Magic 17% - Macleans.ca

Magic 17%

by

Stéphane Dion’s popularity is soaring in Quebec!!!! Here I use “soaring” in its Globe and Mail election-time headline meaning, which is to say, it is not soaring. The monthly CROP is out, providing an excellent opportunity for our LIberal-leaning readers from Toronto and points west to complain that, since they’ve never heard of CROP, it must be a bogus poll.

This month (here’s my post on last month’s for comparison) there is movement all over. Bloc’s up three points to 31%, Tories up one to 28%, the NDP down 2 to 18% and the Liberals — well, the Liberals are down 5 points to 15%. This is because Dion refuses to let himself get drawn into the tired old politics of “winning” and “attracting more support than your opponents.” The fate of the planet is at stake, and if the Dion Liberals need to send some of their support to the Bloc and the Tories for the sake of a Liberal victory, well, it’s just too bad for those narrow-minded, backwards types who don’t understand that kind of generosity.

The NDP’s slight decline, incidentally, will be preoccupying for Jack Layton, but may actually alleviate another larger source of concern that had so far escaped many commentators (i.e. me): if the NDP’s Quebec support is about double their 2006 score, then you should effectively knock a couple points off when considering their national results, because twice the 2006 support isn’t enough to win NDP seats in Quebec but it does suggest their support elsewhere is softer than in 2006. Which means they could lose seats.

Back to Dion. With numbers like this in Quebec, he’d better hope the NDP loses 40 or 50 seats in the rest of the country if he hopes to win the election. The really good news, however, is that 17% of Quebecers think Dion would make a good prime minister. This compares to “one third” (the story gives no numerical value) who think the same of Harper and 27% who think Layton would make the best prime minister. Why is this good news? Because Harper and Layton have nowhere to grow. This is precisely how Dion won the Liberal leadership. He started at 18% support on the first ballot. So if the next federal election goes to four ballots…Dion could win this thing!!!!

UPDATE: As if on cue, Katie Couric reaches her own new personal low. The competition between Kouric and Dion is now fierce.