Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Evening Links

Assorted content for your end-of-week reading.

- Harris-Decima is the latest pollster to confirm the NDP's momentum, this time with a poll carrying responses from over a week ago which nonetheless places the NDP at 30% and gaining on the Cons.

- Alison takes Patrick Muttart's dismissal from the Harper campaign as a much-needed opportunity to point out the links between Muttart and the Cons' U.S. Republican cousins.

- Paul Wells highlights some of the lasting impacts we can expect from the NDP's surge:
The rise of Jack Layton’s NDP was the story of the campaign’s fourth week. At this writing I have no way to guess whether the NDP will keep rising, or fade away as it has done more than once before. But at any rate, the Layton phenomenon is hardly the only way Canadian voters have stubbornly refused to stick to their assigned role. Conversations are breaking out all over, honest-to-goodness debates, and all the campaign pros in all the war rooms won’t be able to herd us back into our tidy demographic stables again.
Layton is not perfect. His ideas for the country will leave many unpersuaded. But he rises because he at least acts like a guy who would rather fix problems than fix blame. Even if he fades in the stretch, something permanent will remain. A whole country has remembered that it does not like to be told what it may talk about and how it may react. And when a country gets its back up the way this one has, it will not go back to sleepy predictability any time soon.
- Meanwhile, Rick Mercer's brilliant campaign summary includes this damning tidbit on the Harper Cons' duplicity:
To get a feel for the Harper campaign you only need a few hours. The differences from one event to the other are minuscule. In English Canada they start each event by singing “O Canada,” and Stephen Harper tells the crowd he’s proud to lead a party that starts every event this way no matter where they are in the country. In Quebec they skip this part and they hide the Canadian flags in the plane.
Mercer also wonders whether the leader's tour is nothing more than an anachronism - which makes it particularly interesting to note that the NDP has pushed ahead with a full-on tour as part of its successful campaign even though there may have been reason to expect otherwise.

- Finally, "Steve Shutt" on Babble raises an idea which could tell us in a hurry whether the Libs will work on replacing or joining Stephen Harper next week:
I'm wondering how best to get pledges from the Liberals who might survive to not pull a David Emerson, the former Martin Liberal from Vancouver, who between E-Day and the cabinet swearing in had a conversion from the Liberal banner he was elected under to the Harper Conservatives, who were now the one's in charge.

I think it would need to focus on the wide policy differences between the Tories and the Liberals (at least on paper both Jack and Iggy had, until the surge hit, pointed to the commonality between Liberal and NDP platforms) so that voters know that they don't have to worry about voting for the "red" door and getting their MP walking through the "blue" door.

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