Conservatives in a tizzy this morning, as Ignatieff starts laying the groundwork for an election. My only quibble, whether it is wise to telegraph the future, but then again, it boils down to simple logic at this stage. The Liberals don't support the Conservative agenda, particularly what we expect to come out of the budget, so to say we oppose isn't exactly shocking. I suppose if one is glued to every poll, any proclamation is shocking, but if you delve deeper you see Ignatieff is entirely right- Canadians are ready for an election.
Graves finds approval for direction of the federal government at a TEN YEAR low, the only solace for the Conservatives, their opposition is divided. However, that divided resistance doesn't distract from the central theme that Canadians aren't happy with the status quo, there is no love in the land, we want change, we just don't know where to go. After a seem less summer tour, that showed professionalism and readiness, the raw campaigner surprising firm of foot and relaxed, one can understand the Liberal bluster, despite the front line numbers.
In the last few months the Liberals have put forth policy that differentiates them from the Conservatives, even the formerly sceptical at least give this admission. Listening to all the year end speeches, from all quarters the Liberals were highlighting the divergence, now soundbite worthy, there is enough there for Canadians to make a decision. With this budget, those differences will be highlighted, so unless the Liberals are prepared to swallow hard, an election seems likely. In a wider sense, Ottawa has ground to an uninspiring, mostly irrelevant halt, an election is hardly the perceived obscene proposition it was in the fall of 2009.
Liberals had best be ready, if an election is in the air, we can expect a flurry of pre-writ attacks. If we want to project the future, we better understand it begins now, and I suspect we do. In all honesty, I don't fancy our chances in an election, the odds are clearly not in our favour. However, I also firmly believe the odds aren't likely to change, a "this is it" circumstance, which precludes waiting for the perfect moment to "pounce". If we catch fire in a campaign, we can win, because the electorate is ansy, Ignatieff's real world perceptions are spot on. The trick for the Liberals, they must define a clear choice, "us vs them" and somehow manage to get the sizeable anti-Conservative vote to coalesce behind our brand. Clearly a large challenge, but not outside the realm of possibilities either.