Allow me to provide two data points for what I hope will be sober reflection.
1) From December 13th of this year:
OTTAWA–Newly appointed Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is in a virtual tie with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the person Canadians think would be the best to lead the country, a new poll exclusive to the Star reveals.Okay, so that's right after Ignatieff's selection and people haven't gotten to know him, right?
Ignatieff tops the list of party leaders Canadians would prefer as prime minister, with 28 per cent of respondents naming him the best head of government, according to the Toronto Star/Angus Reid survey....
The survey also shows the Liberals rise to 31 per cent in voting intentions – an increase of nine percentage points since earlier this month, and the Conservatives drop five percentage points to 37 per cent in the same period.
2) From December 4, 2006's Globe and Mail (no link, it's from Lexis-Nexis.)
The Liberals have moved six percentage points ahead of Stephen Harper's Tories, while a sizable majority of Quebeckers say the Liberals made a good choice, according to the survey conducted by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail and CTV.Just to clear that up:
The poll was taken in the hours after the dramatic convention, where Mr. Dion, teaming up in an alliance with fellow candidate Gerard Kennedy, surged past front-runner Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae to claim the Liberal crown.
It shows that if an election were held today, the Liberals led by Mr. Dion would garner 37 per cent of the vote, compared with 31 per cent for the Conservatives. The NDP polled 14 per cent, the Bloc Québécois 11 per cent, and the Green Party 7.
Early Dion poll -- Liberals 37, Conservatives 31.
Early Iggy poll -- Liberals 31, Conservatives 37.
This is called data, people. If you've got numbers of your own, by all means bring 'em. But I think the bar Ignatieff needs to clear is a poll showing +6 Liberal support.
Now, I think it's fair to say that this is an apples-and-oranges comparison, seeing as Dion inherited a party with a much shinier brand than Ignatieff has. Nevertheless, the point is this: the new guy always looks good. Dion looked good. John Tory looked good here in Ontario. Both have found the results of elections to be disappointing.
Maybe Ignatieff will display more political acumen than I've seen thus far, and help re-build the badly tarnished brand that he's inherited. But -- so far -- there's absolutely zero evidence that Ignatieff has repaired anything. Liberals jumping for joy at the arrival of their saviour need to put their heads down and take a few deep breaths.