Saturday, March 01, 2014

Devil's Advocate on that MNC Poll ( #cpc #cdnpoli #mnc14 )

As you're probably aware, the conservative elite have gathered in Ottawa for the Manning Centre conference on being super-duper conservatives. During the conference, Carleton University's AndrĂ© Turcotte presented a poll that painted a dark future for Canada's Conservative Party. The number of people that identify themselves as Conservative is down (especially in British Columbia), and:
On the question of ability to deal with the economy, the Liberals and Conservatives are essentially tied.
Both the Liberals and NDP rate ahead of the Conservatives on the separate questions of managing health care and unemployment.
The worst result for the Conservatives comes on how the parties are perceived for their abilities to manage poverty and the environment: the Liberals, NDP and the Green Party all rank ahead of the Conservatives.
Conservatives typically do not care about the environment or managing poverty, but they do not like to hear that the Liberal Party is perceived to be stronger on the economy and unemployment.

It's a single poll sure, but matched with other polls, the momentum is looking good for Liberals, and bad for the governing Conservatives.

But, why talk about another bad poll at a Conservative love-in?

Let me play devil's advocate for the moment.

Now is about time now when Conservatives start looking for new leadership - ten years in, too long for a Conservative leader especially one showing signs of weakness and a slippage in the polls. There have been articles filling the wires on who is going to fill Harper's shoes - Jason Kenney and Peter Mackay are the top picks.

Conservatives are questioning the rising debt, rising taxes, and indiscriminate spending like the rest of us in the reality-based community. They may not vote for other parties, but they'll stay home if they perceive a weak or ineffectual leader (see Tim Hudak's lack of success in Ontario).

So, if we release a poll at a Conservative convention saying the Liberals are better at handling, well, everything, are we telling disaffected Conservatives to keep holding their nose and keep voting Tory or maybe it's to give Conservatives the nudge to push Stephen Harper out?