Survey Says…?

A recent bullshit survey by Nanos Research asked a thousand or so random people online to describe the “personality” of the five federal parties using a single word.

Just for fun, let’s pretend this ridiculous poll is meaningful in some way and compare the primary responses given, shall we?

Conservatives were described most frequently as “untrustworthy”; Liberals were most often considered “bad/incompetent”; and the NDP were viewed as… wait for it, “socialist.” Oh, and for the record, the Greens were described as being “green” (shock!) and the Bloc as “useless.”

At the second tier, the Conservatives were described as “conservative” (duh); the Liberals as “untrustworthy”; and the NDP as “caring.” Following that, Conservatives were “bad/incompetent”; Liberals “Good”; and the NDP “bad/incompetent.” And on it goes with increasingly smaller percentages of idiotic respondents ascribing all manner of contradictory descriptions to the various parties. By the way, “bad/incompetent” was the artful term applied by Nanos to those responding with undefined expletives such as (one imagines) “fucktards,” “twats” etc.

So, what are we to make of this “survey”? Personally, I’d suggest absolutely nothing at all other than the utterly unsurprising fact that a predominant number of people think all of the parties are complete rubbish for the most part. Curiously however, Liberal activist, lawyer and ursine fetishist James Morton derives this brilliant conclusion from the poll: “We have to figure out how to be seen as trustworthy and competent again. I say review the shift to ‘New Labour’ in the UK — Tony Blair made Labour seem to be something it hadn’t been before.”

Well, perhaps… although I’m not certain what specific lessons Blair’s “third way” re-boot of the Labour Party has to offer the Liberals at this juncture.

Defending “Rae Days”

Unlike his two immediate predecessors who unwisely allowed themselves to be negatively defined by relentless campaigns of character assassination from the Conservatives, Bob Rae is making it clear that he’s not going to sit idle and simply allow attack ads by Harper’s mufti-million dollar smear machine to go unanswered. Instead, he’s determined to set the record straight (as he sees it), hit back and fight fire with fire…

As with the video noted in a previous post, this seems to be indicative of a more confident and aggressive communications strategy emanating from the LPC – one that has been sorely lacking for many years now.


Count me amongst the 54% of Canadians who, according to a recent poll, rather cynically believe that the so-called “robocall scandal” is just “politics as usual” and therefore nothing terribly exceptional to be all that bothered about. Certainly nothing warranting an outraged, pant-bunching reaction such as that demonstrated on left-wing blogs for weeks now, let alone cause for actually marching in the streets…

Of course, that isn’t to say that such fraudulent electoral tactics should be condoned or go unpunished, but as Margaret Wente pointed out last week, “this fraud seems to have been engineered by the Keystone Kops.” And as, historian Michael Bliss observed, “From the point of view of anybody concerned about our political system, it’s a non-scandal.”

With regards to the parting comment of GlobalTV’s Tom Clark, not to suggest that they can’t walk and angrily gnash their teeth at the same time, but perhaps the frustrated Harper-haters’ time and attention would be better spent concentrating on the Conservative government’s “revolutionary” plans that we’re told are about to soon unfold…

Conservative Robo-Fraud Update

With the latest meme from the PMO in hand, Conservatives under hostile fire in Question Period, uniformly downplay the “robocall scandal” as nothing but an “unsubstantiated smear campaign”

Well, at this point in time, the Conservatives are right – at least, technically speaking. Opposition critics don’t presently have the necessary facts to back up their suggestive allegations of organized electoral fraud by the CPC. As passionately eager as they are to jump all over this issue for political advantage, maybe it would be best if they just waited for the investigations of Elections Canada to play out…

Yeah, I know, that’s kind of a boring approach to the matter and definitely not the way the game is played, but without any factual basis, there’s not a whole lot of cause for all the steam in the heated allegations currently being made by the Liberals and NDP.

The Conservatives, however, are completely missing the boat by playing the “indignant victim” card here. What they should be doing instead is directing their outrage to the malfeasant operatives within their own party and proclaiming their commitment to ferret them out. Of course, that presupposes the notion that the CPC organization wasn’t actually involved in any fraudulent electoral shenanigans…

Dirty Deeds…

Apparently not done dirt cheap. In fact, as the Postmedia reporter indicates, whoever was responsible for attempting to suppress the vote for the benefit of the Conservative candidates in tightly contested ridings required money, organization and voters lists. Doesn’t exactly sound like a formula for some obscure “rogue” now does it?

In addition to this story of bogus “robocalls” misdirecting unwitting Liberal/NDP voters to the wrong polling station (a time-worn dirty trick in U.S. politics) come revelations of another campaign of deceit whereby certain groups of voters were apparently targeted by miscreants (presumably Conservative operatives) posing as Liberal volunteers who would phone repeatedly during the supper hour, late at night, or on the Sabbath in the case of Jewish voters, and then act rudely on the phone in an effort to annoy and alienate those targeted by the calls.

Harper-Ford BBQ Footage

In case you’re interested, here’s the YouTube video featuring “Canada’s best known fishing buddies” that was described by Tim Harper in the Toronto Star the other day. Better hurry though, as a previous uploads have been yanked, apparently at the behest of paranoid, ultra-secretive Conservative Party apparatchiks.

There’s actually nothing terribly startling about it:

So, to recap — there was surprise guest Harper, telling the crowd about a heretofore unknown fishing trip with Ford, lauding the mayor for cleaning up the NDP mess at City Hall, patting himself on the back for cleaning up the leftist mess in Ottawa, rooting on Tim Hudak (without specifically naming him) to complete the “hat trick” by ousting Dalton McGuinty on Oct. 6.

Perhaps, as Harper (the columnist, not the Dear Leader) suggests, “there’s something unnerving about the two of them trading thigh slappers and appearing to have such a damn good time while cutting jobs and gutting services.” Or maybe the Conservatives just didn’t want people to see Jim Flaherty wearing that ridiculous faux boxing belt awarded to him for being “World Championship Finance Minister.”

The Apogee of Manning

Rex Murphy’s glowing tribute to Preston Manning as the driving intellectual force behind the fundamental realignment of Canadian politics realized most clearly in the results of the last election…

Listening to Rex extol the “wizardry” of Stephen Harper “pursuing the party of Pearson and Trudeau into near oblivion,” one can only laugh at the extremist fringe of the right-wing forever angrily complaining about the flagrant “liberal bias” of the CBC.

Now What?

With four in ten of the less than two-thirds of Canadians that bothered to vote on Monday having decided to give Stephen Harper the reigns of power until at least 2015, what changes can we reasonably expect to see over the next four years?

According to reports today, Harper indicates “he’s taking a no-surprises approach to majority government rather than contemplating any radical shifts in policy now that he has control of the Commons.” Well, of course he would say that… Now.

But how long will it be until the more “radical shifts” start appearing? And I don’t pose the question as idle fear mongering… just more out of a sense of morbid curiosity at what the Conservatives hope to achieve now that they’ve finally attained their long coveted majority. After all, there was a lot of implicit and abiding faith amongst the Conservative base that if ever given the opportunity to do so, they would effect dramatic changes to the very fabric of Canada.

Defunding the CBC and Radio Canada, for starters. Limiting the role of the federal government across the board, slashing taxes on enterprising “job creators” (i.e., the wealthiest 5%), auctioning off public assets, zeroing out corporate taxes and issuing in a sweeping wave of “hands off” deregulation in order to finally unleash the power of the “free market” to work its productive magic on the economy unfettered by meddlesome government bureaucrats. Not to mention other promises that have been implicitly made to the Conservative party base over the years… defunding the arts, criminalizing abortion, cutting or abandoning altogether social justice and welfare programs. You know the drill.

Now that the Conservatives have complete control of the House of Commons in addition to a majority in the “other place” and the ability even to load the bench of the SCOC with their own ideologically sympathetic appointees there should be absolutely nothing stopping them from implementing the full measure of their “agenda”…

Here’s another thing I’m curious about: What the heck are the Bloggin’ Tories going to do for the next four years? Demonizing a powerless opposition, while shaking their rhetorical pom-poms and blindly cheering on the Dear Leader’s every autocratic move seems like a rather dull prospect, doesn’t it?

The Final Push

The three leaders pulling out all the stops on the last days of campaigning…

Personally, I’m still betting on “boredom” to win the day and Nanos actually supports my view on this.


Wow. That’s about all I can say concerning the latest poll showing that the NDP has the support of 31% of those surveyed – almost a statistical tie with the Harper Conservatives; an impressive achievement by any measure and something that would have inconceivable just a month ago. Meanwhile, Liberal support has collapsed, falling to a dismal 22%. Despite having run a competent and vigorous campaign, Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal team is no match it seems for “orange tide” presently sweeping the country.

Riding the current wave of enthusiasm, Jack now wants us to “imagine” him as the next Prime Minister… an event not likely to happen immediately, but certainly one that’s increasingly plausible and may even become reality in the course of events.

As I’ve said before, Canadian voters, or at least those surveyed in polls, are clearly signalling that they: a) reject the status quo in parliament; and b) believe Jack Layton and the NDP will be a more effective voice of opposition to the Conservatives than would be the Liberals – a party that (for understandable reasons) time and again has failed to “walk the walk” in that regard. And not to be discounted, there is the personal charisma of Layton, who compares favourably in that respect by a country mile to both the Liberal and Conservative leaders.

Barring a miracle of some kind, for the Liberals this election is looking more like another calamity in the making… (Now I know what if must feel like to be a Leafs fan). For whatever reason, their latest gimmicks (the fact that I felt compelled to refer to them as such may be telling) have failed to catch on and despite performing better than expected and having succeeded in dispelling many of the myths created about him by the HarperCon lie factory over the last several years, Michael Ignatieff remains a difficult sell. Even so, out of disaster comes opportunity. There’s always another season to play and maybe we’ll even get a better draft pick next time around.