What is the world coming to when only our satirists make sense anymore? Rick Mercer proves that point in this perceptive piece in the Globe and Mail today.
The EKOS poll of Sept 24 has some interesting results. I think the increase of the Cons support and the decrease of the NDP support revolves around the fact Canadians do not want an election now. The flat Liberal support in the face of the declaration that they will no longer prop up the Harper government means that they will now be acting like a true opposition. No longer will the Liberals be saying how insufficient and ineffective the government is and then voting for their policies to avoid an election.
The Cons level of commitment to their party is based on the sense that this next election is the last great hope for Harper to get a majority. If he fails to do that, the long knives will be out amongst the party elites and the base will stay home. The push to redistribute the House of Commons seats this fall will add seats in Alberta, BC and Ontario. Harper will pander to people there this election. It will not be as much as he pandered to Quebec last election but he has to bolster his base in BC and Alberta and grow in Ontario to get a majority.
The real and seriously under reported story of this poll is the level of uncommitted, and soft commitment levels. The hype on the Cons level of commitment is part of the total of 7% of all Canadians who are strongly committed to a party at this time. The Con supporters who are committed true believers are no more committed than Liberals, NDP or Greens, there are just slightly more of them in the 7% total for the country. That is no reason to leap to calling an election result.
The facts are that 27% are not committed, and 67% are moderately or loosely committed. That means 2/3 of Canadians are swing voters. This means the voter is volatile and in a vile mood. Call an early and unnecessary election at your peril Mr. Layton. Pander to regionalism and prefer stimulus funds to your pals in Conservative ridings at your peril Mr. Harper. Be passive aggressive and vaguely defined at your peril Mr. Ignatieff. As for Ms. May, just get into the House of Commons next election and you win.