Monday, December 04, 2006

Hope

No surprise in a new poll that shows a post-convention bounce for the Liberals. The weekend was clearly a success on all fronts, high drama, lots of exposure, plenty of free media with the requisite shots at the Harper government. However, while the poll is good news for the Liberals, the real story in the numbers is the hope for Dion in Quebec:
And in a reaction that defies the conventional wisdom of Quebec pundits, 62 per cent of respondents in the province said that Mr. Dion was a good choice for the Liberals, with only 29 per cent saying he was a bad choice. The approval of the Liberals' pick was higher in Quebec than in the rest of the country, where 55 per cent liked the choice.

My major hesitation with Dion was the idea of electing a francophone who was unpopular in Quebec- the entire premise seemed counter-intuitive. Early rumblings from the Quebec media seemed to fuel the problems Dion would have in his home province. The only caveat, I was reminded that there can be a disconnect between the media class in Quebec and the actual feelings of Quebecers. The results of this poll show an openness to Dion, an opportunity, and that is all we can ask at this point.

The fact that Quebecers were more supportive of the choice than any other province is great, if not surprising, news. All you can ask for at this stage is that many Quebecers will at least give Dion a re-look, a chance to change his image. Dion has the issues on his side, most notably the environment and his stance on Afghanistan. Everyone knows the criticisms, there is obvious resistance, the Bloc has many talking points, and yet a solid majority seen Dion as a good choice. The post-convention bounce was expected, this tidbit within the results are a positive sign. Work to do, but a sense of fluidity that gives optimism.

2 comments:

willingdon said...

Steve:

I've traditionally voted Liberal except in the last two federal elections when I dumped my vote to the Greens. I was sick of the scandals and the obvious disconnect between the old guard and progressive thinking Canadians. Dion is a very welcome breath of fresh air in my humble opinion.

I grew up in Quebec but left for BC in 1996 where I've remained. I'm aware that Dion's francophone-ness might be a factor playing against him out here, but in all honesty, I've been impressed at how well he comes across on English television when he is being questioned. Especially last night on his 9pm CBC interview.

I asked my American wife what she thought of his accent, in the sense of: do you understand clearly the points he's trying to make? She told me the accent was sometimes painful but if you ignore it, he comes across as very genuine and the fact that he elaborates his responses and doesn't just spew boilerplate talking points was refreshing. That made me happy.

Keep up the interesting posts!

Steve V said...

I don't think Dion's English is really a problem. The more Canadians get used to his style, the less of an issue it will be. The only danger, in certain parts of the country, the simple accent reminds them of a long Liberal history that isn't particularly attractive.