News Roundup

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Polls | Leave a comment

1. Titanic director James Cameron has brought a whole new meaning to “King of the World” with his upcoming DaVinciesque documentary to air on the Discovery Channel (talk about a jackpot for the Discovery Channel). I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that there might be some controversy around this one.

2. The latest poll from Quebec has Charest out in front:

Lib 37
PQ 28
ADQ 24

3. It appears the extension to parts of the anti-terror legislation will be voted down tonight.

4. Ed Stelmach and David Suzuki are going at it over oilsands development.

Odds & Ends

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Polls | Leave a comment

1. I’ve always found it interesting that the polls which get attention are usually the abnormal ones. Case in found, today’s Gregg poll which has Harper up by 5. I think the general trend has the two parties in a dead heat so it’s best to assume that’s where they are.

2. On the whole “decade of darkness” discussion, thanks to SG for sending this in:

“I do not intend to dispute in any way the need for defence cuts and the need for government spending cuts in general…I do not share a not in by backyard approach to government spending reductions.”

– Stephen Harper, Hansard, May 23, 1995.
(Harper has since roundly criticized spending cuts in the mid-1990s.

3. Mad out of budget spending on the eve of an election? I’ve heard this story before…

4. The Hill Times has the weekly election spec.

5. There’s some talk floating around about Elizabeth May taking on Peter MacKay in Central Nova…with the Libs and Dippers not running candidates. Interesting…

More SES

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Polls | Leave a comment

I don’t want to post on polls 24/7 here, but there’s some good debate about the new SES poll on the other thread and many of my favourite bloggers have said these numbers are not at all good for Dion. So I decided to dig a little deeper…

I think the problem stems from people comparing Dion’s numbers to Martin’s on election night and Harper’s to Harper on election night. In reality, the dynamics have completely shifted since then. We’re not in a campaign and the Liberals are now the opposition party while the Tories are in power. The sitting PM always does well in these polls because Canadians are more exposed to him than the opposition leader so they’re more aware of his vision and naturally more trusting. And, of course, they’ll see him as a better leader because he…is…their…leader. Here’s an SES poll from 2005, showing that everyone thought of Martin as a better PM than Harper…mainly because he was the PM.

So the real comparison should be between the positions, not the parties. Ideally, from some time like September 2005 when people weren’t in “election fever”. The oldest poll I could find asking the “leadership questions” was from Nov 30/Dec 1, 2005 (I averaged the two), right at the dawn of the last campaign.

Here’s the comparison:

Dion 2007/Harper 2005
Trust: 20/20.5
Competence: 22/18
Vision: 21/19.5

In other words, Dion is viewed exactly the same way as Stephen Harper was before the last election. But before Liberals rejoice, here’s the PM comparison:

PM Harper 2007/PM Martin 2005
Trust: 35/21
Competence: 41/31
Vision: 39/28

So while Dion is as strong as Harper was in 2005, Harper isn’t the crippled PM that Martin was in November 2006. And that figures, given that this poll was done with the Gomery Report still fresh in the minds of Canadians (Gilles Ducceppe was the most trusted of all leaders!).

So my take home message would be that there’s no need for Liberals to panic or for Dion to re brand himself, but that Harper should not be underestimated. With that in mind, rushing into a spring vote would be a foolish move on the part of the Liberal Party in my opinion because, despite some mis-steps, Harper hasn’t been crippled enough yet to move in for the kill.

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