Here we go again, the nervous nellies fearing an election, better to hold off, seize the correct moment. Where have we heard this apprehension before? How many times can we play this script, getting prepared, raising the alarms, then we cower, the prudent party waiting in the weeds? Please.
The argument seems to suggest nobody is paying attention anyways, the millions of Canadians who watch the nightly news, the people that vote, they aren't engaged, not need to worry about the optics of hiding, jiving, doing anything to avoid the dreaded election. If you follow that logic through, then nothing will improve either, because, well, nobody cares, apart from a few geeks on blogs. I've never believed that view, people do develop impressions, people are aware of the issues of the day, maybe not the details, but the broad strokes.
The spectacle of the Liberals abstaining again is frankly unacceptable. It is gutless, it is cowardly, it actually speaks to a lack of leadership, fueling the already held negative impressions. Dion's leadership score is actually less than it was a year ago, a hard feat to erode from the abysmal. Nothing says leadership, principled direction, like hiding from an election, OVER and OVER again. The Liberals have already played this game last fall, using the lame argument that Canadians don't want an election (which is true, but nobody believes that is the Liberal rational for a second).
Dion talks tough, then Dion backs down. Liberals ready for an election, oh wait nevermind. The shelf life for this parliament is long past due, this minority has lasted beyond anyone's expectations. The argument that there is nothing to run on seems ridiculous, there is plenty. So we wait for the magic bullet, the economy to maybe tank and then pounce? Guess what, it might not tank the way people expect, Canada is already demonstrating resilence that wasn't forecasted- in other words it may be a smooth landing. What then? Wait until the fall, next spring, all the while sitting on our hands, looking mostly irrelevant.
You can't keep threatening and posturing, only to back down, time after time. You can't call yourself the official opposition, when you continually scurry the corridors, hiding from the open light. You don't get to keep abstaining, which is simply an affront to the idea of principles, without paying a price. Those that believe it all occurs in some esoteric playground, nobody notices, I think are out to lunch. It does harm Dion to continually rationalize, backdown, it puts him on the defensive. Maybe Canadians aren't glued to their sets, but they pickup things here and there, a common theme tends to stick. All this sage advice to wait, all it really says, the Liberals are scared, they lack confidence in Dion, the party isn't prepared. Given the infinite, neverending hesitation, maybe it's true.