Thursday, October 29, 2009
Donolo the Miracle Worker?
I've been thinking about this since it was announced that former Chretien communications director, pollster Peter Donolo would be taking over the Chief of Staff position for Michael Ignatieff.
The Liberal Party and some in the media think this will turn fortunes around for the Libs (which have been disastrous the last few months) and vault Iffy into 24 Sussex in short order. Not so fast. I don't think it's going to be that slick.
First of all, things have changed since Donolo worked for Chretien. Back then the Conservative Party was a very much divided party. The old PC party split. You then had the Reform, some when to the Bloc, and that left the remainder in the PC's. You had vote splitting. Now the party is united but the Bloc is still there.
Second, the new united Tories have taken over and appealed to the middle, have been reaching out the the ethnic vote. They also now own Ontario which the Libs owned in the Chretien days.
They are gaining in every part of the country. Quebec is still somewhat of a problem but then the Libs have problems there too because you still have the Bloc.
They also face a strong leader in Stephen Harper has fought in various campaigns and a seasoned campaigner. Iffy is not. He has not had to fight in a real campaign. He's untested. He's was given his leadership and his own riding on a sliver platter without having to fight for it. Iffy is not Jean Chretien, the street fighter.
With Chretien as Lib leader, he fought against relatively weak leaders in the PC and Reform parties. We also have the internet now and the blogs where everything can and will be sliced and diced right away. Donolo didn't have that then so it was easier to pull the wool over our eyes.
The problem though still goes even deeper. The Liberals have still not come to grips with their loss in the '06 election and why they were turfed out. They still have that sense of entitlement and arrogance and believe that they are the only ones fit govern Canada. Until the Libs and their cheerleaders in the media realize this, things are not going to change that much for them.
The public has warmed up to PM Harper and the Conservatives. The Conservatives have governed for almost 4 years now and have seen there is no hidden agenda. I think they are even getting more comfortable with the idea with a Conservative majority. That's partly why I think the numbers have been around majority territory and have stablized there now for about month. Before, when the numbers reached the majority, they would quickly fall back. They haven't done that.
So I think Donolo is going have a steep uphill battle to climb to reverse the Liberal's fortunes.
Posted by frmgrl at 10/29/2009