The latest Compas poll brings the Conservative Party somewhat better news than appears in the raw numbers:
Liberal 35%, down 7% from February 1
Conservative 30%, up 2%
New Democratic 19%, up 1%
Bloc Quebecois 13%, up 3%
The real story is in the report, subtitled A Good Product with Ineffective Marketing and Sales.
After noting that the Grits outperform the Tories in advertising and style, Compas notes that the Tories are actually seen as closer to public opinion on policy matters than the Liberals:
To quote: (all italicized emphasis mine)
On tougher sentencing, the CPC is seen as decidedly softer than the public but decidedly tougher than the Liberal party;
On marriage, the CPC is seen as closer to the public than the Liberal party, albeit fractionally more traditionalist than the public itself;
On freedom of medical choice, the CPC are seen as much closer to the public than the Liberal party but less pro free-market than the public itself.;
On government corruption, the CPC is seen as far less interested in cleaning up corruption than the public but definitely more than the Liberals;
On tax cuts, the public perceives the CPC as less free-market oriented than the public but more than the Liberal party;
A similar pattern likewise emerges with respect to size of government;
On missile defence, the CPC is seen as fractionally closer to where the public stands than the Liberal party with the CPC being more pro-missile than the public and with the Liberals being more anti-missile;
The two parties are perceive (sic) as similar on healthcare spending with the public wanting more money for health than either party is seen as advocating;
On social programs, the CPC is seen as less willing to spend than the Liberals, who are seen as less willing to spend than the public itself;
On the "need for more socialism", the CPC is seen as less supportive of such directions than the public and the Liberal party, which is seen as nominally more so than the public.
I emphasize health care reform and marriage because the mainstream media commentators have been trying to scare Tories into believing that having a Liberal policies on both is the only hope we have of winning enough votes to form government.
As for health care reform, it would behoove the CPC to take a bolder stand on this issue and stand for real freedom of choice. The support is there for it.
The Liberal Party would have you believe that suggesting the slightest change to our medicare monopoly is un-Canadian, downright treasonous in fact. Let the people know that the Liberals think it's your patriotic duty to die for your country on a waiting list to protect medicare.
As for marriage, it shows that a clearly articulated stand on social issues will not only trump the Liberals' trump card of "a hidden agenda", but will also not scare off voters. (Side note: how many pro-SSM grassroots rallies have you seen lately?)
Bottom line: The public prefers most of what we have to offer. This is no time to let the Red Tories and their MSM friends frighten us. Take this report to the policy convention and act on it.