Sunday, April 24, 2011

None Of The Above

Some of my NDP friends are patting themselves on the back, noting that Canadians are abandoning the party of nothing for the real deal manifestation. With the influx of beyond lame, boring Conservative trolls- that I'm amusingly turfing to the spam folder- apparently Harper is on the rise as well, as voters embrace his infectious message and superior guidance. And I suspect if the roles reversed, my side would be of similar mindset. BUT, an interesting new poll confirms what I've argued previously, namely NOBODY is inspiring ANYBODY:
if mistrust, cynicism and lack of faith in politics were candidates in the May 2 election, they would be almost guaranteed victory over anything else that the public has seen on offer in the campaign.

The results correspond to a previous Angus Reid-Star poll after the televised leaders’ debates a couple of weeks ago, which showed Canadians were overwhelmingly “annoyed” by what they saw of the political sparring.

A full 78 per cent of respondents to this newest survey believe politicians are less honest today and 62 per cent said they believed Canadian democracy was in crisis. More than half of the respondents — 52 per cent — said none of the political parties had satisfactory positions on issues important to the voters.

Mukerji says this 52 per cent figure is disturbing.

“You can imagine that in a two-party system, like in the United States, that might make sense. But, in Canada, there are four national parties, and there’s an extra one in Quebec. It’s not like there’s a lack of choice,” he said.

I am not trying to belittle the NDP "surge" in Quebec, but rather than these grandiose proclamations about people responding to message, it's more a case of "all these other guys have failed, okay let's go with this new shiny thing that hasn't let us down yet". I note the almost imperceivable traction in more well known jurisdictions as further proof that it's more "new kid" than compelling narrative nobody can resist. My party is tired and old, Harper is a dud and Duceppe is the same, in fact the reaction is just change for the sake, borne out of cynicism and disappointment. In English Canada, we don't really have a "fresh" option that has any credible potential, so that explains why events we perceive as "movable" barely cause any blip.

We keep telling ourselves that voters aren't cynical, but every measure suggests the opposition- they are, and nobody has really changed that perception, unless having no wear on your tires classifies as profound inspiration. People kicking themselves trying to figure out why Harper isn't floundering in the polls, chiefly it's because there is such a firm wall of pure cynicism surrounding the whole process, all the actors, all the brands, that the impetus for substantive change never manifests. Just not being the other guys in Quebec, just not having any other guys in the rest of Canada, welcome to election 2011! The numbers are staggeringly obvious.


As an aside, I'm not trying to be purposely negative, what I'm trying to ascertain is the real climate out there, not the imagined one we partisans, other commentators, media, tend to assume. Once you understand your audience, then you can be more effective in speaking to it.


Robert McClelland said...

Liberal supporters should take a good look at the federal and provincial popular support numbers from the 2008 election and compare them to the numbers from today's Nanos poll. They will clearly surprise most of you.

Steve V said...

Actually did that this morning Robert :) Wow, what a difference. Look, great you're making a breakthrough in QC, but it's not some deep transformation, it's just bored and cynical voters saying give these chumps the keys. As well, I really could care less if you of all people agree. Cheers.

sharonapple88 said...

The annoyance by the general public is probably the result of all the negative political ads. Some studies point to it alienating the undecided.

As for a fresh alternative... How about the Green Party? ;)

Steve V said...

I don't think the Greens look a credible alternative this election, alluded to that, but not clear enough. I will say though, if young voters are truly turning out, it should help Green numbers, or at least offset less attention.

Robert McClelland said...

A tweet from me this morning.

Nanos poll numbers: #CPC & #LPC at `08 E-day levels. #NDP up 5% at expense of #Bloc & #GPC #elxn41

The regionals show the same. The media is crafting a false narrative--shocking I know--that the NDP is eating the Lib Party's lunch.

Liberals need to shake off the malaise this false narrative is inducing. There's still a week left and a few points gained over `08 for the Libs at the Cons expense plus a few points gained by the NDP at the Bloc's expense equals Harper gone without the aid of the separatists.

Steve V said...

Sounds about right.

Dame said...

The media what is the most cynical and the tools of the harpercons.. fence sitting sheltered life is the only thing they personally want to keep going. if Mansbridge would just fire his so called" panel' would be a good start... but Mansbridge is looking for comfy retirement..
lazy bums and they should be all throw on fire. well there are exceptions but not much.

sharonapple88 said...

I don't think the Greens look a credible alternative this election, alluded to that, but not clear enough.

They were much stronger in 2008, but then they were allowed into the debates that year.

I'm still hoping Elizabeth May beats Gary Lunn.

Nanos poll numbers: #CPC & #LPC at `08 E-day levels. #NDP up 5% at expense of #Bloc & #GPC #elxn41

One thing that makes me nervous is that the polls in 2008 were a little light for the Tories -- more people voted for them than the polls predicted. There's the thought in the back of my mind that the numbers for them may be a bit stronger than the Nanos poll shows.

Dana said...

So many want to get rid of the Harperites yet so few are willing to do what it takes.

Fascinating case study.

One day there will be a poli sci course about this.

rockfish said...

Well, i can only guess the wave of undecided who, once they know who Singh Malik is supporting and that one of Harper's own candidates is a tamil tiger sympathizer, well the skies the limit for the Cons...

rockfish said...

Just wait til we see the wave of undecided break right now that its known that Sikh separatist and Air India bomber financier Singh Malik is a COn supporter, and that one of Harper's own candidates is a tamil tiger sympathizer. With the 'terrorist' support locked up, my guess its clear sailing for Supremo Harper...

xyz said...

The bigger challenge for NDP is going to be if they can maintain their support after the election day. Quebec is notorious for lifting parties up-to the stratosphere, then chewing them out and throwing them down- ask Mulroney, Harper, Ignatieff and Mario Dumont.

@Dana: It's because Conservatives haven't been in power long enough, the opposition hasn't been out of power long enough to have that fire in their belly. Preston Manning says that it takes about 10 years for a long ruling party that lost power to be fit to stage a credible comeback. Liberals haven't done the things that need to be done to get back, Libs thought "oh these conservatives are just a fad, we'll be back in power in no time". They haven't done the rebuilding that needs to be done. They are far behind in fundraising, far behind in the ground-game, far behind in riding level organization compared to the tories. The Liberals have shown absolutely no strategy to win seats out of their enclaves and become a national party again. The party virtually non existent outside of the GTA, Vancouver, West-Island of Montreal and Atlantic Canada. This is not a national party! Look at the Conservative outreach to new canadians for example, prior to 2006 Liberals had a complete lock on the so-called "ethnic vote", but look now I was just reading I think an Angus-Reid poll a couple of days ago and the Conservaties are 15 points ahead of the Liberals among the so-called "ethnic vote". People like Ruby Dhalla who were unbeatable a few years ago are pretty much toast. Where is the equivalent Liberal strategy for Western Canada, Quebec, ontario outside the GTA? I would be ecstatic if they had a semblence of a coherent strategy in any one of these regions.

And fundraising! Obviously the conservatives are the incumbent party and therefore have an inherent fundraising advantage, but the fact that the Liberals are barely beating the NDP in the fundraising race is just shameful. No party can expect to mount a challenge for the leadership of a country when they are being outraised and outspent by more than 3 to 1, not in Canada, not anywhere else in the world.

Policy-wise Liberals are mess. For some unbelievale reason Ignatieff tried to run from Harper's right on certain issues after becoming the leader. Ignatieff's "Conservative-lite" routine was devastating and demoralizing for the grassroots. I'm dismayed by the extreme lack balls from the Liberal party, Liberals have done noting, shown no passion to whip the crowds into a frenzy. Look in the US both the Democrats and the Republicans have the power to whip their supporters up against the other party when things are not going their way. What issue have the Liberals taken on to ignite the same passion? They blew the opportunity on Afghanistan by going to the right of Harper.

As much as I hate it part of me wants Harper to win a majority. That's the only way the opposition in general and Liberals in particular could get their act together. There need to be drastic changes in the Liberal Party, maybe it is a new party merged with the NDP or it is a newly focused Liberal Party with a dynamic leader with a clear strategy to eleminate the significant deficits they face against the conservatives. I don't know which it is but things just can't go on as is.

Sorry for the rant and the wall of text but it felt good to get it all out.

Patrick said...

I have to say that I am one of those cynical, annoyed voters. In my riding, Saint-Boniface, the liberals annointed the same candidate who lost to Shelly Glover in 08 - Ray Simard. Why not find a fresh face? Same guy who voted against same-sex marriage, and the day after he lost the election went on camera and directly blamed St├ęphane Dion. It was so classless. And i had voted for him (because of Dion).

I thought I would probably end up voting for him once again... Strategically to avoid the mess that is Shelly Glover. But then i wondered why i put myself through the guilt of voting for someone i don't respect.

If the liberals were truly concerned about democracy they would have some form of PR in their platform. So that I dont have to feel guilty when I vote for their lousy candidate. Needless to say, a longtime liberal rode the orange wave this time around.

Steve V said...

It's to easy to lock up a riding association, it prevents new blood, we need reforms no question.