For your viewing entertainment, a cirque-de-soleil-inspired performance. Conservatives are patrons of the arts, you see…
So, about the latest Strategic Counsel poll that shows the Liberals at 37% and the Conservatives at 30%.
I’ve checked the methodology of the poll and it seems to be what I call an “honest poll” (ie. that the pollster has the ballot question first without prompting respondents with questions that either outline successes or failures of any party — check this post for more discussion).
So, the methodology is straight-forward. However I cannot square the main result (LPC 37%, CPC 30%) with the results of this question:
Now that Stéphane Dion is the new Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, would you say you are significantly more likely, somewhat more likely, the same, somewhat less likely or significantly less likely to vote Liberal than you were before the Convention?
Total more likely: 20%
The same: 47%
Total less likely: 26%
This question should indicate that Canadian are less likely to vote for the Liberals under Stephane Dion.
However, the ballot question indicates the Liberals over the Conservatives with 37% to 30%, respectively.
The two results are in conflict. The only explanation is that the Liberals had higher support than 37% before the convention.
Ipsos put them at 25-27% to a Conservative 38% just a few days before Dion was elected leader.
The only thing that we know for certain is that we don’t have a clear picture of what is going on yet.
I’ll wait for SES numbers.
Some in the Canadian Conservative movement have half-correctly compared our party to the Democrats in the United States. While the philosophy shared between the two parties is as different as it is similar, our predicament can draw a few parallels.
For instance, like the Dems we are perennially without power in our country; our members find their party in the wilderness. We both watch desperately as our good people and good thinkers are shut out the executive (Paul Martin’s appointment of the crypto-loyalist Michaelle Jean), the legislative (we cannot form government without Ontario), and the judiciary (rehearing of Chaoulli supreme court decision, the appointment of Supreme Court judges). Indeed, like the Democrats we are left helpless as our respective visions for our respective countries rest unimplemented.
Fortunately, unlike the Democrats, the new Conservative Party of Canada has a strong philosophical base; for the most part, we have not reverted to chaos in order to determine what we stand for. The party has matured, found its footing and is almost ready for power. While our party may disagree on a couple of social issues, these are not significant hurdles to the actual issues of governance. The Democrats however, find themselves turning hard-left under Chairman Howard Dean while rushing towards the centre with presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. In contrast, Stephen Harper through his leadership has induced moderation and a common direction for the party. However, many on the outside, and those that channel PMO spokesman Scott Reid, still have the belief that Harper harbours undesirable motives. Therefore, the only similarity that can be drawn with the Democrats with this respect is that Conservative Party messaging is impotent; we cannot effectively control the message. Some say that this is a problem with “the mainstream media”.
Now, let’s be realistic. Whether or not our perceived uphill battle against “the media” is true or not, it is how it should be. The media should be hard on us, however, let me qualify by saying that it should be hard on anyone that desires to run this country (Liberal party included). As a Canadian first, and a Conservative second, I would ask nothing less of the fourth estate than adequate scrutiny of anyone who wishes to lead this country. However, the media should be fair. Enter the blogosphere.
Unlike the Democrats, we are winning the blogwars. I often attribute the greater order and dominance of the Canadian Conservative blogosphere to the very fact that our voices are marginalized and that our official party messaging implodes every time Don Martin points out a fault. The Democrats are losing the American struggle for blog dominance for one simple reason. While their messaging is equally troubled and their voices marginalized (yet not to the same degree despite the ‘dominance’ of Fox News), they do not speak with any semblance of unity. For the most part, Canadian Conservative bloggers are focused, organized and thrive in their cohesion.
At the core of their repective problems, the Conservative party and the Democrats are quite different yet similar in the end. While being anti-war could be the most identifiable casus belli of the Democratic party, they lack unity on this issue with John Kerry’s voting for/against the war and Hillary Clinton’s equally polyvalent stance. Comparatively in Canada, no Conservative is ‘pro-Adscam’, however, we fail for the same reason as the Democrats. In the end, the Conservative Party and the Democrats must offer real solutions and positive vision for our respective countries.
If we should lead, our party should look forward. If not, we fill find ourselves mired in regress.