Don Martin is suggesting this morning that Harper may fall on his sword over Kyoto.
The latest poll numbers are being touted as signs that Harper will be looking for ways to go into an election as soon as possible.
It wouldn't be right if I didn't pour cold water on what is favorable interpretations of numbers that tell us absolutely nothing. Statistically speaking, the "Tory surge" shows nothing at all. The margin of error for the strategic council poll was 3%. That means the Tories, if an election call were held today could have numbers as low as 32% of the vote. The Liberals could be as high as 33%. As much as I'd like to join the "Tories are exploding" bandwagon, I would be culpable in blind partisanship if I said anything different.
The only statically significant result from this poll is that the Liberal drop was well over the margin of error. So, we can conclude that the Tories may have increased in popularity, but that for darn sure the Liberals are dropping.
That's hardly the ideal conditions for a spring election for Harper - and I have no doubt that Harper's advisers are pondering that very fact today.
Not to mention the fact that Canadians have bought wholesale into Kyoto. Harper knows this, that's why he's taken such a radically different tact towards the environment on the issue lately.
Kyoto, strategically, needs to be seen in much the same way health care is to Conservatives. It has become a cult like religion in the Great White North. Until something radically changes, or some sort of momentous event occurs - like say global cooling starts to happen - Conservatives will be fighting for parity with the Left on the issue. In other words Kyoto is not seen as our strength - just like healthcare.
And just like health care, we don't want to be falling on our weakest sword - better to fall on our one of our strongest ones - like senate reform.