The Liberals have staked their ground as enthusiastic interventionists; the Conservatives, who have governed as occasionally reluctant interventionists for the last year, will have to explain their post-recession vision before Canadians cast their votes...
For his part, Mr. Ignatieff has chosen a classically large L-Liberal approach, with few new ideas, leaving some to wonder if he has done much to advance the debate on Canadian economic policy. A shorter list of areas where the government can really make a difference would be preferable.
In the end, there is a coherence to Mr. Ignatieff's vision, and Canadians need to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper enunciate his own.
There is obviously more to come, in the way of details, so any "gaps" are of no immediate concern. What is important, Ignatieff is providing a contrast to the Harper approach. The vision is a center-left, that sees the government as active, if not overbearing. There is a demonstration of different tenticles operating in a co-ordinated fashion, to advance the economy. The Conservatives aren't capable of this type of vision, because they essentially rely on creating "the climate" without direction. Harper has bent, but only because events dictated and he is already assuring the faithful that intervention is temporary.
I see the distinction Ignatieff is setting up as key election issue. With all parties voluntarily shying away from a substantive debate on the deficit, the economic argument will center around who has the best platform for future prosperity. Within a world where the free market has revealed itself, naked capitalism hardly attractive, the Liberals are even better placed to make the argument for government as driver, only it capable of a comprehensive vision to address Canada's shortcomings.
It does appear, based on this reaction and other discussions, that the Liberals are finally starting to articulate a vision beyond just platitudes. Still general but focused, this "coherence" is something you can sell to Canadians.