Monday, November 06, 2006

Lament for a Nation

Ekos has finally released the detailed tables from their much talked about poll. Given the fifty million ways anyone could spin this thing, I'm hard at work figuring out how this poll shows an inevitable Scott Brison victory and will post my thoughts on that a bit later today.

In the meantime, here's the breakdown on the "nation" question:

1. Do you think the Liberal Party of Canada should adopt as policy a commitment to recognizing Quebec as a nation?

Yes 29%
No 58%
Dunno 13%

Iggy Delegates: 54% yes, 31% no
Rae Delegates: 27% yes, 63% no
Kennedy Delegates: 13% yes, 74% no
Dion Delegates: 14% yes, 75% no

2. Not withstanding the policy issue, do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement: "I think the Quebec people form a nation"

Strongly disagree: 31%
Somewhat disagree: 20%
Somewhat agree: 21%
Strongly agree: 16%
Dunno: 11%

So what does this all mean? Well, bringing up the nation question may very well have been the worst move Michael Ignatieff made this campaign. Liberal delegates oppose the concept by a 51-37 margin and oppose the formalization of it by a 58-29 margin. Most alarmingly for Ignatieff is the degree of opposition by delegates to the other three challengers, in particular among Kennedy and Dion delegates. Obviously this is a topic which Ignatieff desperately needs to downplay and I suspect he'll do everything he can to try and turn this into a non-issue.

Most interesting for me was how it broke down among candidate affiliations. The entire nation question didn't really explode as an issue until September after most Liberals had declared their leadership intentions. So, either delegates were drawn to candidates who shared their general view of federalism or the delegates are, by and large, following the policy position advocated by their guy.

UPDATE: Looks like the general public isn't so keen on this idea either...

UPDATE 2: Paul Wells shows us yet another quote from "summer Bob" who supported nationhood, unlike the more mellow "fall Bob", who is cooler to the idea.


  • I think that Dion's views on this question were pretty predictable considering his past, so if a supporter of his has the same view as he does on the question, that is hardly surprising. Dion is first came to prominence due to these kind of issues, so we knew what we were getting on this issue when we signed on.

    As for the supporters of other candidates though, I have no idea.

    By Blogger robedger, at 3:51 PM  

  • Too bad, it seems Iggy had it all lined up, with his 'sure thing' Kennedy supporters.

    Ignatieff should have known to not play with all this picky terminology stuff, oh wait he wrote the that here.

    As Ignatieff says "In every decision you make, there are two questions to ask: Will this policy weaken or strengthen the capacity of the federal government to maintain a united Canada ? Will this policy strengthen or compromise the equality and indivisibility of Canadian citizenship?"

    By Blogger Kyle G. Olsen, at 4:07 PM  

  • He also said :

    From the mid-1960s through until the 1990s, we wasted a huge amount of time and energy trying to reinvent federalism to meet the demands of Quebec and other provinces. We turned inward and lost our capacity to speak out to the world. Let's not make that mistake again.

    Dion is looking better and better.


    Liberal Pebbles

    By Blogger Liberal Pebbles, at 4:11 PM  

  • How do we renew the Party and restore the trust of Canadians in the Liberal Party? With Dion????

    He is part of the reason that Canadians did not vote Liberal last time.

    I don't like his behaviour either- not prime ministerial.

    Kennedy is looking better and better the way I see it.

    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 4:31 PM  

  • Dear Liberal Unite,

    You're kidding right? The single-most divisive issue in the history of Canada (Quebec) and Iggy's Team has banked on that as the decisive issue for leadership? Totally unnecessary too, as he already had 39% of the PQ delegates.

    Dion therego, Chretien, therego Trudeau would never dream of opening the constitution for this leadership or anytime in the near future given the healthy state of our "Country" right now. By country, I mean "nation". By Nation, I mean "Canada".

    This Nation Notion has become a leadership vote befor the actual leadership vote takes place. You vote "for" the resolution and you support Iggy. You vote "Nay" to the resoution and you support anyone else but.

    I can tell you as a fomer Iggy supporter and co-chair, I will not be supporting the motion or Iggy. I will not be going down the path that our party did not intend to go down in its conception.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 4:41 PM  

  • Thanks for bringing this to our attention, CG. My understanding is that the poll was of Quebec and Ontario only. I think it would be a fair assumption that Western and even Maritime delegates are signficantly opposed as well.

    By Blogger the Braeden Caley Campaign, at 4:43 PM  

  • The Cat bets five bucks to one that the Ignatieff camp know that this dice roll on the "nation notion" was a flop. This poll puts into perspective the mad gyrations of Ignatieff supporters (starting with the three-headed one), to pin the tail of the nation issue on to all the other major candidates.

    Unfortunately (unless Ignatieff urges the withdrawal of this motion, or its amendment so as to remove any possibility that the task force can consider constitutional amendments to incorporate the concept of a nation), this dice roll is going to stay softly resonating right up to and during the convention, with Ignatieff's name unmistakeably linked to it.

    It clearly will influence delegates when they decide how to vote on the second and third ballots.

    It also clearly shows how out of touch with modern Canadian realities Ignatieff is.

    By Blogger CuriosityCat, at 4:45 PM  

  • Actually, I just realized that may have been an unconfirmed blogosphere rumour. However, I can't see how any delegates from BC were included since we didn't really officially have any until today....

    By Blogger the Braeden Caley Campaign, at 4:47 PM  

  • Braeden,

    The Star corrected itself and said that the poll was done with Liberal delegates across Canada, not just Ontario and Quebec.

    By Blogger Peter, at 4:48 PM  

  • Dear What do I Know Grit,

    I never stated that I was an Iggy supporter. I never said that I supported the Nation motion either.

    I do stand by my comments on Dion. You cannot renew without change. Dion does not represent change.
    I think Kennedy can restore Canadians' trust in the Liberal Party again.

    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 4:54 PM  

  • Braeden; Yeah, there was a misprint in the paper - the poll was for all delegates.

    With that said, they didn't include BC because the results aren't final there. But they did weight it by candidate though (ie. they made sure they had 30% Iggy, 17% Kennedy, etc...).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:56 PM  

  • Well, for a man that is supposed to be dead in the water, he sure seems to be racking up more endorsements (and this is after the nation incident)

    Leader of Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party, Gerry Reid, Endorses Michael Ignatieff

    By Blogger In_The_Centre, at 5:46 PM  

  • How the frig did you get this link to work. You are a fucking blog genius. I tried and tried and now I am going to steal the link from you. Thanks.

    By Blogger s.b., at 6:22 PM  

  • Dear Liberals Unite,

    First of all, are you yet aware that Dion and Kennedy have formed an alliance?

    Second, are you even remotely aware of Dion's platform? Do you not know that Dion's three pillar platform is the best articulation yet of where the party has been in the past and where it is going in the future?

    Third, despite being in the past two governments, Dion has come out relatively unscathed. A remarkable feat in itself.

    Your charge that he doesn't represent change because he was in the past two governments just doesn't hold up to critical scrutiny.

    Moreover, Kennedy supporters who attack Dion make me sick, but that's just me personally. So get over it, Dion and Kennedy together represent the best government Canada has had in a long while.

    By Blogger Jeremy Kirouac, at 6:27 PM  

  • The Kennedy and Dion alliance aren't enough. Rae still gains delegates from both. Iggy can't win he doesn't have the support from the top four as second choice. He just doesn't. Rae has won, sorry. He just has. Bc was not included but I hear Rae's delegates have now been accepted from BC as they stand.

    By Blogger s.b., at 6:32 PM  

  • S.B.

    It's not only Kennedy going to Dion. It's Kennedy, Brison and Volpe.

    It's Dion who's going to win this. And I really look forward to a Dion government.

    By Blogger Jeremy Kirouac, at 6:40 PM  

  • Jeremy Kirouac; If Dion doesn't pass Kennedy on the second, and stays behind on the third ballot his goose is cooked.

    If Dion can survive that long, then sure he has a good chance.

    A big problem is Dion's 'second ballot support' is it is from Ignatieff and Rae supporters. Assuming people won't abandon their charge, Dion doesn't make it past the third ballot unless the supporters of the back of the field candidates overwhelmingly go for Dion.

    Kennedy's 1.6% lead, coupled with the low likely to attend numbers of Dion, with Kennedy's 'loyalty' index could come together to be the death knell of the Dion campaign.

    By Blogger Kyle G. Olsen, at 7:01 PM  

  • Jeremy K,

    Your arrogance is astounding.
    Dion is not "unscathed", his record as environment minister really wasn't that great. He is not that popular in Quebec either. Those are just the facts.

    I am not changing my mind. Dion is part of the government that lost the last election. I want Canadians to trust the Liberal Party again and Dion does signal renewal for me.

    We also need a Leader that connects with average Canadians and can go head to head with Harper and his "Tim Hortons guy" style. Sorry, Dion is not that guy.

    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 7:18 PM  

  • Sorry about that folks. I meant to type that Dion does NOT represent renewal to me.

    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 7:21 PM  

  • Liberals Unite,

    Your willingness to ignore or distort facts is astounding.

    Here are the real facts on Dion's performance as Environment Minister. He helped shape the greenest budget the country has ever seen and his project green plan would have gotten us 75% of the way towards meeting our Kyoto targets. This is according to the C.D. How institute.

    Dion was chair of the Kyoto Roundtable in Montreal December 2005 which brought together some 156 countries to make collective, global effort on climate change.

    Also, Dion garnered 30% of the delegate support in Quebec. Far from you're claim that he isn't liked there. The facts show otherwise.

    By Blogger Jeremy Kirouac, at 7:24 PM  

  • Jeremy K,

    You have drunk liters of Dion Kool-Aid. Our environment record worsened when Mr. Dion was minister.
    As for Quebec, we have to think beyond members of the Liberal Party and look at the general electorate. We were wiped out in Quebec in the last election, remember? Now, you want me to believe that Quebecers will vote for Dion even though they turfed out the Martin government that Dion was part of?
    I don't think his debate temper tantrums have been helpful to him or the Party either. He actually went down on my leader list after those incidents.

    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 7:39 PM  

  • Jeremy, I would love to see Dion win, but I have done the math thoroughly. Half of Volpe's delegates are going Rae and Volpe will probably endorse Rae which means up to 75% of Volpe will go Rae but it doesn't really matter. All that matters is the top four second choices and who shows up. Unfortunately Dion is having trouble with delegates showing up and with retaining Delegates after the first ballot which means therre was probably some delegate poaching going on from other camps. That's why I didn't use delegate numbers but preference for leader times percentage who intend to show up as a more accurate reflection of support out of the gate.

    By Blogger s.b., at 7:45 PM  

  • Jeremy check my math sorry bud you're wrong.

    By Blogger s.b., at 7:47 PM  

  • sb; I thought Dryden was going to win it all?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 8:08 PM  

  • Oh yeah the nation question. Thank God there isn't a snowballs chance in hell of this being passed with a two thirds majority at convention. Not even if only Iggy delegates were voting.

    Oh Calgary, Dryden would win it all if we would just vote for him as leader. Unfortunately, we have a delegate system right now. If we didn't, you betcha he would win it all including a general election. 6 Stanley cups in 8 seasons and he's a great guy. Man are we dumb.

    I'm still not sure if we can win a genral election with any of these top four. We'll see.

    By Blogger s.b., at 8:13 PM  

  • from the article you posted:

    'Perhaps in part attributable to this potential new component of the Liberal Party platform, is the fact that six in ten Canadians disagree with the statement that “the Liberal Party is ready to govern Canada again”. Thirty-four per cent agree with this statement.'

    By Blogger wilson61, at 8:35 PM  

  • s.b.,

    I don't think it's likely that Volpe will endorse Rae. I also think that you're math, though interesting, doesn't decide anything.

    What matters most is probably perception. When Kennedy goes to Dion, that will likely have major psychological impacts. When Brison goes to Dion, the same.
    Again, I do not see Volpe going to Rae.

    Liberals Unite,

    Dion will do well in Quebec outside the liberal party.
    Also, if you want to debate any of his environmental policies, I'm more than willing.

    Unfortunately I have a class soon so it'll be a bit before I respond.

    By Blogger Jeremy Kirouac, at 8:50 PM  

  • Jeremy K,

    A big birdie tells me you are jumping the gun big time thinking Kennedy will go to Dion if he doesn't win.

    Debate with you? You don't know how to debate. Let me guess your standard reply for everything-
    "Dion is great, Dion isn't old, he's a new face, Dion was a fantastic minister, all the critics are wrong,He wasn't part of the last government losing the election, that was his evil twin,He's a superstar in Quebec now,He didn't have temper tantrums during the leadership debates, that was his evil twin again, Martin surpressed all of his ideas and now he is gettting a chance for the first time to say something, Dion walks on water......"


    By Blogger Liberals unite, at 9:43 PM  

  • S.B,

    If only Liberal's would vote for Joe Volpe, than he would be the winner, or if only they would vote for that urinating fiddler guy, than he would be the winner.

    People had the chance to vote for Dryden and under 5% of them did a few weekends ago.

    By Blogger Manitoba Liberal, at 10:20 PM  

  • Liberals Unite is an oxymoron.

    I have never seen a more divisive individual.

    To tear down people in the party who have served well without specific facts is disappointing to say the least.

    Mr Dion alone faced down prominent separatists, responded to them in the media and wrote the Clarity Act.

    He was in the Environment portfolio for 18 months. Time enough to to consult with with industry sectors and develop regulations for compliance.

    He did an admirable job in that short period of time.

    Are you seriously suggesting he should have taken over Canadian industries to reduce emissions?

    I don't think you have a basic understanding of the role of government which acts through policy and regulation.

    Why would we respect your opinion on who the best candidates are and aren't if you don't understand the role of government?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:56 PM  

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