Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Turning 40

Not surprisingly, there's much rejoicing and incomprehensible shock over the most recent SES polling numbers:

Lib: 40%
CPC: 28%
NDP: 17%
BQ: 11%
Green: 4%

I for one think Harper should stay the course. Laying out a policy platform may not be pretty but it needs to be done. When the Tories go negative after Christmas, they'll need to have already established themselves as a viable alternative to the Liberals. When the Liberals go negative after Christmas, the Conservatives will need to have a platform for all to see, in order minimize the "hidden agenda" damage. I also think that associating Harper with policy is a good idea since it can only soften him up. Let the TV ads and Jason Kenneys of the world smear the Liberals - they need to portray Harper as a policy focused intellectual...who cut kids like to hug.

I can also think of at least seven reasons not to put too much stock in the early polling numbers:


1. Income trusts - this could give the Tories a win by itself.

2. It's a long campaign - A lot is going to happen between now and voting day.

3. Soft support - 4-5% of the Liberal support comes from the soft NDP voters who will vote Liberal to stop the Tories. If it doesn't look like the Tories will win, they'll vote NDP.

4. Debates - There are still four debates. Martin, uhh, isn't a very good debator.

5. Negative ad blitz - People may be focused on policy, instead of sponsorship, now. But when Layton and Harper both go after the Liberals on Adscam in January, it will become an issue yet again.

6. Voter turn-out - It's going to be a cold winter. Conservative voters are more likely to vote than Liberal voters, so a January 23rd snowstorm could make a huge difference.

7. Volatility and undecideds - There are still a lot of undecided voters out there. Things could very easily swing back Harper's way.


So while the recent poll numbers are a little baffling, it's far too early to call this campaign.

34 Comments:

  • A very objective post CG. One would almost think you're a Blogging Tory from reading that without knowing who wrote it. ;)

    You're right - it is early.. and all factors you listed must be taken into account. It must be maddening though for Tory supporters to see all this exposure for Harper and his policies is driving his numbers down, not up.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:03 PM  

  • I'd like to agree with you, and maybe it will turn out all right for the CPC in the end, but we've already seen the campaign that the Grits will run with, and it doesn't involve going against Harper, per se. It's the unity issue, and the Liberal image as the only party to defend Canada against the separatists. It's a hard glass for a Western Canadian conservative anglophone to look through.

    I'll be completely honest, speaking as a Western Canadian conservative anglophone. It pisses me off! For two reasons: First, it discredits and diminishes the West as full participants in the national debate. Second, it'll work.

    By Blogger FRANCISM, at 6:09 PM  

  • The thing is.. Martin hasnt even tried playing the unity issue card, while Harper's been doing his "a new policy everyday" campaign.. and its so far not working.

    How long will it take for the Conservative Party to realize that a) Harper isnt liked, and b) his social and neo-conservative policies that he and the Alliance wing advocate will never be accepted in the majority of Canada, and they will HAVE to accept more moderate and Red Tory influences to have a chance?

    Maybe another failed election campaign will do it.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:26 PM  

  • The unity issue is not something the Cons should avoid. It is the key, and I think the most vulnerable, element in Liberal strategy. Bernard Lord has taken the bull by the horns here - great comment in terms of pyromania - and the likes of McKay etc need to follow suit.

    The argument needs to be centered around the fact that while there is no certainty of a referendum now, there will be if the Liberals are elected federally.

    What message does english Canada send to Quebec if we re-elect a government that has abused Quebeckers trust with such careless abandon?

    The argument regarding a lack of Conservative reprentation in Quebec as being a 'winning condition' should be turned on its head. It is precisely because the Cons have so little representation that they can deal honestly with Quebec. No temptation to bolster support for shaky MP's by sudden announcements of federal spending in targeted ridings a la the Libs. It is an opportunity to rebuild Canada's reputation in Quebec from scratch - without all the baggage of Gomery and golf-courses.

    Seriously, if the Libs got back in I would bet money on losing Quebec.

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 6:31 PM  

  • Scott,

    The idea is for the Conservatives to have different ideas from the Liberals - not to be the Liberals by another name. If you aren't happy with that then vote Liberal dumbass.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:42 PM  

  • Hey, if the Alliance Conservatives want to stick to their extreme right-wing agenda and keep losing elections, knock yourselves out, Mr. Anonymous.

    When the Conservatives allow the "Progressive" wing of the Conservative party to have some influence, they'll have a shot at winning.. but not til then.

    If you Alliance folks dont like that, maybe you should join the Christian Heritage Party.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:44 PM  

  • One more factor to build into the equation is the planned corporate restructuring of the Ford Motor Co. in January. Depending on the timing and magnitude of the lay offs, this could neutralize the argument that the economy is going well in Southern Ontario.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 6:54 PM  

  • Another excellent post from CG on the fundamentals.

    Today's decima LIBERALS 34%, CONSERVATIVES 26%, NDP 20% looks is the real bad news as it takes CPC significantly below 30. Given that it goes as far back as Nov. 25th, who knows what trends are buried in it?

    As for the SES the question is how many 2nd place choices are getting blended the Liberal number. Some 2nd choice support from NDP and Bloc votes may come their way at the end, but that should be a question, not an answer.


    Perhaps a Strategic Counsel or IPSOS will pick up some bad news.

    By Anonymous yyc, at 6:54 PM  

  • ... or good news.

    By Anonymous yyc, at 6:56 PM  

  • Anonymous, that's a good idea. I just decided I will change my vote to Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 PM  

  • Whatever the Decima means the media are struggling again to invent meaning

    CP lede: No headway for Tories despite week of big promises, polls suggest.

    buried detail: It was conducted Nov. 25 through Monday.

    That's a 10 day poll. It doesn't say anything about movement in that week of campaining and include 3 prior days

    By Anonymous yyc, at 7:02 PM  

  • Scott Tribe.

    Call the party by its really name. It makes you look petty and foolish.

    By Blogger eastern capitalist, at 7:13 PM  

  • Scott,

    You have caught the Liberal bug - it's not 'modify every platform you have to appeal to the media in order to get elected'. If the Cons don't get in with this platform then so be it. If people want to vote Liberal because fucktwits like you run around waving your hand like a spastic monkey screaming "neo-con, neo-cons, arghhh" when you have no clue what a "neo-con" is then that's okay as well. Lastly, you little fascist fuck, you don't occupy some intellectual high ground by constantly demonising people who happen to believe in God. Perhaps if you were more interested in other opinions and less interested in forcing people to conform to the Scott Tribe I am Canadian because I haven't had a single original idea in my short mastubation filled life, then you wouldn't be such a complete paltroon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 PM  

  • CG, at first your rampant Liberal bashing was a fair and an interesting read. At this point you're simply coming off like a partisan hack.

    You suggest that the CPC needn't panick. Maybe they aren't running campaign ads in Calgary, but they are where I live. The Liberals should be paying to have those things on the air. If that's the best the CPC has, this campaign is already over.

    And you suggest Martin isn't a good debater. My response, and Harper is?

    Wake up, smell the coffee and get your head out of Kinsella's ass.

    By Blogger 3ML, at 9:02 PM  

  • I'm seeing some pretty wildly divergent poll results from different firms, and we all know there are a lot of undecided voters out there.

    I wouldn't put too much stock in any of the poll results just now.

    By Blogger wonderdog, at 9:09 PM  

  • I'm demonizing Christians, Anonymous? If I am.. then I've demonized myself, since I'm a regular weekly attendee at the United Church of Canada, and was raised in a Baptist Church. Sorry, but that particular accusation/smear won't fly.

    Religious fundamentalists on the other hand.. I DO have a problem with. If you guys want to believe your version of Christianity is the way to go, that's certainly your right.. but dont try imposing your narrow views on the rest of Canada.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 9:17 PM  

  • Eastern Capitalist:

    My apologies for being facetious if you didnt appreciate it.. but I am describing that party by what is reality.... the Alliance-wing of the Conservatives are the ones currently in control of the CPC.

    It can only be hoped another defeat will set the neo and social conservatives back, and allow the Progresive Conservative/Red Tory wing to regain some influence and moderate a very right-wing party.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 9:22 PM  

  • Aren't national polls that include Quebec somewhat misleading?

    I mean, c'mon, the Bloc will definately get much more than 11% of the seats becuase their votes are concentrated to one province.

    The Conservatives will likwise get more than 28 or 30% (or whatever the latest number is) because they run so poorly in Quebec (far below 30%) and, conversely, better elsewhere (better than 30%).

    Yes the Tories run better in Alberta, but whether this is enough to offset the Quebec effect is not clear...

    Sorry to be anonymous...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:56 PM  

  • Scott,

    At last - your type of christianity is okay any other version isn't. You try to portray yourself as tolerant and mainstream when in fact you're not. Let's face it - you're a biggot. And while your throwing your paintbrush around I hate to inform you that I'm one of those Western neo-con bible-thumping ATHEISTS you shit for brains. And I'm narrow-minded...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 PM  

  • Hey: here's a poll question I'd like to see:

    Do you plan to vote?

    The Liberals would do really well if voting happened by being phoned around supper time.

    Let's see this Liberal tidal wave of support actually show up to the voting booth.

    Its called ground game.

    Karl Rove may be in disrepute, but his election day strategies should not.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 10:07 PM  

  • That first poll says the Bloc has lost support to the grits.

    Which makes sense, since it was the Bloc and NDP that benefited from adscam. Only the old PC vote kept Martin in power.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:19 PM  

  • Yes, that hard right neo-con agenda that the CPC is pursuing? Subsidizing childcare, cutting the GST, helping small businesses and fisherman thus far. WHEN WILL HARPER'S INSANITY STOP! Send that mad man with his notions of lower taxes, helping families and entrepreneurs back to all those other knuckle dragging red necks out west.

    By Blogger Chris, at 10:22 PM  

  • Scott,

    You should know just as a point in fact that under current United Church of Canada orthodoxy one needn't even be a Christian-ie. beleive that Jesus Christ is the risen son of God-in order to be a member or ordained minister.

    In fact, the United Church has a great many ministers who do not even consider themselves Christian. It has unfortunately become more or less a loose knit organization of people who have vague ideals of 'tolerance' but have no real firm code. It has sadly become a church of rather transient beliefs. I'm not saying you are...or that this is true of all United Church members or ministers, but I certainly do not take it that just because one is United, one is a Christian.

    Best

    By Blogger Nicol DuMoulin, at 10:42 PM  

  • Scott:

    The Progressive Conservative/Red Tories ran the old party into the ground in their attempt to turn the party into a pale imitation of the Liberal Party.

    The withdrawal of Westerners, cultural conservatives and free-market supporters into the Reform/Alliance parties gave the Red Tories their opportunity to prove your claims that Canadians would flock to a Red Tory-controlled party.

    The 1997 and 2000 election results speak for themselves.

    I was a Progressive Conservative before the merger. I saw the party headed for the long slide into irrelevance and lingering death like Social Credit before it.

    The merger brought new life and health into the conservative movement and political process.

    Without it, we would not be having this discussion because Paul Martin would have racked up a 200+ seat majority.

    By Blogger Loyalist, at 10:47 PM  

  • Wow. If we could just get a flamewar about PC vs. Mac in here, this would be the absolute worst discussion ever.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 10:52 PM  

  • They both suck. Linux all the way! ;)

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 11:49 PM  

  • Ah... but what is at the core of MacOS?

    Thread hijaked!

    By Blogger SouthernAlbertaPeter, at 10:23 AM  

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