Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sound Strategy

Predictable reaction coming from the usual sources, as the Liberals telegraph their fall strategy. That irrelevance aside, because a general yawn was heard throughout the land, I agree with the direction wholeheartedly. One caveat, I do have a concern with being so public about the after EI part, rarely do parties lay out scenarios so overtly. That said, the thought process is a very "adult" approach.

Since this EI panel began, I've never really seen it as an election trigger, despite securing this opposition day. Over the last few months, it's become increasingly clear that Canadians don't see it as one either- there is not a vocal groundswell. A pretty sketchy proposition for the Liberals to use this debate as the catalyst for an election. Because of this fairly objective fact, it's nice to see us redirecting focus away.

To the wider point, coming off a summer break and then suddenly thrusting the country into an election probably isn't an example of "maximizing your potential". This logic put forth by Smith and Goodale is sound. Harper's relatively "clean" at the moment, he hasn't been battered, subjected to much, no real interest or focus (they don't call it a "break" for nothing). There is wisdom in thinking a few weeks after Parliament resumes, a return to tertiary interest from the public, will provide more favorable conditions for a possible election. Bloody them up a bit first, then see where we are. It's still a fall option, but on balance, equating the unknowns, waiting until October to decide, looks more attractive.

This hasn't been a great summer for the Liberals, which isn't necessarily surprising, nor does that verdict necessitate blame. Getting traction in the summer is a herculian effort for an opposition party, always has been, almost a theorem at this point. Couple that with a "last time we saw you" flavor from June, and we're clearly stalled in the polls, with no obvious booster available. In other words, we're probably not heading into this September opposition day with much wind in our sails. This simple reality provides further logically backing to the supposed strategy. We need to recapture some momentum and/or put the government on the defensive again. This may be maddening to some, but it shouldn't be, because it's a wise consideration.

I still want to go this fall, for a myriad of reasons. However, if I'm choosing between a "cold" call immediately, or a try and "build up a lather" approach, I think I'll take the latter in this instance, without tremendous reservation.


Anonymous said...

Passing up a fall election would be disastrous for the Liberals. If an election was held with polls more or less where they are now Harper would be virtually wiped out of Quebec and lose seats in the maritimes and BC. Those in the party who are already unhappy with his piss poor leadership would revolt, cracks would form! Furthermore, if an election brought approximately equal seat to both parties say within 10-15 seats the cons wouldn't make it passed the first throne speech thus allowing the Liberals a chance to rule. This would ultimately be the end of Harper's career and the cons would have to find a new leader, allowing the liberals to display competent governance.

Gayle said...

I recall in June the pundits were saying Ignatieff should not force an election, then they mocked him when he didn't.

Recently they have been saying he should not force an election, and now they will mock him when he doesn't.

While I do not buy what Anon here is selling, Ignatieff is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't right now. Tghe whole thing is just tiresome. I say just get on with it.

Anonymous said...

I also say go for it. Unfortunately, Jack may be having other ideas. Keep in mind, it'll take all three of them to trigger it.

Jerry Prager said...

Harper has been stalled in the polls since 2005 or so, Canadian's don't like him, don't trust, and won't vote for him. It's all up to the Iggy and co to come up with a vision.

Geordie Tom said...

Why not threaten to bring down the government on Senate reform? MI has tried everything else and failed. If there was an election tomorrow, the results would mirror those of the last election. Lets go to the polls when there is a chance of change either way.

RuralSandi said...

There are a lot of issue this summer that have pretty much been ignored by the media with obsession about Ignatieff and where he's been and all that stuff - it would take parliament in session to get their attention to those issues.

Patience I say.