I suppose it’s only fair to say something about this. The Conservatives are now apparently polling in a dead heat with the Liberals in Canada. This is a pretty dramatic fall from only two weeks ago, when they were inching close to 40% support – a number generally considered the magic threshhold for a majority government.
What happened? Well, there’ve been all kinds of bad things going on – possible torture scandal in Afghanistan, heavy criticism from the Opposition on Afghanistan, the leaked environmental plan (though I must admit, I never quite understood what was so objectionable about that?), and, probably most importantly, the revelation that Harper has a personal groomer on the public payroll who just might also be a psychic.
But this can’t be the whole story, and here’s why: bleeding Tory support isn’t going to the Liberals, it’s going to the NDP. (!!!) Yes, the NDP is up to 18%! Wow! And – YIKES! Kinda scary, really.
Anderson wouldn’t venture a theory on how falling Tory support appears to be translating into a rising NDP tide.
“The votes that seem to be shaking lose from the Conservatives right now are not largely going to the Liberal party,” was all the pollster would venture.
That’s because I suspect the explanation is pretty mundane. It isn’t really that the Conservatives have been doing well, lately, as that the Liberals are doing poorly. Dion’s tenure as leader has been pretty lackluster, and the party has yet to recover from all the corruption scandals dating back to the Chretien years. If people are headed to the NDP, it’s because the NDP is the only serious party left. They’re not ready to go home to the Liberals yet.
This is, of course, hugely embarrassing for my earlier theory that Canada in general was starting to shift right. What it seems is actually going on is that Canada is punishing the Liberals, who richly deserve to be punished, but that underlyingly it’s still a one-party state, and voters will go back to that once they’ve gotten it out of their systems. DAMN!
Well, I like to say “I told you so,” so let me go ahead and say I told you so. Harper should have called an election a couple of weeks ago.
But who knows, these days? Maybe Tory support will rebound after the hairstylist issue blows over…
This doesn’t affect my election watch, though. I guess Harper could deal with a divided Liberal/Bloc opposition, but he isn’t going to want to hand the NDP a sweet caucus (so the government will not be engineering its own downfall anytime soon, I think). However, the NDP itself might be in the mood to topple the government with these numbers – and since Dion seems to want to do just that (though who on God’s Green Earth knows WHY?), maybe there will be a confidence vote soon. Stay tuned.