2008/09/15

Election 2008: Day Nine

There was one encouraging sign for the Liberals today. The Harris-Decima daily rolling poll showed a softening of support for the Conservatives, dropping from 41 to 38 %. The Liberals picked up three points. The spread between the two parties is still considerable. As I suggested earlier, the Liberal goal should be to hold Harper to another minority. This would allow them an opportunity to retool and pick a new leader before the next election.

Stephane Dion's Green Shift, while supported by a lot of environmentally minded citizens, is in danger of becoming an albatross around the Liberals' neck. Dion seems unable to explain it clearly and concisely in a way that would successfully deflect Harper's attacks.

After this weekend's meltdown in the US, the economy is likely to loom front and center as an election issue. The Conservatives are trying to sell themselves as prudent fiscal managers. This conflicts with their record since Harper took the reins of power. The slaying of the deficit and the creation of large surpluses occurred during the Chretien/Martin years. Since 2006 Harper has squandered the surplus and left us on the brink of a return to deficit financing. The Liberals should be emphasizing that record of good financial management.

The Libs should also be showcasing their bench strength in contrast to Harper's one-man show. Where are Iggy, Rae, Dryden, Goodale etc?

Today Dion was in Newfoundland attempting to capitalize on Danny Williams' ABC campaign. He announced $420 million for fisheries programs, most of it aimed at offsetting the carbon tax. But even there he was placed on the defensive when former Liberal provincial/federal cabinet minister John Efford was shown on national television stating that everyone he talks to is concerned about the proposed carbon tax. Nonetheless, the Liberals have some hope of picking up a seat or two there, with Loyola Hearn and Norm Doyle having abandoned the Conservative ship in the face of Danny's onslaught. The NDP might have a chance in St. John's East where Jack Harris, former provincial NDP leader, is running.

Meanwhile Jack Layton was busy in Halifax where he made a billion-dollar promise to fix the health care system once and for all. He promised that an NDP government would spend an average of $200-million a year to increase training spaces and help provinces expand their medical schools. The aim would be to boost the number of new nurses and doctors by 50 per cent to address a shortage that has left five million Canadians without a family doctor. Certainly a worthy goal, if he ever had a chance to pursue it.

2 comments:

I'm From Mars said...

Harper as "prudent fiscal manager"? They must be kidding! Do they think we're morons? Then again, maybe we are if we give Harper a majority....

Frustrated said...

I like Layton's plan to fix the healthcare problem. Everywhere you go there are longer and longer lineups to see doctors....