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Monday, June 02, 2008

Is Harper on the Right Track or is He a Divisive Force in Canada?

The latest Ipsos Reid poll is at best a foreboding and foreshadowing for the future of Mr. Harper’s minority government. The wisdom of the public is reflected in that the Bernier affair has not changed the overall support rankings of the various political parties. It should not – at least not yet, until we know more about what went on with the security breach around the classified Cabinet documents.

The troubling trend for me in the new poll is the fracturing of the country on regional lines. Harper is a growing lightning rod for the fragmentation of the country based on perceptions of if the country is on the right track as a nation and the support to re-elect Harper's government.

His support for putting the country on the right track is regionalized from a high of 64% support in Alberta to a low of 48% in British Columbia. This is getting translated into growing questions about if the Harper government should be re-elected. There is a majority in Atlantic Canada (56%) and in Quebec (53%) who do not want the Harper government back. Only 48% of B.C. and 47% of Ontarians think Harper should be re-elected.

The lack of a forward thinking policy agenda from Harper’s “team” (sic) is now being talked about too as a growing concern. Tepid support for Harper being on the right track for the country and the growing sense he has no vision for the direction of the country and he is a divisive force will start to show his weaknesses as a leader.

We don’t need a manager as our Prime Minister. We need a leader we can trust and depend on. Harper has been positioned as a manager, a control freak and a master message manipulator, but that is not the stuff of a Prime Minister. Canadians are quickly coming to that realization and the new Ipsos Reid poll is showing this awareness which will be growing in the 17 months until the next election.