Monday, September 14, 2015
Could the Refugee Issue Help Stephen Harper Win the Election?
I was planning to stay away from writing about polls for a while because all of them suggest a three-way tie, and with the margin of error could mean anything.
But something about this latest Nanos poll bothers me.
Not because of the result, which with a margin of error of 2.8% could have any of the three parties in the lead.
But because of the tracking line...
Which resembles to some degree at least, the one from the most recent EKOS poll...
And if it is an accurate reflection of reality would surprise me. Because I can't help but wonder why what many called one of the Con's worst weeks, could turn out to be one of their best?
Or even worse, make me wonder whether Frank Graves is right to suggest that the refugee crisis might actually be helping Stephen Harper.
Our data show that the values of the Canadian majority are clashing with those of the Conservative base over the refugee crisis — but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the Conservatives have misread the electorate this time.
In fact, the current conventional wisdom on this issue is probably wrong; the refugee crisis has not hurt Mr. Harper. In fact, it seems to be helping him. It appears from our polling that the Conservative party has consolidated — and possibly even expanded — its base. At these numbers, the Conservatives could easily win the election and form a minority government despite being stuck at 32 points.
Wonder too if this poll, which I ran a couple of days ago, is also right...
Just 36 per cent of Canadians think the federal government should allow more refugees from Syria, according to polling by EKOS Research.
“There is a very large number of Canadians that are saying we have to be very careful about who we bring into this country,” says Kyle Matthews, senior deputy director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University.
And there really is a dangerous gap between what many Canadians say they feel, and what they actually want.
Which in turn makes me wonder whether Harper's Australian attack dingo Lynton Crosby is mining that gap, has seen where this story might be going.
"The aim of this measure is to limit the current influx to Germany and to return to orderly entry procedures," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters. "This is also urgently necessary for security reasons."
And is planning to use anti-refugee sentiment as a dog whistle wedge issue as he has done before in other elections in other countries...
Now no decent Canadian could NOT want to help those desperate refugees, or not want to bring more of them into Canada. And you know where I stand.
But there are only 35 days before the election, and we will not help those refugees by electing another Harper government.
So what I strongly suggest is that we broaden our attack on the Con regime, focus slightly less on the refugee issue, and more on the state of the economy which will in all probability decide the result of the election.
Which is something the Cons know only too well. For now that they may have firmed up their base, they are moving aggressively to try to boost their phoney economic credentials, and win the support of the less than ten percent of the others they need to win a majority.
By releasing no less than EIGHT new attack ads on the economy yesterday, aimed at both the NDP...
And the Liberals...
For very good reason. Because they know that on the economy they are now vulnerable. And that if Canadians understand where Harper's oily obsession might be taking this country.
Goldman Sachs has bad news for anyone banking on the oil price rebounding any time soon, saying in a report that the price of crude could fall to $20 per barrel by the time it's all said and done.
He won't stand a chance of winning the election...
We should also broaden the campaign to include what Harper is doing in the fight against climate change i.e. nothing. Because it is the greatest threat we face, it has been practically ignored, and it is a way to motivate young voters who in this campaign so far have had little to excite them.
We also need to bring the future of medicare into the picture, because it's also an important issue. Especially for seniors whose votes we also badly need.
And because on that front we can also remind people that when Lynton Crosby was working for the Cameron Tories in Britain, he went for the jugular of that country's National Health Service...
And use Harper's Aussie attack dingo to attack him, and his plans to stealthily strangle medicare.
We should also play up the scandals of the Con regime because the stench of corruption has or had demotivated some of his base. And if we can encourage only five per cent to stay at home on election day the Harperites will be fatally wounded.
And of course above all we need to focus on what Harper and his political thugs have done to our democracy, and make this campaign a crusade to save Canada and its values. For that is what it's all about.
But as for the refugee question, I strongly suggest that over the course of the next month we don't make it a major election issue or ask for too much.
It pains me to suggest that we temporarily restrain our better instincts because it runs contrary to everything I believe in, and my vision of Canada as a decent and noble country.
As a progressive I am proud to wear my heart on my sleeve, and the thought that this poor little child might have been saved by a Canadian government, but wasn't...
Just about kills me, and will haunt me for the rest of my life.
And I do want Harper and his callous political thugs to pay for their crimes.
But what good will we do other desperate refugees like little Alan Kurdi, or ourselves, if we put our hearts before our heads?
Fall into the trap of good intentions, which as you know can sometimes pave the road to hell, and inadvertently help the Cons to win the election.
I still believe that we can and will defeat that brutish regime.
But to be sure that we are able to drive a stake into its rotten heart, in the 35 remaining days we have to be very, very, smart.
Because we are up against an absolute monster...
He is wounded but still dangerous.
The fate of our precious country and its values hangs in the balance.
And failure is not an option...
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