Harper retains large lead in Canadian polls while polls show British Labour Party poised to regain majority -- what is going on?

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Rob8305
Harper retains large lead in Canadian polls while polls show British Labour Party poised to regain majority -- what is going on?

In less than 6 months, British Prime Minister David Cameron's support has plummetted in the polls. He went from the triumphant new prime minister of a popular coalition government to being faced with the possiblity, if a election were held today, of a 35-40 seat Labor party MAJORITY.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Stephen Harper chugs merrily along able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants and his poll ratings are untouched. He has never not held a clear advantage over his opposition in his 4 long years in power.

What is the deal? Is the situation that Canada is a vastly more right wing country than the UK and Canadians by and large are more likely to embrace an extreme right wing agenda than the UK voters are? If so, is this the result of Canadian voters being poorly educated as to the issues and what Harper is doing? What can be done to wake them up to the horrors of the Harper regime?

This is disgusting. Cameron is 6 points down, 41-35, in the latest Angus reid survey, 2 points down in the Yougov daily tracking poll 42-40, and the average of all UK polls shows Labor projected to win a majority of 34 seats.

In Canada, Harper is inching ever closer to majority territory in the polls. What on earth is going on?

Are UK voters just vastly more sophiscated than Canadian voters when it comes to the horrors of conservatism. The UK government is far less extreme than our own I should say as well.

UK Polling report has all the details here: ukpollingreport.com

Rob8305

I should add the situations are similar in my eyes since both the mother country and Canada have minority governments.

KenS

What is going on?

People look at these things as if it is ideological orientation in control. But its not.

For one thing, Harper is not inching closer to a majority. They have been plateaued / stalled for a long time. And no sign that will change, even if the election is a year plus away.

And Canada is not a more right wing country. The UK has hit tough times. At the same time people were sick of Labour for a myriad of reasons even before tough times came crashing down. So they turfed the bums out. But that doesnt change the tough times. And you have a government in the UK bringing in far more radical tough medicine than anything we get from Harper. "Did I vote for that?" [I think they did, but thats beside the point.]

You feel that Harper does whatever he wants. And not without reason. But it is nothing next to what the Cameron government does.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

They're going down!  :)

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

The UK has a long history of and much stronger foundation for left-wing analysis and journalism than Canada. They are also more independent of American empire and influence.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Like I said!  :)

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Oh fuck!  (:

Rob8305

KenS wrote:

What is going on?

People look at these things as if it is ideological orientation in control. But its not.

For one thing, Harper is not inching closer to a majority. They have been plateaued / stalled for a long time. And no sign that will change, even if the election is a year plus away.

And Canada is not a more right wing country. The UK has hit tough times. At the same time people were sick of Labour for a myriad of reasons even before tough times came crashing down. So they turfed the bums out. But that doesnt change the tough times. And you have a government in the UK bringing in far more radical tough medicine than anything we get from Harper. "Did I vote for that?" [I think they did, but thats beside the point.]

You feel that Harper does whatever he wants. And not without reason. But it is nothing next to what the Cameron government does.

I basically agree Ken. Harris Decima/Ekos give me reason for hope but when I see Ipsos/Nanos showing Harper at 39 or 38%, that causes me grave concern. I'm just glad there's a split so there is doubt that Harper is really as strong as portrayed.

Lens Solution

Harper is only close to a majority in a couple of polls.  Most of them show he is not.

As for Cameron, I'm not surprised to see his numbers go down considering the turmoil in Britain right now.  Tuition was just tripled, causing massive protests in the streets.  The Conservatives are cutting all sorts of programs in order to reduce the deficit, regardless of how wrong it is to do so.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

BRING IT ON!

KenS

If you look at the trends, the Conservatives remain plateaued at or below where they were in the election.

And there is the same consistency in the polling questions that inquire a little deeper: the trust issues that keep Harper from even having a majority within reach, have not turned in the Cons favour.

Anything is always possible, but they are most definitely not moving towards a majority. And each time they have set up for the push to get there, they have had to give up early on. Personally, I dont think they are even trying anymore: just keeping in the game, controlling the levers, and waiting for that lucky break to come from somehwere.

And the Liberals seem to be thinking along the lines of pulling the plug before the Cons have a chance to stumble on that lucky break. Unlikely, but the longer you wait, the more it becomes likely.

NorthReport

Harris/Decima & EKOS both have connections to the Liberal Party of Canada. I would take their polling with many grains of  salt.

Jacob Two-Two

Ken S is right. It is a mistake to think that The Conservative Party is popular or part of a right-wing surge just because it has kept control of the house. In fact, their continued success has more to do with the Liberals. I have said from the beginning and I still believe it; if the Liberal party had their shit together even somewhat they could have won any or all of the last three elections. It's a brand Canadians are used to and what Canadians want most from their elections is for them to pass without incident and not think too hard about the whole thing. If the Liberals were running competent campaigns with a charismatic leader, they would be scooping up swing voters. Instead Harper has been playing a smart tight game and the Liberals have been flailing and delusional. They are simply too corrupt, too arrogant, and too lazy to connect with anyone or challenge Harper in anything.

It's not actually true that the Conservatives have had the advantage the whole time. In fact, they've never had it. They've always been outnumbered. What has been happening is that the Liberals have been ceding the advantage to them over and over, always trying to bide their time thinking they'll just drift back into government eventually if they just don't do anything risky or work with the other opposition parties. In reality these are the very things that are keeping them down.

It's this lack of opposition that has allowed the CP to keep governing, and not any actual mandate from the people. It's telling to note that the low depths that Uk Tories are sinking to in your polls are only slightly below the percentages that the CP has been "winning" elections with. Harper continues to run Canada despite of his popularity, not because of it.

Slumberjack

It's also the case that the pipsqueaks of the right and center right have been squeaking the loudest for some time with barely an interruption, aided and abetted by their respective media bullhorns.  Eventually people might very well reach the point where they'll trade a vote for having them just shut up and go away.

Policywonk

Rob8305 wrote:

I should add the situations are similar in my eyes since both the mother country and Canada have minority governments.

Britain has a coalition government, not a minority.

6079_Smith_W

Also, from a purely strategic standpoint it makes the most sense for Cameron to make his most difficult decisions right now, early in his mandate. He can afford to take a kicking right now because his government has a few years to turn things around. Just wait.. I would expect the candy store will be open again (at least for those whom the Tories think they need to secure another mandate) before they have to drop the writ.

 

Sarann

Cameron is making the British public pay for the costs of the financial bail outs so why should the British public support him.

And oh, my, I have just started reading Harperland.  If that would throw a scare into you, nothing would.

Sarann

Oops, didn't proof read. I meant: If that wouldn't throw a scare into you, nothing would. Scary, scary, scary man.

NorthReport

The reality is the Cons are in the 30s percentwise, the Liberals are in the 20s percentwise, and the NDP are hovering around the 20 percent range. The Liberals have been in the doldrums, and consistently way back of the Cons since 2006, and for anyone to suggest otherwise is just a Liberal con artist or a dreamer. Harper is a master plotter, tactician, politician, and is head and shoulders above 99% of any of the other federal politiicans. And don't forget Chretien won majority government with support in the 30s only.  

Hunter Mars

Don't be foolish . In ninety three all the polls and alleged pundits had Kimmy Clamhole well on her way to a landslide, majority government.
Two survivors only Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest .They could hold caucus meetings in a phone booth .
The only rock solid seats Bozo has are in Alberta .
When Canadians are pissed,like the are now,they lie to all pollsters and pundits .
No ones numbers are accurate by any stretch of the
imagination .
Wait until the writ is dropped .
I predict Bozo and his flyin' circus of "Crash Test Dummies "
maintain a healthy lead right up until the day of reckoning when they will be thoroughly trounced .
History always repeats itself .

Lens Solution

I'm not sure if we can count on Canadians to hand Harper his ass just yet, but it's certainly a nice idea!

kmdyson kmdyson's picture

We cannot afford in any way shape or form to allow Harper a majority. His neo conservative economic and social policy will put us back a hundred years...to before the Winnipeg general strike...workers really do need to unite...or we will looking for a spot under a bridge somewhere...  

NorthReport
NorthReport

Very shrewd move on Harper's part

 

 

Larry Smith: Mon nom est québécois

 

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/12/22/larry-smith-mon-nom-est-quebecois/

NorthReport

People who putting their money on the Liberals to save them from the Cons are living in some kind of la-la land. Elections are all about dollars and cents, and so basically there is no difference between these 2 right wing parties.

KenS

And less dramatically: even if the Conservatives stay the same or only go down marginally in numbers of seats, odds are their gig is up anyway. Definitely nothing to be complacent about it. But odds are against them keeping government even if the current stalemate remains.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Hunter Mars wrote:
Don't be foolish . In ninety three all the polls and alleged pundits had Kimmy Clamhole well on her way to a landslide, majority government. Two survivors only Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest .They could hold caucus meetings in a phone booth .

 

Laughing

Lens Solution

KenS wrote:

even if the Conservatives stay the same or only go down marginally in numbers of seats, odds are their gig is up anyway.

How would it be up?  Wouldn't they still try to hang into power?  Or are you assuming that it would be handed over to the Opposition?

Stockholm

We have been over this a zillion times. Unless Harper wins a majority - all the opposition parties have to do is vote down his throne speech after the election and then the GG has to invite the leader of the second largest party to try to form a government. I think the odds are extraordinarily high that the NDP and BQ would then let a Liberal throne speech pass rather than go thorugh a whole new election just weeks after the last one.

NorthReport

So far, every since Paul Martin, remember that Liberal superstar who was going to win 250 seats, and his ilk, took over the Liberal party, that party has been on a downward slide into the abyss. And there has not been one shrewd of evidence to suggest there has been any change since that began. The Liberals are basically toast.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The situation is becoming desperate.

If the Reformers have 30% of the vote in their pocket,there must be a merge between the Libs and the NDP.

I'm no fan of Iggy but I listened to a few of his town hall meetings.

When it came to minimum sentences,insite,our social safety net and a couple other things,he said all the right things.

Sadly,his stance on Afghanistan and Israel (although he didn't come off half as deranged as the Harperites do on everything Israel),was very disappointing.

Having said all that,how can a minority government have such an easy time ramming their agenda through the House of Commons and the Senate?

Clearly,Harper has friends in the opposition and it's not just the Libs.

It begs the question why hasn't any leader of the opposition jump up and scream bloody murder already?

I'm getting the feeling that the opposition's complacency is mainstreaming the Cons agenda.

Maybe all 3 opposition parties are hell bent on taking a piece of the Harpercons core 30%...If so,it's time to abort that impossible mission and become aggressively pro-active selling SANITY back to the Canadian populous.

Drop the gloves already and slap these assholes back to earth.

Screw it..I'm probably wasting my breath.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

alan smithee wrote:

Having said all that,how can a minority government have such an easy time ramming their agenda through the House of Commons and the Senate?

Clearly,Harper has friends in the opposition and it's not just the Libs.

It begs the question why hasn't any leader of the opposition jump up and scream bloody murder already?

I'm getting the feeling that the opposition's complacency is mainstreaming the Cons agenda.

Maybe all 3 opposition parties are hell bent on taking a piece of the Harpercons core 30%...If so,it's time to abort that impossible mission and become aggressively pro-active selling SANITY back to the Canadian populous.

Drop the gloves already and slap these assholes back to earth.

Screw it..I'm probably wasting my breath.

You have my attention, alan. I agree 100%. Something smells rotten on the Hill. We already know the media is complicit but this paralysis of the opposition is appalling.

 

Stockholm

alan smithee wrote:

 

Having said all that,how can a minority government have such an easy time ramming their agenda through the House of Commons and the Senate?

 

Part of the answer is that the Harper government has actually passed very very little actual legislation. Many articles have been written on how few bills they have put through. If you think of all the things about Harper that we hate - I would say that about 99% them are things he is able to do simply by virtue of being PM and only about 1% are connected to any actual laws he hs passed.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Harper is too cowardly to present government legislation. What he does is bury changes that have major impact on our lives in omnibus taxation bills and veiled references in the Speech from the Throne. He is the most unprincipled and undemocratic PM we have ever seen. Now he has stacked the Senate who will do his bidding without even reading the title of a Bill.

Rob8305

Stockholm wrote:

We have been over this a zillion times. Unless Harper wins a majority - all the opposition parties have to do is vote down his throne speech after the election and then the GG has to invite the leader of the second largest party to try to form a government. I think the odds are extraordinarily high that the NDP and BQ would then let a Liberal throne speech pass rather than go thorugh a whole new election just weeks after the last one.

Stockholm, you forget that Ignatieff and the Liberals are SPINELESS COWARDS. Unless the NDP/Libs have a majority of like 10 seats in the house but the conservatives have a plurality, Iggy WILL NEVER vote down a tory throne speech. Ever. Why? Because the media, led by the conservative nutcase Ottawa Bureau Chief of CTV Robert Fife, will insist that Harper is the only one with a legitimate right to govern, that he "won" the election. The media will cow the liberals into a corner, afraid to dare touch King Harper. No, Harper, by virtue of his media support, and by the public's distate for coaltion politics, will only ever be removed from office if the Liberals have more seats than he.

The Canadian media will simply not allow Harper to be removed if he has the most seats in the house. Ever. Sad to say. Can you imagine the spectacle in the meda. "Liberals/NDP vow to vote down throne speech no matter what is in it." Fife and his cronies will say "WTF, you're not going to even read it. Give Harpie boy a chance!" So, then Iggy will be faced with a choice: Take over the reigns and start off day 1 with a hostile media and down 30 points in the polls because of public outrage over Harper being removed or hope to one day eventually have more seats than the Cons. Lest we forget. Harper  is ruthless. Even if the opposition goes to the GG and says they are prepared to form government, Harper will still execute his right to face parliament. Yes, he is that ruthless. Then, he will dare the opposition to vote down his wonderful throne speech full of amazing goodies! The GG has no choice but to allow Harper to face parliament first as he is sitting PM even if he does lose a parliamentary majority constiutionally.  Ignatieff will crumble like a house of cards in the face of the media onslaught and we will be stuck with Harper until the day he decides to retire. Ugh.

Taking it even further, what's to stop Harper from simply prorugring the house again if the opposition does decide to grow a spine? I have a feeling that although it may be a close call, Johnston would have to grant Harper a prorougation even right after an election. Then, Harper will use that time period to fear monger and make it politically impossible for a coalition to take over. Hell, I could imagine this thug even trying to face parliament if the Libs have a plurality and not him. The media may be slightly less of his lapdogs in that case though. Remember what the thug said in 2004 "The game is not over until someone someday reaches a majority." We really really really need a Liberal plurality in the 40th parliament even if it is just 1 seat!

Also, remember Johnson is even more of a Harper lapdog than Jean, being his appointee and all. So, a prorugation would be granted at the drop of a hat. Heck, a final option is that Harper could even refuse to meet the house.

Pessimist much? Yes I am!

Frmrsldr

Slumberjack wrote:

It's also the case that the pipsqueaks of the right and center right have been squeaking the loudest for some time with barely an interruption, aided and abetted by their respective media bullhorns.  Eventually people might very well reach the point where they'll trade a vote for having them just shut up and go away.

They (the pipsqueaks) won't.

Right now they are crowing about how wonderful it is that the cons are in office or indirectly squeaking horror stories about the Libs. Not criticisizing Iggy (he's their perfect ally), but squeaking against the Martin, Chretien, Trudeau and sometimes even the Lester B. Pearson Liberals.

If a other than con government were to be voted into office, these same perennial rabid right pipsqueaks would be squeaking against this government, how governments are determined by "votes in the East" (Quebec and Ontario), squeaking against Quebec separatism and for Western separatism, etc.

The only way to shut them up is to have a PR voting system in Canada. That way everyone gets a proportional representation in the government elected.

Frmrsldr

Sarann wrote:

And oh, my, I have just started reading Harperland.  If that would throw a scare into you, nothing would.

What confounds and deeply saddens me is how Herr Harper was able to pull off the boogeyman scare tactic of how the coalition was in cahoots with Bloc Quebec "separatists" (should be read as sovereigntists) and how he was able to save his worthless political hide as for all intents and purposes he had the nonconfidence of Parliament as was nearly out the door of office.

NorthReport

Harper, if nothing else, is at least persistent.

 

Don't be surprised to see Larry Smith in cabinet soon

 

The new senator might be tagged for a sports portfolio

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/columnists/surprised+Larry+Smith+cabinet+...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hunter Mars wrote:
In ninety three all the polls and alleged pundits had Kimmy Clamhole well on her way to a landslide, majority government.

Yikes! Hunter, "Kimmy Clamhole" is sexist language and against babble policy. Please be more careful choosing your words in the future.

bekayne

NorthReport wrote:

Harper, if nothing else, is at least persistent.

 

Don't be surprised to see Larry Smith in cabinet soon

 

The new senator might be tagged for a sports portfolio

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/columnists/surprised+Larry+Smith+cabinet+...

Be sure to give

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUL17ROEGo8

CanadianAlien

Team Harper retains edge, dodges bullet, etc by maintaining ruthless on-focus messaging, which includes both consistent, targeted outbound messaging (party speaking lines), and reorientation of inbound messaging (eg media questions or opposition criticism).

Its that simple. Its the same thing team Bush did in US, and team Howard did in Oz, and also FWIW, team China (regardless current titular head).

THis is accomplished through tone of communication, distribution channels, frequency and timing etc.

You gotta give it to 'em, thems (Harper) smart and ruthlessly focused. (don't confuse this with praise)

The 55 dollar question is how to flip this control? So far nothing has dislodged it, or not significantly. Not media, not Libs, not NDP, not anything is having effect .. yet .. hmmm

Lens Solution

NorthReport wrote:

Harper, if nothing else, is at least persistent.

 

Don't be surprised to see Larry Smith in cabinet soon

 

The new senator might be tagged for a sports portfolio

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/columnists/surprised+Larry+Smith+cabinet+...

Didn't Senator Smith just say in his press conference that he was NOT going to accept a cabinet post while he was a Senator?  I thought he said he has learned from what happened to Sen. Michael Fortier and doesn't want to offend the voters by being an unelected Cabinet minister.

If he breaks his word on that so quickly, he makes himself a big target for attacks in the next election.

JKR

The Senate and patronage seems to becoming a bigger issue. It might be a good idea in the next election for the NDP to highlight their long-held position of abolishing the Senate altogether.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

CanadianAlien wrote:
Team Harper retains edge, dodges bullet, etc by maintaining ruthless on-focus messaging, which includes both consistent, targeted outbound messaging (party speaking lines), and reorientation of inbound messaging (eg media questions or opposition criticism). Its that simple. Its the same thing team Bush did in US, and team Howard did in Oz, and also FWIW, team China (regardless current titular head). THis is accomplished through tone of communication, distribution channels, frequency and timing etc.

This works today as it didn't in the past due to the current concentration of media ownership. The consolidation of all types of media under a handful of corporate umbrellas has been a disaster financially, but it has produced unparalleled political power.

KenS

The media does bring down an ideolgical orientation of messaging.

But Harper does not live primarily by doing their own specific 'ruthless messaging'. They get most of what they want by systematically flying under the radar. Change things on the ground at a pace and in a way that deliberately minimizes people taking notice.

KenS

We create problems for ourselves by wiping out the distinction between how we see what the neo-Con Harper team does, and how it appears to most Canadians.

We see their courses of action as being quintissentially red fanged. But excepting our limited core, even the huge chunk of the population that does not trust trust Harper, does not see them as red-fanged.

Seeing Harper as succeeding by being blatant, rather than succeeding by judicioulsy making the biggest moves incrementally and largely under the radar.... that is a recipe for fundamental strategic mistakes.

Frmrsldr

KenS wrote:

We create problems for ourselves by wiping out the distinction between how we see what the neo-Con Harper team does, and how it appears to most Canadians.

We see their courses of action as being quintissentially red fanged. But excepting our limited core, even the huge chunk of the population that does not trust trust Harper, does not see them as red-fanged.

Seeing Harper as succeeding by being blatant, rather than succeeding by judicioulsy making the biggest moves incrementally and largely under the radar.... that is a recipe for fundamental strategic mistakes.

Good point.

Personally, I'm in favor of informing, politically involving and eventually hopefully inspiring others to think of alternatives to the Harperite Conservatives.

Sarann

 

It's not the fact they are not passing much legislation, it's the fact they are making so many changes behind the scenes that will change this country a great deal and not for the better.  The media does next to nothing to keep us really informed and it is not humanly possible to get to the bottom of things by oneself.  Read anything lately in the main stream media about the details of the trade agreement with Europe? It spends its time talking about what Ignarieff wears and Harper's latest pr exercise.

gadar

NorthReport wrote:

Harper is a master plotter, tactician, politician, and is head and shoulders above 99% of any of the other federal politiicans.

Spoken like a true fan. I guess being mean spirited and a bully are the qualities you admire. 

gadar

laine lowe wrote:

Harper is too cowardly to present government legislation. What he does is bury changes that have major impact on our lives in omnibus taxation bills and veiled references in the Speech from the Throne. He is the most unprincipled and undemocratic PM we have ever seen. Now he has stacked the Senate who will do his bidding without even reading the title of a Bill.

I agree with this assessment of "The Dear strong Leader".  I dont know if this makes him better than ninety nine percent or worse.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

KenS wrote:

Seeing Harper as succeeding by being blatant, rather than succeeding by judicioulsy making the biggest moves incrementally and largely under the radar.... that is a recipe for fundamental strategic mistakes.

I can't help but perceive major structural changes as being blatant, but I agree - our time is better spent pointing out the long-term deformation and deterioration of our democratic structure, rather than the here-and-gone blatant attacks upon it.

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