Based on first mentions, it is clear that the Liberal Party brand is severely damaged and the negativity associated with the party extends beyond Michael Ignatieff’s leadership.That is not good if Iffy wants to defeat the government and take us into in an election this spring. On the other hand the same poll also shows the Conservatives and the NDP are in much better shape.
These results suggest that the Sponsorship Scandal continues to hurt the Liberal brand and the residual effect is a lasting association with corruption, arrogance, and dishonesty.
Most troubling for the Liberal Party is that very few respondents mentioned positive phrases or words about the Liberal Party. Instead, comments described the party as having weak leadership, being dishonest and corrupt, and divided.
A new Abacus Data National Poll finds that relatively speaking, the Conservative and NDP brands are in a better position heading into a possible spring federal election than the Liberal brand.I think the Liberals should think hard and long before they defeat the government If they want to go into an election fine but they'll also suffer the consequences. They badly lost the trust of Canadians and have a long way to go gain it back again and it's not just changing leaders. It goes way deeper than that.
Respondents were asked to identify what first came to their minds when they think about each major national party. The results are displayed in word clouds found below or in the detailed report found here.
“Stephen Harper and Jack Layton dominate their respective brands,” said Abacus Data CEO, Dr. David Coletto. “The popularity of each party is heavily influenced by how Canadians view the Conservative and NDP leaders.”
While high recognition rates can be a positive factor, dominance by a single leader can also produce problems.
“The good news for the Conservative Party is that many Canadians associate the party with the economic recovery and low taxes,” said Coletto. “Despite the fact that Canadians continue to worry about the economy and their jobs, the opposition has not been able to dislodge the Conservative advantage on the economy.”
The opposition Liberal Party had the bleakest results. Very few Canadians mentioned anything positive about the party, with most comments describing the party as lacking good leadership, being corrupt or dishonest.
“Canadians seem to still identify the Liberal party by its past wrongs, perhaps as a result of a lack of direction, internal division, and weaker leadership over the past few years,” said Coletto. “Weak leadership and internal division is the Liberal brand as they enter 2011.”
Finally, the NDP continues to be a conflicted brand. The NDP and its leader Jack Layton are well regarded by Canadians but only one in five said would vote for it in Abacus Data’s poll released in early December.
“The NDP is very much a function of Jack Layton,” said Coletto. “The NDP is seen by Canadians as a caring party that defends the interests of working people but its policies are considered unrealistic my many.”
Probably the best thing for Liberals maybe is an election result with a Conservative majority and NDP as official opposition. They would then have at least four years to figure out who they are,what they stand for and rebuild from the bottom up. Maybe just maybe there too wouldn't be so much muck raking and making up faux scandals that they would actually work at developing some credible policy and act like an official opposition and government in waiting. Then maybe they could earn back the public's trust again. Look how long it took Conservatives. It took years before we actually figured things out and got our act together. Thank God we finally did. The country is better off for it. It will take Liberals at least that long if not more.
This related from WK
Far and Wide: Steve V. calls for a cultural change in the Liberal Party, bottom to top. He says that’s the only thing that’ll make it relevant. He’s right, of course. It will also never happen. Carry on as you were.