Tuesday, April 05, 2011


A couple of items jumped out of the election news this week. First, from Harris-Decima's poll this week:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 'unfavourable' rating increased by nine points to 52 per cent, up from 43 per cent in February. That's Harper's highest unfavourable ranking since the start of the last federal election in September 2008.
Highest unfavourable rating since 2008?  Does it reflect the accumulated weight of all the negatives of the past two months... Carson, contempt, etc?  This is not good news for the Conservatives.

And then this from Paul Wells:
.... the 2011 Harper is different from earlier editions. His tone is dark, his body language weary, his appeals to brighter emotions rote or non-existent. He runs the emotional gamut from bored to angry. “Of course,” his detractors will say. But he truly has has not always been this way on the road.

Early in the 2008 election I wrote about a Harper rally in a barn in Saskatchewan, not because it stood out, really, but because it typified the tone of his first campaign week that year. The barn was newly built, the crowd at dusk hushed and attentive. Harper was positively lyrical.
This is not what one would expect of a highly successful campaign. It remains early, the period of the phony war, the electorate not yet engaged, but perhaps it is significant.