Polling To Death

Angus Reid's latest 3,000 small poll shows the Tories surging like no tomorrow well beyond any confidence intervals. What's worse for the Liberals the latest Decima poll is doing a good job of confirming those numbers.

What's most significant about these numbers isn't that the Tories, which benefit from being the party in power, are leading, but that Harper's Tories are leading every demographic - women, youth, urban - yet they are still retaining their traditional base. A fragile voter coalition perhaps, but a coalition nonetheless.

And what's worse, he's getting the numbers he needs in Ontario for a majority.

So the verdict is in. The Tories are officially acceptable in Canadian society. I am now part of the mainstream. It feels weird and somehow wrong.

All this polling has prompted more polling on who should be the next leader of the Liberal Party after the Dion.

Assuming your opponent is dead is probably the first mistake done in war. Dion still is leader of the party of broken promises until death or parliamentary maneuverings force him to part.

Given that, this must be prompting some sober thinking in Liberal benches this morning. Particularly some from Dion himself. Obviously Harper's attempts at forming a "new national governing party" are showing some results.

Dion has made comments already to the effect that Liberals must hunker down and weather the storm. Unfortunately that presumes that this will only be a temporary hick-up. Canadians will eventually see the light. Just give them enough time.

Somehow I doubt that thinking will last long in Dion's office. I expect that a new aggressive tone will be coming out of the office of the leader of the official opposition - and soon.

In terms of strategy, I expect that the focus Dion has put on the environment will soon fade. The Tories have taken the tact that they will meet whatever commitments the Liberals make while still refuting the possibility of meeting our Kyoto targets.

Dion must see the wisdom in this, because I heavily doubt that he believes that a nation that has already exceeded our targets in excess of 27% will somehow pull off a miracle and meet our targets in the next five years. In this strategy the Tories can still claim a moral victory when 2012 rolls around and say "see we told you so, and we did everything you told us would work."

Without the same sex marriage drum or the Kyoto dog Dion becomes a leader of a party without purpose. That thought must be weighing heavily on Dion as he decides what to do next.

Dion's next tact? My guess is that security issues, and foreign policy will become Dion's new sword.


  1. Dion's liberals aren't going to get it until they find themselves on the wrong end of a majority. While I question the poll numbers one has to look at the fact that all of these polls are showing the same general trend. Conservatism in government is okay again.

  2. Maybe Canadians felt the NDP tempered the capitalists in the Liberal party.
    But Dion's leap to the left has Canadians pulling back from a far left of center government with their hands on the reins.
    "Whoa!!! We want leftie influence, not leftie control!"