Dion shrugs off poll showing Grits
nine points back
[PoliticsWatch updated 5:55 p.m., March 1, 2007]
OTTAWA — Liberal
Leader Stephane Dion offered no comment Thursday when asked about a
new poll showing his party now trails the Conservatives by nine
"Polls are polls and I don't comment on polls," he told
reporters after question period.
"This government is willing to go to an election any way. Otherwise why would they come with these negative ads about me. It's what they want to do. They want to rush an election."
The new Decima Research poll for Canadian Press put the
Conservatives at 36 per cent and the Liberals at 27 per cent. The
NDP and Greens are tied at 13 per cent and the Bloc has eight per
The poll puts the Tories at where they were on election day 13
months ago and the Liberals three points below their election day
results when they won just over 100 seats.
The poll was conducted between last Thursday and Sunday, days after
Prime Minister Stephen Harper created an uproar in the House
of Commons when he attempted to link Liberal opposition to
anti-terror legislation to wanting to shut down the Air India
inquiry because a newspaper article identified a Liberal MP's father
in law as a potential witness.
On Tuesday the Liberals joined the other opposition parties in
defeating extending two controversial measures in the anti-terrorism
act during a vote in the House of Commons.
After the vote, the prime minister confidently predicted the
Liberals would suffer at the polls as a result of the vote.
"Any party that doesn't take the national security of Canadians seriously will never be chosen by Canadians to form the government of Canada," he said.
The new poll will not end the the hot theme in the media and around
Ottawa questioning Dion's early problems as leader.
Canadian Press news stories casually describe Dion's leadership as
"fledgling," radio host Charles Adler says Dion is
having a "sexless honeymoon" with voters and the prime
minister quietly jabs Dion each time he deliberately fields
questions from deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff during
question period, even though he does not do the same thing for the
Despite the early difficulties, Liberal House leader Ralph
Goodale told reporters after question period he still has
confidence in Dion and said the Liberal party is working hard to be ready for an election.
"Whenever that election comes we will be ready for it and I have every confidence that Stephane Dion is going to do very very
well," he said.
The poll also showed the Tories are now ahead in the Liberal
heartland of Ontario with 40 per cent support compared to 32 per
cent for the Liberals.
Health Minister Tony Clement welcomed the new numbers.
"You're talking to a guy who won by 28 votes. I like those odds better."
© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication
or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing,
copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without
the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications
Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.