Brison spoke to Ignatieff yesterday and it is likely all those unkind words will be forgiven and forgotten, if, as sources suggest is likely, the Nova Scotian endorses the current front-runner. Insiders in both camps say it is a "good fit," and Ignatieff sources say they are "feeling good" about the prospect.
Jumping on the bandwagon:
There are further suggestions that delegates who will support Ken Dryden, Joe Volpe and Martha Hall Findlay on the first ballot have already indicated they will slip in behind Ignatieff on the second, even if their candidates do not.
A Brison endorsement would effectively put Ignatieff over the top in my mind. Not so much the potential delegates, but the powerful psychological symbolism that starts the "inevitability" angle. People will not move en masse to anyone if Ignatieff has so much as a hint of momentum- it's simply doesn't agree with human nature. Why put your neck out, risk alienating the new powerbase and effectively put yourself on the outside looking in? There is no doubt that political calculation and self-interest will come into play, both of which benefit Ignatieff.
There is one element to this entire discussion that has been largely missing. Given the past sharp divisions within the Liberal Party, is there really an appetite for "long knives" and overt negativity. Will delegates rally around a mean-spirited attempt to take Ignatieff down, because that is what it will take, polite disagreement won't do it. I fully expect the "unite the party" meme to make the rounds and see pressure mounting to gel around one person. The convention will be an exercise in image, will Liberals want the country to see blood letting and acrimony?
Ignatieff doesn't need much in the next weeks to look largely inevitable. If it appears that a Herculean effort will be needed to knock him off, I don't see people endorsing a messy struggle. The risk of losing is too great and that has consequences for any potential conspirators. Ignatieff looks safe, I expect many to migrate to the safe harbour.