Polls are indicating that Stephen Harper will at least win another minority in the upcoming, hopefully soon, election. But history has proven time and again that polls taken outside of an election campaign mean less than nothing.
As James Travers said recently:
Some conclusions roll too easily off political tongues. One echoing around the capital this winter is that an election now won’t change much. Possibly true, the assumption is almost certainly false. Campaigns matter and the next will matter more than most.
The other problem is that we have heard it so much that we've built up an immunity. We're more concerned with Harper selling us to the Americans, and allowing Wall Street to infiltrate our once sound banking industry, than Ignatieff teaching at Harvard for five years.
Beyond tossing red meat to diehard Conservatives, depressing opposition support helps explain the party’s current nasty advertising campaign. Framing Michael Ignatieff as a self-serving dilettante who dissed Canada from a distance is the kind of message that might well disillusion the same voters who stayed home rather than vote for the last Liberal leader Conservatives savaged, Stéphane Dion. Potentially decisive, that strategy to maximize the efficiency of the Conservative vote comes with a risk factor. Harper could inadvertently lower expectations to the point where Ignatieff in person proves to be a comparative surprise.
Ignatieff is accountable for foolish things said abroad. Still, there’s more to becoming prime minister than selective quotes. After all, Canadians forgot or forgave Harper’s divisive musings about Alberta firewalls and an Atlantic Canada culture of defeatism.
But there is something else that is being largely ignored. The power of the people.
Prior to Stephen Harper's last self-serving prorogation, he was ahead by 10 points in the polls. But the ease with which Canadians could be rallied in protest, showed an underlying distrust and anger. It is still there, because we got no closure, only talking points.
And what we see in Egypt, Wisconsin, and indeed across the globe, is an underlying discontent with corporate run governments, police brutality (like we saw at the G-20 by Harper's hired goons) and corruption. There is a mass "fighting back" movement that will make it's way here. I can feel it.
And Raquel Brown:
The uprising that swept Tunisia, Egypt, and parts of Europe is showing signs of blossoming across the United States. In Wisconsin, public employees and their supporters are drawing the line at Governor Scott Walker's plan to eliminate collective bargaining and unilaterally cut benefits. School teachers, university students, firefighters, and others descended on the capital in the tens of thousands, and even the Superbowl champion Green Bay Packers have weighed in against the bill. Protests against similar anti-union measures are ramping up in Ohio.
There are cracks in the armour
American conservatives often profess admiration for foreign workers' bravery in protesting and undermining authoritarian regimes. Letting workers exercise their rights at home, however, threatens to undermine some of our own regimes (the Republican ones particularly) and shouldn't be permitted. Now that Wisconsin's governor has given the Guard its marching orders, we can discern a new pattern of global repressive solidarity emerging -- from the chastened pharaoh of the Middle East to the cheese-head pharaoh of the Middle West.
And from the Huffington Post a reminder that we are all Wisconsin workers: That's the way solidarity works: an injury to anyone is an injury to all. For all our sakes, the Wisconsin protests must succeed in their goal: workplace negotiation not subjugation.
- If you want a voice on the job, you're a Wisconsin worker.
-If you want your employer to pay you the benefits you earned, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- If you enjoy your weekends, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- If you value workplace safety, health care benefits, and unemployment insurance, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- If you're an elected official counting on your pension, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- If you're a non-union employee in a right to work state, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- If you're unemployed or underemployed, you're a Wisconsin worker.
-If you want a decent day's pay for an honest day's work, you are a Wisconsin worker.
- If you believe in workplace negotiation not subjugation, you're a Wisconsin worker.
- And even if you're an anti-union media pundits with an American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) union card and protections, you're a Wisconsin worker.
Because we the citizens are now the official opposition.