"If they raise the spectre of national unity, attempting to fire up their western base, they actually play into Ignatieff'sspan> hand. Part of the rationale, in avoiding the coalition option, was entirely a consideration on national unity, Ignatieff can tell western Canadians that his stance was partially a recognition of western alienation, the belief that the coalition didn't enjoy support across the country. Ignatieff can make the argument, using the coalition, to demonstrate that he is receptive to western sentiment, and he sacrificed a real opportunity for power, because he recognized the "mood". Rather than an albatross, I think Ignatieff can pivot and turn his decision into an example that he is "listening" to the views of all Canadians, personal ambition is secondary to responsibility. If Ignatieff takes western Canada for granted, if the Liberals are primarily an eastern-centric entity, then why didn't he move forward and install himself as PM? The Ignatieff decision, the facts, actually shows a sensitivity to western sentiments, rather than the craven opportunism the Conservatives will argue. The entire coalition debate is a testament to Ignatieff's desire to bring Canadians together, to be a force for unity, part of his grand vision for the country."
Ignatieff, in an interview yesterday in Regina here:
Ignatieff also said it was the West's strong feelings about the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition, supported by the Bloc Quebecois, that contributed to his decision not to continue to pursue it.
"You are after all looking at someone who turned down the chance to become prime minister of Canada and I did so, in part, because I felt that it would divide the country," said Ignatieff. "I want to be someone who unites the country and that includes the West."
As the Conservatives argue, you can't change the coalition facts, letters and what not. Those facts work for Ignatieff, not against, so if our opponents want to raise the issue, the above sends a unequivocal, FACTUALLY based message. Turn it around, because rather than an attack on western want, Ignatieff's coalition "record" articulates his capacity to incorporate western sentiment into his decision making.