BTC: 8.9


More scientific polling is now out on the Green Shift, but you might perhaps add this to your electoral math.

Those attending Stephane Dion’s town hall in Oakville found comment cards on their chairs when they arrived. “Your feedback,” attendees were assured, “is important.” On each card was a place for written comments, a question about how you hard heard about the event (email, mail, newspaper, blog, etc.), and, first and foremost, this question: “Was this meeting worth coming to?” Respondents could circle the number of their choice from one to ten—ten indicating the greatest worthiness, one the least.

A spreadsheet summary of the responses provided to me* indicates 369 people answered that first question. The cumulative average of their responses? 8.9.

Now. That can’t be construed as a straightforward endorsement. While not exactly a meeting of the disciples, it was generally a Liberal crowd. And on the question itself, someone, one imagines, could have very easily found the meeting worth coming to merely because it proved to them that Mr. Dion was unfit for office. 

But. That a good percentage of the crowd found the night very useful is at least something of a victory for the Liberal leader. As noted at the time, the mere act of conducting a town hall meeting such as that, inviting people to take questions and leaving yourself little room to hide, reflects well on a candidate. John McCain is rather famous for putting himself in these situations and I get the impression Barack Obama submits regularly to them as well. (I read a report the other day that referenced Michelle Obama taking questions at such forums too.) But Mr. Dion is presently alone, to my knowledge, among national Canadian leaders willing to face such scrutiny.

Part of that is, of course, necessity. As the least known, and least popular, of the party leaders, he can’t put himself at a distance, he needs to get in front of as many people as possible in a relatively short amount of time. For that matter, given what little people know and expect of him, he can almost only improve upon his reputation. But he did seem, in my few days of observation, to have embraced the forums. As noted, he was noticeably better a performer there than when confronted with even the likes of his own caucus.

So what does that 8.9 mean? Almost impossible to say. But maybe if Stephane Dion does a town hall everyday from now until October 14 and each audience comes away generally rating it 8.9 out of 10, this might amount to something.

(*While I suppose it’s entirely possible the summary was scrubbed before it was delivered to me, I presently have no reason to doubt it’s authenticity or accuracy.)


BTC: 8.9

  1. Dion is also very good in one-on-one TV interviews.

    Unfortunately for him, as his QP performances show, he would be just awful in a one-on-one TV debate with Harper.

    He is also dreadful in giving speeches before large audiences which would make his daily election events interesting, to say the least.

  2. ” Was this meeting worth coming to ” unless you ask why it is a meaningless question after all one explanation could be = it was an opportunity to see him one last time before he crashs and burns? – or – it was a chance to see him before he gets the green Shaft from his own party? – or -well do I really need to go on. To be perfectly honest anything less than 10 is risky after all if a person goes to the effort of going to a political speech and more than 10% of them say it wasn’t worth it I would be worried.

  3. Wayne – thanks for expounding at length on one of Aaron’s points, but I think most of us got it the first time.

  4. Wayne, you’re being deliberately obtuse. Few people (besides yourself, perhaps?) would drag themselves out on a Thursday night in August to see some politician in the hopes that they could see him one last time before he crashes and burns. You know what most probably meant when they answered the question, and if this had been about Harper you would be shouting about it.

    And maybe you should brush up on your math if you think 8.9/10 means 10% of people think it wasn’t worth it.

  5. I got as far as the clicking on the link Dennis, then I saw a picture of Jason Kenny… now that was painful.

  6. I just watched that video (you have to look on the right hand of the page where the videos are – funnily enough CTV made me watch the CPC commercial: “Steven Harper’s a stand up guy”, lol – cracks me up every time.

    Anyway, Dion’s introduction wasn’t bad. He started off strong when he was contrasting the reality of Canadian crime statistics and the Harper’s governments’ attempt to scare the populace with the Liberal’s more realistic and just strategy. When he started reading Johnston’s bio he stumbled a few times but the content was pretty impressive. That’s the kind of candidate that seems like he could bring a lot to the ticket on reputation.

    It seems like I’m a minority when it comes to Dion’s “leadership”. To me he seems intelligent and confident in his appearances. I guess either I am overestimating him or others are underestimating him. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

  7. Ooops – that post was meant for a thread over at ITQ. Sorry.

  8. CBC has a reporter tracking pre-election spending.
    $60M in the past two weeks.$2B in the past 2 months,but that includes re-announce and re-re-announce. Not sure if it subtracts reversals and cuts like naval procurement and arts funding.
    L’il MacKay is in the grip of a particularly rabid funding frenzy.Flying his gummint plane all over dropping goodies everywhere.Or maybe aloft on wings of joy it’s so much fun. It’s so different,this accountability stuff.
    Also the Politburo has canceled 4 nomination meetings in N.S. They say they will “work with” local constituencies to find A-list quality candidates to better represent the needs of the Least Coast.
    Oh..Newman is back. Must have had a good rest.
    Actually asked a couple of tough questions to Jason (where’s my razor) Kenney. Settled for the usual party-line answers though.

  9. The Oakville event was great. I gave it a 9. I might have given it a 10 if there was more parking. It had a lot of content and it was impressive to see the back and forth of questioning for over an hour. Dion was open, frank, gave good reasons for his answers, and came across as honest and sincere. I even liked talking to the Conservatives sitting around me, who were not aware of Harper’s own climate plan, but seemed happy to learn a bit about different approaches to carbon pricing.

  10. I just listened to a bit of Jason Kenney taking questions on CTV link above and he said “the election that Stephane Dion has called for this fall”. Then he backed off a bit and said “that Dion timed for this fall”. Is that the story they are going with?

  11. Catherine, did you sing Kum Ba Yah, too?

    btw, I think it was one of the CTV political correspondents who cited “senior Liberal officials” as being intent on triggering an election later this fall.

    Judging by the anger in Dion’s delivery, as well as some of the reaction of his supporters, I think Harper beat the Liberals to the punch.

  12. No, it wasn’t a CTV correspondent. Jason Kenney said that Stephane Dion called an election for the fall. You can listen to him yourself.

  13. No, a CTV correspondent (I can’t remember who specifically) in the past has said that the Liberals were ready to trigger an election later in the fall.

    Kenney said that Dion wanted an election this fall. If the CTV sources were right, then so was Kenney.

    Kum Ba Yah.

  14. Dennis, the point, which you so ably missed, was that Kenney said Dion called the election, not that he was ready to trigger one. There is a difference between “called” and “ready to call”

    The point, is that if the conservative are trying to spread this meme, they must be taking much more flack for Harper’s disregard of Conservative promises than they had anticipated.

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