For the past few years, Chantal Hebert’s columns in the Toronto Star have ranked among the better federal political opinion pieces on offer. While not all of her points will be agreed with, her argumentation has been sound.
That’s why her recent twaddle in the key of “Jack Layton is a has-been” is just so disappointing.
Her argument, that Layton “is being squeezed out of a Bloc Québécois-Liberal duel in Quebec” and “is also becoming a mere bystander in a Harper-Ignatieff election battle nationally” is the stuff of a Red Bull fueled imagination.
There is, in fact, zero evidence to suggest Hebert is correct. At all.
In fact, as if to make that very point, today’s Toronto Star also contains a story about this poll.
That’s right, according to a poll commissioned by the same people who employ Hebert, the New Democrats are within the margin of error of exceeding their results from the last election, AND interestingly, are also at an incredible 17 percent in Quebec, up (not down) FIVE percentage points from the 2008 election.
Columns are generally better when they aren’t disproven by the part of the paper that reports news.