So after a few weeks of pulling ahead of the Liberals and their ineffective leader, Michael Ignatieff, the Conservative Party of Canada’s lead in the opinion polls has now shrunk to a point where it cannot be at all sure of even a minority victory in an election. The latest EKOS poll has the CPC at 31.4 per cent, the LPC at 26.8 per cent and the Dippers at 16.6 per cent.
And perhaps as worrying is the only 48.1 per cent of respondents who believe the country is going in the right direction, and the only 38.4 per cent who believe the Conservative government is going in the right direction.
The abundance of negative political chatter—some deserved, some not—in the media is, apparently, taking its toll in a slow-bleed sort of way. In the background, of course, we have excellent economic news that should be giving the Stephen Harper government a real boost in the polls, but, in reality, is not having the desired effect.
Canada’s image in the world as a safe banking community, and the international plaudits we’ve received for weathering the recent recession and emerging from it with one of the strongest economies among G20 nations seems totally offset by the chaos on Parliament Hill we hear about each day.
This morning I read in the Financial Post that BNP Paribas, the French bank, says the loonie is becoming a reserve currency for some of the world’s central banks. Which means, of course, that it’s being held by some international central banks and other major foreign institutions in their foreign-exchange reserves, because Canada and its dollar are increasingly being seen as safe and solid bets.
High praise indeed, and we should all be very proud of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, which deserves a lot of credit for this trend.