Insta-poll: Advantage… Harper!


Ipsos again: Poll gives nod to Harper, with Layton second

Stephen Harper came out ahead of his political opponents in the English-language leaders debate Thursday night, but New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton was a formidable match for the prime minister, according to viewers who answered a survey during the broadcast.

The online Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canwest News Service and Global National found 31 per cent of voters said Harper won the debate, and Layton was second with 25 per cent. In third place was the newcomer to the leaders’ debates, Green Leader Elizabeth May, with 17 per cent of respondents saying she was the winner, followed by the opposition leader, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, with 15 per cent.


a) What about Duceppe?

b) The story isn’t that Harper won, it’s that Dion lost. Fourth place. Behind May.

c) Not that it will make much difference, I expect. As I said on the National, I think the debates have just locked in the status quo. The Conservatives are not going to get their majority, the Liberals are not going to win, the NDP is not going to replace the Liberals, and the Green party is here to stay.


Insta-poll: Advantage… Harper!

  1. Barry Kay has the Liberals at 153 seats today Andrew. That’s on the cusp of a majority. That’s your status quo as of today.

  2. @Andrew Coyne

    I saw you on the National and was surprised you made such a bold prediction on the Conservatives not winning a Majority.

    It contrasted with Maclean’s’ editorial in the current issue basically stating Canada needs a (conservative) majority and that it seems almost inevitable and desirable.

  3. Interesting thing if you troll through the numbers, though: Harper was credited with the win, but more people seemed to be put off by his performance than attracted to it, in contrast with the rest of the participants.

    Improved Worsened
    Stephen Harper 30% 40%
    Stephane Dion 42% 31%
    Jack Layton 49% 21%
    Gilles Duceppe 30% 24%
    Elizabeth May 65% 16%

    It also implied that there were predispositions that were shifted:

    Conservative Leader Stephen Harper emerges as the winner heading into the conclusion of Thursday’s English-language debate, with 31% of Canadian voters who responded to the survey while viewing the English-language debate saying the Prime Minister was poised to win (down 9 points from the 40% who thought he would win). This is compared 25% who feel that NDP Leader Jack Layton was set to win (up 5 points), placing him in a close second-place finish. Interestingly, more English-speaking Canadians who viewed the debate thought that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (17%, up 13 points) was winning the debate than thought Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was winning (15%, up 4 points).

    If debates are about “preaching to the choir”, then the question is who they managed to convert. It doesn’t look like Harper converted anybody tonight, but the other three might have. And that’s borne out by this:

    Among those who changed their vote, 37% say they would now vote NDP, 26% say they would now Liberal, 25% say they would now vote Green, and 9% say they would now vote Conservative.

    I’d say that it’s probably fair to say that this was Jack and Stephane’s night, all things considered, not Harper’s. He may have “won”, but it may have been a pyrrhic victory at best.

  4. (Whoops. Might I suggest that Macleans ponder the concept of, um, a preview button?)

  5. The online Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canwest News Service and Global National found 31 per cent of voters said Harper won the debate, and Layton was second with 25 per cent. In third place was the newcomer to the leaders’ debates, Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, with 17 per cent of respondents saying she was the winner. She was closely followed by her DEmocratic rival Joe Biden at 15 per cent.

  6. except if the 37% who’d now vote NDP are coming from the Liberals,

    which is likely the case.

  7. Demosthenes,

    Beware of interpreting those changed-vote numbers as a setback for the Conservatives: they are almost all being passed back and forth among the NDP, Liberals and Greens. The pollsters tell us the Conservative vote is the firmest of any of the parties.

  8. Well you shouldn’t feel so bad, Demos, afterall, Jarrid has just committed to browser history that the Liberals were in majority territory.

    I think I agree with you though, in that I’m not sure Dion’s performance in the english debates is going to matter all that much i.e. I personally think that voter intentions are fairly entrenched outside Quebec.

    How the dynamic changes (if at all) in the next few days will be interesting.


  9. “Barry Kay has the Liberals at 153 seats today Andrew. That’s on the cusp of a majority. That’s your status quo as of today.”

    Oops, I meant Conservatives at 153.

  10. I guess that previous comment of mine should also state that I concur with Andrew on this…

    But doesn’t it (the status quo) just make this whole election call all the more futile waste of time and money?


  11. “But doesn’t it (the status quo) just make this whole election call all the more futile waste of time and money?”

    My goodness, these trial balloon Liberal talking points are getting lamer as the night unfolds.

    I’m signing off.

    It’s been a great night for democracy. The Liberals have governed for 33 of the last 45 years. It’s good to have an alternative approach in this country.

  12. Coyne: True, but said pollsters also repeatedly mentioned how disengaged Canadians are; people who are telling pollsters that “there’s no possible way they could change their mind” might, um, change their mind about changing their mind.

    And you also aren’t taking the west into consideration, where it’s often less about Liberal/Conservative fights and more about Conservative/NDP fights. If the NDP draws urban, central Canadian votes away from the Liberals, it won’t help either party much. But if they draw them away from the Tories and Liberals in places like BC or the Prairies, it could be a different story.

  13. I don’t know how much I’d depend on that Ipsos poll. I was supposed to be a part of it, but couldn’t when they change the polling requirement — you had to answer during the debate, not soon after. I couldn’t participate, in the end.
    So, the sample is biased towards people who could surf the net while watching the debate (already, it was going to be skewed to people who had access soon after) and anyway, the show wasn’t done yet when the answers came it.

    It might make for good TV, and something for the Global newscasters to chat about, but as far as meaningful… well, I hope the Canwest papers don’t run this poll on the front page.

    It would be interesting, too, to know what ipsos says about how well the results should map to the general viewing population.

  14. Right…I forgot that “projection” is part of the CPC repertoire, next to “I know you are but what am I”, and “oh yeah? yeah!”

    Sorry, these polls do not measure anything beyond performance in a debate. No statement can be made on election outcomes based on this, no matter what your innate insecurities wish you to believe. That is why it is more important to see how voter intentions develop over the next few days as a result of this performance, and how that performance factors into a voter’s decision.

    For Dion, it was a matter of underlining the disconnect between media portrayals and his one-on-one persona for those who have not gone out to see him or to hear him unfiltered.

    Who will “win” the election boils down to this, Jarrid: is the *undecided* voting public going to be satisfied with the bland platitudes that constitute the breadth and depth of CPC policy? The “stay the course” tripe that you savants lap up with glee?


  15. I gave the french debate to Dion and give the english debate to Harper. That was partially because of the assist from Jack Layton who hammered Dion on his absense and virtual support of Harper “if you can’t do your job as Leader of the Opposition, I’m not sure how you could possibly apply for the job of prime minister?

    Other quick points:
    – I found May to be completely unsufferable.
    – This election would be a lot closer if everyday people could understand Dion.
    – How is arts funding as important as the economy, crime, healthcare, and a war?
    – Paikin really threw Layton off course…and when he did, he assisted Harper which was more than evened out by the question of whether the conservatives are barbarians?
    – Jack Layton thinks that there are only 2 employers in the country: big banks and big oil.
    – Harper stayed calm, cool and collective
    – Duceppe as always, performed well.

  16. I was trying to understand how any poll could give Harper the advantage and then I found out that it was an Ipsos poll.

    That explains it.

  17. I was trying to understand how any poll could give Harper the advantage and then I found out that it was an Ipsos poll.

    That explains it.

    What’s your point? That Ipsos is in the tank for the Consevatives? The Ipsos poll gave the previous night’s debate to Dion.

  18. Repost to save time:

    comment by spicydoc on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm:

    Unless Harper bites the head off of a living beaver tonight, there won’t be any post-debate ‘bounce’ in any direction. I expect Harper to remain calm throughout. Don’t want to scare the children and 905 soccer moms, you know.

    If Dion looks like an idiot, it confirms what everybody thinks. Ih he comes across okay, people will shrug but not change their minds.

    Dion’s image is fait accompli–he had a chance to define himself over the Afstan extension, but caved in like a tunnel made of mashed potatos.

    If there is to be any bounce, it will be for Jack. If he and Harper go toe-to-toe and ignore the LPC duo, Jack will gain 3 points.

    That’s all I can see changing.

  19. Boudica, Dion just didn’t get it done yesterday. There was more than one reason for this, but having to share airtime with three other left of centre challengers didn’t help him much.

    Liberals gambled on Dion. Dion gambled on the environment. Both wagers have been miserably lost. The chickens have come home to roost.

    It’s not he pollster’s fault, or the media’s fault, or the voter’s fault.

  20. One thing I’ll be watching out for in the days ahead is the distance between the Liberal numbers and the NDP numbers. I will not be surprised if the NDP overtakes the Libs. So far we’ve actually had only one poll showing them tied at 21, the Angus Reid poll of a few days ago. That may change.

    If the debate had a defining moment last night it was when Layton went after Dion for propping of the government. All Dion could do in response was to turn beat red. Layton’s attacks were effective here because they were true.

  21. Well what di I know….I really thought Harper did ok but not win…what you see depends on where you sit.

    Back to other things though, Chretien was winning small but solid majorities with 38% of the vote and the opposition all splitting it 4 ways. Isnt this the scenario we ar elooking at?

    The Liberal vote at that time got its “effeciency” in Southern Ontario and 905.

    That effeciency is now in the Tories favour, close races to go their way with opposition votes pounding sand in large numbers.

    Its going to be close but I think its a 50/50 chance of majority based on the chretien numbers….all coming down to the splits.

  22. Paikin was fair and a few of the questions were asked from the right, which made for a nice change.

    Layton was the best performer. Layton would be our next PM if he was leader of either Libs or Cons. Must be frustrating for Layton to know he has the charisma to win elections but not the policies/

  23. Everybody says the greens did well, teh debate didn’t crumble because of them, and the networks probably liked having her. But they probably won’t win any seats. it would be odd if they become a fixture in future elections but never, ever elect a candidate to the house.

  24. And layton has the policies, his problem is a brand that many are instinctively against.

  25. I’ll agree Jarrid is correct:

    “Liberals gambled on Dion. Dion gambled on the environment. Both wagers have been miserably lost. The chickens have come home to roost.”

    “It’s not he pollster’s fault, or the media’s fault, or the voter’s fault.”

    But I have to add to jwl’s comment–“Must be frustrating for Layton to know he has the charisma to win elections but not the policies/

    Must be frustrating for Harper to know he has the no charisma, the wrong policies and no team.

  26. My take: Harper was cool under fire. Dion came across better in English that I expected but listening to him is still painful. Layton is a master of cheap shots. May is a rude heckler. Duceppe is irrelevant to the English debate.

  27. Duceppe was the only one standing up for Ontario.

  28. The discussions revolving around manufacturing were good to hear. Aside from the environment, it’s probably the key issue with regard to our medium and long term future. What will drive the Canadian economy for our children and grandchildren?

    Layton, while passionate, seems rather locked in the 30 year old union mindset of protecting manufacturing jobs – it leads to too many piecemeal bailouts and ad hoc deals to stall the decisions of large manufacturing corporations. (and lots of furniture factories, apparently) I don’t think his charisma would do much to sweeten the increase of corporate taxes, either.

    Harper did well, showing his policies have more nuance than his opponents would suggest, and realistically pointing out that there’s no magic wand the government can wave to create jobs in any given sector. But his claim to a net increase in jobs is somewhat disingenuous, as a large proportion of the new jobs are more based in service (jobs that are derivative of other sectors generating wealth, it’s fair to say).

    Dion, perhaps speaking more to Ontario, clearly believes that we need a vibrant manufacturing sector to ensure future prosperity. It’s a key part of the Green Shift that he hasn’t articulated enough in this campaign – that alternate energies and technologies will form the basis of manufacturing in the future. But that requires a fair bit of faith that such a shift would occur, and I don’t get the vibe that many Canadians are ready to take that leap of faith with him. It also doesn’t do much to address the issues of competing in the global labour market, which will still pull the bulk of manufacturing jobs to China, Mexico, and the like.

    All this said, I’m not sure that most voters watching last night will be considering the merits of the positions and policies, so much as who won, who seemed competent, etc…

  29. I’m surprised that Harper being cornered on the Iraq war and his admission that he was wrong to support it is not getting more press attention. It was by far Harper’s weakest moment in the debate.

    Instead of answering as he did, he should have rejected Duceppe’s assertion that he would have sent Canadian troops to Iraq. Back in 2003, all he was advocating for was Canadian support of the mission, which he could have said would have been entirely symbolic (or possibly with a few naval ships). I realize that Harper wanted to turn the discussion away from the Iraq war as soon as possible, but by letting Duceppe pin him down and extract a confession that he was wrong, Harper looked weak.

  30. Josh, Harper’s admission that he was wrong to support the Iraq invasion was long overdue. He should have shifted this monkey off his back ages ago by saying: I was misled by the erroneous reports about weapons of mass destruction. There were many others like him, including Iggy, deputy leader of the Liberal party.

  31. Josh, he and Stockwell Day penned an editorial explicitly calling for Canadian soldiers to join our allies in Iraq. It is a matter of public record, so I don’t see why Tories deny this point.

    I think we were right to keep our noses out of that war, either morally or in hard military support. I saw no imminent threat that meant the UN inspection process couldn’t continue. Even if they had those mobile bioweapon labs, it doesn’t suggest that they had any intention of immediately attacking anyone. If the pretext was to remove a dictatorship and install a democratic government, I would be skeptical because of the oil at stake, but I could otherwise find it easier to support (and this is why I did support the Iraq war).

  32. JMD, that would have put Harper is the awkward position of saying that Bush’s administration lied to him.

  33. Josh wrote: “Back in 2003, all he was advocating for was Canadian support of the mission, which he could have said would have been entirely symbolic (or possibly with a few naval ships).”

    Here’s a paragraph from Harper’s 2003 speech to the House:

    “However, to have the future once again of a great country, we must do more than stand with our friends in the United States. We must rediscover our own values. We must remember that this country was forged in large part by war, terrible war, but not because it was terrible and not because it was easy, but because at the time it was right.”

    If that’s not an explicit call for Canada to take up arms against Iraq, I don’t know what is. There is nothing symbolic in what he said there – he invoked our history of entering “terrible” wars because the causes were right. And that history wasn’t one of symbolic or moral support – it was one of real troops engaging in armed conflicts.

    “We must do more than stand with our friends in the United States,” said Harper. Someone explain to me how that can realistically mean anything but using our military. And don’t hide in semantic nuances, please.

    I tend to think that dredging up Iraq and invoking the ghost of Bush are getting increasingly tangental to the policies of today (though more relevant than the conservatives want them to be). But I also think that Freddie Firewall ought to grow himself a set and explain some pretty radical shifts in his moral convictions.

  34. Warren Kinsella used a hockey analogy this morning on CTV but golf works a lot better for this format.

    Harper protected his lead, made the short puts, laid up on the long holes instead of pushing for the green and was able to get out of the sand trap when he needed.

    Layton charged the whole round, pushing the pack and stretching for the greens to catch the leader.

    Dion had his eye on the leader board too much, worried about the pack around him, played to the level of the group around him, settling for just coming in the money, not realy vying for the lead.

    Duceppe was the old pro, cool on the approach shots, tricky on the green, but never really in the game. Can turn in a good round or two, not enought to win, but enough to please the fan base.

    May was the longshot newcomer. After barely qualifying she showed she has a few tricks in her bag, a bit of an unconventional swing maybe, and too inconsistent to be a real threat. Had a good round, has now arrived on the tour.

  35. I suppose Harper fans (and others) believe he’s only as bad as his last movie.

    I’ve never bought into that trope. People are as good as their best achievement and as bad as their most pitiable.

    Harper’s disastrous position on Iraq (…not to mention the firewall and Canada’s status as a Northern European welfare state) is pretty awful. I can’t think of any worse actions than those.

    My question is…what good has he done?

  36. “No knock-out punches thrown in two-hour street brawl” -Greg Weston

    @Andrew: Drink!

  37. Elizabeth May’s left-wing ideology made Jack Layton sound like a Bay Street banker in comparison. (sorry, Jack)

    However, it is wrong to say she will not win a seat. I predict that the Greens will win their first real seat in Parliament in Vancouver Centre where I believe Adriane Carr is likely to topple Hedy Fry in a stunnning upset.

  38. Does anyone know if May has a hope in hell against MacKay in Central Nova?

  39. Uh, I think it’s been noted elsewhere (Radwanski) that this particular poll was conducted half way (yes, that’s 50%, 1/2) through the debate. Can we just stop please.

  40. I would really like to see Coyne write a piece on how the media covers the election, and how this coverage may or may not materially affect the election. Do other people share this concern? If so, what can be done to change this?

  41. JMD/Andrew/Sean – I have no doubt that in 2003, Harper would have sent troops to Iraq. I was merely trying to point out how he could have nonetheless refuted that assertion last night.

    So yes, when combining all of our answers, it seems like his best response (instead of stammering out an ‘yes, i was wrong’ under pressure) would have been to say i) he was misled by faulty intelligence ii) he wasn’t alone (see: Ignatieff), and iii) having already invested in the war in afghanistan, Canada did not even have the capability of making a meaningful military contribution to the war, so any Canadian support would have been largely symbolic (which he could claim was all he was trying to provide, rather than chastise them as the liberals at the time did)

    But yes, that kind of lengthy response would almost surely have invited a lengthy discussion about a topic Harper clearly wanted no part of.

  42. I think overall Harper did ok, but found it very odd that he requested more time on the economy when in fact, he had absolutely nothing to say about it. And yes, he is dead wrong about jobs and mortgages in this country. I know people that are dangerously close to losing their homes. I personally am dangerously close to losing my job as the markets continue to sink. No one is lending, and a lot of companies (private and public) depend on the financial markets. Companies such as Angiotech Pharma have had their stock value shrink by a third in the past few weeks, and I wonder how this will affect their 1500 employees?

  43. Two Cents – I agree, Hedy Fry is in trouble. It’s stunning how badly the liberals are doing in BC.

    It’s entirely possible that when this is all said and done, the liberals win only 3 or 4 seats west of southern ontario. That’s absolutely unbelievable.

  44. Doug – I think Harper only requested more time on the economy as a tactic to change the newsleads away from his plagarized iraq war speech.

  45. I have to admit to being shocked by the fact that this poll was conducted *halfway through the debate*. I get that it was likely a time crunch – last night’s festivities got underway an hour later than the French debate – but really, would it have killed us to have to wait until the next morning to find out who, according to the viewers, “won” the debate? It seems borderline irresponsible, given the fact that anything could have happened in that last hour.

  46. Have no trust in online instant polls.

    The reality is that Harper was pummeled for 2 hours from all sides, and looked quite shallow and unprofessional at times.

    On Iraq, he looked terrible.

    No platform?

    The discussion on arts and culture made him look vindictive.

    His plan for “intensity” targets makes him look stupid if you understand the concept and the critique.

    Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe were very impressive.

    Dion did just OK — to me, he seems progressive and honest, but he also looks like a little boy who just lost his puppy dog and wants it “back”.

    Layton was consistent but I hate the way in which he prefaces his statements with tonnes of fluff. He was most clear in his comments on Afghanistan.

    Very nice to see the diversity of political opinion in Canada. Face it: the four opposition parties are united in spirit against the neoconservative agenda.

    Harper will get a minority, but won’t stay in power long.

  47. Oh, harper will have a ton to say about the economy.

    Starting october 15th.

  48. +/-, 19 of 20, 50% of each respondent.

  49. This election isn’t about mandates or majorities. Its about draining the coffers of the parties that represent the majority of Canadians so the Tories can provide the best democracy money can buy later on down the road.

  50. “Oh, harper will have a ton to say about the economy.

    Starting october 15th.”

    Quite right. I expect he’ll be saying a ton of:

    …………… has been worse than expected.

    Our fundamentals are strong, but nevertheless we cannot avoid the global impact of …………….

    Nobody could have predicted………………

    The Liberal legacy of …………………. is largely responsible for ………………..

    While it’s true that ……………… is suggestive of the coming of the apocalypse, I urge Canadians to ………………………

    and finally,

    Friends, I’ve got a recipe for ketchup soup you might want. It’s a nice change from Ramen noodles for dinner……..

  51. Kady: I’m a bit shocked too. That’s borderline dishonest, considering that none of the reportage mentioned it was done halfway through, and certainly throws the accuracy of the results into doubt.

    Online polls aren’t terribly impressive to begin with, as they’re rife with self-selection and biased in favor of those with the time, motivation, and equipment to engage in them, but this…

  52. By the by, I suspect that Harper’s pollyanna attitude towards the economy isn’t going to serve him very well. Even if he wins this election, it’s unlikely to be a majority. And if it isn’t a majority, he faces the distinct possibility of going up against either a more experienced Dion or another leader that’s a more formidable communicator in English.

    If the Canadian economy does tank, his rhetoric during this election could get him diced up in the next.

  53. Sean S. – “Does anyone know if May has a hope in hell against MacKay in Central Nova ?”

    In a word , NO! The riding is made up of three counties. Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough.

    Antigonish and Guysborough traditionally have been swing areas but for years they were part of a riding associated with a large portion of Cape Breton and were the personal fiefdom of Allan J. MacEachern. After he retired, the riding was assumed to belong to a series of his assistants and that was true for the first of his boys, Francis LeBlanc.
    At which point the Cape Breton portion of the riding was lopped off and the two mainland counties were associated with Pictou County, which dominates the riding by population and historically has been yellow dog Tory federally. The Tories have been weakening as people gradually realize that these guys are not your granny’s Tories. But they are not there yet.

  54. Thanks Sis!

  55. I, for one, am sick and tired of Dion maligning the state of our economy.

    Voters must be getting sick and tired of the lies dished up by the opposition all the time. Everyone with two eyes and half-working brain knows that Harper is no Bush. Everyone knows that Canada is not America – yes, we are indeed quite different on many levels.

    What’s even more sickening to voters concerned about the current global economic uncertainty is the constant talking-down of Canada’s economy by Dion, who seems to pray every day for a major disaster to strike Canada, so that he can benefit from it somehow. It wouldn’t be surprising if Dion’s ongoing negativity about Canada were somehow responsible for the recent downturn of Canada’s stock and commodities markets. Say it long and often enough, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Canadians should be deeply offended by Dion’s dumping on Canada and its economic health.

    Jeffrey Simpson, who is not a Conservative at all, admitted today that the opposition leaders were all about spreading falsehoods and that the format was unfair to Harper.

    See here:

  56. Jarrid
    “Liberals gambled on Dion. Dion gambled on the environment. Both wagers have been miserably lost. The chickens have come home to roost.”

    Yep. Jarrid hit it right on the money. Dion gambled that we’d have a nice heat wave this summer, during which he’d be able to run around screaming “Global Warming!”. It was a miserably cool and wet summer. Then we’d have an endless series of hurricanes – and that stopped just in time for the election. Then maybe we’d have an unusually warm early Autumn. Nope, not that either.

    Remember, Dion was selected as leader right after a Christmas without snow or frost, but miserable gray rain. Jarrid’s right – the Liberals gambled and lost. But who knows, they could have handed the Conservatives Bob Rae as leader, just in time for an economic meltdown. Harper would have had a field day.

  57. Canadians should be deeply offended by Dion’s dumping on Canada and its economic health.

    Sure Warren.

    What is your comment about this and this?

    Yup. The nerve…the sheer audacity…of Dion to scare hard working Canadians.

    “The fundamentals…are strong”.


  58. It’s the undecided(like me)that will make it or break it(majority) for PMSH. Right now it will be a Harper minority if my vote has anything to do with it.

  59. Mr. Coyne

    If you fancy yourself as one of Canada’s top political pundits, then maybe shouldn’t be pumping a partial poll, or drawing any definitive conclusion from that flawed basis.

    When Ipsos polled the Quebec debate, it was in it’s full. This one was completed after the first HOUR OF THE DEBATE. Yes, yes, let’s base our decision on a halftime poll, especially when Dion got better in the part that was omitted. This poll is a gigantic yawn, it’s actually kind of stupid when you think about. Hey Detroit, you’re up 2-0 in the cup finals, here’s lord stanley fellas! Please.

    If you want to see something interesting, go check the leadership numbers from NANOS. I’ve never seen such a dramatic jump, it’s quite astonishing really.

  60. Amazing what a little time with Dion, MINUS the smear dollars, can do for his image, isn’t it?

  61. I found this reply over on Radwanski’s blog. According to Bricker the poll is valid;


    You’re blog is wrong about when our on-line poll was taken last night. True, the questionnaire did open half way through the debate, but it didn’t close until the last 30 minutes of the debate. Your blog implies that responses only covered the first hour of the debate. This is factually incorrect. Please correct the record.


    Darrell Bricker

    Chief Executive Officer

    Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

  62. I would really like to see Coyne write a piece on how the media covers the election….
    Mr. Coyne covered this serious debate in an asinine blog with Paul Wells and some other fools. Did he not have a little gravitas at one time?

  63. The Liberals are truly grasping at straws. Last night Stephan looked into the camera and on bended knee, almost began to cry. He lost all sense of statesmanship by saying’ “you can not trust this man” This man happens to be our Prime Minister Mr. Dion as elected by us, and is likely to get re-elected by us. So get off your knees, stop winning and show more respect and less juvenile emotion. Then there’s good old Bob Rae, who found an old speech from the days when Prime Minister Harper was leader of the opposition. Regrettably his speech writer took a section from a John Howard speech. is this as bad as Stephan Dion taking a section from David Suzuki’s web site and blending it with his own hype? Rae certainly isn’t offended by plagiarism. But he is pretty good at taking a cheap shot below the belt.

  64. “So get off your knees, stop winning ”

    I’m sure Dion will do his best to stop winning.

  65. “I have to admit to being shocked by the fact that this poll was conducted *halfway through the debate*.”

    Kady, it’s actually a bit worse. See comment above. It started at the 1-hour mark, and shut down 30 minutes later.

  66. Is this information even worth looking at when it is sanctioned by a very biased Canwest and uses such a small sampling? This is scientism at its worst.

  67. Guilty by Association?…This is a clear tactic used by Obama in his campaign- associate Bush with McCain until one is seen as the other. The Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui does this all the time with Harper and Bush. This type of smear is ingenuous, cheap, and desperate but to some extent effective. And as Haroon must know, two can play the game. For instance Haroon could be associated with the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and a host of other Islamic radicals. This certainly wouldn’t be fair or would it be accurate or would it be honest. But it would be mischievous and desperate. And if Harron can play this game with Harper and Bush why can’t others play it with him and the radicals? Maybe it’s time for responsible reporting.

  68. Gee Whiz, a voluntary participant online poll circulated by Asper controlled Can West that wants the CBC gone to buy up and control mainstream media market share. What did I say? I said an voluntary participant online poll… we can stop right there.

    The methodology of such polls are proven junk science. So Can West juices the numbers and writes propaganda opinion pieces to get their puppet Harper in to relax CRTC regs and privatize the CBC for greater market share (yawn).

    Sadly, the rest of Canada’s mainstream media including Macleans and the CBC want to help Can West along by giving such polls any credit at all.

  69. http://www.thestar.com/federalelection/article/419595

    Check out the disparency of the pollsters. When one follows which pollsters are under contract to whom, and ask the question of who will benefit with the CBC privatized coupled with what could happen if Quebecor doesn’t climb out of Chapter 11 bankrupcy, it isn’t hard to see major propaganda at play here with the polls.

    Angus Reid voluntary online methodology junk science polls? Asper family controlled Can West juiced polls followed by propaganda spin.

    Strategic Council? Woodbridge family controlled Thompson Reuters which controls CTV globemedia & G & M. and has a director sitting on Roger cable board. Same thing. Juiced numbers followed by opinoion propaganda to get their puppet plant Harper majority to privatize the CBC allowing CTV Globemedia to capture market share.

    The smell of propaganda from our Canadian mainstream media is getting pretty ripe, Andrew.

  70. I’m really frustrated with the level of narcissism in this election. This election has proved to be centred on one thing and one thing only – that is who is best qualified to be “in charge”. Yet the reality is that none of the leaders are nor can they ever truly be said to be “in charge” – at least not in this world where power, resources and knowledge are so widely distributed.

    Not one of the leaders, no matter how you want to spin it, can solve the complex problems Canadians face by themselves and without the willing help of a vast array of other Canadians and Canadian organizations. The claims of leaders to being the best person to be “in-charge” are therefore completely vacuous. So what are we voting for?

    Certainly not about ideas or policy! We’ve heard little if at all about competing strategies for health, or for dealing with the growing economic uncertainties, or foreign policy, or immigration policy or a host of other issues like climate change, education, innovation, energy sustainability, infrastructure quality, or even that erstwhile of all Canadian issues Canadian identity and national unity.

    The single issue of any substance – the carbon tax proposed by the Liberals – was successfully positioned by opponents as a tax grab despite its commitment to tax neutrality to the extent the Liberals have largely dropped discussion of it from their agenda. Therefore, if the single choice we have in this election is to choose the person to be “in-charge” and that choice is entirely bogus, then again what are we voting for?

    The election has played out much like a cheap, celebrity reality show. Candidates seek to portray themselves to select voter groups as likeable, normal, “just like them” citizens who if elected will return numerous benefits to that group for their support. “Just trust us,” they proclaim. Give us the keys to the treasury and we’ll see to it that you’ll get paid too.

    It seems like the parties have plagiarized again, only this time stealing their election strategies from the classic Nigerian email scam that promises me a cut of some ill gotten gains if only I provide my bank account number. Meanwhile party leaders rip apart competing challengers like a pack of junk yard dogs, demonstrating their utter disdain for thoughtful dialogue and the citizens they seem so eager to represent.

    And while we are mesmerized by the “Survivor Canada” antics of celebrity politicians, they steal our rights as citizens and owners in common of this great country.

    How else can we understand this incessant pursuit of personality? There is no talk about anything serious. Kim Campbell’s honest but self-defeating comments about the lack of substance during elections are once again upheld. If it’s all about the person, then you can’t be trapped into taking a position on anything. It results in a campaign that steals the legitimate right of citizens to collectively decide their own future.

    The incessant message is “our candidate is a nice person – just like you – and therefore you can trust them to look after you”. Somehow if they are seen to be like us, we don’t have to trouble ourselves with our rights and obligations as citizens, or to be informed or to make any decisions ourselves on issues. “Don’t worry about those messy issues”, the election machinery purrs, “our wise leader will take care of you”. This is not the process of a democracy but the scam of a con artist.

    We thoughtlessly discard our rights to decision-making as citizens in favour of promised entitlements and the comfort of patronizing paternalism. Our democratic “choice” boils down to a bland pabulum for choosing the “Father of our Country” (a personal moniker coincidentally favoured by Stalin). The choice of which future might be ours is thus abdicated to the ‘wise leader’ who will decide in their own time and inform us or not if it suits them. Remember, this is also a system where it is almost impossible to obtain the voting record of your elected representative, so once elected there is no way for you to determine whether they are acting in your interests or not.

    Unfortunately the only real choice remaining that can re-assert the right of citizenship is None of the Above. Holding your nose and choosing the least objectionable candidate only confirms this decaying process of democracy. It only continues to re-affirm a romanticized notion of leadership that leaves room for neither citizens nor democracy.

    Only by choosing None of the Above can we begin the process of restoring our status as owners and re-establishing our elected representatives as our agents. If you find an agent that continually puts their interests over yours, that ceases to be transparent, that obfuscates your decision making then that agent must be dismissed otherwise you only incentivize their further disloyalty.

    Only the choice of None of the Above can affirm that the status quo of the current political process is unacceptable. Only that choice can demand that space be made in elections for real debate on issues. Only that choice can encourage forums where we can actually learn from each other, and help us to creatively and cooperatively design approaches capable of guiding us into the future.

    If you believe in democracy, then voting None of the Above is the only way of not surrendering your citizenship to those who fundamentally do not value either citizens or democracy. On election day, people should demonstrate their courage to say the “emperor has no clothes” and write in None of the Above on their ballot.

  71. Chris, if you don’t choose among what’s given, then abrogating your choice will only allow people set an agenda that is completely at odds with your own convictions.


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