Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mini Bush: sinkin' like a stone

"Tory support plunges in wake of Mulroney, Bali, isotope controversies: poll." My that's terrible news the week before Christmas...:)
A new poll suggests Stephen Harper's Conservatives have lost their big lead over the Liberals in the wake of recent controversies, plunging six percentage points in popular support in just one week.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey puts the Tories at 30 per cent support, in a statistical tie with the Liberals who are up four points to 32 per cent. Support for the Tories dropped across all regions and demographic groups.
A drop of 6 points in a week. While this is heartening for those who oppose the Harper government, it still leaves the Conservatives and Liberals in minority government territory. But let's consider the results anyway.

I've floated the theory that the more we see of these federal Conservatives, the more we don't like them. This is why, I believe, Harper prorogued the House until October to give them additional months away from public scrutiny and with an abundance of careful and almost daily stage managed events. Then the push was on to go immediately to a fall election, before the lens could again be applied to their performance as a government. This poll perhaps bears out my view, that they're just not up to the task in managing major events in a manner Canadians are comfortable with and the more Canadians see that, the more they rebel. The pollster suggests this is the case too:
Nevertheless, Anderson said the fundamentals underlying Conservative support "remain fairly sturdy." He suggested Tory popularity may rebound in the new year as attention shifts away from the nation's capital during the six-week parliamentary Christmas break.
What does that say for a political leader's fortunes? As long as you go away, we might like you better...:)

They're out of sync on environmental priorities and Baird just made a mish-mash of things in Bali. And I would venture a guess that Harper's high profile trashing of Linda Keen and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as partisan Liberal appointees came off as a major buck passing event that was totally unnecessary and pointless at the height of a serious crisis that needed work, not partisanship. It's another disappointing episode when his raw political instincts rear their ugly head in the House and he utters such nonsense. It's right up there with their "Liberals don't support the troops" hatorade. And for the most part, Harper's been able to get away with such mistakes due to the Conservative p.r. machine.

The problem, however, is that not all events can be so carefully stage managed. Daily challenges require more than p.r. responses. They require talented individuals leading us at the federal level. And the Conservatives are significantly challenged in this regard. I mean, what's there to like?