As pollster Nik Nanos says:
Although the margin between the Liberals and the Conservatives has remained relatively stable, the one important public opinion trend post debate relates to the views of Canadians on the daily performances of Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. For most of the campaign, Paul Martin has had a 15 to 20 point margin over Stephen Harper on the daily performance index score.Canadians will have time over the holidays to consider their options. I hope there aren't too many people like the one Nestruck spoke to recently:
The last four days of tracking has the Martin and Harper performance indexes very close. On the best PM measure, Martin leads Harper by only four points. In seat rich Ontario, Martin and Harper are statistically tied when it comes to who Ontarians think would make the best Prime Minister. Perceptions of the party leaders should be closely monitored since they can be an 'early warning' of shifts in voting preference.
Me: This is one of the few elections where you can vote NDP and have them really wield power, either in a Liberal or Conservative minority government.
AT: A Conservative minority is scary!
Me: I'm kind of rooting for a Conservative minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, actually.
I liked the comment left there (I'll quote the sentances I really like):
What's scary is the anti-intellectualism of people like Robert McClelland (Imagine someone saying "Indians are scary.") Just as Liberals encompass a spectrum of beliefs, so do Conservatives. Many Conservatives, which I am not one of, just to save you another knee-jerk response, are socially liberal, but believe life choices are best left in the hands of those living those lives, not in the hands of predominantly white heterosexual males born into privilege (Martin, McKay, Stronach, etc.).
Kelly's notion of a Conservative government with the NDP holding the balance of power could result in a truly laissez-faire political atmosphere, with Conservatives unable to push forth their social agenda (which many Conservatives oppose) but the NDP unable to push forth their punitive socialist economic ideas. Maybe all they could agree on is cleaning up the democratic deficit in this country. The point is, just for a change, it would be interesting to have a government that believes in something.
This also reminds me of the request here by Ian and Yoda to give them more details on the Conservative policies. I would like to do a proper job with my own commentary so you'll have to wait. For now, why don't you check out the details in the various announcements Harper and company have made so far.
They have promised a fully costed program in January for everyone to scrutinize.
Oh, one more thing before I leave for the day - are you ready for Liberal attack ads against Layton and Harper. Yoda - you're a big Harris fan right - you'll love that one.