-With all the fluctuations we're seeing in poll numbers, it's inevitable that the pollsters will get criticized. Here's a good article on that and here's a great post criticizing the CBC for misrepresenting their poll data. While the "horse race numbers" are usually fairly accurate in polls, it's obvious from seeing the NDP and Bloc numbers that either
A) The electorate is really volatile
B) Someone is running a bad poll
Two polls (Ipsos and Compas) that came out the same day had the Bloc at 41% and 60% respectively. Considering the Bloc has NEVER polled over 50% for any substantial period of time, I'd be inclined to think Compas is a little off-target on this one.
-Less accurate than the percentages are the "bonus questions" that get asked in these polls. You know, "Which leader is the most trustworthy, has the best fashion sense, etc". That's why we've seen answers to the "do you want an election now?" ranging from 42% to 90%. On that question, I think Allan Gregg said it best on the National Thursday: "It's like asking if you want to have sex during Desperate Housewives? People would prefer sex after the show but they'll take it during if they have to." So long as most of the Gomery trial is done, I don't think there will be any backlash towards Harper for not waiting for the final report.
-After his flip-flop on Kyoto last week, Stephen Harper is at it again this week. Suddenly, he's all in favour of all things Liberal. It's amazing how rising poll numbers can change one's opinion on policy, isn't it? For the record, I think this is a smart move. "Liberal government without Liberals" is likely what the electorate wants right now.
-This is a smart move by Jack Layton, given what happened last spring. Jack Layton should be starting up the "Stephen Harper Fan Club" and complimenting on everything from his social policy to his haircut.
-Finally we get to one of this blog's favourite targets: Jean Lapierre. Lapierre was on "Mansbridge One on One" last night and was up to his usual tricks. Listening to him speak, it just amazes me how dense he is at realizing that the fate of the Liberals is related to the fate of the Liberal Party. When asked about poll numbers showing that people blame the Liberal Party he answered that poll numbers show they don't blame Martin. When asked how he'd defend his Party during the campaign, he answered that he'd say he wasn't a Liberal when this happened. The problem with Lapierre and the PMO "braintrust" is that they think Paul Martin is bigger than the Liberal Party. Apparently they also think Jean Lapierre is bigger than the Liberal Party which is a sign there has been some major Liberal Party shrinkage going on. (Paul Wells said it better in this post - go read it)
-BONUS JEAN LAPIERRE HIJINX: Courtesy of Norman Spector (who now has a comments section!!!), comes this head scratcher. The gist of it is that Lapierre says the Gomery Inquiry may be shut down if there's an election (my French isn't great so it's unclear as to whether he meant public viewing would be shut down or the commission itself would be shut down).