Sunday, August 16, 2009

Layton, Harper More Popular Than Ignatieff

At least according to an EKOS poll of Canadians. Since the Iggy thing is a bit of hobbyhorse of mine:
Job Approval Ratings
¤ 73% Barack Obama
¤ 36% Stephen Harper
¤ 34% Jack Layton
¤ 29% Michael Ignatieff
The numbers for the parties?
¤ 32.7% CPC
¤ 31.0% LPC
¤ 16.5% NDP
¤ 10.1% Green
¤ 9.7% BQ
For readers who aren't familiar with Canadian politics: Harper leads the "CPC", Ignatieff the "LPC", Layton the "NDP", and Obama leads "A Spineless Pack of Senators".

So, Harper's numbers are higher than his party. No surprise there, he's the reason his party has any appeal at all. But look at Ignatieff: his numbers trail his party's numbers, and trails Jack Layton, who leads the third-place NDP.

That isn't how it was supposed to be. Dion was the one who trailed his party, and thus—due to his incompetence and lack of charisma, natch—dragging his party down. Ignatieff was supposed to inspire Canadians. He's the guy who was on the BBC and taught at Harvard. He was the returning prodigal whose worldly expertise and television-forged speaking skills was going to entrance Canadians and help them forget all about how milquetoast and policy-free his party had become.

He was going to lift up his party through the sheer power of his own blinding intellect.

Yet what do we see here? Another Liberal leader trailing his own party. A leader trailing that mean ol' Stephen Harper. A leader trailing Jack Layton, the unreconstructed "socialist" whose party is supposedly out of touch with the Canadian masses. A leader being absolutely trounced by the American president, a man who has been going through a rather rough patch of late. So what's going on here?

Why was this guy installed at the head of the table, exactly? His foreign policy experience is something you'd want to avoid mentioning in Canada, what with the whole "defending neocons" thing. Besides, Bob Rae is ably handling that file. His domestic policy knowledge is limited to laudable comments about high-speed trains and quickly-renounced calls for EI equity. He gave an admittedly great speech about liberal democracy in England, but hasn't touched the subject since, in a country desperate for a Liberal leader who believes in something.

He isn't exactly charming the press, either. The desperate blogging campaign to convince the press that he's doing something this summer speaks volumes. I admire the loyalty, but wasn't the press supposed to like him?

Makes you wonder if maybe Rae should have been given the job after all.

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