Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time To Hit The Road?


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Conservatives -- at least those  who are capable of sustained thought -- are beginning to wonder if now is the time for Stephen Harper to exit, stage right. The immediate cause of their inquietude is the latest EKOS poll. Tasha Kheiriddin writes:

EKOS finds that the Liberals continue to ride high at 38.7 per cent overall support, while the Tories and the NDP jostle for second place at 25.6 and 23.4 per cent, respectively. The Greens take 7.1 per cent, while the Bloc has 3.7 per cent, representing an anemic 16.4 per cent of the Quebec vote.

And, though they keep trying to pull the same stunt that worked on Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, it isn't working against Justin Trudeau:

So while its ‘Reefer Madness’ campaign pulls in cash from the Conservative base, the Conservative party itself still can’t pull in votes from its rivals. As with other attacks on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the campaign succeeds in hitting everything apart from its target: Criticizing Trudeau for supporting marijuana legalization appears to be hardening the base, not growing it. And that is a pattern the Tories will have to reverse before the next election if they want a fourth term in office.

The Conservative strategy from the beginning has been to energize its base and pull in votes from key ridings across the country. Now those key ridings are unimpressed. EKOS reports that the Harperites are behind in eight of the ten provinces.

And, so, the Conservatives face an existential crisis:

The biggest unanswered question, however, is whether the Tories can win with the leader they’ve got. The Conservative base certainly seems to think so: eighty-six per cent would like Prime Minister Stephen Harper to remain as leader, while only 9 per cent want him to quit and 5 per cent don’t know or didn’t answer. These levels dovetail with Harper’s approval rating among Conservative supporters, which sits at 89 per cent in favour, 8 per cent against and 4 per cent undecided or unresponsive.

Among supporters of other parties, it’s an entirely different story. Overwhelmingly, they disapprove of Harper’s performance; 86 per cent of Liberals, 90 per cent of New Democrats, 81 per cent of Greens and 88 per cent of Bloquistes think he is doing a bad job. But when it comes to whether he should resign, the numbers are lower. Sixty-three per cent of Liberals, 71 per cent of New Democrats and Greens, and 67 per cent of Bloquistes think he should quit.

Still, when your approach to governing is "my way or the highway," inevitably, there will come a moment when the voters tell you to hit the road.


22 comments:

mogs moglio said...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/that-strong-recovery-it-was-just-a-myth/article19985650/

Yup uh-huh a strong con economist?

Owen Gray said...

Stanford lays out the evidence, Mogs. Harper's claim to fame is also a myth.

Morlock said...

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/canada-s-rt-arrestharper-for-advocating-genocide

Harper needs to be arrested for inciting genocide.

Owen Gray said...

You sent this link to a previous post, Morlack.

lorne said...

This is good and encouraging news, Owen. There is a similar encouraging story in this morning's Star by Chantal Hebert:http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/08/11/poll_suggests_tories_have_leadership_issues_hbert.html

Scotian said...

I suspect the reason for the lower numbers on whether he should quit from Libs/Dippers/Greens/BQs is that they want to make sure he doesn't get to weasel away like Mulroney did, not because they really think he should stay in office.

Owen Gray said...

I think you may be right, Scotian. But I wouldn't be surprised if the man who prorogued Parliament to avoid a confidence vote did weasel away.

Owen Gray said...

The winds of change are in the air, Lorne. And the Conservatives must not be sleeping well.

Toby said...

A couple of years ago the RCMP decided the town in which I live needed a new police station and persuaded the municipality to foot the bill. Now this is a small town and there are only four Mounties here; a missing wheelbarrow is a major crime. The police insisted, aided by their supporters. They stirred up fears amongst the retired folks who came out in droves to vote in a
plebiscite to raise the necessary cash for the new police palace convinced that this is Detroit West. As usual, most people stayed home. We now have one of the nicest over sized police stations in Western Canada but still only four Mounties.

Owen, all Harper has to do is raise fears amongst the elderly and he will win again.

Owen Gray said...

That's classic Harper strategy, Toby. And it's worked in the past. But, like the attack ads that don't seem to be working against Trudeau, perhaps -- when it comes to the elderly -- Harper has called wolf one too many times.

Anonymous said...

Yes but? Watch out for the thousands and thousands of ethnic votes and donations. Jason Kenny was just buttering up the Chinese, as was Christy Clark. There are the people of India. You should see the perks, the Engineers from India have. This ad says? Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Canada is calling on, the *FEDERAL* scheme. There are the people of Ukraine. People of the Jewish race. Harper and Christy Clark, just gave BC's ship building contract to Poland.

How much more of Canada will Harper hand over, to stay in power? Harper will use, every underhanded tactic in the book to win this election, as he did the last time.

People just keep underestimating of just how low, Harper is willing to go. Harper is, very low of character.

The Mound of Sound said...

I suspect a lot of Liberals, New Dems and Greens who don't want Harper to resign are afraid the Cons might appoint an acceptable moderate to be his successor in the next election.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect you're right, Mound. I wonder, though, if there is such a creature as a "moderate" in the current Conservative party.

Owen Gray said...

One can only hope, Anon, that Canadians have finally cottoned on to who Stephen Harper really is.

CuJoYYC said...

"And the Conservatives must not be sleeping well."

You always sleep well when you have no conscience.

"Yup uh-huh a strong con economist?"

I love how they keep mentioning that ole Stevie was an economist. Studying economics does not an economist make. One would actually have to be employed as an economist, even for a little while, to use that particular moniker identifying oneself as a disciple of that particular black art.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder, though, if there is such a creature as a "moderate" in the current Conservative party."

The Progressives started to leave after 'Benedict' MacKay reneged and there are precious few, if any, left. HIs successor will be even more extreme than Stevie Boy ever was. They will follow in the first steps of their spirit guides, aka The Tea Party, into oblivion. It won't happen overnight but it will happen. For a glimpse into the CPC future, look at the path the Ontario PCs have followed for 25 years or so.

Karma is Harper being defeated, nay SOUNDLY defeated, by a Liberal named Trudeau. Nothing would be sweeter to this Albertan.

Owen Gray said...

Your comment reminds us all, Anon, that Alberta is not solidly Tory Blue.

Owen Gray said...

Exactly, CuJo. During his entire adult life, the only thing Stephen Harper has done is practice the dark art of politics.

greg said...

I have sent Harper e-mails asking how he can win going further to the right. My impression is that he isn't trying to win the next election (which is nuts on my part). ......I just don't the understand the strategy unless he's hoping Trudeau will have a stroke or something.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that your suggestion is accurate, greg. Harper believes Trudeau will implode.

I doubt that will happen.

greg said...

He just seems to be acting like a man who thinks he can win the next election on that core thirty percent support. I mean, the republicans know that they can't win on their base. They soften themselves and put their most viral elements in a drawer. Harper is just full steam ahead. Justin's advisors must be scratching their heads. All they've got to do is .....well not much. Just make sure there are no skeletons in the closet. I realize I already made a comment, but ....anyway.

Owen Gray said...

As I suggested this afternoon -- to another commenter on another post -- perhaps Harper believes he has God on his side, greg.