Week 7. In Review. In Canada.
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:
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.