"New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton is the best-rated federal political leader. 57 per cent of respondents approve of Layton's performance, a five per cent increase in six months. Conservative leader Stephen Harper holds the lowest number at 33 per cent, a nine per cent drop since January." ~ Angus Reid Global Scan, July 29, 2005
Jack Layton is steadily making himself known to Canadians and the more people hear of him, see him, the higher his personal approval ratings go.
The dilemma for the NDP now appears to be translating that personal popularity and approval to candidates in the next federal election.
There is no question the NDP campaign will be run based on with Jack's face front and centre, especially given his personal credibility. When Layton won the leadership in 2003, he said the party needed to focus on three or four issues. To get a message out to Canadians that was understandable and achievable. He well on the way.
The federal NDP has managed to stay focused. The long held bugaboo of the NDP has been the last week of the campaign scare tactics of the Liberals where the liberals run more against Conservatives leaders like Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper than for something.
The NDP's job next time out to push back on that message of fear and give Canadians a message of hope and a vision. Jack's on the right track. Imagine when you heard either Stephen Harper or Paul Martin say anything that lifted your spirits or planned for the future.
The NDP have been the one party that has listened to Canadians and made Parliament work despite all the games being played by the Liberals and Conservatives.
Don't take my word for this, here are some quotes from media on Jack ...
“NDP leader Jack Layton is the only leader to emerge unequivocally from the tumult with an enhanced reputation and improved electoral prospects. Layton made a conscious effort to rise above the mudslinging and demonstrate a more civil, constructive approach to minority government. In the process, he gave the party with the smallest numbers in the Commons new clout and relevance, forcing Martin to add $4.6 billion in social spending to his budget in return for support from the 19 NDP MPs.” Canadian Press, 19 May 2005
“While the Conservatives and Liberals disgrace the House with juvenile antics, Layton's team doggedly pushes to get work done. Layton is wisely shifting away from radical stunting to pragmatic solutions, most importantly within a balanced budget . . . For that pressure to continue, Layton's New Democrats need 98 seats and the official Opposition title. They've earned it.” Jim McNulty, The Vancouver Province, 12 June 2005
“The only A’s in this Parliament go to New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton . . .” Hugh Windsor, Globe and Mail 27 June 2005
“The Jack Layton budget deal [was the best political move] . . . First of all, it put them very decidedly on the map politically. He’s gone up in the polls since then. He appears as a player because of it. He's got some -- he can keep some distance between himself and the Liberals at the same time with the scandal issue. He’s been able to walk a very interesting tightrope there. I think it's worked out very well for him and his party.” Andrew Coyne, CBC The National, 23 June 2005
Tags: NDP, Canada, Politics, Leadership, Jack Layton