Sunday, February 12, 2006

Liberals Smell Blood

If anyone doubts there has been a seismic shift in the political landscape, resulting from the cabinet fiasco, they might want to tell the Liberal Party. After this election, I was of the opinion that Harper had a large window, upwards of two years, to effectively govern. Canadians were in no mood for another election, and the opposition, particularly the Liberals, weren't in a position to effectively challenge Harper. Avoiding the appearance of political opportunism was paramount to all parties and therefore we could expect a period of relative calm. However, I believe this week has seen the Conservatives completely squander their goodwill, transforming the agenda, making an early election possible. The Liberals, only a week ago, battered and bruised, are now actually jubilant:
Liberals are dreaming about a speedy return to power after watching the disastrous opening week of Stephen Harper's new Conservative administration.

Only three weeks after suffering a humiliating defeat, Liberals are musing openly about whether Harper's shaky minority government can survive the year.

And Liberal officials are being urged to hasten the selection of a new leader so that the party can be ready as soon as possible for an election.

Some quotes from prominent Liberals:
Bill Graham-"We are, I would say, reinvigorated and energized"..."And if that leads to the government falling, it's going to lead to the government falling. And the way they're making their decisions it's clear that could happen earlier rather than later just given the nature of what they're doing."

John Manley-"That's the shortest honeymoon of any government in Canadian history"..."David Emerson really is a great Liberal. In one move, he united the Liberals and divided the Tories."

Party officials are feeling increased pressure to hold a leadership convention quickly. This development would best serve the big name candidates because lesser knowns would have less opportunity to build momentum. I'm not sure an early convention is good news for anyone who thinks the Liberals need to reinvent themselves and return to a grassroots approach. However, the fact that prominent Liberals are openly musing about toppling the government speaks volumes about the disastrous Conservative opener.

Quite a feat to embolden a distraught Liberal Party in such short order. The Liberals are ramping up, for fear they may be caught flat footed when Harper stumbles. What an extraordinary reversal of fortunes this week has brought, especially when it was supposed to be all about feel good photo ops.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Liberals couldn't have asked for a better week. I don't blame them for seeing the need to move quickly. Harper doesn't appear to be inclined to give even an appearance of honest government or working together with the other parties at this point. If you can't play nice...well thats just so un Canadian!