Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ole ole, and leadership polling numbers

I’m a BCer in Boston today. After a two-hour delay on the tarmac in Toronto because of a “hookey switch” as the captain put it, I’m in Beantown. It’s a business trip, but today is pleasure, as I’ve got tickets for game three tonight in the Bruins/Canadiens playoff game.

I’ve just been for a walk down to TD Banknorth Garden to pick up my ticket (why must all these new arenas look the same?) and some lunch in Quincy Market, and the town is crawling with Habs jerseys, worn by jubilant fans signing Ole Ole through the streets. They certainly are exuberant. Saw a group near Faneuil Hall with a homemade Stanley Cup…easy mes amis, 14 wins to go.

Really looking forward to the game tonight though, I’ll post pictures tomorrow. First though, for my political content I wanted to comment briefly on the leadership polling numbers referenced by Steve, showing Dion is a drag on the Liberal brand:

The question was asked, how would voter intention change if the various party leaders left? For the Conservatives, their support would drop a full 6 points if they replaced Harper. The NDP support would drop another 3 points in Layton was replaced. The Liberal support is the anomaly, our numbers would rise 3 points if Dion wasn't the leader.

I don’t disagree with any of Steve’s analysis, I just wanted to add something about the numbers he didn’t. I don’t dispute their badness, but I think, frankly, all those numbers need to be taken with a slight grain of salt, because as far as I can tell the poll doesn’t ask about potential replacements.

Ask if you’d vote for the Liberals if Dion weren’t the leader, that’s one thing. It lets you imagine the leader is whomever you want it to be. What I’d like to know, is what would the number be if Bob Rae were the leader, or Michael Ignatieff? Would we gain more than we’d lose with one or the other?

The number might drop more if there’s a name attached…without a name while the number is certainly noteworthy, it’s only a piece of the picture. Either way, let's get Dion's numbers up.

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6 comments:

The Pontificator said...

Jeff,

You know how muc we are compadre on so many issues/discussions. You also know that I am alll about the Party, not the personalities.

Here's the problem I see with your post. (Kinda what I said above) IT IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT THE PEOPLE PRESENTED TO THE ELECTORATE, BUT ABOUT HOW THE PEOPLE WE PRESENT TO THE ELECTORATE CAN EXPLAIN AND EXEMPFLIFY 'LIBERAL" PRINCIPLES, VALUES AND POLICIES.

Sorry for the yelling. St├ęphane Dion is a great mind, with a strong foundation in Liberalism (much more credible than most because of his academic background and how he came to Liberalism (way of thinking or ideology) but he came to us for a, if I might put it this way, "single purpose". All of his other attributes (which are significant), do not automatically a leader make.

Note, I am trying to be careful here with semantics, which inlcudes "Caps" and "lower case".

So, my long wat round to respond to your post is that Dion is not a drag on the Liberal brand - he doesn't fit with the preverbial Liberal brand. (Discuss)

MississaugaJoan said...

If Dion is only a few point drag on the Liberals, I would bet that the drag on Liberals would be double-digit if Iggy (or "The Deputy", as his fundraisers call him) or Rae (lets make hi, our last "Ray" of Hope, I call him) were leader.

Pissed off at the lack of election over Afghanistan or the Budget. Now must wait for the economy to tank or environment to become a major issue among Canadians again. In the mean time, we must back Dion.

Go HABS! Go FLAMES!

The Pontificator said...

M__Joan

If you are a liberal member, how long have you been one and why did you join in the first place?

(in case you are wondering, I first he joined the Federal Party (I began my involvement provincially) in 1978 and have not lapsed since)

Forward Looking Canadian said...

Getting a new leader will not change anything. The party needs to decide today that it will rebuild itself. Forget about elections, forget about leadership politics, but the MACHINE needs to be rebuilt.

Policy convention, new ideas, new network of younger people, all of these things are needed. The leader won't matter until the machine is primed.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Pontificator, I don't dispute deeper issues. I agree Stephane is a great mind, it's a strategy and style issue we need to address. Anyway, with this post I just wanted to make a narrow point about these poll numbers.

MississaugaJoan said...

The Pontificator,

I prefer to not expose too much of my identity, other than to say, I have been almost as long as you, and for reasons other than having Iggy or Rae leading the federal Liberals. The day that happens, I will no longer be a Federal Liberal (and will go Green). Until that day, I will do everything in my power, how limited it may be, to avoid me having to join the Greens.