Friday, March 25, 2011

More like 2004

Warren Kinsella seems to believe that the upcoming election will be like the 1984 election. I think he has missed it by 20 years.

The beginning of this election is more like the election of 2004.

For that election the sitting government began the it under a cloud of scandal but the scandal, that eventually became Adscam, was still not fully explored, since Justice Gomery had barely begun his work. So there was a suspicion that things were not quite right with the ethical conduct of the government but it had not yet hit that critical mass that caused the sitting government to suffer for it at the polls. Although it did suffer for it at the only poll that really mattered. (More on that in a minute)

The sitting PM had a huge lead over his chief opponent in every leadership score there was. Actually the lead was embarrassingly large. So much so the media had pretty much written off his chief opponent and expected the government to be returned with a majority despite the scandals.

Hell, there was even a poll published by a government friendly newspaper just days before the writ was dropped and the banner front page headline in that paper was "Liberals heading for majority: poll". The story then went on to explain that the governing party was in majority terrritory with almost a 20 point lead.

The economy was booming and the governing party wanted to focus on that while downplaying the brewing scandal.

The governing party spent a great deal of time and money demonizing their chief opponent.

Sound familiar?

Of course, we all know how that election turned out. The governing party was reduced to a minority government and its main opponent set itself up for a victory just 18 months later.

This does not seem to bode well for the Liberals this time because if the same thing happens this time as it did in 2004 they lose.

However, there are some big differences that need to be explored.

First and foremost, the governing party had a majority government heading into the 2004 election. It could afford to lose a bunch of seats and still retain power. The margin for error for the current government is much smaller.

Second, Paul Martin was actually liked by most Canadians. They knew he was partly responsible for the good times that we were enjoying at that time. As well, he was on the right side of many issues that mattered to Canadians such as health care and child care. The current government leader is not liked and the governments priorities seem to be out of step with the electorate.

Third, the government of PMPM and of PMJC before him enjoyed majority support and double digit leads over their cheif opponent, in poll after poll, from every polling company, for years prior to that election. That remained true right up to when the writ was dropped. With the exception of the past 6 weeks the current government has been mired in minority government territory and has bounced back and forth between small leads to statistical ties with their chief opponents for the past 24 months. And if you go back to the time between the 2004 election and the 2006 election you see a similar pattern.

The parallels between this coming election and the one that we enjoyed in 2004 are quite striking. However, there are several key differences that will have an impact on how things unfold going forward so I am certain that his election will eventually turn out like the 2011 election instead of the 2004 or 1984 elections.


Blogger JF said...

Bah. Kinsella has turned himself into the Canadian version of Alan Colmes... he's just the token Liberal that the conservative media trot out to do a little dance to amuse. He knows who's buttering his bread and responds accordingly.

March 25, 2011 12:51 PM  
Blogger warren said...

Hey - I'm not going to get into a pissing match with a gutless wonder who you have permitted to toss around libel without identifying himself. I will say, however, that I wrote what I believe.

Liberals need a wake-up call. And if reminding them about 1984 is a way to do that, I've done my job.

March 25, 2011 1:53 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

I don't restrict what people say in the comments of this blog.

But I also do not endorse what they say.

The only opinions expressed here that are mine are those that are under the moniker of Ottlib. Everybody elses' is everybody elses'.

With regard to the subject of my post I expressed my disagreement with your assessment and why. You will note in doing so that I did not express my opinion of your motives for making that assessment because I do not know them and I don't really care what they are either.

March 25, 2011 5:22 PM  

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