Thursday, September 24, 2009

On unintended consequences

So last week the Liberal Party maneuvered to have the Bloc and NDP support a confidence motion in the house, and lo how we did hear crowing from our cousins in the middle: This'll show those stupid dippers, they said, and boy won't they look dumb supporting the Harper conservatives. And indeed, it does look silly to have the social-democratic left supporting the regressive right in Parliament. The Liberals seem not to have asked, however, what it would make them look like.

Answer: the Conservatives now have a 7-point lead in Ontario, a five point lead in Toronto, and are seven points ahead nationally.

Lesson for the day: you can make your rivals look bad, but it doesn't make you look good.


Scott Tribe said...

Poll results are fickle things. When Harper brought down Martin in the 2005 minority Parliament, he started out in an 8 point deficit.

The Liberals did the right thing here. They are the Official Opposition, and they are opposing the government.

(Note in this same poll you're trying to chide Liberals with is the NDP dropping their 'make Parliament work" weak spiel after claiming to be the only real opposition to Harper hasn't worked out for them so far either).

john said...

Scott -- I explicitly noted that the Liberals had made the NDP look bad, and I don't disagree: the NDP *does* look bad supporting Harper.

Nevertheless, I think it's striking that the Liberal numbers started trending down at the same time as it began to look like an election was likely. It's the same dynamic we saw with Dion.

I'll agree with you that the Liberals are doing the right thing here: the opposition should oppose. Sad that this is kind of novel.

Chet Scoville said...

What I want to know is, when EKOS says "Toronto" do they include the 905 belt? Because that makes a big difference. If the Conservatives are ahead in, say, Mississauga, that's not really a big surprise; if they're leading to any degree in the 416 that's huge.