With signiifcant lead in the polls and Liberals in disarray, is it only a matter of time until Harper pulls the plug?

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Rob8305
With signiifcant lead in the polls and Liberals in disarray, is it only a matter of time until Harper pulls the plug?

With his significant lead in the polls, tied in Quebec in the new Ekos poll, the Liberals in disarray, and the National At Issue Panel last night pretty much dismissing the HST as a major sleeper issue (the one thing that may have taken him down), one has to think that Harper is eager to pull the plug since a majority government is now his for the taking.

I assume that he thinks he'll be brought down on the 2010 budget and win his majority then?  There's a chance that the Liberals terrified of an election could vote for it though no matter how bad it looks.  Do you think he goes to the Governor-General the Sunday that the Olympics end to dissolve parliament and ask for an election?  When do you think that he'll call it?

The reason that I ask is because he's many things but he's certainly not stupid. He probably knows now is the time to get his majority.  All he has to do is tell gullible Canadians that "parliament isn't working" again blah blah blah like he did in 2008 and they'll eagerly eat it up. Disgusting.

Also, do you think there's any chance that he lets Parliament run past the spring 2010 session at all?

Buddy Kat

I wouldn't put it past him to call an election after looking at a few more polls just to verify the trend. I wouldn't be surprised if the power hungry conservative stoops so low as to have Canadins voting on christmas eve either  Ha the grinch who stole xmas.Laughing

 

If Canadians want a conservative majority ..it will be 4 years of hell that's for sure but after that it will be 17 years to recover and enjoy whats left....because that's how long it will take for the cbc panels and conservative media outlets to brainwash another generation.Wink

Buddy Kat

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Buddy Kat

Rabble acting up again..triple post on one click....

autoworker autoworker's picture

Why else would Harper smack the GG for a faux pas that she made in France, about being Canada's head of state?  Besides, how can he call an election, if she's out of the country? Let's hope she remains in Europe until the New Year!

KenS

I've made the point a number of times that Harper looking like getting a majority is within his grasp is not good enough for him to want to pull the plug.

"Want"... maybe. Go ahead and do ? ....another story.

They have to be able to reasonably expexct a majority outcome.

Not, "if everything goes just right we can get a majority."

It has to be, "the numbers support us getting a majority unless something goes really wrong."

Because what thay have now works for them- they govern and drive the agenda without a majority. While if they go for an election and don't get a majority- they are very exposed to losing it. The Libs don't need a Coalition or a formal accord of any kind... just the government going down in the Throne Speech. That is by no means a certainty to happen, and under normal conditions it wouldn't be vey likley to work. But we aren't in normal- so its pretty risky for Harper to take that chance when what he has now works.

All that said, he is now getting into majority range in the polls. Not enough polls to confirm that. And the real test is what thier own intensive and analytical polling tells them- which will never be public.

But even in the not very likely event they are already there, they also have to engineer their own defeat, or just pull the plug again. On those two I'm going to repost what I've already said yesterday in the polling thread.

KenS

....I'm pretty sure the question of whether they want an election or not is already or fast becoming moot. That they have already or are now running out of time for engineering an election.

More than one poisin pill is required. And opposition parties are not going to swallow any poison pill that would trigger a Christmas season election [all 3 have to swallow them]. Between that and the by-election November 9 date, to enginner an election the poison pills have to be voted on in the House by the end of this month, and the ground prepped to the fait accompli for at least a week before that.

With the poison pills themselves taking some time to work into the legislative calendar, we'd have to start seeing the pieces falling into place over the next 2 weeks. I don't know those mechanics well enough to comment on whether that is even feasible [for example, I'm skeptical whether it is even possible for them to speed up the EI reform bill], but at a minimum we'd be seeing the moves pretty damn soon.

So however much they might like the idea of an election now or next month [itself iffy]... this ain't no switch you just flip, and I don't see it happening.

KenS

..... it would be political suicide for Harper to just call an election because he's ahead in the polls. For the near future at least.

Think ahead to Spring and the Budget, Olympics glow, etc. May not get better a time for Harper to have an election. But if hes clearly poised to get a majority [not just having it 'within reach'] then the opposition parties will vote for almost anything. The Budget is going to have to be good enough to please swing voters- no posion pill there. Even next Spring, faced with not being able to enginner an election, I just can't see Harper being able to hold the positive polling numbers after just pulling the plug and calling an election. Then he's back to all his negatives with the swing voters he needs.

I can see one, maybe even two of the opposition parties come Spring seeing it in their strategic interest to have an election even if Harper is most likely to get a majority. But there is no chance that all 4 parties can see it as in their selfish interest to have an election.... so no matter how things change it would appear to me that if Harper has winning conditions for getting a majority, he'll never poison pill all 3 opposition parties into swallowing it.

On the other hand- a year from now we can expect he'll be able to just call an election without any significant blowback. But we'll see whether he's positioned for a majority then. A year is a LONG time in Canadian politics. We could have 5 turnabouts by then.

KenS

And come the Spring Iggy is simply not going to be still in the mode of "we're voting this government down at every opportunity."

That has backfired so much that we may see him fumbling to turnabout sooner rather than later.

And by Spring it wouldn't even cost him... let alone that staying the course is costing him right now, let alone that opposing a Budget laden with goodies would cost even more, let alone the Olympic glow.....

Edited to Add:

Apparently Iggy has already turned. From another thread...

janfromthebruce wrote:

Solomon said that in an interview for CBC Radio's The House to be run on Saturday, Ignatieff told him that (paraphrasing) he has backed away from a wholesale rejection of the Conservative government to opposing them on an 'issue by issue' basis.

 

..... It appears that Iggy is putting the cons back on probation

KenS

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/10/09/ignatieff-strategy-harper.html

 

Quote:

"What I said was we lost confidence in the government. I didn't say we're going to move more motions of non confidence. We did that, we stood up, we took a position of principle," Ignatieff said.

"What I've said consistently for a month is in those cases where the government brings forth legislation we can support or approve or amend, we'll do so. My strategy is not to make parliamentary government impossible."

Ignatieff would not say whether his party would try to topple the government the next time there's an opposition day or a bill that's a motion of confidence.

"I'm not going to discuss what we're going to do moving forward," he said. "It's very important for me to keep the capacity to make decisions as they arise."

 Notwithstanding his pro forma denial, that is most definitely an unequivocal message of turnabout.

autoworker autoworker's picture

I don't think there's a better time than the present to call the Liberal's bluff.  There's just  too much uncertainty over the near horizon to hope for better numbers next year.  Besides the Ontario  Liberals are being knocked around with HST petitions and E-Health scandals, so the brand is somewhat battered in the province with the most Liberal votes.  Also, pressure is on to extend the mission in Afghanistan, while Copenhagen will hardly be a friendly photo-op for the tar sands or the seal hunt.  It's too precious to think that the Cons plan to campaign by hijacking the Winter Olympics for some coat-tail publicity.  But KenS is right about their own internal polling, and I think they're having the same debate within their inner circle. I believe they'll conclude that they, like everyone else, are tired of living in the subjunctive, and seek a definitive mandate.  Besides, the worst they can do is a return to the status quo. I'll go out on a limb and predict that the election writ will drop before The Great Pumpkin arrives, and we'll be voting before the snow flies, on their 'law and order' agenda.

KenS

You are ignoring the 'details' of how they would pull it off.

I surmised above that there might barely be enough time to engineer an election. But now that Iggys changed his mind [again] they'd have to flat out pull the plug and call the election.

And thats such a non-starter that I don't know if they would even bother with the polling and focus group questions to see if its possible they can do that without backlash.

Even the Spring seems to me unlikely that they could pull off just calling an election. But we're not there yet and who knows what things will be like.

But right now: not a chance. There's no way that research is going to tell them they can do that and expect to get a majority.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Steven Harper's future rests on that decision.  I think he'll get the final say so.  I think he'll pull the plug.  Also, Giorno knows Ontario, and they smell blood.  It may not seem rational, but it makes sense at a viseral level.  Besides, Iggy asked for it.

Buddy Kat

Were talking conservative here and if they feel they can get a majority they will call an election. It is probably knawing at them bigtme. There brain is echoing with a hypnotic  " opportunity only knocks once"....

Don't be fooled about all this ..Canadians don't want an election crap. When the conservative propaganda machine wants one believe me you will be begging to vote just to be like the majority who now will feel like having an election if it means a harper majority....or Canadians want certainty and would love to vote while christmas shopping ....just watch how they play the public off as gullible fools.

 

I don't think the conservatives are going to wait till they drop in the polls .....and there sure not going to wait a year and face 100's of thousands of Canadians whose extended UI has run out and they lost everything...and there sure not going to wait for the US to start recovering and not buy Canadian, and look like failures.

Nope they will seize the opportunity.

autoworker autoworker's picture

I think you're on to something BK...carpe diem...carpe diem...carpe diem...the new mantra of the Conservative Party!

KenS

Here's what I think we are going to get if Harper Crews internal polling tells them they really are in territory where they can expect a majority if an election happens, but not if they call it.

For virtually all the time Dion was leader the Conservatives saw it as to there advantage if there was another election- regardless of whether they could expect a majority. The prospect of beating down the Liberals was a good thing in its own right, and Coalition or something like it just wasn't on any radar.

Harper changed all that for good by massively overeaching a year ago. And no matter how much Harper is able to use the bogeyman of Coalition to scare people, he can't put the genie he loosed back in the bottle. Because in the immediate aftermath of an election, no formal arrangements are required to thorw the government out at the Throne Speech.

I've already said I'm convinced that Harper is not going to think he can get away with calling an election and still getting majority support. Not at least until Spring, and only possibly then.

But if polling tells him he'll get a majority as long as he doesn't call the election, then he can go back to being pure bully boy like he was when Dion was around.

Not that the somewhat leashed version of Stephen Harper we've been seeing since last Christmas has been willing to compromise. But if polling tells him he gets a majority, then were going to get back the eye poking Harper who governs as if he has a majority, instead of the temporary version we've had who won't compromise like minority governments are suppossed to but hasn't enough rope to do as he pleases either.

[And Iggy is doing his part of morphing into a hapless Dion II.]

autoworker autoworker's picture

Well, KenS, he just took a swipe at the GG...let's see who he goes after next...he can't resist reaching for the jugular. That could prove to be his 'achilles heel'.  Something for the opposition to exploit, at the right moment. 'Too clever by half', may yet be Harper's political epitaph-- but is the LPC brain trust capable of setting the trap?  Don't bet on it.

KenS

Its hard for an opposition paty to set a trap. So you can count out the Liberals.

JKR

KenS wrote:

Harper changed all that for good by massively overeaching a year ago. And no matter how much Harper is able to use the bogeyman of Coalition to scare people, he can't put the genie he loosed back in the bottle. Because in the immediate aftermath of an election, no formal arrangements are required to thorw the government out at the Throne Speech.

Harper has painted himself in a corner. Now he has to win an outright majority in order to remain PM. I don't see the NDP, BQ, or Liberals supporting the CONS on a throne speech vote. They learned their lesson from last year.

If the Cons get a minority they'll lose a subsequent vote on the throne speech and Ignatieff will then have to maintain a government on a vote by vote basis. 

Personally, I can't see how Harper can win a majority after raising payroll taxes and the HST after he promised Canadians that he would never raise taxes.

And I can't see how he can win a majority after promising in the last election we would never see deficits and now we're $65 billion in debt.

Harper's lying will eventually come back and bite him. Once the opposition parties remind Canadians of Harper's lies, I see CON popularity going downhill.

Fidel

How can Harper pull the plug on his own phony minority government? Alright-alright, so he's watching the polls for the green light to make a grab for phony majority dictatorial power Brian Baloney style. I get it. Boy, Steve "I was a lap poodle for Crazy George II" Harper is a bleetin' genus.

autoworker autoworker's picture

KenS wrote:

Its hard for an opposition paty to set a trap. So you can count out the Liberals.

Indeed, it's very hard...but desperate times call for desperate measures, and since Iggy intends to continue propping up the Cons, on a "measure to measure" basis, then the LPC must find a way to tip the scale,  They need to call out a measure that belies Harper's agenda.  Iggy can also plead to his friends down South to throw him a lifeline-- but at what price?  Energy (Alberta) vis-a-vis Copenhagen?  With the Cons dissolving suppport in Quebec, and the LPC with little traction in the tar pits, the battle royal is in Ontario.  Iggy needs to shore up his base in the GTA, without alienating everyone else.  Some sort of peacekeeping initiative, along the lines of R2P (on which he's a recognized, international expert) to replace the mission in Afghanistan?  The recent proposal for the creation of a Depatment of Peace may just suit the bill.  Let the measure go even further, and have this proposed Peace Ministry replace Defense altogether-- without the cynical, Orwellian 'newspeak' connotations, of course.  Subjunctively, Mr. Speaker: "...in honour of the Nobel Committee's selection of President Barack Obama as the recipient of the 2009 Peace prize...".  Am I delusional?  What say, anyone?

janfromthebruce

The recent proposal for the creation of a Depatment of Peace may just suit the bill - sure would - thank goodness that is coming forward via the NDP.

Of course, Iggy might have a hard time spinning "peace" with his previous writings and speakings on invasion of iraq, opening supporting extending the combat mission in Afghanistan, and his support of torture lite.

And of course, he had no problem with Isreal killing Pallestinians - you know "not losing any sleep over that".

You are right, Iggy does have a high profile internationally, hence why everybody knows that he is a "warhawk."

autoworker autoworker's picture

Dear Jan, I won't disagree with any of the points that you just made.  I was writing in respone to KenS, regarding Iggy's increasingly untenable situation, and what he can do to extricate the LPC form its current position: between a rock and a hard place.  I'm also aware that the Dept. of Peace is an NDP initiative.  I'm suggesting, somewhat disingenuously, that Iggy et al., take the motion further and eliminate the Department of Defence, without cynicism.  Dippers can be so earnest.

janfromthebruce

Yes, autoworker, Dippers can be so earnest but I noted the leaving off of who has that private member's bill in the works ignores the who and who the upsurger would be.

By bringing the "who" into view rather than hidden and obscured reveals who ultimately really cares about peace and the great pretenders.

And yes, I did find it disingenuous of you to suggest Iggy (an empiralist and warmonger) along with the lib troops again pretend that they are progressive.

If in the original post there had been mention of this as an original NDP private members's bill I would have ignored your post - but I believe it was done purposefully to keep that hidden from view and thus look like the libs are for peace - no they believe in wasting young men and womens' lives to cozy up to Americans for economic "goodies."

It's like trying to put lipstick on a pig.

remind remind's picture

Now in respect to Harper's QC problem, apparently a new hockey arena is be proposed for Quebec City, so that they can get a new NHL franchise.

How much federal money is going to go into this as a vote buying measure?

China has just launched a huge initiative in the tar sands, they want that oil and that Obama doesn't, is a plus for them. The tar sands are going to go full ahead.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Dear Jan, according to Linda McQuaig's column (Oct., 6), the Peace Dept. initiative is a private member's bill by NDP MP Bill Siksay and Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis.

autoworker autoworker's picture

remind wrote:

Now in respect to Harper's QC problem, apparently a new hockey arena is be proposed for Quebec City, so that they can get a new NHL franchise.

 

 

I wonder how this story will play in Hamilton?

ghoris

I imagine that it would be seen for what it is - fairly naked patronage / vote-buying. Quebec City and the surrounding regions are the base of CPC support in Quebec, so why not reward them with some federal pork?  It's not like the Cons are going to be winning any seats in Hamilton anytime soon, although it might make life a little uncomfortable for David Sweet and Dean Allison.

janfromthebruce

thank you auto worker - so the "peace department" is being brought forward by both an NDPer and a liberal. That said, and I will repeat, Iggy taking any lead on this will be met with much chuckling.

But sure, let Iggy take the lead as the libs main frame. "And I won't be losing any sleep over that."

remind remind's picture

autoworker wrote:
remind wrote:
Now in respect to Harper's QC problem, apparently a new hockey arena is be proposed for Quebec City, so that they can get a new NHL franchise.

I wonder how this story will play in Hamilton?

Was wondering the same myself, in respect whathisname billionaire wanting to buy the Coyotes, and the NHL refusing, when they are in Canada now looking for cities to move struggling southern states teams to as  they see Canada as the place to be.

Seems to me there is something very political going on with the denial of his bid, and the seeking of others to take up NHL franchises. I am just not sure what it is yet.

Tommy_Paine

 

I think Harper wants to go into an election with a good cushion in the poll numbers, knowing he's likely to go down some during the election campaign. 

I think the question now is early or late spring.

GentleHush

Tommy - Yep.  I'm leaning toward early spring.  It should be interesting to see how much attitudes toward another election have changed with another 5-7 months behind us, and with Iggy first challenging the government with fightin' words and then backing off.

Jan - Exactly.  There's no way (none!) that Iggy looks authentic as an advocate of peace.  He has too long a record of enthusiasm for war, empire, and "lesser evil" slippery slopes to square that circle.  He would only hurt himself by giving his critics occasion to bring up his past.  I'm sure you remember this.

janfromthebruce

yes, but I have read Iggy's writings on these matters long before the hack job with the utube clip.

autoworker autoworker's picture

 

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

I think Harper wants to go into an election with a good cushion in the poll numbers, knowing he's likely to go down some during the election campaign. 

I think the question now is early or late spring.

I agree that the Cons want a cushion before pulling the plug. But I don't think they'll wait until spring.  The polls are about as good as it'll get for them.  If they think they can hold on to their current numbers, they'll call an election, and come out swinging.  There's too much uncertainty, over the near horizion,  for Harper to hope for better numbers in the spring.  Besides, the Cons have been on an election footing for some time, and they can't stay poised indefinately, without losing some of their advantage. 

Trick or Treat...Harper's Haunted House,  Iggy's Tales from the Crypt,  Jack's-O- Lantern,  the Bloc's mummified option, and Lizzie's Creature from the Tar Pits...they'll all be making their scariest pitches real soon...BOO!

George Victor

We go to the polls before the embarassment of Copenhagen and before the oil-driven loonie goes par with the greenback.  An excuse will be found.

KenS

No election this year.

Spring: not very likely.

SCB4

Mmmm, I'm not so sure about an election in the near future. One of the (many) reasons for Iggy's implosion is that he was viewed as trying to force an election that the majority of the public did not want. Why would Harper take the same risk?  I also feel that the Tories 'majority cushion' is very fragile and about 4-5 points of their current support levels could magically evaporate as soon as the writ is dropped, voters start paying attention and the opposition party campaign advertising hits the airwaves.

Early to late spring seems a more likely time for Harper to visit Rideau Hall.

 

Sean in Ottawa

No way. The campaign minimum is 36 days with voting day on a Monday. Conference starts Dec 7 which is a Monday. This means to have an election before that day (no way they would have people voting with that in the day's news) voting day would need to be November 30. To Vote November 30th the election would need to be called within the next 12 days.

That ship has sailed.

The Cons do not have enough of a cushion in the polls to be confident that they can take the backlash of an unwarranted snap election. We keep hearing the Cons are so well off but the best poll they have had places them only 5 points more than where they were and they won many seats by a hair last time. A drop of 5-10 points during a campaign can happen easily and that is enough to put them either where they were or out of government. They have campaigned against the opposition on opportunism for the last year-- they have a weak spot themselves there-- an election call now would create a retroactive backfire on all the opportunistic attacks on the opposition. They are not that stupid. If they did this-- before seeing the first poll, I'd bet against them hanging on to power.

The other thing is I believe them when they say that if they don't get a majority they think a coalition will form-- of course it won't be called a coalition but if they were to drop below something around 130 seats -- even if they the Liberals did not get more seats there would be an accord to ditch them. (Even a few more than 130 and this could happen as long as it was a drop from where they are now.) I also think they are right-- the opposition would pounce if they showed any electoral weakness.

The strong numbers they have in the polls are people who are not very committed and could be convinced to go the other way.

All that said-- the Liberals are also weak-- if they force an election then they are going to face a difficult campaign where they could lose a handful more seats. While they have few vulnerable seats they can't afford to go down further. Harper likely will just wait and see on this one. I am betting the budget will be the time. The HST is possible but not a nationwide issue-- but that could be enough-- otherwise wait for the budget.

Parity with the Greenback could be by the end of next week.

 

Stockholm

It's now official - Iggy has totally capitulated!

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Liberals+switch+damage+control+polishing+leader+image+party+slips+polls/2099700/story.html

“In a sit-down interview following his Vancouver speech, Ignatieff told me he's prepared to heed the message Canadians have sent him by way of the polling numbers.

He explained Liberals had been reacting to a $56-billion deficit, high unemployment, a record number of bankruptcies, a flu pandemic plan they deemed inadequate and a medical isotope shortage. "We added it all up and thought, 'What are we supposed to do here?' We moved a motion of non-confidence...

"I think we've taken a hit about it because people then think, 'All he cares about is an election.'"

The new Liberal strategy: "We'll take it issue by issue and measure by measure.

"We're saying we're not going to prop these guys up any more but we're not rushing to bring them down. The thing that's clear is that Canadians don't want an election."

 

 

KenS

For the Spring election to happen Harper either has to have a huge "majority cushion"... which just isn't going to happen;

Or, public opinion has to shift so that it has changed to the norm of people SAY, they don't want an election.... but negligible numbers of the critical swing voters will not have their decision 'tip' against Harper over them calling the election.

Remember: it will not be people tipping against Harper [or not] directly because of "he's calling an election."

It is that Harper calling an election will play upon very durable suspicions of Harper even among swing voters favourable didposed to him and his governance.

Even just "in principle" its easy to see how Harper Crew can trump those semtiments about his ruthlessness. They did that last year. But it never goes away and its never the done deal people around here brush it off as.

Last year swing voters were willing to give Harper the benefit of the doubt on his claim that he was "unable to govern" with the staus quo, and needed a "new mandate." But they didn't go iinto pulling the plug last year knowing they would get that outcome. And last year was different: no one saw them as risking their ability to govern. [No majority- we still govern.]

Next time around, they are putting their ability yo govern on the line if they seek a majority. And at  best for them, the old reservations about Harper as alive and latent as ever.

I think that come Spring Harper is going to have to do a much more definitive job than they did last year of portraying the opposition parties as obstructing him being able to govern effectively.

Thats going to be a classic talk and chew gum challenge. All their good news announcements are reinforcing among swing voters that they are getting what they need. They won't care about the growing deficit and most of them who would consider the Conservatives are not left hanging by the 'jobless recovery'.

What that people really want to see will they not be getting because of the opposition parties? Nothing.

Demonizing Iggy and give away your money Layton and traitor Gilles will no doubt make all of them more unlikeable to swing voters.... but it will be no mean feat to connect that to the 'oppostion is stopping us' meme.... and to insulate Harper from being seen as untrustworthy.

SCB4

Is it possible that we could be into a Pearsonian or late 1970s  Bill Davis-type situation where a Harper minority gov't lasts 2-3 years or more prior to an election?

KenS

SCB4 wrote:
Is it possible that we could be into a Pearsonian or late 1970s  Bill Davis-type situation where a Harper minority gov't lasts 2-3 years or more prior to an election?

And the more recent precedent of several years of Nova Scotia PC minority govt.

I think it could easily go that long. But even if it does, will be nothing like the predecessors.

There was a large amount of civil society consensus of and popularity around those governments. There is none of that around Harper and never will be. Just exhaustive power games,  mixed liberally with farce and shadow boxing.  

janfromthebruce

Just to add, the cons are polling very high in BC and Sask which escrews their popularity. Their efficiency of the vote is a lot, thus in those ridings it won't bring them more seats. 

KenS

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The other thing is I believe them when they say that if they don't get a majority they think a coalition will form-- of course it won't be called a coalition but if they were to drop below something around 130 seats -- even if they the Liberals did not get more seats there would be an accord to ditch them. (Even a few more than 130 and this could happen as long as it was a drop from where they are now.) I also think they are right-- the opposition would pounce if they showed any electoral weakness.

I think its worse than that for the Cons- even more risky.

They have so polarized and so left the Liberals without options that it is not unlikely that the opposition parties would pounce even if the Cons gain a few seats or stay the same. In other words: even without the opposition parties being able to claim progress in the election outcome.

Of course, the fewer seats the opposition parties have, the harder it is to pull that off. And indirectly: the more likely that at least one of the opposition parties suffered more than moinor losses and becomes easier for the government to rope into a deal to survive the Throne Speech.

But those relative probabilities don't matter. What matters is what is known now. And what Harper Crew knows is that things have changed such that unless they are confident of achieving a majority- which includes being able to withstand any erosion of support over calling the election- then they are risking losing the reigns of power.

Not to mention that what they have to lose looks be even more now. Because even if there is the massive condition around being in majority territory [as long as they don't call the election] then they can drop even the shreds of restraint they have shown in the last several months over pushing the Liberals into corners.

SCB4

KenS wrote:

[I think it could easily go that long. But even if it does, will be nothing like the predecessors.

There was a large amount of civil society consensus of and popularity around those governments. There is none of that around Harper and never will be. Just exhaustive power games,  mixed liberally with farce and shadow boxing.  

Oh yeah for sure. I was referring to the protracted detente, not the prevailing ideological atmosphere. The 'civil society consensus' has been replaced by a neoliberal consensus shared by the Liberals and Conservatives.

Well, at least Harper's more extreme Ayn Rand notions about the role of gov't will be kept at bay. OTOH, the umpteenth thread about Ignatieff's incompetence may start to get a bit stale by 2011.

Buddy Kat

Don't forget the simpleton factor...If harper went on an election tour and there was a piano placed in the hall, his supporters would get him to play a song. This will be covered by the media and the talk shows and project him into majority territory on a daily basis.

Hell if he charged money and donated it to a worthwhile cause he would be supported even more by the media and simpleton canuck would suck every note up. Oh yeh he is going to call an election asap while he's on a roll.

So does Jack Layton have any talents?....Canadian idol fed style..hahaha

Sean in Ottawa

I sure hope Layton does not try-- every time he copies someone else he looks less and less authentic. Bad enough he is mimicking the US president -- let him not mimic Harper.

I think he plays guitar-- and BTW Rae is a better piano player than Harper and does not need the echo put on Harper's mic to get him to sound okay. But then Rae likely is not going to want to remind people of past campaigns when he was a New Democrat.

Stockholm

In any case, these stunts only work when they allow you to run counter to how you are stereotyped. Harper is steroetyped as this cold, aloof automaton (and there is more than a a graon of truth to that) - so for him to play the piano and sing was a good way for him to try to change the public perception of him. Layton is already seen as a HOAG (hell of a guy) who most people would choose as the party leader they would most like to have a drink with etc... and people probably already think of Layton as someone who probably likes to sing and dance etc... so there is nothing to be gained for him to put on a performance like that. Layton has the opposite problem of harper. He has to prove that he is a serious guy and get past the "bonhommie".

-=+=-

Stockholm wrote:

It's now official - Iggy has totally capitulated!

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Liberals+switch+damage+control+polishing+leader+image+party+slips+polls/2099700/story.html

“In a sit-down interview following his Vancouver speech, Ignatieff told me he's prepared to heed the message Canadians have sent him by way of the polling numbers.

He explained Liberals had been reacting to a $56-billion deficit, high unemployment, a record number of bankruptcies, a flu pandemic plan they deemed inadequate and a medical isotope shortage. "We added it all up and thought, 'What are we supposed to do here?' We moved a motion of non-confidence...

[b]"I think we've taken a hit about it because people then think, 'All he cares about is an election.'"[/b]

The new Liberal strategy: "We'll take it issue by issue and measure by measure.

"We're saying we're not going to prop these guys up any more but we're not rushing to bring them down. The thing that's clear is that Canadians don't want an election."

 

 

Why is Ignatieff directly addressing polling results?  I thought this was something politicians were never supposed to do.  Don't competent politicos usually respond with something like:  "the only poll that matters to us is election day" etc. etc.

 

Ignatieff really seems to be playing to the press, rather than the Canadian people.

KenS

This case is different. The bottom is falling out for Iggy, and there has to be a reason given for the change of tactics. "We're listening" is the order of the day.

Stockholm

You're right - one of the cardinal rules for a party leader is never to get off message and start talking like a pundit. That is something best left to un-named sources. Iggy is flubbing up big time if he's starting to explicitly state that results of polls are guiding his strategy (its one of those things that we know all politicians are guided by but which you are never supposed to publicly acknowledge).

There is nothing wrong with saying "we're listening". But the idea is to do what Layton did and say "I and my MPs have been talking to canadians across the country and they are all telling us they don't want an election". NOT to say what Iggy said which is "we did some polls and realized we goofed"

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