Saturday, April 07, 2012

New Polls Impact Rae Negatively

Another poll out today showing a national dead heat between the Conservatives and NDP. The Leger offering mirrors Harris Decima, the NDP have surged back in Quebec, Leger actually pegs them well above their election totals. The polls are also showing the Liberals moving back to their election tallies, whether temporary or not remains to be seen, but reaffirmation of the new Liberal "base" if you will.

I've talked to a few Liberals in recent months, many of whom spoke glowing of Bob Rae's interim leadership. The polls were actually pretty kind, Liberals looked strong under his guidance, in many ways we were outperforming the NDP, creating some optimism about a permanent run. However, Liberals are now recalibrating themselves as the realization of a permanent NDP leader comes into focus, one that is armed with a firmed up support in a region critical to future Liberal fortunes. Let's call it sobering, and within that the "feel good" flavour surrounding Bob Rae is being re-examined.

If the Liberals stay around their 2011 election numbers, any sense of momentum under Rae is obliterated and this reality will force more bold thinking. In my view, the Liberals have ONE chance to beat back the electoral "squeeze" and this will be our open leadership process. The structure is set, which allows for a type of resonance rarely seen in politics, IF, and this is a big IF, Liberals somehow manage to find a vehicle capable of piercing the thick apathy. The Liberal leadership will be our best opportunity to mix up the new Canadian political order, squander it and the challenge is incredibly daunting, capitalize and room for some optimism.

Within that critical leadership frame, I think it works against Bob Rae moving forward. A coronation flavour leadership is political death in my estimation. As well, the pullback polling, the fight to remain relevant, get ink, all contribute to a sense that a dramatic turn of events is required. The Liberals well back in third doesn't work for Bob Rae, it impacts him negatively, people may well embrace a more ambitious generational change. I was your interim leader for a year with no sense of rising fortunes, that doesn't equate to wind in your sails. Let us not forget, the former mild uptick brought a rash of feel good Rae media, stands to reason a withering results in re-examination.

There was perhaps a false sense of the confidence, as a result of Liberals largely having opposition Ottawa to themselves, as the NDP were distracted with their leadership. I contend Mulcair was the least desirable outcome for the Liberals, and the regional breakdowns of polls are now revealing that perceived problem. Liberals will now go through another tough spot- Rae's posture this week evidence of newfound desperation- and these challenges will force a more ambitious course moving forward. Again, I see recent events working decidedly against Bob Rae, not a preference, just an observation.

5 comments:

Jerry Prager said...

Bob will go for foreign affairs, elder statesman of Democratic Liberalism. Bob did good , he earned his keep; now let's see what the youthful liberals hold true, Justin or not in this or any other time except, like he did with grace and sound choosing, clock in for the count next round.

900ft Jesus said...

good. When I want a clear assessment of the Liberal party, I always check out Far and Wide. Definitely leave Rae out of the leadership thing. He's good, but if he can't convince Canadians he's fit to be PM, that doesn't matter since he can't get elected.

I would love to see Gerard Kennedy as leader. Not much of a target for smear campaigns, very approachable, has vision, represents change while still carrying that comfort of Liberal continuity, speak well and with feeling but not over the top that invites mockery, and, sad to say this matters, but he looks good on a poster.

Trudeau could help a lot by being close support because he draws crowds, represents change and hope, represents the new generation of voters, is approachable...and yes, looks good on a poster.

Do I think there are others as good or maybe even better to lead? Sure, but we should know by now that what voters perceive and how well image can stand up to attacks matters.

A Eliz. said...

I like Grant gordon that ran in Danforth, Gordon has Charisma, is smart and good looking,,make a good leader.

Steve W said...

I would hate to see Gerard Kennedy as leader. A nice enough fella I suppose, with a forward and progressive mindset, but nothing in the way of personal gravitas for my liking. Hockey playing, university dropout, food bank guy. No thanks. It's the same reason I'm not all that fussed about Justin Trudeau. Passionate about the country and all, but what's he done exactly? Taught high school and traveled a bit. Wow. I prefer my leaders bigger then life! Elites that impress the fuck outta me! Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff, hell, even Stefan Dion possessed more of that je ne sais quoi that I think makes leaders of nations. Gerard Kennedy? Not so much. But having said all that, PM G. Kennedy would be a helluva sight better then the freak-show we have now. Harper isn't fit to run a Dairy Queen.

Möbius said...

Time for Rae to put the "interim leadership" in concrete, and allow others to start running. Who's going to stick their neck out until that happens?