So, Stephen Harper's approval rating has fallen to 29% in the latest Angust Reid poll. Yippee! Well, not quite. Our own Stephane Dion's numbers aren't even half Harpo's. The Liberal leader tallies a whopping 14% approval. 21% of respondents say their opinion of Dion has worsened over the past four weeks.
Stephane, the holiday is over. The only reason Harper is even floating at 29% is because there's no Liberal leader taking the fight to him.
Dion, it's time to decide. Either lead or leave.
1 -its an online poll.. which accuracy and methods are highly suspect.
2 - leader approvals are 2nd important to voters intentions to vote for actual party. Harper was for a long time looked on very dimly as well. It didnt hurt him in the end. I don't care whether he's popular or most popular, as long as the Party wins the election. This isnt presidential politics up here.
3 - You're being ridiculous by asking Dion to leave 6 months into his mandate. All opposition leaders struggle when first elected - ask Harper and Chretien.
Scott, I'd be happy if I could just see the guy actually struggle. Harper and Chretien did struggle initially but you don't struggle by being the Invisible Man. I can barely discern a sign of life from Dion and that's inexcusable. Politics is a blood sport unless you have some extremely rare quality like Ghandi. Dion doesn't pass that threshhold, certainly not with the Canadian public. That means he's got to fight. We deserve no less.
I can't exactly say rhe media is crawling all over him like they do with Harper. A great deal of the Media is Conservative, and some of them are starting to wake up with Harpers doings. Dion is not getting a fair shake.
It's politics. You have to make your opportunities and that's true when it comes to getting media attention. Harper knows that and so does Jack Layton. Just because you may not like the rules that doesn't mean you can refuse to play the game. Besides, on issue after issue, Harper's been out leading with his chin. He's getting away with it because Dion refuses to come out swinging.
Dion seems to be the problem, I guess liberals did not bother to find out he was a introvert and closet hermit before they voted for his leadership.
If he'd just get off his ass and make SPP an election issue, he could double his support but unfortunately we still don't even know what his stand on the issue is.
It appears he's scared of Quebec voters over the clarity act and adscam and embarassed to have his patois heard by english voters. lose/lose.
He's not dumb or evil and that's two up on Harper but unlike Harper Dion is ineffective without the ability to even solidify his core.
I wish he would say something about SPP (New American Union). I have read so much that Dion is for it....... I do not want it. I am a good liberal ,but if Dion is in favour, I will not vote Liberal for the first time in my life... may go Green.
MoS, you have some points there, but if you look at the internals of the poll, it becomes pretty obvious that Dion is not being covered and most Canadians don't know who he is.
That said, I'm not so sure how unusual that is for a new opposition Leader.
Look at the Lib site. They put out press releases, day after day. Do the media cover these? No.
Layton's are covered, to the point that some news stories direct you to the NDP site. Not so with Dion.
I think the media need to create their own story. They are at present, all over May and it's ridiculous.
All of that said, Dion and his "people", must find a way to generate interest. I think he's plodding along and gaining popularity with large groups that matter. Manufacturing, Economists, etc. It's not reported, but it makes a difference. These are not people who vote on such polls.
In the end, an approval rating of 29% as a sitting PM is pretty damn bad.
KNB - In an earlier life I was an Ottawa reporter. Putting out press releases is - and always has been - a perfect way to be ignored. Editors get stacks of them every day and they all wind up in the same file. The Liberal organization is far too sophisticated not to realize this. To get noticed you have to stand up on your hind legs and loudly and clearly say what's on your mind and, even then, it had better be good. If Canadians know nothing about Stephane Dion that's his fault because it's his job to see to it that they do. We're supposed to be fighting to form the next government, not to win the student council election.
That means you have to hit hard and be able to absorb the blows you get in return. Geez Louise, this stuff ought to be obvious but the Liberal organization and Stephane Dion plainly don't get it.
You win party leadership at a convention. After that you have to work your backside off to earn it.
As for SPP, you're all right on the money.
Good information to know MoS. Thx.
Dion though, was at the opening today of the Hindu temple. He was mentioned in one report, but he was not sought out for opinion. Why?
I'm not just blaming media and I'm to the point that I think Dion has to do something, I'm just not sure how to penetrate the press.
Have you listened to the "spin" series on CBC? It's telling what the politicians have done, but more telling about how the media has reacted.
They are creating the news and I hate it.
Dion has a story and a platform. How does he get covered?
My two cents.
Dion's routinely at openings or meeting with someone or just commenting on the latest Afghanistan deaths or something. This is not the sort of thing that works with his bookish image. What he needs to do is to put together a powerful, leadership team - he needs his own Keith Davey, someone who can work with his talents and overcome his deficiencies. In the meantime, if Stephane can't hack the fray, unleash Rae or Ignatieff and let them knock the corners off Harper's head. I know how risky that would be to Dion personally but if he hasn't the stomach for it he has the responsibility to let someone else do it for him.
In the meantime, if Stephane can't hack the fray, unleash Rae or Ignatieff and let them knock the corners off Harper's head. I know how risky that would be to Dion personally
I'm not so sure that he can't hack it, but I hear you. I'm not so sure that he hasn't been directed not to do same, in which case, he's listening to and using bad judgement.
Do you think he's leashing others? I doubt that, though I think his handler's may be pitching, that they have to let Dion make his mark, so hold back.
To be honest, it would be great to see others out there supporting Dion. Gawd, Martha, Gerard, Michael and Bob...all out there speaking to the platform and Dion as a person? Yes that would be the right thing.
Well, I'm writing them tonight to suggest same. You convinced me, :).
KNB - I've read your stuff, you have your own values. I didn't convince you of anything you didn't already realize. I'm grateful you're going to write about this as I have. Now get others to do the same. For what it's worth, I believe Stephane Dion can do the job. He's bright enough and plainly knowledgeable enough. He just has to break out of his shell. One on one, he has Harpo beat hands down.
Fair enough, ;).
I have to agree, either lead or leave, but one thing offers hope is that when dion is on the campain trail, he is a force to be recon with, but he should be on the trail right now, this is after all a minority, that people want desparatly to get rid off.
Thanks, guys, for an interesting discussion (and for the info on press releases).
I, too, wondered why the newscast ignored S.Dion's presence @ the Hindu Temple, why giving loads of facetime to Harper and McGuinty.
I was on the impression that Dion was doing the bbq circuit this summer, hitting smaller markets.
I actually think its a good idea for him to connect with canadians on smaller, more intiment events.
I would not underestimate Dion's handlers. He has some talent in there and I know they're working hard.
Some anon spouted incoherently: "this is after all a minority, that people want desparatly to get rid off."
I hope that anon has access to the polls with the Liberals at > 40%. That'd be about the only real example of desperation that I can think of.
Otherwise s/he might be mistaken for an idiot and thought to simply be projecting.
I'd presume it a case of mistaking oneself for the majority, all the while forgetting that those folks are known as the _silent_ majority.
The vocal ones are usually those other groups, the ones opposite the majority.
Scott tribe got it right when he wrote:
"its an online poll.. which accuracy and methods are highly suspect."
Some site I looked up more than once had an Angus Reid polling button for Harper or Dion as leader. I pressed "Dion" the first time and ignored it after that.
Not too smart! I can just picture a bunch of eager volunteers sitting around in the Cons' shiny new War Room with nothing to do but eat pizza and look for polls to skew. Am betting the big strategy now is to try and stop Dion from gaining momentum (and try to deny it when he does).
To see what Dion's doing out there that gets reported, sign up for a Google Alert on Dion (it's free). Am sure we've got a winner with this man. See "The Further Adventures of Backpack Boy" in the July 4 issue of Frank for some funny pix. (Page 6's not bad either.)
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