A new poll suggests a polarized electorate is tilting toward the federal Liberals at the expense of Stephen Harper's Conservative government.What's a party to do when the pesky voters seem to just not be buying the Conservative brand?
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey compared attitudes toward the Tories and Liberals in a head-to-head, two-party format. The telephone poll of just over 1,000 Canadians found that 44 per cent of respondents would prefer a Liberal government after the next election, compared to 37 per cent who preferred the Conservatives.
Bruce Anderson of Harris-Decima says the survey indicates the Tories are ahead of the Liberals on leadership, but trail the Grits on questions of front-bench strength, values, and ideas for the future.
NDP supporters said they'd prefer a Liberal government by a three-to-one margin compared to the Tory alternative, and Green supporters favoured the Liberals by more than two to one.
Anderson argues that in a sharply polarized election campaign, the numbers could work in the Liberals' favour.
A few brief thoughts on the cartoon campaign of the Clouseau Conservatives...
This has succeeded in changing the channel on Bernier-Couillard, for today anyway. Hearings commence tomorrow with the RCMP appearing, as has been reported. The bad news is likely to continue for the Conservatives on that front.
There are any number of equal responses/stories cropping up as a result of this campaign's launch to diffuse its impact:
- the ads are apparently illegal in Toronto and may indeed not be running at all now;
- a boycott is in the works (I'll happily participate in pulling away from any pumps with these screens);
- the annoyance factor that may kick in as you're pumping at this nutty Orwellian embarrassment yelling at you in sweltering heat;
- the spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars by Conservatives on such tripe as cartoon ads when Canadians are starting to mightily struggle is a showy excess. It also makes a mockery of election spending limits. A party can spend year round on such political advertising yet is only limited during a federal campaign. That's not the stuff of ethics and accountability we were promised by Mr. Harper (Ken Chapman is on to something);
Other thoughts...the obscene "pile on" factor here is glaring, in the continued unprecedented spending against an opposition leader who has had the temerity to introduce a policy into the Canadian political environment and who plans to release policy details in coming months. By the looks of things, there's quite the price to pay for doing so as monied interests are attempting to squelch the prospects of reasonable debate by polarizing the electorate instead.
But oh yes, the polarizing, see poll results above, might not be their best option. A lone Conservative source in the Toronto Star this morning:
A caucus member, speaking anonymously, says while he understands why the government has tried to define its opponents negatively, his advice now would be for the Prime Minister to "go positive, present a positive vision of hope."Well timed comment, there, anonymous Conservative wise man. You must be so proud of your party's latest "effort."
"At a certain point you lose ground," he said. "I think to go forward the government needs to present a positive policy vision."