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Morning memo: The Conservatives take a commanding lead in the polls, Pauline Marois makes a case for the Bloc, and Elizabeth May says she’s no Ralph Nader


 

BEST PHOTO:

POLL OF THE DAY:

The latest Nanos Research poll puts the Conservatives over the mythical 40% hump that’s widely thought to signal majority territory.

Conservatives: 40%

Liberals: 25%

NDP: 19%

Green: 8%

Bloc Québécois: 9%

BEST QUOTES:

Stephen Harper, on the effects the U.S. credit crisis might have on the Canadian economy: “All the fundamentals of the Canadian economy are good. It’s not the time to do anything new, wild or stupid.”

Stéphane Dion, on the effects the U.S. credit crisis might have on the Canadian economy: “Mr. Harper is perhaps the only Canadian who seems to ignore what is happening in the United States, our largest trading partner. This is the height of irresponsibility.”

Jack Layton, on who’s responsible for high gas prices: “We have to stop gas prices from hurting working families, and saying no to the Campbell-Dion carbon tax is one step — but we must also stop the big oil giants from gouging you at the gas pump.”

Elizabeth May, on the differences between her campaign and Ralph Nader’s in the 2000 U.S. presidential election: “One is, I will never say, ‘all the other guys are the same, you have to vote for us if you care about anything.’ […] Also, unlike Ralph Nader, the Greens in Canada are well positioned to eat into Harper’s votes and we are doing so.”

PQ leader Pauline Marois, in an appearance with Gilles Duceppe, on the relevance of the Bloc Québécois: “Canada has not changed. It is still as centralized, still as insensitive to the needs of Quebec men and women.”

GAFFE OF THE DAY:

It’s bizarre to think of a campaign gaffe as ongoing, but the Liberals’ predilection for public infighting is just that.  A report in The Globe and Mail quotes an anonymous “insider” saying Stéphane Dion isn’t likely to survive a leadership review if he loses to Stephen Harper, while another “long-time Liberal” believes the media is the proper soapbox to deliver his message: “The reason why I am talking to you is because I think at this point there is still a chance to send a message to the campaign as a wake-up call, as there is still time to do something.” Granted, Dion is trailing badly in the polls and the launch of the Liberals’ program has had little effect on the campaign so far. But should fellow Liberals really be the ones pointing it out?

WHERE THEY’RE AT TODAY:

Stephen Harper is in Calgary this morning and will make an appearance at a rally in Toronto later in the day.

Stéphane Dion is in Toronto to start the day, but will spend the afternoon at a farm in Belmont, Ont., before heading to London, Ont., for a rally this evening.

Jack Layton is in Vancouver for a health-care related announcement and will make his way to Surrey, B.C., early this afternoon.

Elizabeth May will spend the day in Montreal before making her way to Drummondville and Quebec City.

Gilles Duceppe is in Warwick to announce the Bloc’s agricultural policy plan.


 

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