Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Saturday he intends to have candidates in all of the nation's ridings, including one in Nova Scotia where the Liberals did not run in the last election after a deal with the Green party.
"I have respect for Elizabeth May but I'm running a national party and in a national party we have candidates in 308 ridings across the country," Ignatieff said prior to speaking at a dinner being held at the annual meeting of the provincial party.
Liberals in the province were critical of Dion for making the deal, saying it weakened support among party faithful.
I'm of two minds, when it comes to this decision. The prospect of a Liberal candidate probably guarantees MacKay's re-election, so there is the issue of vote splitting(although, one could argue the riding really isn't in danger for the Conservatives). On the other hand, I remember well the resistance from local Liberals, who felt Dion's decision didn't consult, reflect their wishes. This choice does speak to local want, and undoes some of the damage caused by Dion's decision. On that score, I'm fine with this choice.
The broader curiosity, was this decision a way to distance the Liberals from the Greens, to demonstrate any informal understanding has evaporated? It will be interesting to see the reaction of May, and whether the relationship between the two parties changes. May rarely criticizes the Liberals, if the Greens feel the Liberals are trying to blunt any progress, we could see a more adversarial debate, no more footsie.