Thursday, August 02, 2007

Of interest

So here is the situation.

The opposition has elected a leader who lacks charisma, who was not a frontrunner in the leadership campaign, and who emerged as the consensus candidate not with enthusiasm but because the party simply could not stand the other candidates.

He has shown to be less than a natural fit for the role of leader and, in fact, the government party has taken to running ads saying "a leader must be a leader" and other messages telling Canadians that the opposition "leader" just isn't up to the job as prime minister.

Though the government and opposition parties stand relatively close in opinion polls, with the edge usually to the government, the prime minister enjoys leadership numbers far in excess to that of the opposition leader thus giving the government an extra edge. Indeed, in some polls the leader of the NDP fairs better than the opposition leader in terms of leadership quality numbers.

Worst yet? The opposition caucus is bleeding members with a combination of long-time MPs with great experience and newcomers thought to be the future of the party resigning, forcing by-elections from coast to coast.

Jeez, those Tory delegates must really be regretting electing Joe Clark back in '76, he's got no hope to win the '79 election. They should have picked Wagner or Mulroney or even Macdonald...

h/t Tory blogger Le Politico who gave me the idea when he commented that this many opposition MPs resigning "at mid-term is unprecedented". In fact, we are looking at 5 Liberals (out of 102) stepping down today, while in Joe Clark's day it was 7 (out of 95).

Sources: Wikipedia page on the 1979 election, Wikipedia page on the 1976 Tory leadership and the Parliament of Canada page on 1977 and 1978 by-elections.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol good one :D

nbpolitico said...

More comparisons. The front runner was un-electable because he was considered too right wing for the mainstream of the party and another contender (Paul Helleyer) came from a party to the left to run.

Josh said...

I'm trying really hard not to extend that comparison for another year - where it starts looking pretty bad for that opposition leader.

Mushroom said...

I think the Grits would want a much more successful leader than Joe Clark.

With regards to comparing Harper to Trudeau, I don't want to make this comparison.

nbpolitico said...

Certainly a comparison to Joe Who is less than ideal, but this does go a long way to show that in the short term things aren't necessarily as bad as they seem.

le politico said...

Alright, you got me. (Pending verification of your Wiki sources that I might change to suit my argument :) )

But at the same time you raise the question..could it be that Dion will be less successful than Joe Clark!? Yikes..

nbpolitico said...

If Dion defeats Harper and wins the next election only 6 seats short of majority, I would say he will have beaten the living bejeezus out of the expectations game.

Mushroom said...

And Dion may have the mandate to govern like a majority and not lose a vote of confidence.

This would be 148 out of 308 seats, a gain of 45!!!!

Much better performance than Martin 2004, Trudeau 1972, and popular vote wise Chretien 1997!!!

I am sure dreaming now.

Rob said...

I have a hard time trusting anyone who names their dog after an international treaty. Of course, my cat is named Webster-Ashburton, so I shouldn't be talking.

nbpolitico said...

rob - LOL!

NB taxpayer said...

I disagree. Casting him aside would give the public the perception that your party is weak and in disarray. A party may not recover from such a Diefenbakeresk move.

The same goes for Joe Clark and the tories. Had they chose to forcefully remove him prior to an election, they would have payed a hard price internally. In other words, they never would have recovered 4 years after his defeat to win the biggest majority in Canadian history.

Defeat doth motivate.

Brian Cormier said...

Dion is exactly where he wants to be. Keep expectations low. Worked for Shawn Graham. Will work for Dion, too.

Brian Cormier said...

Carol Skelton, a Harper cabinet minister, announced she wouldn't be reoffering in the next election. She made the announcement today.

Spinks said...

Expectations are low for Dion that's for sure....but is that a good thing?

Anonymous said...

Dion has survived tremendous bombardment, flack and crap from two television campaigns,
the extraordinary and almost daily trumpeting of Harper photo ops, and he still stands, pretty much unsullied, his party actually increasing its pressure, the 18-34 demo at 36% to CPC's 21.
Further, he is on the trend side of almost all if not all issues important to Canadians. If an election is called, don't you think his persona will reflect the
possibilities of the major issues being addressed?
Forget the charisma obesession. Try honesty and earnestness. It's where Canadians live.