September 30, 2009

Outremont Outburst Saps Liberal Support in Quebec: CROP poll

Imagine if a poll was done post-Outremont explosion and pre-Denis Coderre meltdown.

CROP obliges...and it doesn't look good for Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals.

The Outremont fiasco erupted halfway through this polling period but it seems the party is dropping even faster than you can say green shift...

Ignatieff and the Liberals have their worst score in Quebec ever with 26%, only 2 points more than what Stephane Dion got last year, and 10 points behind their score in June. The Bloc moves up to 33%. Stephen Harper and the Tories nab 21%.

After Outremont, the Liberal Party is left without much of a ground game in Quebec. We will know soon how many of the precious few Quebec organizers are left with Denis Coderre out of the picture.

I have never been a huge fan of Denis Coderre, but I was one of many observers who noted that he busted his ass to help the Liberal Party in Quebec. Denis criss-crossed the province, going to as many nominations as he humanly could. Denis found many of the candidates, which may be easy for potential winnable ridings, but in the Liberal no man's land that is rural Quebec, getting qualified people to run for the party is a difficult task in and of itself.

While the English media completely tore Coderre to shreds over the Outremont issue, he was gaining sympathy among the French media, who he has spent years developing a close friendship. On the day Ignatieff put forward a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons, Coderre took center stage for the last time in a while, attempting in vain to both tear the OLO a new asshole and turn himself into a martyr.

While martyrdom and Denis Coderre should never be placed in the same sentence together, the people in IggyCentral in Ottawa have a couple of major problems. Coderre was the face of the party in Quebec for the last year. He was the party's main organizing force on the ground. There is now a hole that cannot be filled by Marc Andre Blanchard or Jean Marc Fournier. While both men are brilliant, neither are MPs or running for election. Both are providing strategic advice, not putting boots on the ground. As much as I love Brigitte Legault, she can't be the only Quebec Liberal on the ground until the Spring.

The second problem the Ignatieff people have is the willingness of party officials and bloggers to completely throw their own leader under a bus, never mind the Quebec Lieutenant. As much as I appreciate the fake outrage over closed nominations...let's be honest, this wasn't about closed nominations, but about Coderre's power play. The pissing contest, while misplaced, was not a reason to throw most of the party's Quebec organizational work over the last year out the window.

Day after day, Liberal media strategy was a mere waste of breath as many within the party turned their fire on one of their own. As much as Quebec Liberals appreciate the input of party members across the country, if the Quebec Liberal caucus and membership suddenly descended on an MP from another province with the fury seen in this situation, I am sure you would all be scratching your heads as well.

The Liberals cannot have another election right now. Not until they put fresh new blood on the ground in Quebec. Not until every Liberal is committed to getting Stephen Harper out of office. Not until Liberals give Michael Ignatieff a bit of room to manoeuvre. As long as people do not feel that the Liberals are prepared to govern they will not vote for them.

There is one silver lining in the CROP poll, the NDP lost 5 points, even more than the Liberals. The good news for the Liberal Party is that even with an political H-bomb exploding in the riding, Tom Mulcair will still lose.


September 15, 2009

Jack and Gilles

Jack and Gilles went up the hill
to fetch a deal with Stephen
Jack fell down just like a clown
as all his voters listened

Up Jack got and home did trot
claiming he got Steve to dance
but in the end he could only pretend
that he really had a chance

Gilles came in and he did grin
adding the vote of the Bloc
with their support he could report
on Friday there'd be a menage-a-trois

Gilles did laugh and Jack did cry
as NDP hopes slipped away
Steve's alive, for now he's survived
but Michael Ignatieff will win the day.