Sunday, January 17, 2010

Canadians think Stephen Harper is...

A whole raft of things, I'm sure, but "not doing a good job" is right up there. I just subscribed to the RSS feeds for the Angus Reid Global Monitor, a newsletter from the polling firm that deals with almost every political situation around. Here's something you might not have seen about Stephen Harper:

Rating for Harper Drops to 28% in Canada
Fewer Canadians are satisfied with the way their prime minister is handling his duties, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 28 per cent of respondents approve of the Stephen Harper’s performance, down four points since December.

And down six points from November. Something is hurting the Prime Minister, and I'm guessing it's not his foreign policy. An Angus Reid poll from the first week of January shows only 19% of Canadians agreeing with Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament. 53% disagree, and 28% aren't sure.

Did Harper think his Conservative party can weather the storm, that Canadians don't really care whether Parliament is sitting or not? That this will be just a blip on the electoral landscape come September, and that by announcing the decision over the holidays and on a (figurative) Friday, that no one would really notice?

David Eaves thinks otherwise. He writes that the anti-Harper/prorogation Facebook group will help to extend the issue. At 200,000 members, the group continues to grow, and as David points out, may help to circumvent the traditional news cycle. This issue isn't going away; even if those 200,000 people don't get out and march, they're still using Facebook to raise awareness of the issue.

Seeing these numbers, the opposition may take a run at Harper when Parliament returns in March. With a 28% approval rating and only 19% in favour of prorogation, Harper looks weak right now. The only question is whether the opposition parties feel strong enough to challenge him at the ballot box.

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