Two very different models, both interesting.
The big leak about this afternoon’s economic update is that the government will eliminate the $27-million subsidy to political parties. “Sources” have been busy propagating the news yesterday to as many major media outlets as they could (but not Maclean’s bloggers apparently – theys must be pissed).
If this little maneuver comes from the flacks at the Prime Minister’s Office (Tory Teneyke and the gang), and and it probably does, the question is why.
Well, they know it’s going to be controversial, but probably fairly popular. Everybody will suffer, why not those dastardly politicians? It’s probably difficult for folks to accept the argument that this would effectively lead to a single-party system for a little while, the elusive “permanent majority” as they say down south.
I bet the leak is all about the deficit. That is what the newspapers would normally focus on this morning – the threat of a multi-billion deficit that may take at least 24 months to get rid of.
In the long winter nights that are coming to Ottawa’s drinking establishments, perhaps the Conservative flacks will tell the tale of how they eclipsed a $5-billion deficit with a $27-million cut.
WAS-I-EVER-WRONG UPDATE: No deficit after all. So this morning’s leak wasn’t about covering that up, it was about getting the political funding thing covered in the morning, so that precious TV time tonight would focus more on other aspects of the announcement – mostly, the fact that they don’t intend to run a deficit. A quick look at the early coverage indicates that it is indeed the case. It’s easy to do good PR when you have good material to work from.
Elizabeth Thompson reports on a rather novel approach to ad placement by the Conservatives. Could it be that they’re thinking ahead to the 2012 federal election?
On her new French-language blog, veteran hack/pundit Chantal Hébert reacts to the Conservatives’ poo-pooing the idea the Greens take part in the televised debate. She gingerly suggests that maybe, just maybe, Team Harper might be setting the stage for a debate boycott.
L’équipe Harper qui n’est pas friande d’événements dont le contrôle lui échappe, surtout au profit des médias, chercherait-t-elle à mettre en place les éléments d’un boycottage conservateur des débats ? L’idée semble excessivement téméraire mais la culture d’affrontement adoptée par le parti dans ses relations avec les médias depuis son arrivée au pouvoir ne permet pas de l’exclure d’emblée.
If this came from anybody else than Hébert, I would say somebody had too much pre-election Cool-Aid. In any case, it seems Hébert won’t be speculation-shy on her blog. C’est excellent.
This little bit (pdf warning) from the latest Angus Reid poll seems to be confirming that the federal Liberals have put Adscam behind them. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s “Honesty and trustworthiness” rating is at 30%, to Prime minister Harper’s 31%. If Liberals should not have to worry too much about their past relationship with shady admen when they go door-to-door next week, they have their leader to thank for this. Also, Canadians are telling Angus Reid that when it comes to environment issues, they trust Mr. Dion a lot more (45%) than Mr. Harper (27%) – all Dion’s doing (he’s been campaigning on this since the leadership race).
But that’s all the good news the Liberals are going to get from this poll.
Approval ratings: Harper 32%, Duceppe 39% (Qc only), Layton 30%, May 21%, Dion 11%. The approval rating is like Homer Simpson falling off a cliff: every time you go down a position (“doh!”), it hurts more and more. Dion is flat down at the bottom, hurting.
The campaign starts in a few days. Let’s see how these numbers move.
So apparently, that is going to be the Conservatives’ campaign slogan, at least at the start (it’s permitted to change en route).
“Strong leadership on your side” sounds kind of familiar – they won’t get any points for originality. I could not find an instance when the complete slogan was used before. However, a quick search turns up several instances when either part was used. Here are the results (to be completed with your contributions, should you happen to find more):
- Bush-Cheney 2004
- Rudy Guliani 2008
- Iyad Allawi 2005
- National Party, 1951
- Ehud Olmert 2006
- Labour 2001
“On your side”
- Ontario NDP 1999
- Alberta NDP 2008
- Duncan Smith 2003
- Social Democrats 2002
- Michael Dukakis 1988