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Liberals slip badly in polls

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Perhaps a little wake up call to get their house in order? Old skeletons coming out of the closet?


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By DANIEL LEBLANC
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail


The Liberals, headed for an easy election win a week ago, have plummeted into minority-government territory in popular support as most Canadians want to hear the results of an inquiry into the sponsorship scandal before they vote, according to a poll.

The survey, done by Ipsos-Reid for The Globe and Mail and CTV, could throw cold water on plans for a spring ballot.

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It also shows that more Canadians blame former prime minister Jean Chrétien (29 per cent) for the scandal than the present prime minister, Paul Martin (22 per cent). In his first public comments on the week-old controversy yesterday, Mr. Chrétien refused to say whether he would appear before a newly called public inquiry, dismissing reporters' questions by stating that he is out of government.

“I don't think any more,” Mr. Chrétien said when asked about his thoughts on the scandal.

In the poll, 90 per cent said they would expect Mr. Chrétien to appear before the inquiry to “explain what he knows.” Mr. Martin has already offered to testify.

The new survey suggests that the Liberals' 11-year grip on power is in danger despite Mr. Martin's week-long public-relations push to contain the damage. The Liberals have fallen to 35 per cent in popular support, from 39 per cent last week and 48 per cent only four weeks ago.

The Conservative Party has risen to 27 per cent, up from 19 per cent four weeks ago, and the New Democrats are relatively stable at 17 per cent. In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois has surged to 45 per cent, compared to 31 per cent for the Liberals.

Mr. Martin gave no sign of delaying the vote as he continued his media-heavy strategy to win popular support for his plan to solve the scandal. But Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker said a spring election would be risky.

“When you get down in the territory of 35 per cent, you don't win majorities. . . . I don't think there is anybody now who would be seriously advising [Mr. Martin] to go to the polls on this basis, unless he just wants to completely roll the dice,” Mr. Bricker said .

Last week's Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted from Tuesday, the day the auditor's report was released, through Thursday. The new poll of 1,055 Canadians was conducted from Wednesday through Sunday. On any given question, it has a 95-per-cent statistical likelihood of accuracy within a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, upward or downward. The poll also asked 737 people questions about their attitudes on the scandal. It is accurate to within 3.6 percentage points.

Mr. Martin is scrambling to save his political future after a scathing report by the Auditor-General blasted the Liberal government for funnelling $100-million to a handful of advertising firms that provided little or no value to Canadians. In the face of allegations of patronage and fraud, Mr. Martin was forced to insist yesterday that “the Liberal Party is not corrupt.”

Mr. Martin has adopted a high-risk strategy, making a clean break with Mr. Chrétien's government and blaming political operatives who he vowed would be identified by a public inquiry.

One of the key planks in Mr. Martin's strategy is to insist that he was not aware of wrongdoing in the sponsorship scheme before the matter became public in the spring of 2002.

Two-thirds of respondents, however, said Mr. Martin had to know “something” or “a lot” about the scandal, including who was responsible for the mismanagement of public funds.

Sixty-five per cent indicated they want to find out “what happened in the sponsorship program” before an election is called, compared to 32 per cent who preferred an early vote.

Mr. Bricker said the message from Canadians is that if Mr. Martin calls an election for early May, as has been expected, it will look as though the Liberals “are trying to hide something.”

The public accounts committee of the House has started an investigation into the misuse of funds, and Mr. Martin has ordered a public inquiry to be headed by a judge. Both investigations will take months to reach any definitive conclusion.

Mr. Martin acknowledged the need for Canadians to know more about what happened to the public funds, but added that he also needs a new mandate to enact his promises for other areas of government.

“There is no doubt Canadians are entitled certainly to more information than we currently have. And we are going to provide them [with more]. But there is a balance that has to be drawn here," Mr. Martin said.

“Canadians are entitled to say that a new government with a new agenda ought to seek a mandate. And a new Prime Minister ought to seek a mandate.”

It will be up to Mr. Martin to decide on the election date, but Public Works Minister Stephen Owen said that Canadians will have to start getting a sense of what happened before the next election.

“I'm sure [Mr. Martin] will take into very deep consideration the need of the public to know that these issues are being delved into as stringently as possible,” Mr. Owen said.

Mr. Martin toured Quebec yesterday in an attempt to demonstrate that the problem is not specific to the province, recalling corruption charges against the Grant Devine government in the 1980s in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Martin was responding to questions about Liberal MP Joe Comuzzi, the new minister of state for economic development in Northern Ontario, who has been quoted as saying the sponsorship scandal “is a Quebec issue and I guess that's how they do politics there.”

“That's totally unacceptable,” Mr. Martin said of his minister's remarks. “Quebec politics are very healthy.”

Opposition politicians were quick to capitalize on the situation yesterday.

NDP leader Jack Layton said he's willing to form a minority government with the Liberals if the sponsorship scandal ends up denying the ruling party a majority of parliamentary seats in a spring election.

“If the poll lines keep going the way they are going — us up . . . and the Liberals down — then the probability of a minority government increases,” he said.

But Mr. Layton says a non-negotiable precondition of any coalition with the Liberals will be holding a national referendum on switching to a new method of electing MPs to Parliament. With reports from Rhéal Séguin, Steven Chase and Tu Thanh Ha
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ChrisD
In his first public comments on the week-old controversy yesterday, Mr. Chrétien refused to say whether he would appear before a newly called public inquiry, dismissing reporters' questions by stating that he is out of government.

“I don't think any more,” Mr. Chrétien said when asked about his thoughts on the scandal.
Once again Cretin demonstrates what an arrogant ass he is. Last time I checked, he is still a sitting MP, and as such has an obligtion to his constituents.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
“I don't think any more,” Mr. Chrétien said when asked about his thoughts on the scandal.



I love this man!!!!



The media can just go and fuck themselves for all he cares, doesn''t need them anymore, and now he doesn't even have to smile at them anymore.
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
I'm glad to see the Teflon coating is finally wearing away from the federal Liberals. It's about friggin' time!
 
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416

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Liberals slip badly in polls

Originally posted by Vote Quimby
Once again Cretin demonstrates what an arrogant ass he is. Last time I checked, he is still a sitting MP, and as such has an obligtion to his constituents.
Why don't you check again dillznick. He resigned his seat.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Re: Liberals slip badly in polls

Originally posted by Vote Quimby
That's why I said "last time I checked" shitbag.
Ya, I know. That's why I said "check again".

Anyway, don't mind me. Continue backpeddling.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vote Quimby
Ok, so he resigned, but as the PM during the scandal he still has an obligation to answer questions.
Legally he doesn't. In fact being that he is a lawyer he would be an idiot to say anything first to the press. If he is called before any form of hearing or enquiry he has to speak, but for the rest he is an idiot to open his mouth.

Next I think it has to be pointed out that he is a long timew member of the liberal party. I doubt he is going to stab his party in the foot. Even when he might want to talk he is going to hold back.

Here is a guy who made a habit of not talking to the media or answering questions. We would he do otherwise now that he is a private citizen.


Martin is a bigger fool. Don't blame the other guy so early in your time in office. And don't do it heading inot the election. The united right played this card exceptionally well. They waited long enough and now its going to eclipse there internal problems.

Being that I'm a card carrying red, this isn't good for me. But in all reality I actually predict a loss in the next election. A united right simply in ontario changes everything. A minor change in political balance and no vote plit makes ontario a serious loss the liberals can't afford.


To be honest I expected Jean to leave some serious dirt behind. I was expecting billions again, but 350 million is a good start.
 
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416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Legally he doesn't. In fact being that he is a lawyer he would be an idiot to say anything first to the press.
It's a shame that you have to explain such blatantly obvious things to the unwashed, Sunday Sun reading masses (aka Vote Quimby).
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Yeah.. now the greasy hand of the "conservatives" can get in there right?
Damned straight! Let's get the pork barrel rolling back to Ontario and the West for a change! ;)
 
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Gunark

TRIBE Member
Who didn't see this one coming from 10 years away. All good things must come to an end. Same for not-so-good things.

In politics, a long consecutive party run pretty much always ends in scandal.
 

swilly

TRIBE Member
i think martin is on the pay roll of the tories or some other group to bring down the liberals its too much too soon.
Only a fool would do this to his own party let alone make such a deal of it.

He should of left things as they were. Had ne not changed anything in chretiens gov't i doubt they would of lost. Had chretien ran again i doubt they would of lost

oh well
swilly
 

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
now bryden's quit the liberal party...

say what you will, but the Liberals are still far and away the best option for canadians. i mean, sure they squander money on zany things, but at least they provide us with a surplus with which to squander.

conservatives seem to have a strange fondness of deficits.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
What great timing though... No matter what Paul looks bad just in time for an election. No way to avoid it being an issue going into the election, no way to distance himself.
 
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