How well did Stephane Dion’s attempt to unseat the plurality Conservative government play with the Canadian electorate? About as well as his fumbled speech. A new poll shows that a majority of Canadians would have wanted a new election instead, and that 46% would support the Conservatives — higher than during the last election:
Almost three-quarters of Canadians say they are “truly scared” for the future of the country and a solid majority say they would prefer another election to having the minority Conservative government replaced by a coalition led by Stephane Dion, a new Ipsos-Reid poll says.
The poll also indicates Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives would romp to a majority victory with a record 46 per cent public support if an election were held today.
The survey suggests Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean was in tune with public opinion across the country when she agreed Thursday to suspend, or prorogue Parliament until Jan. 26 at the request of Harper. Almost seven in 10 of those surveyed Tuesday and Wednesday gave prorogation a thumbs up.
The Tories also were deemed by almost six in 10 Canadians to be the best managers of the economy in these troubling times.
And you thought Plaxico Burress was the only one who shot himself in the leg in the last week! The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois made a serious error. For some strange reason, they assumed that the voters had thoroughly regretted the votes cast just seven weeks earlier and would welcome their leadership — even though voters had sent more Conservatives to Parliament in October and Dion himself had already agreed to resign his Liberal Party leadership position as a result of his failure.
Now, not only have they confirmed that Conservatives make better leaders even in these troubled times, they’ve also convinced a majority that shutting down Parliament is a great idea, too. That means that the Liberals, NDP, and BQ won’t have any relevance at all for the next two months. And Canadians welcome that development. Looks like the Dion/Layton strategy worked wonders … for Harper.
Calling this a “coup” is, of course, a bit tongue-in-cheek. What the opposition did is legal, but a radical departure from parliamentary tradition. It’s as close to a coup as Canadians will ever come, which is probably why the opposition frightened three-quarters of the electorate with their action, and why they’ve destroyed their credibility for leadership with a majority of voters.