It Ain't All Bad ...

Here's a bit of welcome news (Tip o' the hat to Warren K. - and I know how that particular tinfoil hat feels, believe me.)

Now, the usual caveat about not getting too excited about polls, etc. applies. In fact, it applies even more so during the dog days of summer.

But still, a result this close after a pretty bad patch of political news from mid-May to mid-July isn't so bad.

Here are just a few highlights from the June-July Environics poll:


Liberals: 34% of eligible and decided Canadian voters (-2% from the last poll in March/April, within the m.o.e.)

Conservatives: 31% of e & d C v's (+ 1%, also well inside the m.o.e.)

New Democrats: 2 % (+ 1%)

Bloc Q.: 11% (unchanged)

One in ten (11%) Canadian voters remain undecided about which party might deserve their support (down from 13%).

Regional Highlights:

* The Libs are 11% ahead of the Tories in Atlantic Canada ... but that's down from a 16% lead last time.

* BQ at 51% in Quebec. Anyone have any bright ideas on how to bring that # down?

* In Toronto, it's 51% Libs / 27% CPC / 19% NDP - The Tories are taking a beating in ol' Hogtown (much to my chagrin, given that is where I'm hanging my hat these days) but perhaps surprisingly, the NDP is getting lapped by the Grits as well.

* In Ontario as a whole, the order of finish is the same, but it's a bit closer: 44 / 33 / 20. Given the big lean in T.O., that puts the rest of Ontario in play.

* In the West, Tories leading in MB / SK / AB, with a near-dead heat in BC (Libs up by 3% over the CPC - I wonder if that's due to any spill-over from the recent provincial election?).


Well, let's just say Stephen and Paul have some work to do, while Jack & Gilles have gone up the hill. Not to be churlish - oh, what the heck, I'll be churlish - but just maybe it's easier to look good on TV when you made it explicitly (BQ) or implicitly (NDP) clear that you have no delusions of forming or keeping government anytime soon. Of course, to be fair (sigh - it's my curse in life) some less-than-sparkling performances on the part of PM and SH may have had something to do with it.

The Last Word:

It's not as if the CPC gained a tonne of ground, or that the Libs have lost it, that brightens my mood a bit when I read this. It's that despite all the "bad stuff" that has hit Harper ever since Madam Butterfly (sorry, couldn't resist) floated across the floor, and ever since Grewal became the story instead of that fine gent in the PMO and the Minister of Health --- Harper (and other Conservatives) are still in the game. Enough of the crying towels, and for God's sake, enough of the backbiting (reasonable self-criticism's still ok, of course!).

More later.


John Howard Speaks

With full credit for the find to NRO via Damian Penny, I point you to the remarks made yesterday by Australian Prime Minister John Howard, regarding the bombings in London. I won't post the whole thing here - follow the NRO link and read it for yourself; you'll be glad you did. An excerpt, however, is in order:

"Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq. And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq. Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that? When a group claimed responsibility ... for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan? ...

"[T]his is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder."

Damn. Why - WHY - can't we have politicians like that here?

More later.


Welcome, Robert & Other Lefties - Hands Off The Silverware!

Noted (if by "noted", you mean "banned from all sorts of blogs, at times arguably for cause") BloggingDipper founder Robert McClelland not only said some nice things about me, but added about 80 links to this site t'boot. So, if you've travelled here thanks to his post, welcome.

The reason for the kind words? I owned up when I misread one of his posts. It wasn't exactly a huge mistake - the details can be found here in particular, if you're interested, but it seems that it caught his eye.

Anyway, Robert has ... well, a bit of a reputation amongst the right-leaning blogging set. Still, I enjoy checking out his site, because there is often some good debate going on there ... at least until the comments degenerate into the usual "I hate Toronto lefties/I hate Calgary righties" gripe-fest. And besides, as wrong as Robert is now, he did vote CPC in '04 (sorry for the reminder, RM, but I haven't forgotten!) - he, and many others like him, can be saved again! It's not to late to mend! No soul is unworthy! Testify! Ahem. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, the point of this post:

I guess the point is, the great thing about this blogging mini-boom is that it can have an impact on society writ large - a point made at the CPC Town Hall (see the post below) by Monte Solberg and others, with the Dan Rather-George W Bush-National Guard story being a good example. But you know the routine: with great (or even minimal) power comes great (or at least decent) resposibility. If you trip up, say so and move on, and stick with the substance.

Oh, and Robert, in case you made it over here: yup, corporate welfare is wrong.

More later.


It's Alive!

... No, not this blog (although I'm grateful for a cyber-kick to the rear end from Erin Airton for guilting me into posting again).

I'm talking about the CPC in downtown Toronto.

As I've said here before, I'm the President of the CPC's Trinity-Spadina EDA (hold the applause - it isn't exactly a hotbed of conservatism - yet). Last night, we hosted a "Town Hall" meeting which drew about 100 folks from a number of "416" ridings. 100 people out on the night of a heatwave to listen to 3 MP's and a couple of candidates (plus one thankfully-brief EDA president!) isn't too bad. We weren't able to confirm everything until about a week prior to the event, which limited our ability to get notice out. Hopefully that won't be a factor next time.

Anyway, we had a good line-up. The moderator was St. Paul CPC candidate Peter Kent, and as speakers we had CPC MP's Peter Van Loan, Steven Fletcher and Monte Solberg. Our candidate in Trinity-Spadina, Sam Goldstein (website to follow shortly!) batted clean-up, and did very well. PVL spoke more on party organisation, while Steven and Monte talked more policy. Not a lot of policy details were announced, which did irk some people; my understanding is that the platform will be released plank-by-plank over the next couple of months. Hopefully, once that's done we can have another gathering like last night's.

All in all, I was pleased with how it turned out. After dreading the thought of there being 15 or so people in the crowd, I wasn't too sorry to see 100 faces in the audience. It goes without saying that downtown T.O. is tough sledding for Conservatives; the thing is, we know that, but we still don't plan on running a mere paper campaign.

For more commentary - of a more unbiased nature than my own, to be sure - check out RightGirl and LIB.

More later.