Friday, April 14, 2006

Canadians Don't Want Rae

I recently posted on why I don't think Rae is a good pick for the Liberal leadership and according to a recent poll by Environics, it looks like a lot of Canadians concur.

Rae as Liberal leader would deter voters: Poll
Federal NDP commissioned surveyEx-premier not yet in leadership race

Apr. 14, 2006. 01:00 AM

OTTAWA—Bob Rae as leader of the Liberal party would turn away nearly twice as many people as he would attract, according to an Environics poll commissioned by the NDP.
The former NDP premier of Ontario recently switched affiliation to the federal Liberals and is expected next week to officially join the race to succeed Paul Martin, who stepped down after losing the Jan. 23 election.

Nationally, 22 per cent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for the Liberals if Rae became Liberal leader, compared with 12 per cent who said they would be more inclined to pick the Liberals if he was leader.

Nearly two-thirds said having Rae as leader would make no difference or had no opinion on the question.

"He's not generating a groundswell of support," observed Keith Neuman, group vice-president at Environics.

Of those surveyed in Ontario, 31 per cent said they would be less likely to vote for the Liberals under Rae, compared with 17 per cent who said they would be more likely to do so.

The result was similar in Toronto, where 31 per cent told pollsters they would be less inclined to vote Liberal if Rae was leader, while 21 per cent said they would be more inclined to favour the Liberals.

In Quebec, 15 per cent said they would be less likely to choose the Liberals under Rae, while 8 per cent said they would be more inclined to go Liberal with Rae at the helm. More than 75 per cent in Quebec said it would make no difference or gave no opinion.

Neuman pointed out that Environics surveyed all Canadians, not just Liberal party members, and that Rae has not yet officially joined the race leading up to the Dec. 2-3 Liberal leadership convention. Neuman said there is no way of knowing what impact the announcement of Rae's candidacy would have on the survey results.

The poll of 2,035 adults was conducted nationally between March 9 and March 31.
An NDP official who spoke on background said the federal party is always polling on a variety of questions.

"It helps guide some of our work; it doesn't guide all of our work," the official said. Of the survey on Rae's standing, he said the NDP's conclusion was: `All right, nothing to worry about here.'"
If he runs, Rae is likely to inherit many of the left-leaning supporters of former prime minister Jean Chrétien. But many on the right wing of the Liberal party are adamantly opposed to Rae's bid for their party's top job. Rae also will have to overcome his patchy record as Ontario premier from 1990 to 1995, particularly the memory of Rae Days, when his government sparked widespread resentment by forcing public sector employees to take unpaid leave to save the province money.

More than a dozen candidates could join the Liberal leadership contest. Among those who are seen as potential frontrunners in the early going are Rae, MP and author Michael Ignatieff, former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy and former federal cabinet ministers Stéphane Dion, Scott Brison and Ken Dryden.


At 7:16 PM, Blogger andrewridgeley said...

In my book, Rae isn't welcome to sit at the helm of this party, merely because I don't agree with most of his views and am, like many others, convinced by his record that he is not capable of holding an executive position. However, we certainly want Bob Rae here and I hope he's sitting at a cabinet table with Kennedy, Iggy, Martha, Volpe, Brison, Dryden, Belinda, and even Sheila Copps (!) sooner rather than later.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Agreed. Let's just not give him any financial responsiblities though ;)

At 4:30 AM, Blogger andrewridgeley said...

My friend and I were actually talking about this. We'd have to put Rae in Foreign Affairs so when the budget debate happens he can do a tour of Southeast Asia or somewhere.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Pedro said...

Hahahaha! OMG! That is hilarious! That totally made my day! I've been sick as a dog lately!

You need to update your blog so I can read it!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Richard Pearson said...

I love how Liberals seem to uniquely rate their leadership candidates solely on "winnability". I can just see a group of Liberal operatives discussing the upcoming race: "What about Satan for Leader? I know he's the Prince of Darkness but Ekos has him drawing 3 times more voters than turning off."
"Hmm, good point, and his ratings with stock brokers and lawyers are off the chart - might be good for fundraising"
"And he can always get the Rolling Stones to come to the Convention - they gotta have some pact with him -look how old they are and they're still playing."
"What about the 666 on his head, won't that get Christians suspicious?"
"Nah, forget it, Harper's got them sown up already."

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Pedro said...


While your post made me laugh, I'm not saying we should have Rae because he has a poor electability quotient, but rather because Canadians don't like him. If you read this post, it'll tell you why I don't support Rae, and it isn't just about electability:

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting for BC Scandal Part II. Having read some of your posts you strike me as a sincere, honest, and concerned person. You are the only person I have read who has tryed to examine this issue rationally without resorting to the standard political spin. Your passion appears to be for the future of your party and the necessary cleansing of the past. The gathering storm about to hit in BC, Ottawa, and elsewhere as the bodies are unearthed will be devestating to the Liberal Party of Canada. People such as yourself should be out in front of the drive to clean up this mess and move forward toward true renewal.


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