Monday, May 02, 2005


Electile dysfunction

The Conservatives maybe left looking a little like a pubescent teen on his 8th grade prom night - premature. It seems the political winds have shifted once again and the Liberals are slowly overtaking the Tories in poll after poll. This shouldn't come as a surprise since the corruption card can only last for so long (as was stated here early last month) and the Tories keep saying the honour all Liberal pre-election deals. Remember when the Tories were against the Canada Health Act and Universal Child Care? Apparently someone told them this is Canada and those things are...hmmm kind of popular.

The real bad news emerging this week for Harper and the Tories is the constant notion from the Canadian public that he has a hidden agenda. He just can't shake this. It is a little unfair since the party has a policy agenda. One of the problems, however, that the Tories have is that it is easy to be in favour of laws of the land(Abortion, etc...), but harder to be against.

More Tory bad news. Prime Minister Paul Martin seems to be holding his own, relative to Harper. Overall, 36 per cent of respondents identified Martin as the best leader for the country as a whole, compared to 28 per cent who saw Harper through that lens. When respondents were asked which leader was best for the interests of particular provinces, Martin was seen as best for Ontario, B.C. and the Atlantic, while Harper scored highest in Alberta and Saskatchewan. These numbers have to make the Tories a little nervous. Apparently Harper could be Premier of either Alberta or Saskatchewan, but not much else.

Another polling news surprise (and possibly the largerst) is the how the Tories fair in cities with a 1 M people. They are running third behind the NDP. Ouch! This will not win you anything. It is impossible to construct a government from small towns and rural Canada.

As is the case in so many federal elections, it comes down to Ontario. The 416 and the 905 will determine the government. It may not be fair, but it is reality.

So all the Western Tory MPs who come back to Ottawa wanting to go to the polls would be smart to heed some advice from their Ontario colleagues. Wait a little longer. Let Harper polish his image and let Gomery run his course. Then maybe, just maybe, the mood will be right.

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