Tuesday, September 01, 2009

For reals this time?

Colour me unimpressed:
The federal Opposition Liberals will no longer support Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Tuesday, making the prospect of a fall election more likely.

In a fiery campaign-style address to a room full of supporters in Sudbury, Ont., Ignatieff said the Liberals would return "competence and compassion" to the federal government to replace a Harper government that "doesn't care."

"Mr. Harper, your time is up; we cannot support this government any further," he said. "The secret weapon on our side is Stephen Harper's record. … We can do better."
I certainly agree that Harper's record is a powerful recommendation for change. But what, exactly, recommends Ignatieff's Liberal leadership on this question? As just one example, are the Liberals arguing for a larger stimulus or a smaller deficit? Neither? Both?

On the more basic political question -- what makes the Liberals think that Canada is clamoring for change? None of the existing polls suggest a large, dissatisfied block in the country want an election and a new government. Indeed, the existing polls probably hide a substantial advantage for the incumbent government, as Stephane Dion found out too late.

In short, nobody else in the country is as angry about Harper's Premiership as the Liberal Party of Canada is. Similarly, nobody else in Canada is as convinced of Ignatieff's superiority to Harper as the Liberal Party is. Until the rest of us are, Ignatieff probably shouldn't start measuring the drapes.

But hey, I've gotten plenty of things wrong in my prognostications before. Maybe we're headed to a Liberal majority. I sure don't see it. Hell, at this point I'd sooner expect a Harper majority. The only clear Canadian political trend of the last 5 years is stasis in the polls which manages to manifest itself as a loss of seats in the House for the Liberals. (Given the dishonesty embodied in our electoral system, those two facts are not contradictory.) That's worth restating: the only clarity in the last five years of Canadian politics is that the Liberal Party has gone from 168 seats in the House when the 37th Parliament was dissolved in 2004 to 77 seats today, with no obvious prospects for resucitation.


Anonymous said...

You write: In short, nobody else in the country is as angry about Harper's Premiership as the Liberal Party of Canada is.

I guess you have not been reading the NDP blogs. eh?

Anonymous said...

This is funny. Layton trying to be Obama and promote change and now and NDP'r saying who wants change

jeffkramerak said...

I think he would say---I don’t know what to tell you buddy, but stick with it….