Political Perspectives is produced by the students and faculty of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, Canada's oldest journalism school.


Election talk

Posted by padams under All, Media Commentary, Political Strategy

Paul Adams

We’ve all been negligent in blogging from the J-School due to the pressures of the first week of classes. Sorry.

Let me offer two little election-related squibs.

First, how is it that the media all missed the NDP’s willingness to strike a deal with the Conservatives in the first days after Michael Ignatieff seemed to set us on a course towards an election? Jack Layton laid out four areas where the NDP would like action from the government, and was careful not to close any doors or to set down maximal objectives for any one of them. He said this wouldn’t be a “backroom deal” because it would all be out in the open.

Layton appeared repeatedly on television saying that he hoped the Conservatives would be reasonable and come to some accommodation with opposition parties (though he also said he did not hold up much hope). But, somehow, Layton couldn’t be heard. I saw him on both CBC and CTV saying he was open to discussions, after which the host would say something to the effect that “there you have it, he’d slammed the door on any deal with the Tories”.

I think the “certain election” narrative prevented some people in the media from noticing that Layton was trying hard to leave a door open to helping the Tories delay. Now that that narrative has got a bit tired, Layton’s openness — which stems directly from his strategic situation, so it should not be a shock — is finally getting some ink.

Meanwhile, let me update you on seat projections. The Tories opened up a small but significant lead in the polls last week, including EKOS’s (we had about a 3 point lead for the Tories). The seat projection based on last Thursday’s poll would be Tories 130; Liberals 102; NDP 26; Bloc 50.

Note that at these numbers, the Tories still fall short of their results last year; the Liberals lose the election but improve their standing considerably; and the NDP suffers a serious drop.

Paul Adams teach journalism and is executive director of EKOS Research Associates