Skip to content

Liberals at 36.7%, Conservatives at 30.2%

The favourable polls results for the Liberals and their purchase of the voter database software used by the Obama campaign, along with their policy convention this April 30 to May 3 in Vancouver and the release of Michael Ignatieff’s new book, will undoubtedly spur speculation about a federal election.

CBC reports that, “Fortunes have shifted substantially for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives since December, with Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals enjoying an upsurge, says a new poll from EKOS released exclusively to CBC News. Asked which party they would support if an election were held tomorrow, 36.7 opted for the Liberals while 30.2 per cent chose the Conservatives. About 15.5 per cent supported the NDP, while the Green party was the choice of 8.1 per cent and the Bloc Québécois was backed by 9.4 per cent.”

CBC TV adds that the poll also shows that 49 per cent of Canadians believe the Harper government is going in the wrong direction, and 54 per cent of Canadians disapprove of Stephen Harper’s performance as prime minister.

Michael Valpy reports in the Globe and Mail that, “In a bid to match successful tactics used in the past two election campaigns by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, the federal Liberals are importing highly sophisticated voter database software used by Barack Obama’s political strategists…The system will enable the federal party to match the voters list with everyone who in the past has volunteered for the party, put up a lawn sign, canvassed, made a donation or identified themselves to the party in any other way.”

Also, “To make maximum use of the technology, the party is also taking steps to centralize administration, fundraising and election preparation…A centralized administration and election-readiness strategy would address one of the federal party’s major problems: how to get hold of membership lists and other voter data from provincial, territorial and constituency organizations. The Conservatives’ centralized database has given the party a huge advantage in fundraising and identifying potential party election volunteers and voters.”

Montreal Gazette columnist L. Ian MacDonald writes, “Ignatieff leads a united party to Vancouver at month’s end, to a convention that’s been transformed into a coronation. And a party that would have been drained financially by the fundraising demands of several leadership camps is instead raising millions toward the next election. The Liberals are also going to Vancouver resurgent in the polls, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, the two keystone provinces of Liberal dynasties since Laurier’s time. Instead of having had Dion to kick around again for another six months, while Iggy and Bob pounded each other on the leadership trail, Harper faces a united party that is once again in the hands of political professionals…”

The Ottawa Citizen reports that Michael Ignatieff writes in his new book ‘True Patriot Love’ that, “If we want a country to hand on to the next generation, we will have to strengthen those east-west linkages — of citizenship and common life together — to offset the north-south drift that fragments us.”

The Citizen also reports that, “Ignatieff tries to position himself as the new Sir John A. But instead of building a nation-binding railway, Ignatieff says both oil and hydro-electricity should be shared along an east-west axis before exporting surpluses to the U.S. as the Albertans do with their oil and Quebecers do with their hydro. Energy, he adds, is also our big bargaining chip with the U.S. ‘If energy is power, then we ought to have plenty of it,’ Ignatieff writes in the book he plans to launch in the capital next Friday at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. ‘We have cards to play at the table of nations and if we play the energy card with determination, we can build a country that commands respect —the respect that comes from being not just a good neighbour but a powerful one, too.’”

The CBC news report can be read at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/04/16/ekos-poll-political-preference.html

The Globe and Mail story is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090416.wliberals0417/BNStory/National/home

The column in the Montreal Gazette is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/usa/Liberals+thank+Harper+their+good+fortune/1466189/story.html

The Ottawa Citizen article is at