Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Oh thank Jeebus it's like oxygen

POLL! (PDF) Finally. Not a landslide for the coalition by any means, but really bad news for Harper. To stop this train, I think he would have needed a clear, unequivocal poll showing, by a majority (not just a small plurality) that people were opposed to this coalition. Like 55-45 or above. Instead we get a poll that is, at best, a mixed bag for everyone involved. (Bizarrely so.)

The Coles Notes: 40-35, the Conservatives do not deserve to stay in power. BUT, 40-36 against a vote of no-confidence. (To my mind, the first of these two questions is more clearly worded, but YMMV.) Should the opposition form a coalition and topple the government? No, 41-36. But if they do, they should form the next government rather than go back to an election, 37-32. 64% say they don't want Dion as PM, 53% say Harper hasn't done a good job on the economy. Intriguingly, the public financing of elections isn't wildly popular outside of BC, who support it by a 15-point margin.

Expect all of these points to be used heavily on TV tomorrow. Probably the most damaging number is for Dion: Canada really, really doesn't like him much at all. (Funny side note: Dion's biggest supporters are in Quebec, and they still oppose him being PM by 60%!) It might have been smarter to have another Liberal lead this thing, but we are where we are.

To reiterate, while I think this is at best a mixed bag, what Harper needed was a poll showing a blowout, and he didn't get it. In this sense it's like Hillary Clinton in the primaries: she needed landslides and instead barely crossed the finish line first.

And for the record, knowing I may very well humiliate myself with this, I'm gonna predict that GG Michaelle Jean will refuse to prorogue. My understanding is that Harper may be required to offer his resignation right then and there (the GG ignoring the advice of the PM is as serious as losing the confidence of the house) or he'll lose the vote on Monday, but I really don't think Jean will give him his out.

Poll via Scott, but thanks to Idealistic Pragmatist for letting me know about it too.


Flocons said...

What are your thoughts about a coalition? To me, it seems to be an unstable house of cards. While these 3 parties are united against Harper, once Harper is out and they are in government... what's to unite them then?

People have been citing examples of how coalitions have worked in the past, or in other countries in the present... but in the case of these 3 parties in the here and now... well it doesn't inspire much confidence.

Can anybody honestly say that this coalition arrangement is better than the arrangement we have now?

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


If you're asking whether we think the coalition will be stable, my answer at least has to be "who knows?" I hope it will be, but I sure am not crazy about the fact that the first Canadian coalition government in god knows how long is a minority one.

But will it be "better" (read: more stable) than the situation we have now? Since the situation we have now is one in which the current government has lost the confidence of the House, I don't see how it couldn't be more stable than that.