Liberals have plenty of reasons to be excited and worried

Tease the day: Will a polling boost and popular presumptive leader actually benefit the party?


John Woods/CP

Tomorrow, Liberals will gather in Toronto and hear from the six people who hope to lead the party. Yesterday, a couple of polls showed that Liberals are in a good position to fight an election, and that they’d do exceedingly well if Justin Trudeau led the party into the expected 2015 campaign. Today, Liberals must be wondering how much of this is for real.

The polls aren’t surprising. Way back in January, Aaron Wherry predicted an “inevitable post-leadership bump in the polls” that, evidently, came a couple of weeks early. As the National Post‘s John Ivison writes today, such a numbers boost is largely thanks to Trudeau’s status as “a giant blank screen” that allows voters to “project their own image of what a Trudeau government would mean.” Whether those polling numbers last is, as usual, an open question.

We also learn that ticket sales for this weekend’s Liberal showcase are dismal, and even if all the seats are filled, the party won’t exactly be turning people away at the door.

Boosted polling, dismal interest. Presumptive winner, blank screen. For these Liberals, nothing is yet certain.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the feds’ planned cuts to aboriginal affairs and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The National Post fronts North Korea’s latest attempts to intimidate South Korea and the United States. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a pair of Ontarians victimized by diluted chemotherapy treatments. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the rising costs of a new Department of National Defence campus in Ottawa’s west end. iPolitics fronts Canada’s limited diplomatic sway in IraqCBC.ca leads with a Canadian offshore company’s role in a dramatic Russian heist that disbursed millions of dollars among a number of shell corporations. National Newswatch showcases the Liberal Party’s “mini-convention” in Toronto that features six remaining leadership candidates.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Disability settlement. Veterans with disabilities who had pensions clawed back, some for decades, won an $887-million settlement that federal court officially approved yesterday. 2. NDP budget. Nova Scotia’s NDP yesterday tabled a balanced budget—with a surplus of $16.4 million—in the same year the party will fight to win re-election for the first time ever.
3. Female executives. Arlene Dickinson, a successful entrepreneur and long-time member of CBC’s Dragons Den, will advise the government about how to get more women in boardrooms. 4. Neglected diseases. A new report suggests Canadian universities commit less than three per cent of research funding to so-called “neglected diseases” that afflict a billion people worldwide.

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Liberals have plenty of reasons to be excited and worried

  1. An important strategic consideration is whether JT can translate his personal ability to generate donations into a sustainable funding base for the entire party. The pundits seem to forget that one of the reasons the Liberals were so pathetic during the early Harper minority governments is that they were completely fiscally outgunned and as a result terrified of an election. That allowed Harper to govern as a majority and appear rather Prime Ministerial while making the Liberals look foolish by opposing & abstaining (or backing down).

    If JT can close the fiscal imbalance between the Conservatives and the Liberals that will be an achievement comparable to SH reuniting the right. My suspicion is that the rewards would be similar, in part because of the importance of aggressive advertising before & during elections and in part because SH then, JT now both faced with governments well past their “best before” dates.

    • Bingo! When JT’s fundraising numbers were released, I was also questioning weather that was “new” money, or simply Liberal party donors sending their money to JT instead of the party HQ. Will be interesting to see the results.

    • You are dreaming in technicolor yoyos. Liberalism is dead, regardless of the polls. Justin Trudeau is a dead dog. Liberalism is out of fashion in three major provinces after a decade of political and economic troubles. In Quebec the federal vote is divided four ways and liberalism is gone. Without Queerbec, no liberalism in Ottawa. The Quebec regime in Ottawa 1968-2006 divided French-Canada into (soft) separatism and federalism to deny the Western establishment political power, and to protect the eastern cartels. The political and economic irrationalism of the inferior ruling class of the morbid eastern establishment has caught up with the evil elites: Jean Chretien went into politics in 1963 with empty pockets but when he retired after 40 years, his family had amassed a personal fortune of 5 billion dollars: “Politics is a game of friends,” [Straight From the Heart]. Last but not least, the pulp and paper industry of eastern Canada was killed by the digital age. What matters in politics and economics is truth and reality. As Ronnie used to say, the facts are very inconvenient things. Arrest, convict and execute the criminal ruling class. It is guilty of high treason.
      Hi Andy, how’s life?

  2. Does Ivison ever print anything that hasn’t come directly from the desk of the PMO? Just curious.

    • Is Justin ever going to tell? Or is he waiting to hear form his handler’s main desk?

      Justin – carbon tax, yes or no?

      • I see that the PMO has responded. You are one of those public employees we are paying to ‘correct information and inform Canadians’ on comment boards aren’t you? Glad to see our taxes hard at work.

        • Close, but no cigar!

          I’m an independent researcher studying how paranoid some people are. Depending on the level of paranoia, the polls will shift either this way or that way. That’s the way it goes.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • I know you are, but what am I?

      • What does this have to do with my snide remark about Ivison? It’s a bit early for a weekday nip, I’d say.

        • Well,, seems that you are curious (see your post). I am curious too. We have that in common.

          Have you heard what Justin is going to do with a carbon tax? Or are you here to just stall for him?

          • I don’t care what he plans either way. He’s not getting my vote, nor is his party. The Liberals in Nova Scotia (federal and provincial) have always been too eager to reward their backers and friends with plum positions when they acheive power for my tastes. That hasn’t changed in my lifetime, and likely won’t by 2015. It is a party that thrives on a “who do you know?” attitude that can quickly slide into corruption, and placing Trudeau in the leader’s position won’t change that, despite his positive qualities. I don’t know why you’d think that I would support the Liberal Party, aside from the fact that I’m critical of the Harper Government, which is about 8000x worse than any Liberal government we’ve suffered.

          • Sorry to say, but you have completely missed my point.

            Let me try and explain more explicitly:

            Because Justin has not spoken out on anything of importance to this country, it is abundantly clear now that Harper is the only one who can be attacked at this time because it is Harper who has in fact taken a stand.

            As soon as Justin takes a stand, the political landscape will change completely; not just for Harper, but for the sake of the comments being made on the comment boards.

            I can understand why Justin does not make a stand on anything of importance. He, and his handlers, are laughing their heads of, now that the topic of discussion can be all Harper centered. That won’t last forever, unless Canadians prefer for Justin to remain an empty sheet of nothing much. Perhaps Canadians like to be taken for fools for a while longer. Hey, what can I say? Would anything I say please you?

          • You have completely lost your mind. I commented on Ivison’s obvious writing bias, and you respond with a completely unrelated attack on Trudeau, for no apparant reason. Try less sauce.

          • So, according to you, we must compartmentalize our understanding of how politics works? Or, according to you (?), we must compartmentalize politics, period.

            Why would you consider Ivison’s commenting to be biased if he is merely trying to set things into perspective, from his perspective?

            Must we all have take in the same perspective? THAT would be too boring for being here. At least for me!

          • No, I’m just saying that your comment made no sense as a response to my comment. It was fair comment on the article in general, I just don’t understand why you felt it was an appropriate response to my Ivison poke.

          • Do you dislike that Trudeau is following Harper’s strategy of not giving any policy details until about 10 days before the election?

  3. Nothing will be real about Justin Trudeau until he will tell what he’s going to do:

    Justin – carbon tax, yes or no?

    • Is a carbon tax the only issue of consequence?

      Newsflash, Francien: we already have a carbon tax in Canada. Harper even has one, in the form of a 10 cent excise duty on gasoline which he has decided to impose on Canadians for the past 7 years. Clearly he does not believe carbon taxes (even one equivalent to $40 per tonne of CO2 on gasoline) to be the end of the world, or he would have eliminated the tax.

      I personally support a carbon tax, particularly one where the proceeds are used to reduce other more economically harmful taxes (the BC model, which is working well). But, this is not the only issue that matters.

  4. No real battle plan. Resort to trench warfare. Get massacred by enemy gunfire when they finally go over the top in 2015.

  5. Justin Tru-doh! Drama teacher yesterday. Wanna be PM today. Lord help us if another kebec politician tries to run this country.

    • So why is it okay to put down Quebec and its politicians, but look out if anyone criticizes Alberta? I don’t get that.

      • we Albertans do enough criticising of the Alberta government for the whole country. with the transfer of payments to provinces like (oh my) poor Quebec, Alberta is nearly bankrupt. student fees have risen, programs have been cut, nursing home and hospital beds closed. all because Quebec thinks it deserves oil revenue. and what do we see in the news, greedy Quebec students rioting and complaining that they shouldn’t have to pay higher tuition, even though the are the lowest paying in the first place. If that happened in Alberta, all hell would break loose in Quebec about our greed

  6. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, stupid garbage magazine, April Fools was 6 days ago.Dumb dipcrap and lieberals.

  7. Iam sick and tried of Harpers lies and Communist style of governing this country. We need a leader to have ACCOUNTABILITY to the taxpayers. We need to downsize and to open up all government policies with a completely SEPERATE AGENCY of personel who can’t be treatened by Harper. We need to strip all wages and pensions from officials who waste and spend taxpayer’s money on themselves and there lifestyes. The biggest thing we need to do is distance ourself from the USA as much as possible.

  8. We have had enough of the old Liberal and Conservative parties who have run our country into the ground since Confederation. It doesn’t matter who the Liberals or Conservatives have as leaders, they will change nothing other than to continue serving the agenda of the rich and greedy and their game of Monopoly. It’s time, to clean up shop and vote for the NDP to lead this country out of the same old same old cyclical rut that the Liberals and Conservatives have each put us into. The Green Party would make a great opposition working with the NDP to end the Liberal and the Conservative reign and bring our country out of the Dark Ages and into Modernity. As the great Tommy Douglas would put it, it is time for the Mice to vote the Liberal and Conservative cats out of office and support Mice for office and leadership of our country.

  9. the liberal seem to be four footed because they have shot themselves three time already and about to do it again

    ..lets hope the liberal have not borrowed those rose coloUred glasses that the Americans used to elect their leader…lots of words but no substance

  10. Why is Macleans trying to influence the vote for Liberal leader by this week’s poll and all the articles that simply assume he has won? I recall days when politics and media had a tad more distance. Trudeau’ position on environmental issues is not very far from the current fiasco, as opposed to Joyce Murray, who has a very different agenda. She has been called the Dark Horse. Who knows. Perhaps an experienced candidate with a real agenda will rise up and lead this country back to greatness.

  11. Regardless of what the polls say, liberalism is dead. Trudeau is a dead dog. In three major provinces liberalism is dead after a decade. In Queerbec the federal vote is divided four ways and provincial liberalism is out of power after a decade of economic and political troubles. You are dreaming in technicolor yoyos. Without Quebec, no liberalism in Ottawa. The Quebec regime in Ottawa 1968-2006 divided French-Canada into separatism and federalism, to deny the Western establishment political power in Canada, and to protect the eastern cartels: Jean Chretien went into politics in 1963 but when he retired after forty years, his family had amassed a personal fortune worth 5 billion dollars: “Politics is a game of friends.” The political and economic irrationalism of the inferior ruling class of the morbid eastern establishment has caught up with the evil elites. Last but not least, the pulp and paper industry of Quebec was killed by the digital age. What matters in politics is truth and reality. As Ronnie used to say, the facts are very inconvenient things. Arrest, convict and execute the criminal ruling class. It is guilty of high treason.

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