"I don't think, since 2006, I've ever seen the Conservatives so nervous about an election as right now. You talk to them, and it's no more of this chest beating testosterone, we'll take them down, we'll crush them on the campaign trails. THEY DO NOT WANT AN ELECTION. The window of opportunity is wide open right now, and I'm telling you right now, if they do this prorogue thing in August....and we don't come back until November or later, the Harper government will have repaired the damage, all this things will be forgotten, their machine will be stronger than ever. The Liberals will be kicking themselves for all of 2009, going why didn't do this in the spring. When you get the Conservatives nervous, when you have the PM tired, I don't know why they aren't doing it."
Martin basically argues what I've said, namely that waiting allows the government to get back on their feet, with the added kicker that they will control the agenda as far as Parliament reconvening.
We now hear talk of Dion being "isolated" on an election call, the vast majority of MP's, the main players in caucus, all in agreement, all showing increased frustration, all wanting an election. In Dion's corner, his advisers and campaign people, which means you have the elected representatives on one side, those that are getting feedback from their riding, and a few Dion loyalists on the other. It is actually quite a scary proposition to think that Dion has little caucus support for his plan, a dangerous situation that could well blow up.
"It is going to make for a very interesting summer for the Liberals"
Let's keep it real, Dion's hold is a weak one, he is not immune to another round of questioning quotes and behind the scenes second guessing. To move forward with little support from other influential people in the party, not to mention an unease within the grassroots, raises the spectre of an interesting summer in deed. You provide the window of complete idle, coupled with restlessness, and people's focus could surely wander. Moreover, the signature reasoning, this carbon plan, doesn't seem to enjoy widespread support within the same circles, creating further potential tensions. The question becomes, can Dion afford to wait, or is he on a ledge somewhat alone? I've never heard the word "isolated" used to describe a party leader, and people may be optimistic not to understand what exactly that means.
Reading today's Globe and Mail piece, on this same question, it reads like a tragedy. The silliest argument:
More broadly, one adviser said, Mr. Dion must use the summer not only to sell his green plan, but to hone his skills at communicating it so he can use it to counter Tory attacks that he is a weak leader.
Stephane Dion is what he is, to actually think that he will morph into a "communicator" over the summer is just wishful thinking. We already have all the evidence we require, Dion has been leader for 18 months, and he still reads from a piece of paper in Question Period, looking exactly as he did, this time last year. That isn't Dion's strength, and we've seen enough to resign ourselves to the fact that it is what it is. I suggest another viewing of Dion's dud of a convention speech for anyone who actually thinks Dion possesses any natural aptitude in this regard. I'm not holding my breath for the "honing of skills". Maybe Harper will develop "warmth" too.
Interesting, that last fall when Dion wanted to force an election, the majority was against the idea, now the opposite, with the only consistent element, Dion virtually alone. This fact suggests little confidence in the leader, and his reasonings, which when you jump out of your partisan considerations, is an objective worrying condition. A leader is only in command if he possesses the ability to make people follow, otherwise he is really only a leader in name only, finding hollow comfort in the inner circle bunker, detached from his supposed army.