Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New poll shows Libs and Tories tied at 32%

Pollster Allan Gregg says the Conservatives should be "concerned", but not freaking out just yet about his company's latest poll that shows the Liberals have caught up and are currently tied at 32% of electoral popularity.

I'm not surprised. The conservatives didn't win the last election on the merit of their platform or policies -- they won it because the Liberal party was so dogged by the Gomery scandal. And their win wasn't exactly a huge mandate; they barely managed to squeak out a minority government. The vast majority of Canadians, over 60%, voted for someone else.

Since coming to office, the tories have alienated all but their hard core supporters with some extreme and divisive policies. When the body bags started coming home from Afghanistan, Canadians began to take issue with a foreign policy that took us out of our traditional peacekeeping role and made us aggressors. Harper's adulation (and imitation) of the Bush administration is cause for real concern among the majority of Canadians, who strongly disapprove of Bush. Lately, the "new government's" ideological side has started rearing its ugly head, with the appointments of religious wingnuts to high offices, funding cuts to Status of Women, the Court Challenges Program and other Liberal-initiated special interest agencies. The proposal of despicable legislation like the "Defense of Religion" act, which would legalize hate speech, pushed moderates further away. And with his determination to hold a vote on gay marriage, when it's already law, Harper is kow-towing to the most extreme element of his supporters.

The "Hidden Harper Agenda" that caused him to lose the 2004 election has become reality, and the polls reflect how people feel about it. Let's hope this trend continues, and that Harper doesn't do too much more damage before the next election when we boot him back into Opposition where he belongs.