Maybe an Inch and a Half

Not long ago, I wrote that the commitment of Canadians to the environment was a continent wide and an inch deep. Herewith, the latest Issues poll from Ipsos Reid:

Asked what subject voters most wanted the party leaders and candidates to address during the campaign, the economy was listed as the No. 1 concern by 24 per cent of respondents, while health care came in second at 17 per cent, and the environment and taxes were each listed as most important by 14 per cent of those surveyed.

This is beyond Bad News for the Liberals and the campaign they’re hanging on the Green Shift. Yes it is just one poll, but I don’t see anything here that Dion could even start to chip away at. It means that the election is basically just a referendum on Harper’s leadership. Dion needs to shut up about carbon taxes immediately, and start hitting Harper hard — so hard, he should consider hiring Coyne as his speechwriter.

They also need to get Ignatieff and Rae into the game. It was probably a deliberate strategy to make Dion carry the first week of the campaign, but the Liberals are forgetting (or ignoring) the simple fact: the Liberal brand has remained strong over the past few years despite the leadership of men like Paul Martin and Stephane Dion, not because of it.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.