Rumours of the Conservatives’ death in Québec have been greatly exaggerated

No left-wing activist wishes more than I that the media hype over the Conservatives’ putative death knell in Québec was reflective of reality.

Unfortunately, any progressive who wishes to buy in to that comforting and pacifying story is being sold a bill of goods.  Real organizing and the real fight to sweep the Tories from Canada’s most progressive province depends on being able to accurately estimate Conservative Party support.  The data now suggests that in the last four months the Conservatives have recovered as much as — if not more than — 50% of their lost ground in La Belle Province.

To be sure, the Conservatives are still down by 5-6 points from their 2008 election showing and are in risk of loosing at least one or two seats.  However even the most pessimistic numbers (from the Conservatives’ perspective) do not have the Tories loosing even half of their seats in Quebec.

Election planners with Canada’s two largest progressive parties — the NDP and the Bloc Québécois (the Liberals are not, under any definition of the term, progressive) — would be foolish to adopt a strategy that counts the Tories out or that does not consider them a continuing threat in the province.

Quebec Rolling-5 Poll Results:

2009-08-20 (QC)

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13 Responses to “Rumours of the Conservatives’ death in Québec have been greatly exaggerated”


  1. 1 Ben Hicks 21 August, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    “…the Liberals are not, under any definition of the term, progressive”

    How do you define the term progressive?

  2. 2 A reader 22 August, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Paul, you don’t include the CROP federal numbers in this, but they do the largest sample. Is there a particular reason for this apparent decision?

    Ben, even the Liberals don’t define themselves as social democrats, which I’m guessing would be the minimum requirement for inclusion in Paul’s definition of “progressive”. Liberals have started to use the term to mean anything but ultra-social-conservative; and thus think you can advocate massive corporate tax cuts, cut back social spending, vote against anti-scab legislation, and deregulate large swaths of the market, and still somehow be “progressive”. Fer chrissakes, the Liberal Party had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century on same-sex marriage (by the NDP and the Bloc) and now trumpet it as some kind of distinguishing value between them and the Conservative party. What’s your definition?

    • 3 Ben Hicks 22 August, 2009 at 2:47 pm

      “What’s your definition?”

      Willingness to compromise individual freedom for some fluid concept of the “collective” good; reflexive hostility to choice and competition in areas like healthcare and education; unquestioned faith in the power of governments to solve “problems” ranging from global climate pasterns to male /female “income gaps”; and a deep, proud hatred of traditional ideas about religion, family, and responsibility.

      So, basically, the Liberal party.

  3. 4 RPJ 22 August, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Gee, that’s an interesting definition Ben. My definition of progressive is:

    An embrace of individual freedoms with an understanding that they go hand in hand with responsibilities. You can’t have one without the other.

    A commitment to healthcare and education deep enough to ensure that they are never left to the uncertainties and wide range of standards found in the competition of the marketplace. They are too important to leave for just a few of us to decide.

    A recognition that some problems are so large, widespread or entrenched they can ‘only’ be resolved collectively, such as climate change, long standing male/female income gaps, all descrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or economic status.

    A deeply held respect for each person’s belief system so that it is never allowed to be threatened, undermined or constrained by anyone else’s belief system and the will to ensure no one is allowed to impose their beliefs on others. This must, by definition, include all religions and secular adherents.

    A champion of the family strong enough to help every family obtain what they need for their autonomy, growth and success without taking over, imposing our own will or using abusive tactics such as bullying, coercion, or the awesome weight of Godlike authority. In other words, a helping hand, not the back of the hand. This also includes holding the family unit in such high regard that you would never damage it through the selfish indulgence in affairs or other destructive behaviours.

    Enough responsibilty to recognize that we are all in this together and only when we ALL succeed, do any of us really succeed. Those who think they can just grab theirs and to hell with everyone else, will all die bitter failures regardless of how much they were able to “grab” in their lifetimes.

    We seem to see things differently.

  4. 5 janfromthebruce 23 August, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I’m with RPJ on this one – particularly freedom with responsibility.

  5. 6 TB 23 August, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Even under Bens definition the libs are backwards to almost everything he summed up. The aren’t against traditional religion at all. That is why 22 members vote against SSM. Martin pushed for more privatization of health care and through 3 majorities they sat on their hands in regards to child care, pharmacare, first nations and Kyoto.
    This isn’t even including the things they did in direct opposition to being progressive. The largest corporate tax reduction ever. Not even harper has matched it. Gutting the UI by renaming it while stealing the money to pay off debts to rich people. (Something hurting the country as we speak) Signing free trade agreements without even notifying canadians it was happening.(Being continued under harper).
    There is little difference between cons and libs…maybe the speed and or stealth to their approach is about the only light between their governing styles and results.

  6. 7 marcel 23 August, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    gee, hicks, it must just be terrible

  7. 8 Ben Hicks 23 August, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    “We seem to see things differently.”

    So it seems. But I found your thoughtful counter-definition interesting nonetheless.

  8. 9 CanadianSense 26 August, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Thank you for the great website.

    I am not sure why but I am unable to download the Projection Model. I am asked to join the website.

    Do you comment and analyze Regional Polls?

    I can’t find any CROP Polls or comments.

    What do you think is the best strategy for the NDP regarding this Fall based on the seat projection model you are using?

    Will Jack support a Liberal non-confidence motion and risk going to the Polls and risk a 6% bump for the Liberals?

    Thanks again for an informative website.

  9. 10 paulitics 27 August, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Hi CanadianSense, thanks for the kind words.

    I’m really glad you left your comment. For some reason, the file host changed the link location to my file so my links were pointing to nothing.

    I’ve updated the links so you should be able to download the file without difficulty and without being asked to sign up for anything. Please get back to me if it still doesn’t work.

    I generally don’t comment on regional polls, however I do analyse them. Feel free to check out this portion of the Paulitics polling resource for all provincial polls.

    https://paulitics.wordpress.com/poll-index/provincial-breakdown/

    I don’t have any CROP polls on there just yet (though I added one yesterday, I just haven’t gotten around to uploading the update).

    I think that the NDP is going to have to do a bit of damage control this fall and I think they’re going to have to defend their gains in 2008. However, that said, the NDP is about 2% higher in the polls now than they were at the start of the 2008 election campaign so it’s possible they’ll end up gaining (I wouldn’t bet on it though).

  10. 11 Ron 26 May, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Hmmmm. I gues your statistics didn’t add up, eh?

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