I can't remember another year where the summer break has received so much attention. The barbeque circuit is the political focus, as though flipping a few burgers can cure all ills. It's nice that the leaders are going to spend the summer rubbing elbows with the "people", but I find the whole idea largely irrelevant in terms of political fate.
In Liberal circles, a great onus has been placed on Dion's summer of the meet and greet. I'm not trashing the idea, in fact I think it is healthy, but I also don't have any faith whatsoever that the exercise will prove relevant politically. I'm calling it the "getting to know me" tour, but its reach is so limited that Liberal strategists had better hatch some other schemes to turn around public perception.
All the leaders will be doing the barbeque circuit this summer, which effectively cancels out any advantage. Dion can tour the country, but it's not like Harper won't be doing the same, with the added advantage of making an announcement here, photo-op with foreign leaders there, etc. If anything, the summer presents more opportunity for Harper, Dion and others will be hard pressed to make any news, now that the glare of parliament is gone.
In terms of fundraising, rallying the partisan troops and getting feedback, all good. When it comes to real political relevance, not so much.