Thursday, December 24, 2009

Don't Count Ignatieff out yet!

Perhaps this article is correct. Certainly Harper did survive his bout with low poll numbers. However, there does not seem to be any sign of Ignatieff recovering very much. I think that Ignatieff''s best bet is if Harper manages to make himself unpopular. So far any attempt to boost Ignatieff's image does not seem to have worked at all. He does not seem to have put forward much in the way of policy that has engendered much positive interest. The public is often fickle however and perhaps Ignatieff can hope for the New Year. This is from the Winnipeg Free Press.

We can't count Ignatieff out yet
Liberal leader sits low in polls, but so did Harper
By: Hill Talk / Mia Rabson

OTTAWA -- Michael Ignatieff was named by Forbes last week as someone to watch for in 2010.

The magazine said that if an election is held next year, the Liberal leader could become the Canadian prime minister "with the biggest international profile since Pierre Trudeau."

The honour was met by a lot of eye rolls around Parliament Hill.

The Liberals have been in a free-fall for much of the fall, and overall support is only marginally better than it was during the 2008 election. You know, that election in which their support was the worst it has been since 1867.

One recent Angus Reid poll had only one in six Canadians approving of Ignatieff. While that was up slightly from the previous month, it's still only about half the number who approve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Last December, Ignatieff was touted as the saviour who would lead the Liberals back to victory. This December he spent fighting off rumours of a coup against his leadership and suggestions he will pull the plug himself and run back to Harvard with his tail between his legs.

For the moment, he seems resolved to stick it out. A good thing, as history has shown being down does not mean being out.

Even Stephen Harper could tell him that, if the two ever exchanged more than barbs.

In January 2003, 10 months after Harper was elected leader of the Canadian Alliance, the party's poll numbers had plunged.

An EKOS poll showed 10.5 per cent of Canadians supported the Alliance, compared to 52.1 per cent for the Liberals. It was down from the 25.5 per cent the Alliance received in the 2000 federal election. Even combined with the Progressive Conservatives' 13.8 per cent -- this was before the two parties merged -- the right-wing options in Canada were outstripped more than two to one by the Liberals in popular support. Comparatively, Ignatieff is doing pretty well.

And within 18 months, Harper had merged the two parties, won election as the new leader and turned more than a decade of Liberal majority rule into a minority.

Ignatieff certainly has a steep hill to climb, but as Harper showed, nothing is impossible.

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