Reading these comments from an anonymous Conservative offical, you see a rare admission:
The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named, said that the Conservatives believe Mr. Dion had a good July, with the launch of the Green Shift, but lately the balance has tilted
Dion did have a good July, easily his best patch since becoming leader. Don't take anything that follows as panic or doom and gloom, because the Liberals are fine as of today. My concern is more the trend, the Liberals just don't have the luxury to let up, it has to be push, push, push, all the time, everywhere. The opponent hasn't relinquished in the least, it's still daily offence. For all intent and purposes, the election has already begun, the Liberals simply can't afford to let Harper dominate the headlines without an effective counter. Idle media, with no real Liberal story to tell, allows for the Conservative attack machine to get maximum coverage. It is noteworthy, that Dion's high profile in the weeks prior tended to balance the hysteria. If Dion is on vacation, then Liberal strategists should be creative to keep their message in the news. Any "void" is risky, especially when you consider most Canadians haven't really developed a firm opinion either way.
The Green Shift is still malleable, the frame isn't completely established, which means its ultimate fate may come down to one simple reality, which side, the advocate or the detractor, works the hardest. This is no time to pat ourselves on the back for a pretty good release, this is the time to kick it into overdrive, every challenge met with a response. No dead air, complete overlap.
It's the middle of August, and I'm still waiting for anything Liberal in the province of Quebec. Fertile ground for The Green Shift, opportunity for Dion to get some traction. To date, no sense of any gameplan in this key province, if there is one, so under the radar to be irrelevant.
Again, the sky is not falling, in fact I see partly sunny skies. However, that current reality can change in short order, especially with rabid dogs everyone, primed to pounce.