On September 8, 2009 the CBC released it’s latest Canadian political poll. The Liberals under Michael Ignatieff dropped sharply to 25.7% and the Harper Conservatives jumped to 37.7%, putting them in the ballpark to finally get a majority government if elections were held now.
What went wrong for Ignatieff and the Liberals? Another case of not listening to Canadians. No one wants an election now — just watch the groaning belly aches of the voters when Igatieff stirred the pot. It turns out that after 4 elections in 5 years, and just when the country is showing a glimmer of hope of getting out of the current recession — no one wants to rock the boat.
I’m not saying that Canadians generally like to rock the boat- we have a very conservative (with a small c) culture at the best of times. It’s just that it would be great if now and then political leaders would make an effort to understand the population they wish to serve. During the last election Harper blew his chance at a majority by making sure he turned off most of the Quebec population by upping the law and order quotient and cutting financial support for the arts! It was as if he didn’t understand one iota about Quebec culture. So last week, there he was playing piano and singing “A Little Help from My Friends.” It reminded me of Data from Star Trek playing the violin.
Why do politicals ignore what is going on in the country? My theory is that is a result of becoming too “Internal” — They decide what is important. They decide too many things for themselves without checking to see if what they believe coincides with what is actually happening.
Let’s see some evidence of more reality checks now and then from our political leaders. At least Ignatieff responded by taking the poll seriously instead of ignoring it. Iggy, now is the time to go and listen to Canadians outside the Liberal party.