An in-depth poll conducted for Maclean’s
on the eve of this weekend’s Liberal leadership convention suggests Canadians
would be just as happy with less dazzling leaders. Responses from Innovative Research Group’s Canada 20/20 panel suggest neither Bob Rae nor
Michael Ignatieff would fare particularly well in an election against the stolid-but-determined Stephen Harper — both carry baggage that
could limit their popularity. In the end, the Liberals’ best hope of supplanting the Conservatives in an upcoming election may lie in
bookish Stéphane Dion, whose 20 per cent rating when pitted against the current Prime Minister was marginally better than both Rae’s 19 per
cent and Ignatieff’s 17 (against all three Liberal candidates, Harper held firm at about 30 per cent support).