Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dion squeezed from all sides

You think it's easy being leader of the official opposition?

The NDP's Thomas Mulcair is taunting the Liberals for "abandoning all claims to being the official opposition" with their refusal to vote against the Government.

And to add insult to injury, the prospects of a future Liberal spending machine have been seriously hampered by recent fiscal policy changes as I had mentioned a short while ago.

The Calgary Herald's Nigel Hannaford lays it all out in a somewhat nightmarish scenario where the Liberals regain power and how their former 'racket' to "overestimate expenses, low ball revenues, and ... come up with a fatter surplus than had been budgetted", likely won't work anymore.

I was going to highlight the best parts of this article, but it's all so good that you'll just have to sit back and read the whole thing.


Dion is out of his league.


* * * *
Update: More pressure on Dion - TORIES FLIRT WITH MAJORITY SUPPORT, POLL FINDS - Globe.


24 comments:

hunter said...

Yup, their wings have been clipped. On Mike Duffy Live just now, 60% of Canadian think the country is going in the right direction, up from 38% in 2005. And 36% think the Conservatives are better able to handle Afghanistan, than 21% for the Liberals.

The polls aren't showing it, but Canadians are getting behind the Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

My mother is a diehard Liberal who's warmed to Harper. Never thought I'd see it but, she actually likes that he's the strong silent type.

Calgary Junkie said...

The Dippers are getting smarter in their rhetorical attacks against the Libs. "Not an effect Opposition" and "In a coalition with the Tories" should play well for Layton on the campaign trail.

I also expect Jack to make the claim that "a vote for the Liberals is a vote for the Conservatives".

And there is also the possibility that, late in the campaign, some Liberal candidates will rebel against Dion. In which case, Layton can again haul out "the Liberals are going to be focused on repairing internal divisions, picking a leader, so lend me your vote, as the NDP will hold Harper accountable"

As Tom Flanagan pointed out in Harper's Team, the Dippers will always have a problem, late in any campaign, of their soft supporters panicking about "scary Harper getting a majority", and going over to the Libs.

I'm sure the Libs are counting on this "panic" dynamic to help them, as it did in 2004. But Layton has a strong set of arguments against it, and seems a lot smarter in how he's positioning his Dippers.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

My mother is a diehard Liberal who's warmed to Harper.

Thank you! You made my day. :)

Möbius said...

I think the NDP is positioning themselves as a logical opposition party, as well. That may well be their campaign focus.

Layton is certainly more lively than Dion, but the NDP will always be seriously hampered in Ontario (Bob Rae, anyone?), where Liberal supporters are known to turn off their critical faculties to vote Liberal, no matter what.

Möbius said...

I have another theory that suggests that Dion is actually not going to support the upcoming budget, but is making supportive noises, just to keep it a surprise.

It's really the only thing that makes sense of his latest musings.
The media-leaky Liberal ship makes this unlikely, but watch and see.

Ron said...

If only the NDP had enough brains to understand the more they demonize Harper, the more soft NDP votes will high tail it to the Liberals to stop scary Harper. If they cared about doing something other than flapping their overpaid jaws, they would tear the Liberals apart at every opportunity and position themselves to become the official opposition. From that juncture, they can start on the Tories and hope the Liberal voters run to them to stop the Conservatives. As long as they keep campaigning for the Liberals by scaring brainless leftwingers into Liberal arms, they will always be nothing more than a gross waste of taxpayers money.

Tomm said...

Joanne,

You're right.

Ron, you're making some good points.

Layton is a problem for the NDP. Hell, let's be honest, the NDP membership is a problem for the NDP. There are more fringe wingnuts in the NDP than in the Green Party. (Did I actually just say that?).

However, if they can send Mulcair out as ther spokesperson, they may be able to fool enough people for a long enough period that they keep the soft Liberal support until the ballot is filled out.

Tomm

Calgary Junkie said...

ron: If only the NDP had enough brains to understand the more they demonize Harper, the more soft NDP votes will high tail it to the Liberals to stop scary Harper.

I'm sure Layton understands that. But the hardcore NDP base hates Harper so much, that they complain when Layton doesn't attack Harper enough ! "Harper bashing" is the red meat they seem to want, no matter what.

Anyway, Layton is getting smarter on how to deal with that politically dumb base of his. He's attacking the Tories and the Liberals at the same time.

And, as Brad Lavigne let slip a few months ago, the Dippers will be attacking Dion directly next campaign. So that will re-inforce the "not a leader" message from us. This all makes sense, as Dion is clearly the weakest player in the game. The Liberal brand is very resilient,and is what is keeping the Libs competitive.

If only the Dippers would change the clunky name of their party to something simple like, say the Labor Party, that would help them.

OMMAG said...

If the Dippers changed their name to Labour they'd have to apologize to actual 'labour'..... if anything they should tell the truth and call themselves Stalin's Choice.

Gayle said...

I think some of you can stop dreaming about the NDP taking over the liberals. The typical NDP voter sees Harper as a greater threat than the liberals, knows the NDP will never form the opposition let alone the government, and understands that sometimes you have to vote strategically rather than with your heart. Despite the fact that some of you believe the NDP are "brainless leftwingers", they are far too smart to fall for such obvious tactics as those you wish Layton to employ. Certainly he is going after the liberals which is understandable, but it is not going to win him votes.

I know a great many people in the NDP, and few of them want to vote liberal, but many will.

It is quite obvious that you, like Harper, want the NDP to attack the liberals because you believe, like Harper, that if they are able to neutralize the liberals it will clear the path to a CPC majority. The problem with that line of thinking is that you are not the only ones thinking it. Believe me, the average NDP voter recognizes we are better off with a Dion minority than we are with a Harper minority.

"..in Ontario (Bob Rae, anyone?), where Liberal supporters are known to turn off their critical faculties to vote Liberal, no matter what."

I feel your pain, living in Alberta and all...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The polls aren't showing it, but Canadians are getting behind the Conservatives.

Hunter, did you see Robert Fife at the end of MDL? He said a new poll was going to be announced tonight. The way he was talking, it sounded like it might be good for the Conservatives. Of course polls seem to change all the time.

Gayle said...

joanne - there was a reference to Decima poll today on Newman that said 35 cons, 31 libs and 13 NDP. TH epolling was between Feb 14-18.

That could have been the one Fife was referring to.

Anonymous said...

"better off with a Dion minority than a Harper minority"

even the liberals don't believe this one gayle

Great laugh before bed though.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gayle, that could be the one, but CTV usually has their own polling company, rather than using CBC's. Also Fife said that it would be announced on the 11:00 news, so could be a new one. We'll see.

Calgary Junkie said...

What Layton needs more than anything is to be within about 5 % of the Libs in popular support.

That seems highly unlikely right now. But considering: Layton's campaign experience, their $18 million war chest, the co-operation he will get from Harper, and the very possible train wreck of a campaign from Dion, it just could happen.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hoo-ha! Just got the early news. Lloyd Robertson has news that will have the CPC opening up the champagne! 39% support for the Conservatives. Up 3%. Liberals now 3%.

I'll try to find something online.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sorry, that s/b Liberals DOWN 3%.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Fife said that Dion is dragging down the Liberals.

Calgary Junkie said...

The universe is unfolding as it should !

The pundits were saying a few months ago that even though the Liberal brand is very resilient (especially in Ont and the Maritimes) it couldn't
withstand endless examples of Dion's weak leadership.

Next week is going to be fun to watch, as the full court press on Dion resumes from all quarters.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CJ - Exactly! Conservative numbers are going up in Ontario. I'm a happy camper tonight.

OMMAG said...

With public satisfaction in the LIberals shown to be sinking faster than Dion's credibility ....the water bearers at Canadian Press have commissioned another HArris Decima poll ....
"The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey put the Tories at 35 per cent and the Liberals at 33 per cent, a statistical tie given the poll's 3.1-percentage-point margin of error."

Stand by for a flury of anti-conservative "News" from CP and their client/partners in the opinion making business!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I trust you saw this piece of garbage from CP?

Möbius said...

Despite the fact that some of you believe the NDP are "brainless leftwingers", they are far too smart to fall for such obvious tactics as those you wish Layton to employ. Certainly he is going after the liberals which is understandable, but it is not going to win him votes.

Hi Gayle,

I do have to respectfully disagree with your last comment. I think the only chance for the NDP is to go after the Liberals. Conservative voters will never change their vote to NDP federally, but may occasionally vote Liberal. This is not anecdotal, I've voted Liberal myself in the post-Mulroney era, and consider myself centre-right.

Layton must steal votes from the Liberals (and Greens) to improve the NDP position. Although he may try, I can't see the NDP as official opposition, displacing the Libs. The Bloc did it once, but that was a result of conservative vote-splitting, and the destruction of the PC party due to Mulroney.