like to see, but there has been a significant turnaround in LPC caucus membership since the Chretien years.

Paul said...

Just trying to get my head around partisan spin. I'm not sure if the public will see it as stealing or just bending accounting rules.
Sorry if I don't bow and worship Liberal everything...history has taught me to trust no party. I vote for whom I believe will provide the best leadership.
Have voted both Conservative and Liberal in the past.

If I can't get an answer about what makes Liberals better on a partisan Liberal blog..

If I'm going to vote Liberal then there better be some sort of "vision". Anybody can pick government apart, at any given time. Iggy been ther how long now, and what has he offered Canadians? Give me a reason to vote Liberal and I just might.

Michael said...

Harper has so many targets painted on his ass right now. Add the flat employment numbers, and a great big trust issue when it comes to dealing with the deficit (his), jet plane costs all relative to medicare, old age pensions etc. and you have a campaign theme. I agree with your optimism, especially since the real goal is to hold him to a minority and then sit back and watch the Diefenbaker-esque feeding frenzy.

JimmE said...

Don't get me wrong I'd like to see an election, but here is my concern: Candidates. Some very good ones have left the tent for a number of reasons, if we go to the polls we will have to appoint some place holders &/or accept some less than ideal ones. This hurts Liberal chances, & if Grits were to win who knows what dust bunnies would end up in the light of day. Not only must the plan & plane be ready, but people like Manley, Martin, Turner & JC need to be calling good people asking them to consider running.

Gene Rayburn said...

" I'm not sure if the public will see it as stealing or just bending accounting rules. "

And that's the kicker. You DONT know what Canadians are thinking.

Tof KW said...

"Give me a reason to vote Liberal and I just might."

Paul, how about NOT spending $28-billion on a sole-sourced tender for fighter jets of unproven technology? How about NOT spending over $2-billion (actually we don't even know if that's right) on new jails for a 'law & order' agenda that even Newt Gingrich is now warning us about.

Or think of it another way, say Iggy does really well and the LPC wins a weak minority. That gives ~2 years to see what they can do differently, meanwhile the Conservatives can finally ditch Harper and replace him with someone who doesn't automatically piss off 60% of the population. And there are good Tories out there that could win a majority if the party would just stop trying to emulate the Republicans and go back to Anglo-Canadian conservative traditions. Right now, Harper is the Liberal's best chance to win government.

Paul said...

"And that's the kicker. You DONT know what Canadians are thinking."

Your right, who knows...maybe it will be a Liberal majority based on their new found set of ethics.

As I said, same shit...different party.

Omar said...

"Give me a reason to vote Liberal and I just might."

If you cannot see just how wretched this new breed of conservatism is and how this wretchedness has manifested itself into an utter incompetent form of governance, then Gene hits the nail on the head, you sir, are a moron.

Anonymous said...

Martins defeat to Harper was not economy based but, was due to a decade of mini scandals and the last few years of major scandals. No govt can escape the mini scandals, its the larger scandals that take you down. In/Out and Oda are the mini scandals, much like HRC and Shawinigate...the G20 fiasco could be compared to the Gun Registry fiasco. Voters overlooked the many Liberal stumbles as simple mistakes made in a complex political system. It was Adscam, plain and simple. Your feeling good about an election because your a partisan Liberal and, thats a good thing because it balances out our democracy. And honestly TKW, name me a PM over the last 30 years who hasnt looked into the camera and lied to the Canadian people...other then Paul Martin, and, maybe he should have.

marie said...

As I say Paul, same bull shit, different current governing Party. I see your cult dictator taking full advantage of the Japan earthquake. All over the Media doing … what he’s very good at, his is one and only greatness, of placing his mug, crooked nose and all before his accommodating media doing, you guessed it (famous photo Ops.)

Least we forget, Paul, Harper has no ethics worth mentioning here. He seems to forget all about ethics because he doesn’t have those traits crucial to when it comes to being a Prime minister. Actually, it appears that he is still in the practicing stage after 5+ years

I can't wait until the election writ is dropped. Maybe then the media will give ALL parties fair media coverage and show Canadians the real Liberal leader, not the one that control freak Harper and his adoring Media have made up in portraying Ignatieff. Choices between a Harvard graduate or a self proclaimed economic masters that his only previous job, rumors was a mail sorter in a mail room likely his father’s mail room & office.

See Paul, we can all speak our opinions just as credible as the Medias immature opinion writers. It doesn't take many writing skills and zero credibility to speak of. The only ones that listen or care are the gullible supporters of Harper land with a small amount of IQ worth mentioning about with the brain drained and hood winked childish posters we read about on the G&M blogs of CTV for that matter. All it takes is cut and paste the talking lines you want.

.. Run along Paul . its plain to see who you support. A bully a liar, a man who has no scruples who would throw people like yourself and his family members under the bus if it suits his agenda. Come to think of it, He has already shown Canadians what is agenda is and I for one am not impressed.

Omar said...

Fridays Power Panel is the only one of the week worth watching. It will be interesting to hear what actual journalists have to say in regards to the weeks happenings rather then the partisan spin you get Mon-Thurs from the Bluesky, Milner-Casgrain, Crestview, Mediastyle, National Post talking heads.

Gene Rayburn said...

and like you said Paul, you dont know squat. Yet for some reason you act like an authority. Of what besides bs I dont know.

Tof KW said...

And honestly TKW, name me a PM over the last 30 years who hasnt looked into the camera and lied to the Canadian people...other then Paul Martin, and, maybe he should have.

Easy, Joe Clark. The reason he only won a minority, and quickly lost it was because he told the truth. To this day I hold him in the highest regard of any living politician in this country.

Funny you mention Martin, I in fact consider him the second most honest PM - in my lifetime anyhow.

And compare him and the Gomery Commission compared to what the Harper gang is doing right now. Even if the Grits are half as honest as Martin, I'm happy with them in a minority if possible. Harper must go before any more damage is done to crystallize the powers of the PM over Parliament.

ottlib said...


You are over simplifying things a little bit. The mini-scandals that you mention did hurt the Chretien Liberals. Afterall they lost almost 20 seats in 1997 and were almost reduced to a minority government.

They came back in 2000 because of Stockwell Day. His 2000 campaign was brutal. He made Stephane Dion look like a seasoned campaigner.

In 2006 it is true that Adscam was a big factor but so was the fact the conservative side of the Canadian political spectrum finally got its act together after the Mulroney fiasco.

Stephen Harper is in a similar position to Jean Chretien in 1997. The only difference is Jean Chretien went into the 1997 election with around 170 seats so he could afford to lose some without losing power. Mr. Harper's position is not as secure and he does not have as much room for error.

Jerry Prager said...

Here is the single most important fact on the democratic calendar,

after this, revolution

Gene Rayburn said...

Not this instant rebellion gonzo crap you were peddling on Red Tory Jerry!

Gene Rayburn said...

Not this instant rebellion gonzo crap you were peddling on Red Tory!

How is that going to start a revolution Jerry? Who are the leaders and how are they going to get organized as fast as you theorize?

Dame said...

not completely offline... BUT
I guess we can ditch ALL the fighter jet orders and make room for producing thousands of HELICOPTERS... the only thing what makes sense.

Omar said...

So much for that Power Panel. Japan, Stephen Harper thanks you.

Joe said...

In talking to non-partisan Canadians from coast to coast, as I am prone to do, I get the distinct impression that they would just like 'the government' AKA Parliament to grow up and get along. Underneath that sentiment is the promise to electorally punish whomsoever they perceive as forcing the next election.

Paul said...

" I see your cult dictator taking full advantage of the Japan earthquake. All over the Media doing … what he’s very good at, his is one and only greatness, of placing his mug, crooked nose and all before his accommodating media doing, you guessed it (famous photo Ops.)"

Just like every other leader on the planet does in a time of crisis. Course, if he didn't do it then you would be whining about him not doing enough.

Twisting Japan into politics equals sick and pathetic.

Gene Rayburn said...

"In talking to non-partisan Canadians from coast to coast, as I am prone to do"

Just out of curiosity, what is your monthly mileage because you must drive a ton.

Joe said...

"what is your monthly mileage because you must drive a ton."

Well since they invented the telegraph, telephone, and now that new interwebbie thingie with pictures and all that everyone is talking about..... a lot less kilometerage than you might think.

Gene Rayburn said...

"Twisting Japan into politics equals sick and pathetic."

That doesnt make a bit of sense at all. Politicizing a disaster is indeed bad taste but that's pretty much a given across the board Paul. Im not backing Marie's argument in this case because politicians, disasters & cameras go together like sex, drugs and rock and roll. Your statement conveys a tone that any type of discussion regarding Japan that doesnt agree with what you see as acceptible is somehow offensive and should not be discussed. So much for open discussion.

There are some interesting political items to discuss in Japan; some related to the earthquake and some that just coincidentally happened to be happening at that time. Japan wasn't exactly in the best political shape at the time of this quake and the career prospects of the Japanese PM arent all that healthy.

Politically speaking, Japan has been a bit of a basketcase for awhile now. Throw on an economy in recession and they have major problems.

Now consider how much oil and gas they consume: how do you think this is going to affect us? Japan is the third largest market economy and this earthquake is going to have ripples everywhere.

Harper is free to take all the photo-ops he wants, but if he follows a behaviour he is all to frequent to do: make partisan attacks on the world stage. Then he deserves to be criticized regardless of whether you think it's appropriate or not.

But that's the problem with some issues isnt it? People who decry political correctness then invoke some sort of bs edicate on others they dont agree with. Its not about talking about the issues with you, its about preventing others talking about them.

Gene Rayburn said...

So what you're saying is you email, phone, watch tv and surf the web like everyone else. So smartass, how do you qualify your findings so it has empirical proof or are you just blowing smoke, as you are prone to do?