Monday, January 04, 2010

Pre-Prorogue Poll

H/T for the pdf of the Harris Decima poll on prorogation. The poll was taken well before Harper actually did prorogue, so the results are more theoretical, than indicative of true reaction. The overall thrust, Canadians are "indifferent":
Asked how Canadians would feel if the government were to prorogue
Parliament again, this time until after the Olympics, the plurality of
Canadians (46%) are now indifferent.

To be fair, one can hardly expect any other result to a potential reality. "Indifferent" tells us nothing, apart from a lack of present emotion. What I find interesting, is the "unhappy with" BASELINE segment. Overall, more than double those that expressed an opinion are unhappy, the numbers even more pronounced regionally. When you take out the Conservative western powerbase, you see potential problems in Ontario for example. 39% of Ontarians would be unhappy with proroguing, only 12% happy. That suggests the mere idea is problematic, nevermind where we are now, with mostly negative coverage incorporated. Of note, even amongst Conservative supporters, the unhappy contingent outnumbers the happy.

I don't take much from this poll, for obvious reasons. Let's see where we are in a few weeks, once the reaction is digested. I would describe most of the feedback as worrisome for the government, even criticism from normally supportive sources. With Harper creating a political vacuum, this prorogation debate could well fill the void. This facebook group is becoming impressive, by relative standards. I was just told that the Council of Canadians are actively exploring the protest route, which is slated for January 23rd around the country. I was also told, other like-minded organizations are mobilizing to express their displeasure. On another front, solid word of opposition MP's actively discussing showing up for work on the 25th, people writing to their representatives to push the matter. In other words, there is potential for this to snowball into something significant, something that keeps this issue in the news for weeks to come. If anyone thinks that it doesn't matter, I would highlight the PMO's chosen date for prorogation release- you don't pick that date, without considering the "news" angle.

There is one very, very dangerous word that is creeping into this conversation, political death if you will- ARROGANCE. Should that word become the centerpiece of this debate, then prorogation will hurt this government. The notion of arrogance is generally the first signal that the ground is fertile for a change.


Mark Dowling said...

Liberals: stop using the word "prorogue"

Start using the words "Tory work stoppage", "Tory winter vacation", "Tory walkout on the voters", "Tory desertion of those losing their jobs", "Tory stampede towards free Olympic tickets"

You get the idea.

If I was a Liberal MP, I'd be seen around the Olympic venues with the public but not inside unless wearing a T-Shirt saying "unlike Harper's cronies I paid for my ticket"

Steve V said...

I'm just happy I can spell it now ;)

I hear you. Someone needs to put a pricetag on what this means. I know one Committee spent 3 million on a study for a bill that is now DEAD. You start doing the pocketbook stuff, and people will relate.

Liberal Justice said...

I think you spot on when you say how this shows how arrogant Harper and his cronies are. Iggy can play this up and lead us up in the polls. I predict that is exactly what will happen, slowly but surely!

Dame said...

I agree with Liberal Justice!!

Steve V said...

So far, just the "slowly" part.

sassy said...

Mark Dowling

You may appreciate this at BigCityLib's place

Barcs said...

... Lib 31, bloc 11, NDP 18... = 60% of Canadians... People who are unhappy with prorogation.... 34%. Some of them from the Tories too.

So what does it say about how much this hurts the government when only 1/2 the people who vote against him are against his policy?... Far from a death knell, it seems like he has room to grow to me.

But but but there is a facebook group and everything, and it is over 16k members. In a country of 40 million you can only find 16k people to click a button??

Given polls like this that keep coming out. I am even starting to question the narrative that Harper is a mean bad guy. Seems like he is resonating with alot of people to me.

Steve V said...

Even Flanagan admitted that most of the current uptick is the result of Lib election talk. Harper isn't resonating, he still loses to "neither" on best PM.

Barcs said...

"he still loses to "neither" on best PM."

Iggy however dipped below Layton in the last Nanos poll. The 2 of them added together don't even surpass Harper.

My favorite part is that when you add up May and Duceppe for most trustworthy you get: 10.9%.... Iggy makes it to 10.9% by himself (well so far anyway, he is still falling in all 3 categories every month)

Steve V said...

Slurp, slurp.

Marx-A-Million said...

Kady O'Malley really said it best. Kady makes Princess Leia look like Rosie O'Donnel.