Sunday, January 15, 2006

Week 7. In Review. In Canada.

Weekly Winner: Steve Paiken, for asking tough questions which led to what was probably the best political debate in Canada in years. Honourable mention to Alex Atamanenko, of the NDP, who has all but locked up the British Columbia Southern Interior riding after the Derek Zeisman news broke.

Weekly Loser: John Duffy. The more I see this election unfold, the less I think Paul Martin is the problem, and the more I think his advisors are.

The Polls: The average poll numbers from the latest SES, Ekos, Ipsos, and Strategic Counsel:

Lib: 28.75%
CPC: 38.0%
BQ: 11.0%
NDP: 17.25%

The Gamblers: Here's the latest from the UBC election stock market:

Lib: 26.0% (88)
CPC: 38.0% (136)
BQ: 11.0% (54)
NDP: 17.2% (29)

Quote of the Week: Paul Wells, on the "nuclear" ads:

The Grits roll out the nuclear ads. Eight of them. Now Stephen Harper is about to find out what it felt like to be a mid-level Liberal who volunteered for Allan Rock in 2002.

Blog of the Week: Stephen Taylor has been breaking news on an almost daily basis this election. Sure, a lot of it is trivial (Ralph Goodale's Western Desk once got a jay walking ticket), a lot of it is a stretch (Paul Martin's former haidreser's nephew received a government grant), but most of it is well researched investigative reporting that the mainstream media simply does not do. I don't think it's a stretch to say that blogs have played a key role in this election, and not just in the "Mike Klander is an idiot" sort of way.

Scott Feschuck Line of the Week:

Top 10 Rejected Opening Lines for the Prime Minister's Statement in Tonight's Debate:

9. "To Mr. Layton, I say this: I come here tonight with a razor, a can of shaving cream and the unmistakable will of the Canadian people."
8. "What would you say if I were to tell you that I could save you up to 15 per cent on your long-distance bill?"
6. "I'm here tonight to tell you what I believe in, and I want to start with the Yeti."
4. "Tonight, we tell a tale of muuuurder most foul - and YOU, Mr. Harper, are the culprit."
2. "Jimmy leaves his house at 8:07 a.m., traveling west on his bicycle at 14 km/h; two minutes later, across town, Sally departs her clubhouse heading east at 8 km/h on her roller skates; at precisely what time does it become apparent to Canadians that Stephen Harper and I have very different values?"
1. "Vote Liberal and we'll stop metric. Who's with me?!"

Forecast: The weather could certainly play a huge role in voter turn-out and, therefore, the results. For the 23rd, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa are scheduled for snow and near freezing temperatures, and Vancouver has rain in the air from here until well after voting day. Halifax has rain on the agenda but Winnipeg...Winnipeg...has a fairly nice forecast.

Joke of the Week: From the Globe & Mail letters to the editor, Douglas Dodds on Stephen Harper's "evolution":

"Stephen Harper may claim he has evolved, but I'll bet Stockwell Day doesn't believe it."

Liberal Week. In Review. In Canada. We are not making this up: C

This week was about taking good news and messing it up. The military ad was certainly a tasteless mistake, but the other ads are actually quite effective and may have stopped the bleeding. Still, all twelve ads have lost credibility because of one boneheaded move. Similarly, Paul Martin was fairly good in the debates Monday and Tuesday, but his bizarre notwithstanding clause bombshell has been laughed at as a desperate move. Then, when it came time to launch the platform, the Liberal mole was the one who stole the headlines.

Conservative Week in Review: B

Harper wasn't sensational in either debate, but he wasn't scary and the fact that he was being attacked, especially in French, has given him a lot of credibility as Canada's Prime Minister in waiting. Canadians have accepted a Tory win with a shrug and the Conservative numbers have stayed high. However, some funny accounting in the Conservative platform might cause Harper some problems this week.

NDP Week in Review: B-

Jack Layton's hernia surgery has been rather painful for him, since it hurts his credibility a bit on the private health care issue. Although, to be fair, health care hasn't really been a major issue this campaign. Layton has been getting more media attention this week than earlier in the campaign, thanks to some hard hitting attacks on both Harper and Martin.

Bloc Quebecois Week in Review: B-

The Quebec dynamic has been turned around with the Tory surge in that province (which Jean Lapierre is glad about). It's still unclear as to whether this will help or hurt Duceppe. Option Canada will certainly help him, but Duceppe turned in a sub-par performance in the debates by his standards.

The Week Ahead...
It's a blitz to the finish. Expect hard attacks on the now fully released platforms and a lot of "what if" questions towards the parties, especially the NDP, about how they'd work together in the next Parliament.


  • Hey CG....

    I'd like to get your take on the McKenna in when Martin retires...."The Board" openly endorsing the former NB Premier to be the "next one"?

    I would think good Liberals like you would want nothing to do with these people who seem to know so much.

    And what about the Liberal Tradition of alternating French/English Leaders? Is that gone by the wayside now?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:19 p.m.  

  • Libs get a C?

    Other than Paul Martin's appearance on The National's Town Hall, which was kind of okay, that seems way, way, way too nice.

    I think I might have given them, I don't know... Q.

    I do feel like the Tories have peaked a little early, though, because I don't even want to bother watching the coverage lately -- we should have voted a few days ago. I can't tell if it's loss of the overwhemling feeling of Tory momentum, or just politics burnout, though.

    I just want to close my eyes and spin around three times and have a Tory minority and be done with it. Damn this waiting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 p.m.  

  • I expect the Tory numbers to fall a little bit, but unlike last time around their lead is simply too large that even if they crashed by the same percentage as they did in 2004, they would still win, albeit a rizor thin minority. The Conservatives are going to need a major gaffe to lose this election.

    By Blogger Monkey Loves to Fight, at 10:32 p.m.  

  • Mentioning the CBC Town Hall interview, is there going to be any flak on Harper if he continues to stonewall/boycott... And is that a sign of the Mother Network's fate under a Tory gov't? How long before we see Fox News North beamed with all its right-wing nutbars telling us how happy the people in Iraq are, and how Canada is now a grateful country freed from the 'liberal hordes'?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 p.m.  

  • is reporting that Paul Martin's weekend of woe continues.

    Joe Commuzzi, Liberal MP is talking to the media about how he will be working with a Conservative government.

    From former Cabinet Ministers to MPs to only 40 people for a town hall and no one for a speech. What a weekend.

    IT IS NOT the handlers, it is the boss. He picked them, he kept them.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 p.m.  

  • Couple of highlights from tonights Strategic Coucil poll results:

    Couple highlights:
    * Conservatives: 40 per cent (+8)
    * Liberals: 27 per cent (-5)
    * NDP: 16 per cent (-1)
    * Bloc Quebecois: 11 per cent (-2)
    * Greens: 6 per cent (unchanged)

    * Bloc Quebecois: 43 per cent (-9)
    * Conservatives: 26 per cent (+14)
    * Liberals: 17 per cent (-8)
    * NDP: 9 per cent (+2)
    * Greens: 5 per cent (+1)

    Montreal excluded:
    Bloc 41%
    CPC 32%
    Libs 12%

    And in the GTA:

    Libs 40%
    CPC 37%
    NDP 22%

    Rest of Ontario:

    CPC 42%
    Libs 28%


    CPC 59%
    Libs 18%
    NDP 15%


    CPC 42%
    Libs 31%
    NDP 22%

    Full story available at

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 a.m.  

  • Anon 8:19 pm: I'm gonna throw some stuff up on the McKenna talk tomorrow. Suffice to say, I think an endorsement from the board is sort of like an endorsement from Ralph Klein - not something you really want.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:06 a.m.  

  • I think you were a mite to generous with that "C" considering the new poll numbers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 a.m.  

  • Anyone know where I can get a Stephane Dion t-shirt or campaign sign, he's my favorite person in Canadian politics. and provides me with one of the reasons(reason?) that I will vote Liberal...scram Svend! And yes I am gay too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 a.m.  

  • Libs a C and CPC a B?

    Looks like CG's fear of a Conservative majority is starting to taint his judgement.

    In the last couple of weeks Harper has gone from single digits in Quebec, and according to the lastest Strategic Counsel No's, are approaching the 30's. They single handedly created the first federalist alternative since adscam, and they get a B?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:05 a.m.  

  • So, are we worrying yet?

    And why is Layton still stachin' exactly?

    By Blogger Jay, at 10:30 a.m.  

  • Re the complaint about Harper's grade -- it's still the highest.

    That's the story of the campaign, isn't it? Harper isn't wonderful, but he is the last man standing. And that's what counts.

    But it isn't over yet, of course.

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 10:33 a.m.  

  • The Infozone asks you to
    Take our Election Poll

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 a.m.  

  • McKenna seems prone to hire The Board. We'll see what he does now that they have John Turnered themselves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:55 a.m.  

  • Steven Harper evolution... Hmm, must be one of the best arguments for the intelligent design theory ever.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 p.m.  

  • Anonymous, stop advertising your silly infozone site everywhere.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 6:42 p.m.  


    Welcome to Mr. Harper, aspirant PM, the “20 Billion Dollar Man.” The thrust of his campaign was that he was a very careful policy wonk, not given to kissing babies or small talk, but a capable man, careful with details ...

    Now, just one week before the election, he unveils a five year plan with a “missing” 20 billion dollar gap in it. His one economist who checked it for him, says “Oops! Left out a couple of things, but it balances if you don’t think about them”.

    Some endorsement. Some check.

    But so what? Harper tours Quebec offering them money for votes: lots of money. We will take it from the federal government and give it your provincial government, he says. Vote for us and we will shovel billions your way.

    And Quebec voters warm up to this modern day Santa Clause in a blue suit. Heck, why not elect him as PM; just look at the goodies we will get.

    Sorry, folks, but someone has to find the missing 20 billion dollars. Guess who that will be? Perhaps those lazy folk in the Maritimes (after all, Harper told the Americans back in 1997 that you folks living there had a false sense of entitlement and needed to move or do something)? Or those social programs which will have a priority second to the tax cuts designed to favour the very wealthy?

    It is clear now that Harper is a follower of Bush. Harper’s economics – given his 20 billion dollar gap is just plain voodoo economics, to quote Bush Snr, and his tax cuts for the wealthy is just slavish copying of Bush Jnr.

    Welcome to Bushland, Canada. A PM so smart he cannot add.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 p.m.  

  • When did Harper make an offer to settle the fiscal imbalance and how much did he settle it for?

    What amount would you have him include to settle the fiscal imbalance? What's that? It hasn't been negotiated yet? How exactly does one book that? Unknown amount at an unknown future date?

    Lastly, as it's the Liberal Party raising this point, where is the costing in their platform to solve the fiscal imbalance, or was admitting there was one just another slip of the tongue in a national leader's debate? Maybe it was just a way for Paul to get Gilles to quit picking on him.

    Oh.... and just as an aside. Why won't the Liberal Party submit their platform to an outside source for verification of their numbers?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 p.m.  

  • The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 p.m.  

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