About EKOS Politics

We launched this website in order to showcase our election research, and our suite of polling technologies including Probit and IVR. We will be updating this site frequently with new polls, analysis and insight into Canadian politics. EKOS's experience, knowledge and sophisticated research designs have contributed positively to many previous elections.

Other EKOS Products

In addition to current political analysis, EKOS also makes available to the public general research of interest, including research in evaluation, general public domain research, as well as a full history of EKOS press releases.

Media Inquires

For media inquires, please contact: Frank Graves President EKOS Research Associates t: 613.235-7215 [email protected]

THE PAST PARLIAMENTARY YEAR IN REVIEW: PUBLIC PERSPECTIVES – June 24, 2010

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – June 24, 2010] – One way of looking at the current political landscape is to compare relative political fortunes today with those at the outset of parliament in the fall. Think of this as a melodrama in several distinct chapters:

CHAPTER ONE: HARPERMANIA!

Stephen Harper delivers a compelling Michael Bublé impersonation at the National Arts Centre and soars to clear majority territory.

Michael Ignatieff tries a Trudeauesque gunslinger showdown with Harper by threatening election but the Trudeau redux manoeuvre leaves him gasping in the dust 15 points down and with his approval rating plummeting to George W. Bush levels.

CHAPTER TWO: THE DAMN DETAINEE THING…

Flush from the bravos of ” All you Need is Love” ringing in his ears, the Prime Minister encounters a less adoring opposition who find renewed vigour on the heels of rising concerns with the handling of the detainee issue. Against a backdrop of clearly flagging public patience with the Afghanistan mission, troubling concerns about possible misconduct in handling detainees morphs into an equally troubling problem of credibility and transparency. It’s not only whether bad things happened on our watch to Afghan detainees, it was is a question of whether there was concerted cover-up. Pulling the plug on parliament seemed to be the prudent political answer; out of sight, out of mind. This led to the definitive third chapter:

CHAPTER THREE: PROROGATION FOLLIES

As a new year dawned, the public seized on the prorogation issue with unexpected zeal. One could argue that this particular Conservative tactic was the real game changer which seems to have sent the oh so close majority aspirations of the Conservatives into a huge tail spin. In fact, although prorogation ire has subsided as an explicit issue, this seems to have marked a real transformation in Conservative fortunes from “majority in waiting” to “not sure we can even form a legitimate new government”. There is little evidence that they have ever recovered from this. With very few exceptions in our weekly polls since the new year, the Conservatives have descended from the dizzying low 40s of the fall to dismal low 30s. Today, they find themselves stuck at 31 points. The only silver lining in these dark clouds is the even worse performance of Michael Ignatieff who manages to descend even below the humble 26 point standard of his predecessor.

CHAPTER FOUR: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING AND WAS THAT ALL THERE WAS?

In the final moths of parliament, attention was shifted to such riveting topics as the prurient speculation on whether or not busty hookers and cocaine were really part of the lifestyle of the erstwhile power couple of Conservative politics. This sidetrack seemed to backfire on the Liberals, as the public expected something a little more uplifting in the halls of parliament. Yet even with this temporary respite, the image of Fake lake (roughly cotemporaneous with the muted 20 year celebration of Meech Lake) finds the Conservatives stuck at 31 points and a scant 3-point lead over the Liberals.

So, the conclusion of this melodrama is highly uncertain and now looks very different from what we expected in the fall.

But for these who think these plot changes were highly predictable and that the outcome was preordained I say pshaw. Nobody would have predicted the current situation in October.

Moving up 60,000 feet, I think we are on the cusp of big changes.

Canadians are now in political terra incognita, and, increasingly, the evidence is that these pressures are common to advanced western democracies.

This links to big demographic pressures. As the boomer hegemony over the political system begins to loosen and the very different priorities of the trailing gen X, Y and millennial cohorts become more influential.

Following many years of majority rule, Canadians have now experienced the delights of minority rule. Judging from the awful marks they now give for federal direction, we are clearly uncomfortable with that approach.

Ironically, just as we have discovered that we don’t really like minority governments after all, we find ourselves about as far removed from the prospect of a majority government as we have been at any moment in our political history. This sets the table for some big changes.

Comments are closed.