Last week an EKOS poll had prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives at 33.4 per cent, a three percentage point lead over the Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals, which stood at 30.3 per cent. Yesterday, the National Post reported that an Ipsos Reid poll confirms the Tory lead and shows it has grown to 37 per cent of voters (Liberals 29 per cent), putting the Tories firmly in minority-government territory and nudging up against majority territory.
The Tory lead has now grown to 8 points, the widest margin the Conservatives have enjoyed in months. We’re not back to the heady days of last October-November when Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were polling at about 40 per cent, very much in the area required for forming a majority government. Of course, that was before issues like the treatment of Afghan detainees, Canadians go-slow attitude at Copenhagen and prorogation tilted them into downward slide and eventually a statistical tie with Michael Ignatieff’s Grits.
However, it seems that Michael Ignatieff lacks the political instincts to consolidate the advantage he was gaining over the Christmas season and into January. This despite attempts by his new team to repackage the Harvard professor.
Michael Ignatieff has turned out to be a liability rather than an asset to the political hopes of the Liberal Party of Canada. Like Stéphane Dion before him, Ignatieff needs constant managing by his aides led by his chief of staff, Peter Donolo. Ignatieff’s recent insistence that Canadian aid to African countries be somehow tied to the promotion of abortion practices is but one recent example of how prone he is to political gaffes.
As I’ve said here before, even the unrelenting pro-Liberal, anti-Conservative hammering the Conservative Party of Canada and Stephen Harper has taken from the mainstream media, especially on CTV and CBC political news shows, in the past several months has not given the Liberal Party much to celebrate in poll results.
But no one likes to back a looser. So eventually the spell Liberal Party partisans like Warren Kinsella have cast over political talk show hosts like Tom Clark will be broken. Then spin and graphics to bolster trumped up controversies will have to give way to substantive debate on real issues.
But don’t hold your breath, eh.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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