The New Democrats (36%) have moved into a narrow national lead over the Conservatives (32%). Liberals trail with 19 percent. Green support stand at seven percent support and the BQ has six percent (25% in Quebec).
So this poll was done May 7 to 9, though just released yesterday, after the Mulcair appearance on The House (May 5) that set things off, but before the whole other week of yelling and screaming that followed. A bit early to judge, but after the first four days of media "outrage", this poll shows no downward movement in the NDP numbers. And, just as an aside, back in 2008 Mulcair's regional strategy was offered to Dion and he turned it down out of sheer nice-guyishness, so somebody figured it might work back then too.
As to the cries of "divisiveness", well, depending who's making the charge, please hand me a barf bag. Its like the Conservatives think wedge politics is their game and nobody else is allowed to play.
Mind you, its still early, and the next poll could see the NDP taking water over this. But having the entire opinion page at Postmedia angry at you doesn't signify that you've made a gaffe. These days, with their readership numbers, it signals almost nothing at all.
Update: Steve V says gaffe!
Actually, at this point, if the NatPost fulminates, I'd say you're almost certainly doing something right. Ivison and den Tandt are cretins.
Way to early, I'd take the long term view on this one. It's not the argument, it's how Mulcair is handling it. We've moved from economic argument to confederation questions, and that is bad news, because Ontario doesn't come on that question.
I would argue that the move to confed questions is a property of the argument itself, not Mulcair per se. Critize oil sands = Western Alienation = threat to Canada. Dion got the same thing over the Green Shift. The question is, does Ontario buy this argument, or shrug it aside as same old same old?
This seems a lot different than Dion to me to be honest. Dion kept the temperature down, Mulcair doesn't seem to understand that is more important than the argument itself. It's not fatal, but the NDP better modify their message and reign in Mulcair or I predict they'll regret it.
Let's see how it shakes out...
Dion tried to keep the temp down but got the same set of responses. "He'll never win in Alberta, he's writing off the West, threatening national unity,threatening to dismantle the Alta economy, and etc." I'm not sure whether Mulcair is handling this well or not, but the course the argument would take is clear, whether or not he was the guy making it.
After some thinking, I tend to think that Mr. Mulcair has committed a gaffe. One knows that a gaffe occurs when one gets into trouble for telling the truth. It's like going to someone's home where the hosts asks you how the food was.
"The steak was dry. The veggies were limpy. The wine was blah!" It may be the truth, but don't say it.
Mr. Mulcair needs to make the distinction between criticizing the Tar/Oil Sands because of manufacturing losses in Ontario and Quebec, and the environmental effects. I don't think he is getting any sympathy in western Canada about job losses in Ontario and Quebec. He might do better to focus on the environmental effects.
Next, as leader of the NDP, Mr. Mulcair should take the high road and play the role of the nice guy. He should have his MPs do the dirty work in criticizing the Tar/Oil Sands. If a negative message does not work well for the NDP, Mr. Mulcair can divorce himself from a message that one or more of his MPs will have given. When he commits a gaffe, he can't separate himself from it.
Dion tried to keep the temp down but got the same set of responses.
I guess it's the old argument, new target (for the Conservatives).
I suppose it would help if Muclair could get the premiers of Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick on his side. One reason they might be reluctant to is that it'll be hard selling their provinces to manufacturers when they're also publically saying that the high dollar hurts them compete against other countries.
Who cares about the premiers being onside? I don't. Mulcair is fine. It's about time somebody stood up to this fucking regime in the strongest way possible and if that makes a few media types and a handful of western potentates wail and groan, well, good. Harper is tearing this confederation to pieces anyway and if combating him means tearing a few holes of your own in the national fabric, well so be it. The NDP numbers will hold. Take it to the bank.
I should add that the NDP numbers will hold as long as the Liberals stay mired in their current leadership saga. Rae, who before Mulcair's arrival, looked and performed very well, just seems out of his element with the advent of TM on the scene. I was very much on the fence about Mulcair and even leaning back toward Liberal support because of his elevation to leader, but not now. Maybe not ever.
..and if someone would like to say, "what a stupid comment" to that, well, as they say down this way, "have at her".
Who cares about the premiers being onside? I don't.
Hey, it would look better if they would. You have three premiers grounching against Mulcair -- Alberta, Saskatchewan, and B.C. -- it would be good if Mulcair wasn't on his own on this. (McGuinty grouched about the situation before Mulcair's situation hit the fan).
I think the numbers might hold just as long as Hulk-Mulcair doesn't appear. ;)
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