Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Morning Links

Assorted material to start your week...

- It's always worth being cautious about the results of a single poll. But

What makes the latest CROP poll particularly interesting, though, is that the good news for the NDP arising out of the latest Quebec numbers doesn't necessarily stop at the provincial border.

For the longest time, one of the primary factors seen as holding the NDP back nationally has been its trailing position in Quebec. But if it's managed to build a comfortable lead over the Libs even in the province that previously served as that party's home base, then it's worth considering the possibility that the spillover effect from the NDP's rise and the Libs' decline in Quebec might serve to swing votes elsewhere as well as the campaign develops.

- There are two key takeaways from the portion of Jack Layton's Speaking Out Louder now making the rounds.

First, as has already been noted by Brian Topp among others, Layton had a clear choice between Harper and "Not Harper" in 2004. And to his credit, he stayed true to his party's principles and chose "Not Harper" - which is far more than one can say for Michael Ignatieff either in January 2009 or today.

And second, regardless of whether one interprets the 2004 proposal as a "coalition", it's glaringly obvious that Stephen Harper was entirely prepared to take power while relying on the Bloc's votes as a necessary part of the arrangement to replace a sitting government. Once again, the appropriate takeaway message is that it's entirely reasonable for all parties to consider doing the same.

- Meanwhile, Wilf Day offers a needed reminder that the supposed fear about a coalition is more a product of Stephen Harper's desperate to stay in power than a reflection of action public opinion - even at the time that an actual coalition was last discussed in detail.

- And finally, Erin points out a rather stunning change in rhetoric from the Cons, who having spent the last few months insisting on corporate tax cuts have stopped discussing them at all now that they're facing the voters. Needless to say, it's our job to make sure voters are aware that whatever baubles get put on the table to try to win votes, big business always comes first with the Cons.

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