Week in Review
Weekly Winner: Political Junkies. An avalanche of polls, a long campaign, actual policy to debate, lots of media attention, over two hours daily of politics shows on both CBC and CTV...it's gonna be a fun campaign.
Weekly Loser: Michael Ignatieff. And people wonder why more academics don't get involved in politics. The guy has seen every word he's ever written get taken out of contest, he's been called an "egghead", he's been heckled - it's been ugly. I tend to agree with Radwanski's take on this:
It'd all be very cute if we were some small town in the American south and he'd just arrived from New York thinking he was all superior. But are we really so insecure as a country that we need to make life difficult for smart folks who've made a name for themselves abroad and want to return home to make a difference here?
Hey, if you're happy with the quality of representation we currently have in Ottawa, then no worries. But if you're prone to wondering aloud why most of our politicians are so mediocre...well, here's your answer.
Ignatieff has been thrown to the wolves on this one. I don't agree with a lot of what he's said but I think he'll be a huge addition to parliament. But the guy has a lot to learn. This week has certainly shown that the talk of "Ignatieff for Liberal leader" is extremely premature.
The following numbers are based on an average of the end of the week polls (based on five Thursday-Saturday polls). In brackets you can find what these translate to in seats, using the Hill & Knowlton election predictor:
Liberals 35% (118)
CPC 29.6% (102)
NDP 16% (25)
BQ 14% (62)
Blog of The Week: Hack & Wonks
Every week I'm going to pick a blog that I feel has been on top of the game in election coverage and analysis. This week, I've kicked it off with Hacks & Wonks, who has been quick to post the best news and pictures of the campaign trail all week long.
Scott Feshchuck Line of the Week:
2:44 PM - Just want to take this opportunity to say hello to the hard-working person in the Conservative war room whose job it is to spend his or her day perusing this sorry blog for imaginary offensive references that Jason Kenney can get hysterical about. Keep sharp, stay on your toes. I sense a reference to The Killers coming on, at which point you can launch your "Paul Martin Supports Indiscriminant Homicide" press release.Yeah, Scott's blog is a gaffe waiting to happen, but it's actually been surprisingly enjoyable so far.
Joke of the Week: "Sure, Ignatieff supports torture - he's in favour of Paul Martin's re-election, isn't he?"
Got Too Much Media: The "Harper Hates Canada" stuff. Good grief.
Got Too Little Media: Jack Layton's post-secondary spending announcement.
Quote of the Week: "You must chose the best man to lose the country" - Paul Martin.
Liberals Week in Review: Grade B-
Getting Buzz Hargrove was a big catch and the polls are still very positive for Paul. Still...the warning signs are all there when you look at the "bonus questions" in the polls. The Ignatieff candidacy has blown up in their faces and I'm starting to wonder if the Liberals have any policy promises to make this election. If they don't, they could find themselves in trouble.
Conservatives Week in Review: Grade B+
After stumbling out of the gate, Harper finished the week strong. He looks relaxed and has even been smiling a bit. He definitely needs to get his wife and kids out campaigning as much as possible (once school ends) to humanize him. Getting all the policy announcements out there early is huge since it's going to make the "hidden agenda" attacks very difficult. And I do think the GST promise will resonate with a lot of Canadians.
NDP Week in Review: Grade C
Maybe I should change Jack's campaign song to "don't you forget about me". Layton has become invisible, and it's starting to look like a lot of Liberals may just have been parking their votes with smiling Jack. No real mistakes on Layton's part, but he's got to be very worried about how things have been going so far.
BQ Week in Review: Grade C
A lot of people kidded around about it, but I really think Duceppe's hockey team idea could hurt him. A lot of people in Quebec look back fondly on Gretzky and Lemieux playing side by side in all those Canada Cups; hockey has always been one of the things to bring Canadians together.
More importantly, soft nationalists like the idea of keeping the Canadian passport and dollar, even in a separate Quebec. The more you remind them of the things they won't be able to keep, the more uneasy they'll get. Sure, they'll still sweep the province, but it's a rocky start for Gilles, Don Cherry's endorsement aside.