Skip to comments.So much for the experts (Canada's liberal msm's stupidity rivals America's)
Posted on 02/21/2006 9:26:44 AM PST by GMMAC
So much for the experts
National Post Editorial Page
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
A week ago the Toronto Star declared that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had "paid a steep political price" for his decision to appoint former Liberal David Emerson to the Conservative Cabinet. The Star said "people feel genuinely let down" over the appointment, and argued Harper had consequently "devalued his chief personal asset-- credibility."
Now the numbers are in. An Ipsos Reid poll for CanWest News Service and Global News released yesterday, but conducted at the same time the Star was opining about how Canadians allegedly felt, found that Harper's public approval rating was, in fact, unchanged despite the controversy.
That's right. The appointments of Emerson as Trade Minister, and Michael Fortier, the Tory campaign co-chair appointed simultaneously to the Senate and to Cabinet as Minister of Public Works, might have set off fits of lamentation in the media, thundering denunciations over a "deplorable" political miscalculation and suggestions that it "might be the worst first week a prime minister has ever had," yet they have had no impact on Harper's popularity whatsoever.
If this is the political price the Prime Minister has to pay for the worst first week ever, then he should hope that every week is equally bad.
Montreal's Gazette warned sternly in an editorial that "Harper and his two problem-child ministers will have to work hard to help Canadians get this bad taste out of their mouths." The Star argued "once corroded, trust is not easily restored." The pundits were clamouring for, if not a truth and reconciliation commission, then at least a humiliating climbdown. It even seemed to them as if the Prime Minister was shying away from public appearances and media availability, suggesting they really had him on the run. There is nothing like a wounded beast in the blood sport that is Ottawa politics. No one stopped to consider the possibility that Harper actually had more pressing priorities than submitting to the media's demands for contrition -- like appointing a new ambassador to Washington.
So that raises the question: What happened to all the alleged "public queasiness"? How is it possible that Harper, again in the words of the Star, could have "shrugged off the public's dismay" and not have paid any political price for it at all? Even a 1% drop in his approval rating would have been enough to convince them of the validity of their thesis.
The answer of course, is that the public never was dismayed. Once again, the paid observers have superimposed their own dismay on the way "the public" is purported to think. Stephen Harper, perhaps, said it best: "I expected some of the superficial criticism I've seen."
Far from betraying indications of a weak government, biding its time until the Liberal party chooses a new leader and resumes its rightful place in government in an election a few months hence, Stephen Harper is demonstrating something Canada has not seen in a couple of years -- it's called leadership. Leaders can see past the flim- flam of punditry and have an innate sense of what the public is truly thinking. In this case, it seems, the public is not thinking much of anything, except that they'd prefer it if Emerson ran in a by-election. Even then, a surprising number of people don't seem to care.
This is hardly evidence of a catastrophic misstep that will haunt them until they are consigned again to the opposition benches.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives will now begin to accrue the benefits of their appointments. By acquiring the services of David Emerson, they have added the best Liberal in British Columbia short of Premier Gordon Campbell, and he doesn't count. In Michael Fortier, they have acquired a shrewd politician who will build on the Conservative breakthrough in Quebec. They have done this, according to the polls, without any measurable political cost.
The point is this: You can't lose the support of people who never supported you in the first place. That applies to Vancouver Kingsway Liberals (with one notable exception) and their shills in the press gallery both.
© National Post 2006
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
I saw a headline saying that some poll said Emerson should run again for his seat, this time as a Conservative. Do you remember any such polls when Bill's Belinda switched parties?
My advise to Prime Minister Harper,
avoid the dominant left-wing neo-marxist media at
all costs.They will do nothing but attack the only way
they know how with extreme bias.
Do as POTUS Bush and Cheney do,go around them.
"............Stephen Harper, perhaps, said it best: "I expected some of the superficial criticism I've seen."...."
Sounds like your Mister Harper is not only following your advice, but letting the fevered twits know just exactly what he thinks of their little tantrums in the bargain.
(Sounds like my grandpa's advice for dealing with gradeschool bullies: "Grab 'em by the nose, then boot 'em in the arse.")
What has really happened since:
a) CPC continues to gain in Quebec, mostly at Bloc expense (GREAT for national unity!!!)
b) Ontario is becoming even more polarized than it is now, although the left is becoming more split (the NDP is gaining some at Liberal expense)
c) The West is virtually unchanged (we need to make gains there though)
d) Atlantic Canada is still leaning Liberal