Canadians Take a Look at Dion, Grow Fonder of Harper

A new poll by The Strategic Counsel says although Canadians identify with the Liberals and the Conservatives in equal numbers, Harper is seen as the most decisive leader, the leader with the clearest vision for Canada, and – amazingly – the leader with the most charisma.

The new survey also finds that voters have failed to warm up to recently elected Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, and that his party has lost its postconvention bounce to the Tories, who are seen to have the best handle on national issues.

Were an election to be held today, 34 per cent of voters would opt for the Conservatives, up three points from last month. The Liberals are at 29 per cent, down six points from the same period, while the New Democratic Party is down one point to 14 per cent. The main beneficiary appears to be the Green Party, which has the support of 12 per cent of voters, up from eight per cent.

Strategic Counsel chairman Allan Gregg believes these numbers are good enough for Harper to call a spring election. “I would say, looking at this, something untoward would have to happen for [Harper] not to call it.”

Even worse for the Liberals than the numbers on personal characteristics are the numbers on the issues, particularly the environment, which is supposed to be Dion’s strong point. Asked, “Which party can deal best with the environment and global warming?”, 23% of Canadians said the Liberals, just three points ahead of the Conservatives at 20%.

It ain’t over til it’s over, of course, and there is little doubt in my mind that the environment could still prove a lethal weapon for the Liberals if they wield it effectively. That means taking the Conservatives to task over it, perhaps with an emphasis on protecting Canada’s future from the environmental destruction bound to wrought under right-wing stewardship, or lack of it.

Could David Suzuki’s call to “put our children and grandchildren back on the agenda” be the core of a Liberal environmental strategy? Or will short-term economic considerations win out in the auto plants of Ontario and the oil fields of Alberta?

[tags]Harper, Dion, Liberals, Conservatives, Canada, politics[/tags]


The Perils of Marketing

Labatt Breweries is in negotiations to purchase Hamilton’s very own brewery Lakeport. There has been speculation that Labatt will close the Lakeport brewery, which has some people upset.

Enter hamiltonbeer.com, a website that was clearly created as a protest against this move by Labatt.

If this move by Labatt will have a negative impact in Hamilton – which is certainly possible – then I support the intent behind this website.

The problem is that the website reeks of marketing. This is not too surprising, since it is the brainchild of Michael Manzoni, Executive Partner of FloodGate Marketing Inc., according to the About Us page.

For example, the home page says, “There are two prominent truths about beer drinkers: They are loyal to their brand and they cling tightly to principles.”

As an office colleague said when I read this to him, “Beer drinkers only cling to their principles until they’ve had their first two beers.”

I get the sense that the person who wrote that line was expressing it in the spirit of faint hope, rather than any practical experience with the average beer-drinking Hamiltonian.

The site claims it only exists to solicit opinions and there is certainly no shortage of opinions posted on the message board, including this one posted by “Been There…..” from London:

The Labatt Brazilian folks are going to rape and pillage. Move brewing to London. Fire all employees. Blow up Hamilton plant so that it can never again be used by a competitor. Expansion? They just spent millions in London, closing Toronto and New Westminster. Letting Ontario staff go by the truckload. Clawing back pensioner benefits – big time!! Lakeport is history…

The footer text of the website is also amusing in a oddly self-referential way. It says “You must be legal drinking age to view this website.”

This website is a great example of the perils of marketing, particularly when it comes to grassroots causes.

By the time the designers of the site were finished with it the grassroots opposition to this move by Labatt was unrecognizable. Slicked-up and packaged, it’s now just as fake and just as silly as the beer commercials where hockey-loving alcoholics get all the girls.


A Remarkable Wedding Photo

Few photos say as much as this one does.


No Links For You

Since I have not been taking the time to update the Ade Just Read feature on the sidebar, I have removed it for the time being.

There are a few things I’d like to point out as worth taking a look at today however.

First up, Luc’s new blog style is up and looking good, and he’s got a great podcast on the right-hand side that is well worth listening to. Very nice way to kick off a Monday morning.

Next, some pictures that range from stunning photography to amusing social commentary:

  • The sky itself is the best show in town (pan right for full photo).
  • Intelligent Warming
  • Ben Folds responds to mandatory FBI anti-piracy logo
  • Lastly, a quotation from Gore Vidal:

    The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal – God is the Omnipotent Father – hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.

    Have a great week!

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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