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EKOS poll

Stevo: “Oh no! Canadians might be on to us!”

“Stock, Johnny, Jimbo, Vic, Pierre! Go find Igantieff’s bus and slash its tires… we need a diversion! Quickly!!!”

“What have we done to deserve such depths????”

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

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Dancing Cons and Friday miscellany

We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine

HA! I love it when I’m right! Did I not just recently say that the Harperites were setting themselves up to drop the writ in late summer or early fall? Didn’t I ?

‘Shore ’nuff, one of the head CPC minions has thrown down the gauntlet over proposed amendments to C-9 – the budget enabling and kitchen sink mega-omnibus Bill that is currently in the Senate. The huffing and puffing little Doozer was positively ebullient in daring the Grits to go to the polls.

“Let’s dance,” Conservative Senator Doug Finley said Thursday after Bill C-9, a mammoth 883-page piece of legislation, was chopped down by the Liberals and one Progressive Conservative at a meeting of the Senate finance committee.

“I think there’s more than enough issues here to run an election on, and I’m ready,” Mr. Finley said. “I’ve got buses, I’ve got planes, I’ve got a war room, I’ve got advertising already in the can. We are constantly at work on our policy and platform. I’ve got a tour two-thirds planned.”

Wow! I haven’t heard a Con being that enthusiastic about something since the Blogging Tories were as jittery as schoolgirls over the “illegal” attempt at a coalition between the Dippers and the Grits.

And who can blame the guy? Even the most cursory read of the latest EKOS poll (you know, those guys who were mega-biased against the DeceptiCons a way back a coupla months ago) tells a tale of Liberal woe. It supports my contention that the worse case scenario for Stevie would be a return to another minority Parliament with his willing unofficial coalition partner safely in tow.

Yup, we here in Ontario, and other provinces as well, are going to come down with a severe case of election-sign fever this fall as we head into municipal votes in October as well as a federal vote somewhere between Turkey Day and the end of November.

Of course, for a political junkie like me, this is pure paradise.

Friday miscellany

1. It’s hot, hot, hot here in Bytown!

So hot that there seem to be furious debates about what is appropriate to wear to work. Check out XUP’s take on this…

Of course, furious debates about just about anything are everyday activities here in Ottawa. Remember the big lawn chair debacle of 2007?

Me? Meh. My rule of thumb is that if it’s over 30, I will at the very least throw away the tie unless I have meetings with folks outside of my Department. If it’s over 35, I go naked.

Now THERE is an image to haunt your weekend.

You’re welcome.

2. Lindsay Lohan to be jailed 90 days for breach of probation? ROTFL!!!!!

3. The Huffington Post had a good piece the other day on how scentisits, desperate to get accurate measurements on the extent of the big spill in the Gulf, are being kept away from the area and are encountering roadblocks wherever they turn.

A group of independent scientists, frustrated and dumbfounded by the continued lack of the most basic data about the 77-day-old BP oil disaster, has put together a crash project intended to definitively measure how much oil has spilled and where and how it is spreading throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

An all-star team of top oceanographers, chemists, engineers and other scientists could be ready to head out to the well site on two fully-equipped research vessels on about a week’s notice. But they need to get the go-ahead — and about $8.4 million — from BP or the federal government or both. And that does not appear imminent.

No matter who is in control, spin is the order of the day, eh?

And I’m glad Jacques Cousteau isn’t around to see this.

4. Looks like the quake did a bit more damage to the homestead than originally thought. Our patio door – although admittedly old and in need of replacement – won’t open or close very easily since the quake… it comes right off it’s runners.

Damned quake.

5.  Finally – GO Spain!!!!!!

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Frank Graves spoke as he should – honestly!

The latest EKOS poll results are out and surprise, surprise, the ReformCons are hovering around the 32% range…

Sigh. Watching the movement in the latest polls is becoming about as predictable as a Mike Weir Saturday melt-down…

But wait! There is something interesting coming out of EKOS! Franks Graves – President of EKOS research – is apologising for some remarks he made to G&M columnist Lawrence Martin on what advice he would have for the Grits in their ongoing (and hopelessly slow) attempt to overtake the Harperites.

In case you missed it, this is what he said:

In his advice, Mr. Graves could hardly have been more blunt. “I told them that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy. If the cranky old men in Alberta don’t like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin.”

He apologized (though somewhat lamely) by saying :

[Ottawa – April 23, 2010] – In the course of an interview with the Globe and Mail columnist, Lawrence Martin, this week, I made some suggestions for a strategic course that presented itself to the federal Liberal Party.
My intention was to foment debate. However, I used incendiary language that had not been carefully enough considered. I recognize now that my stark language was understandably offensive to some Canadians.
In that light, I wish to retract my remarks and unreservedly apologize for making them.

True. In his position it is extremely important to appear unbiased – bias can cast aspersions about the neutrality and validity of the data that his firm collects. But general advice from a pollster is hardly new or rare. One often sees folks like Nick Nanos, Allan Gregg or Michael Adams on line or on TV or radio opining on what the Grits/CPC/NDP should do to better their fortunes. Lawrence Martin notes this as well.

No, it wasn’t the fact that advice was given, rather:

  1. The words used in Graves’ opinion were stark and honest.
  2. By being the CBC pollster, Mr. Graves has let himself vulnerable to screams of liberal media-bias.

On the first point, well, duh! Of course the best way to build support for the centre-leftward side of the spectrum is to further widen the nasty schism that exists between the right and the left in this country. And I agree with that. If the sole goal is to gain political ground then exposing the difference – be they cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy will do the trick. These are real differences between rural and urban and east and west and taking a stand on one side of the line is a way to cement what you stand for. The Harperites sure havn’t had a problem doing so and who cares if you alienate a few yahoos in tar sand land, right?

While I agree this is an approach that may be used to pump up the numbers, I am worried that the bitterness and anger that would result in such an active pursuit of a culture “war” would forever harm the unity of this country.

But that does seem to be the direction in which we are headed.

The other issue is that of perceived media bias. Here, I think the Cons are blowing out their air holes! Of COURSE there is bias! The Star is biased toward the Grits, the Post toward the Cons, CanWest is a Harperite trumpet.. etc. And as Simpson said:

The subject of media bias is a complex one in Canada because of the political culture. Normally a journalist is considered neutral or objective if he or she is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, reflecting neither the left- nor right-wing point of view.

But in Canada, the big mushy middle is the home of the Liberal Party, which has sought to locate itself in the mainstream and has profited over time from doing so. Therein lies the conundrum. If you’re a centrist, you can well be accused of having a Liberal bias.

In other words, it’s inescapable. You’re biased if you’re on the left, right or middle. In other words, everyone is biased; you, me, CBC, CTV; you, me and Mr. Graves and Stompin’ Tom Connors and the polar bears of Frobisher Bay.

So gimme a break Harperites and go back to your power breakfasts…

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Now for a community moment…

A colleague of mine who is an avid cyclist, asked me to pass along the following request. While I am not a cyclist, it pains me to think that Ottawa dentists might be profiting because of poorly maintained bike paths!

Hi folks, Can folks send a quick note to the NCC requesting they begin work rehabilitating the bicycle path between Andrew Hayden Park and Britannia Beach? This section of path is so bad it will knock your fillings loose! Maybe then the time frame for fixing the path will be less than “several years” as I was told. Email address: info@ncc-ccn.ca. Pass this on to others who you think would like to help out! Thanks!

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Budget day in Canada

Yesterday’s  Speech from the Throne laid the groundwork for this afternoon’s Budget blah-blah. No one should expect anything bright or innovative from the ReformCons…

Senior’s day? Really? Man, I am SO discriminated against! Like, why NOT a Bald, Bearded, White, Middle aged, Guy Day!!

And if course we’ll get some more of the sordid details on how the government is going to fight the deficit on the backs of the Public Service. Yes, it’s only a salary freeze so far but I would be shocked if there were not some mention of PS pension plan changes or reviews or renewals or some other weasel phraseology.

But hey, it’s a beautiful almost-spring day here in Ottawawawa (temps forecasted into double digits on the weekend!) so maybe I should chill a wee bit.

Naw.

And it looks like the Olympic “bump” ain’t gonna happen! But polling results are all over the map these days. Voters are a little volatile right now. And as much as I would like to see an election at the earliest possible opportunity, now would not be the right moment for anyone to call or force one.

….based on a survey Feb. 24 to March 2 of 2,796 Canadians aged 18 or over. The margin of error associated with a poll of this size is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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