Liberal Leader Hits Thunder Bay for “Open Mike”

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THUNDER BAY – Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is bringing his “Open Mike” tour to Thunder Bay. The event, hosted by the Student Union of Confederation College will be held on Thursday, October 28th from 11:30am – 1:00pm at the Confederation College, Lecture Theatre Rm 351, in the Shuniah Building.

The event comes as a new Angus Reid Poll says the Liberal Party has fallen to 26% in public support.

Ignatieff arrives in Thunder Bay a few days after Liberal candidate Ken Boshcoff has won a seat on Thunder Bay City Council leading the At-Large candidates with over 22,000 votes. There could be some controversy as TVO’s The Agenda Program producer Daniel Kitts, has written a piece on Boshcoff’s appearance on the program just over a month ago.

Kitts writes, “One of the people that had been recommended to me as a good person to talk to about moving on after politics was Ken Boshcoff, former Mayor of Thunder Bay and MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River from 2004 to 2008. I called him, he had some interesting things to say, and he agreed to take part in the program. Along with the other guests, he talked about what it’s like to face political defeat and how important it is to try and move beyond it.

“Sometimes politicians have trouble moving beyond political defeat. In fact, it’s common for defeated politicians to immediately begin planning to run again rather than thinking about how they can contribute to society outside of politics. It’s a way of dealing with political defeat without really dealing with it.

“So you can imagine my surprise when I learned on Tuesday that Mr. Boshcoff had just been elected as a councillor-at-large in Thunder Bay.

“Not only that, but he has been, and for the moment continues to be, the federal Liberal Party’s nominee for Thunder Bay-Rainy River in the next election.

“Just to put it in a nutshell: While he was on our program talking about how he’d moved on from politics, he was running for a city council seatand positioned to run in a federal campaign”.

“Needless to say I was pretty surprised. Why would you appear on a program about “life after politics” if you were running in one election and ready to run in a second election at the same time? Isn’t that the definition of not being able to leave politics behind?” (link:  TVO The Agenda)

The Conservative Party holds a double-digit lead in Canada and overall voter preferences are very similar to the will expressed by the electorate in the last federal election, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,016 Canadian adults, 37 per cent of respondents (+3 since September) would support the governing Conservative Party in the next federal election.

Michael Ignatieff MPThe Liberal Party is second with 26 per cent (=), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 19 per cent (+1), the Bloc Québécois with 10 per cent (=), and the Green Party with six per cent (-5).

All five parties are within a point of their totals in the 2008 federal election. The large gains made by the Greens in September have disappeared, and the out-of-Parliament party is once again trailing the Bloc at the national level.

Regional Breakdowns
A majority of voters in Alberta (62%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (70%) continue to express a preference for the Conservatives. In British Columbia, the NDP has moved to first place with 37 per cent, followed by the Tories with 32 per cent and the Grits with 22 per cent.

In Ontario, the Conservatives are ahead of the Liberals by nine points (41% to 32%). In Quebec, the Bloc continues to dominate (39%), with the three federalist parties far behind (Lib. 24%, Con. 16%, NDP 14%).

Approval and Momentum
The approval rating for Prime Minister and Conservative leader Stephen Harper stands at 28 per cent this month (+3). NDP leader Jack Layton is at 27 per cent for the third consecutive month, and Liberal Party and Official Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff is last with 16 per cent (+1).

Layton maintains the best momentum score of the three leaders at -4, followed by Ignatieff with -15 and Harper with -21.

Attributes
Canadians were asked to select up to six words or expressions from a list to describe the four party leaders sitting in the House of Commons. The top five results for each one of the leaders are:
• Stephen Harper – Secretive (40%), arrogant (39%), out of touch (35%), boring (32%), intelligent (31%)
• Michael Ignatieff – Intelligent (34%), arrogant (33%), out of touch (31%), boring (30%), inefficient (23%)
• Jack Layton – Intelligent (30%), honest (28%), down to earth (27%), compassionate (26%), open (26%),
• Gilles Duceppe – Arrogant (33%), out of touch (28%), inefficient (19%), dishonest (19%), intelligent (19%)

Analysis
Following weeks of discussions about the federal government’s performance, the mood of the electorate is very similar to what was seen in the fall of 2008. The Conservatives lead by 11 points, but are nowhere near the majority government that has been coveted since 2006. The sizeable advantage in Ontario provides comfort for Tories, but is countered by poor numbers in Quebec and a second place showing in British Columbia.
The Liberals have not recovered ground in the west and have fallen behind in Canada’s most populous province. The NDP outranks the Tories in BC, but is not connecting well in other areas of the country. The Bloc is steady, and the Greens have come back to earth after a particularly good September. In short, with no election in the immediate future, voters are not going through much movement.

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