Monday, January 09, 2006

My Pre-Debate Instinct

I have concluded from the polls and anecdotal evidence that the Conservatives are headed for some type of victory. The exact shape is not clear (the Strategic Counsel poll appears to put the Conservatives at about 135 seats), and all those new Tory adherents aren't firmly committed yet. But it does seem to me that the Liberals are being rejected wholesale.

I think the negative Conservative ads focused on the Gomery scandal must be doing great damage. And the media stories on income trust and this new but old Quebec 1995 story are really taking their toll.

I continue to think that much of this is unfair to the Liberals in the sense that all the Gomery stuff seems very minor to me at worst (I don't think any wrong doing will be uncovered in the income trust business), and completely trivial compared to the impending Abramoff scandal in the U.S., but life is sometimes unfair.

The debate could still alter the landscape significantly, but I doubt that it can save the Martin government. It could make an important difference to the distribution of preferences (it could boost the NDP for example), and is therefore worth watching.

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