Monday, April 11, 2005

The Turning Tide

The Liberals are losing their case in the court of public opinion, as the EKOS poll clearly shows and MacDuff has noted. I'm not sure if Harper and co. are ready for prime time, but they'd better start preparing. I don't think their poll position can get much better, and I certainly don't think the Liberals' position is going to get much worse. You've got to think that if a similar poll comes out next month, the Tories will have to muster a June election call in May. The Brault testimony is damning, and I believe it is enough to cost Martin the election if one is held this summer. Still, I'd be tight-lipped about an election call if I were Harper, as a fall date might be more advantageous, for exactly the reasons MacDuff outlines.

The EKOS poll makes it pretty obvious that the public (look at Ontario and Quebec!) is getting impatient with this government over the sponsorship scandal. This is unsurprising. Far too many Grit supporters are saying that the scandal should not be made that big a deal, especially if -- horror of horrors -- it leads to Harper in the PMO. Even worse are the assertions that Martin shouldn't shoulder any electoral punishment for this fiasco, just because it's his party that is implicated, and he (supposedly) had nothing to do with it. Would these arguments ring true for them if the shoe were on the other foot, and, say, associates of Stockwell Day's party were the culprits and Harper and the Conservatives had to answer for it? If that's the best the Liberals have, then what better justification is there for today's poll numbers than the frustration of the Canadian people with the lack of self-accountability in a corrupt ruling party?

UPDATE - by MacDuff - here's John Ibbitson's advice to Harper from the Globe today, courtesy of Norman Spector:
"There is no such thing as a risk-free political strategy. Your job as a Tory strategist is to weigh those risks and advise the leader. But by any reasonable calculation, the risks of waiting until November are greater than the risks of going now. A Jean Brault only comes along once in a political lifetime."
A tough call indeed. But it just may be an offer too tempting to refuse, and a "what if" for the Canadian political history books regardless of the choice.


Post a Comment

<< Home