Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Change Up North?

It looks like the Liberal Party in Canada may be in for a shock in next week’s federal election.

Most voters say they think a Conservative Party majority government would be a good thing for Canada, according to a new survey that suggests Liberal efforts to build anxiety about Stephen Harper are falling on deaf ears.

The poll, conducted for The Globe and Mail/CTV News by the Strategic Counsel, finds that 55 per cent of voters say sending a Conservative majority to the House of Commons on Jan. 23 would be a healthy outcome. And even in Quebec, where the Tories have been essentially moribund for 12 years, 64 per cent of voters say a Conservative majority would be good for the nation.


The data also suggest that branding Conservatives as frightening ideologues is not working.

According to the poll, only 35 per cent of voters think a Conservative majority would be a bad thing. Only in Ontario does a minority believe a Tory majority would be a welcome outcome, according to the poll’s breakdown of Canada’s main regions. But even in Canada’s most populous province, some non-Tory supporters say they aren’t worried about a Conservative majority.

It should be noted that in Canada, the Conservative Party would be viewed as moderate here; they haven’t been overtaken by the Religious Reich, and the nutsery doesn’t really have a foothold there. It should also be noted that Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Liberals have run their campaign with all the grace and polish of a pig on stilts; clunky attack ads, embarrassing leaks, and lousy performances in the debates have been their hallmarks. There’s nothing to prove that the Conservatives will do any better, but after twelve years of the Liberals, the Canadians might just be ready for a change because, well, what the hey, eh?