It always sounds trite when politicians say they don’t pay attention to polls because any person who means to keep a valued career going pays attention to related trends.
There is no clear comment yet, however, from any of the national political parties on a recent Ekos poll that puts the Liberal Party of Canada on an upward swing at almost 40 per cent of decided and leaning voters. In the same poll the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) got just over 26 per cent and the New Democrats are at almost 24 per cent.
That Liberal gain has to do with Justin Trudeau as the new leader of the party, but how to explain the lack of love for the Conservative after nine years of being in charge of Canada’s interests?
Perhaps what the Conservative Party is in denial about is that the Canadian voting public was on the rebound when Stephen Harper et al fell into their much-desired spot as voter choice nine years ago. There was public disgust over misuse of millions of dollars by the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party over an eight-year period, paid to Quebec ad agencies to promote federal Liberal programs in the province. Then there was the effect of decades of Liberal party infighting. After 12 years in power, something had to give.
So the CPC may ask themselves why we don’t love them after all they’ve done for us, managing to make the Canadian economy look good while other First World economies teeter. They may have thought that this affair was to lead to a long-term marriage in their dream to remake Canada so that they would become the new ‘natural governing party’, but that is because they do not understand the nature of the rebound.
So here’s the stark reality CPC: We don’t love you. We are just putting up with you until the one we are really enamoured with comes back around. It’s better for you to know this now, so you can act accordingly.
Think of it this way, you were so willing, and so anxious to woo us and we were so hurt by actions of the ones we’re committed to that we were ready to take on anyone who made enough of an overture. To tell you the truth, it’s not as if you swept us off our feet. As it was, you were just in the right place at the right time to catch us as we were falling.
Now that the shock has worn off, we realize that for the most part we are uncomfortable with your vision on the environment, employment insurance, retirement payments, a national housing strategy, a national transportation plan, and our being that trusted temperate voice at the United Nations.
The stories you tell to the world about who we are does not match the way we see ourselves, and that just makes our relationship that much more tenuous.
Of course, if we’re being totally honest, let’s both admit that we were using each other. We were on the rebound, but didn’t you see us as your opportunity to advance your ambitions?
We get the feeling that you don’t love all of us either. It looks like you have developed an attachment to the part of us that’s all business, but when we want to talk to you about our healthcare or climate change you cut us off. We don’t think you’re really listening to us. We don’t want you to try and change us. We like who we are, we like being able to wear the Canadian flag on our backpacks as we wonder around the world, so your plans for how we should look when we are beyond our borders makes us uncomfortable.
We have another couple of years to work this relationship out, but we know you will understand that we are already looking the other way.
A note on playoff fever…
You know you’re in Canada when you hardly hear a word about the NBA Eastern and Western Conference playoffs. Basketball went underground when the Maple Leafs got their chance in the NHL playoffs. Maple Leaf fans really showed the meaning of the term. Has there ever been a crowd of team supporters hungrier than this lot? If only that were all it took.