Saturday, May 14, 2005

Scandal? What Scandal?

Paul Wells has posted a few dozen comments from his readers who are considering switching their votes. It makes for a very interesting read and provides some insight into how people vote. Now, it should be noted that these comments come from people who are obviously somewhat politically aware (many of whom seem to live in Ottawa Centre...) and who are bombarded with daily updates on the tactics and dithering of the Martin Liberals.

That said, it is interesting to look at those who voted Liberal last time but won't this year. Are they leaving because of revelations at the Gomery inquiry? Because of brown envelopes? Because Chuck Guite fingered Paul Martin? Nope. It was amazing how few people cited Adscam as the reason for their disenchantment. I decided to do a quick tally among those who said they'd jump from the Liberals. A lot of people gave multiple reasons and I jotted them all down so it's far from scientific, but here are the most common reasons for jumping ship:

1. Paul Martin himself 7 ("disappointing" was the word of choice)
2. Opposition 6 (there were three who basically said "Layton's terrible, but better than the others" and three who said "Harper's terrible, but not as terrible as he's made to be")
3. Strategic Voting 4
3. Tired/Arrogant Party 4
5. The PM's zealots (Earnscliffe crowd) 3
5. Liberal Policy (or policy waffling) 3
5. Local candidate 3
8. Adscam 1

And the one guy who mentioned Adscam listed other reasons too. Maybe the Sponsorship Scandal will have a bigger impact on those who don't follow politics closely than on the Paul Wells blog readership. And maybe Adscam has contributed to the feeling of "disappointment" with Martin himself or the notion that the government is past its best before date. But when the obits are written, I think it will be important to not blame the Liberals' demise on scandal alone.

3 Comments:

  • I suppose it's kind of ironic. I fell like I only voted for the Liberals last summer because I liked my local candidate. She had managed to calm my discontent with the Martinettes despite the fact that they had tried to parachute in one of their own to replace her.

    This time, I'd be even more inclined to vote otherwise if not for my local candidate again. He's not even close to a Paul Martin guy, and I have to believe anyone running this time in Calgary will do so out of loyalty to the greater party, not to that bumbling dolt up in Sussex.

    So in the end, the only thing keeping my Liberal vote safe, is the strenght of my RA and their defiant rejection of everthing Paul Martin!

    By Blogger Senator Catalyst, at 3:15 PM  

  • I noticed the same thing. I was one who wrote in and I thought I would be fairly unique in my lack of concern for AdScam.

    I also found it interesting how many people mentioned their local candidate and his/her importance in making their voting decision.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 7:37 PM  

  • Maybe they're leaving the party or no longer supporting it because they have a shred of ethics and dignity left.

    The Federal liberal organization is long overdue for the walk in the snow and a longer hike in the political wilderness to reform themselves....they need to come back in line with the traditional ethics of responsible governance.

    As it stands now, I could never support a political party that puts their own electoral fortunes above the nation's interests.

    Although the CPC at times has displayed ambition, they have yet to display the wonton disregard for the constitutional, parliamentary and ethical propriety that the current liberal political cartel has.

    Maybe they can clear their head on a long wilderness stay.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 AM  

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