Sorry for the slow down in posts from last week. I had to phone a couple dozen people as membership chair for my riding to encourage them to renew their memberships for the federal Liberals. By the way, if you haven’t renewed for 2010 or are interested in joining the party just follow this link to sign up: clickie.
Anyway, as some of you may know already I am the riding liaison for the University of Calgary’s Liberal Association. Because I’m a part of the Liberal team at the UoC I was one of the numerous students that Ignatieff relied on in getting the event set up, advertised, and working. I’d like to say the event went well, too.Very well, actually.
The room we booked was set up for an estimated 300 people. The plan, at least to my knowledge, was to get about 250 into the room. After we started the event we hit about 700. A shout out to Adrian Le, our club president, and Sean Sutherland, who managed a sizable portion of the affair, is more than called for seeing that they had, over the past month, pulled numerous late nighters and almost zealous effort in making the town hall a success.
This success should be seen in its true context. In the conservative (note the lower case) heartland, where the Conservative party receives most of their political support, and where Liberals have been shut out for at least five years–the Liberal party of Canada landed a large crowd of engaging, thoughtful people. Everyone at the event was extraordinarily polite, too, except for more than a few questions by people of a conservative bent. However, Ignatieff handled these questions deftly and gave a strong, forthright point of view that the questioners eventually understood and (from what I saw from my duties as a volunteer) soon grew to respect.
Respect ran high through the entire event. It was civil, pleasant, and none of the hogwash that happened at the UBC. Even when pressured by students waving their spray painted banners about environmentalism Ignatieff kept his cool. He made a good answer, kept to his beliefs, and stayed strong while being badgered by belligerent boneheads (by the way, I happen to like Greenpeace–little doofuses that disrespect people on the other hand get a different reaction out of me). Few tough questions of the same vein came along at the UoC town hall and, well, Ignatieff held firm and showed his more apparent than ever levelheadedness.
Now lets switch onto a different topic: polling.
Yesterday EKOS released a poll with the following numbers [link to EKOS poll, PDF]:
Bloc: 9.1 %
Green Party: 11.5%
According to a message fired off to people in Southern Alberta (and elsewhere) Sen. Mitchell says that:
Of particular interest, the EKOS seats projection gives the Liberals a
three-seat advantage over the Conservatives if an election were held today -
117 to 114. The new projection distributes the remaining seats as follows:
28 NDP, 47 Bloc, one Green and one Independent.
This would mean that the Liberals would be in possession of a minority government.
I think this change in numbers are from numerous things. First of all, NDP inaction over the last month over Harper’s prorogation has stalled their movement (which could have only gone up after the party in government had so notoriously abused its powers). The Liberals have benefited from an increase in media lime light while Harper has run off into the hinterlands of wherever he has scampered off to and other groups being extraordinarily quiet. Ignatieff, with his deft abilities, has also given the Liberals that need bump in the polls as well. With a conference for new, (well, mostly) non-partisan ideas this continuation of Liberal polling numbers can only continue to remain strong at 30% if not increasing.
Personally, the attack ads launched by the Liberals, haven’t done much. First of all, these ads have low intellectual content. They don’t really say much. It’s only drumming up fear where, well, there’s no fear to drum up. Harper is Harper–Canadians know he has some form of tactical ability but calling him a mastermind with a secret agenda is a bit much. Secondly, I think Canadians are still getting familiar with Ignatieff. The previous ads have not defined him enough. At least, this is what I’m getting from people that I’ve been talking to. (Namely, conservative family, Conservative schoolmates, and random conversations I have been having.) Thirdly, the ads are bad. Fourthly, it seems rather daft that we’re copying Harper.
Fifthly, did I mention that the ads were bad? Honestly, I could make ads in under five minutes that were more hard hitting, clever, and possessed higher intellectual content (ie: actually saying things). Canadians love to laugh: why not engage in that? Fear based politics isn’t the only way to go and, well, Chretien was masterful at countering fear by cracking jokes and making people laugh. Ignatieff and the Liberal party are more than capable of that (see here for one example of their attempts).
Back to polling and on to the Conservatives: Harper’s government has had a trouble with numerous scandals–the Afghan torture scandal being one of them amongst numerous others. An ex-campaign manager for Harper, Dr. Tom Flanagan, has called the entirely of the prorogation a technique to obfuscate the ability of anyone to get to the heart of the matter on the issue of the Conservative’s torture fiasco. This has harmed the Harper government in the polls since Canadians, like Dr. Flanagan, can see through the farce of what the Harper has been doing.
Dr. Flangan has been ‘forgotten’ by the Conservatives in Ottawa. So, err, he’s been pushed away more than I previously thought (as noted in my previous post about Flanagan being pushed from the attention of the general media).
A Tory MP elaborates by saying she has never heard of Flanagan before.