Friday, February 13, 2009

Ignatieff and the Liberal Brand

Interesting piece by Ivison in today's Post.

Certainly Michael Ignatieff has captured Canada's attention for the moment.

The only thing we must remember is that the polls are fickle -- today's hero is tomorrow's bum.

The real issue everyone is focussed on now is the economy -- if the economy does not turn around before the next election there will be a natural tendency to try "the other guy". Regardless, with new strong and popular leadership the situation for the Liberal Party is greatly improved over, say, six months ago.

John Ivison: Liberals enjoy the Ignatieff effect

John Turner once joked that the Liberal Party was so split that if he won a general election, the caucus would demand a recount. That was then.

Such was the disenchantment with the St├ęphane Dion era, that the Messiah-like arrival of Michael Ignatieff seems to have reduced the appetite for rebellious mischief to record lows.

“There are people who are saying ‘let’s check this guy out - I used to vote Liberal’. They’re coming to the door,” the new leader told staff and MPs at a reception in Ottawa on Wednesday. “We have got to show them a Liberal Party that likes itself. Let’s put aside the fights and show them a party worthy of their trust.”

All the signs suggest that Canadians are indeed coming to the door. A new Nanos Research poll reveals that Canadians believe the new Liberal leader handled the budget adeptly, with 35% of those surveyed saying his performance was good or very good, compared to 14% who thought he did poorly. Stephen Harper was also given pass marks for his handling of the budget, with 40% thinking he did well or very well, compared to 24% who thought he did badly.

But there was less encouraging news for Mr. Harper when respondents were asked whether leaders would have a positive or negative impact on local party candidates. Thirty-eight per cent thought Mr. Ignatieff would have a positive effect, against just 19% who believed he would be a negative influence. He recorded positive numbers in every region of the country.

By contrast, while 37% felt positively about Mr. Harper, 32% felt negatively, with much of the ill-will concentrated in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Full story here:


Oemissions said...

For a guy that deals in maybe's it maybe so for now.
Maybe not when more pink slips are handed out.

Downes said...

If you want to convince us, then you'll have to show us evidence of him being thoughtful and intelligent.

I haven't seen that; 'smarmy' is the word I'd use to describe him so far. He has to drop the politician act and begin talking seriously with Canadians about the problems we face.

He will have to trust that we can understand him.

Let's see some video of him - where's his YouTube presence? The top videos of him are comedy sketches - and Conservatives! Let's see him do some real communicating. Let's see *how* he thinks, not how he plays politics.

Right now he's up against a much tougher opponent in Harper than he cares to admit (he should have taken him out when he had the chance). And Harper is getting to people - don't believe the polls, particularly, Harper is building strength on strength that will not be reflected until these strengths are tested.

Unless Ignatieff actually *talks* to Canadians, he will lose. And he must talk directly to Canadians, bypassing a media that has, by and large, turned its back on the Liberals and the left in Canada.