It's important for the Liberals to pivot off the pre-occupation with criticizing the issues in the immediate, and start to articulate a vision. The "down the road" narrative, which I think will be a key argument if we are to have a fall election. EI can be used as the backdrop to reinforce another theme (which Ignatieff speaks to), that being you can't co-operate with these guys, they are an obstacle to stability and good government. However, EI isn't an election winner, the discussion will surround who has a plan to deal with the deficit, who has a plan to reshape our economy to compete in the global economy. The Conservatives are quite vulnerable on this front, because they are more managers than planners, very little in the way of forward thinking that speaks in a cohesive fashion:
What is the vision to help the restructuring of our economy after the recession? Is zero. So that's the problem I have. I am at a government that does not work. What should I do? Keep it alive because people do not want an election? Or bring it down and say what I really thinks of me, that is to say that we deserve better than that. I'm thinking. "
I can't stress enough the importance of the word "vision" here. We crave that, we desire something to get behind that speaks to a better tomorrow. It's cheesy on one hand, but if Ignatieff is armed with a comprehensive plan, that brings all facets together, towards a singular goal, it will and can fly. I don't doubt the messenger in this case, but he needs the substance. Conservatives don't do vision, they do tear downs, they react to liberalism, they manage like Canada is a giant Walmart. We can occupy this ground and it's a winner.
I like the response on the coalition question:
"I'm not against political arrangements between parties to run a minority Parliament. I am ready to negotiate with other parties to advance legislative proposals. But beware, I always spoke arrangements, no coalition. "
There is a central argument here, a contradiction in the Con logic that we can use to push back. Harper can speak of coalitions and he WILL in the campaign. However, on a common sense level Canadians understand that co-operation between parties is required, in fact it's one of their chief beefs with politics as a whole. We attack Harper's inability to work with others, a potent criticism, with ample examples. Beside that argument, this idea of "arrangements" isn't something to be feared, because it simply acknowledges a practicality that people are well aware of. Reject a formal coalition, push the idea of co-operation concurrently, and you neuter their attacks while positioning yourself as the only one that get this "mess in Ottawa" to work. I'd even throw in a few jabs at the Cons, tell Harper he's welcome in PM Ignatieff's office anytime to discuss "arrangements".
I also like the characterization as "arrogant", this push for a majority from the Conservatives. The laundry list of problems at the moment, and this government thinks they deserve a stronger mandate. Labelling you opponent as arrogant, and somewhat detached because of it, is a strong "buzzword".
Just snippets, nothing terribly substantive yet, but I'm encouraged by the language I hear.