I tend to get a little concerned, when people dismiss the polls. Obviously, from a partisan perspective, the natural instinct is to fluff it off, cling to another result which better suits your fancy, or go for the easiest of denials wherein the future is the magic elixir. While I agree entirely, an election can turn it around, this is a fluid process, I also think it imperative to actually deal with the issues at hand. You see, if one grabs comfort blankets, they tend not to address certain realities, which ultimately leads to further, cemented problems. As a matter of fact, you could argue we find ourselves in this place, exactly because of the mindset that better days are always around the corner.
Two polls today, both with similar results, both with the same type of trendline. Actually, apart from the Ignatieff honeymoon- which really spoke to a voter desire for something new an different- the Liberals have rarely done well in a sustainable way. I am not entirely pessimistic, but that is only tempered by a hope that the Liberals understand the grave circumstance- the high probabilities rather faint hopes- and "mix it up" so to speak in a fundamental way.
The problem isn't really Ignatieff, it's an identity crisis. While the party has made strides to develop policy, which is entirely desirable, it's been done so in such a haphazard way that no positive narrative has evolved. We lack coherence, we lack the ability to react immediately and effectively, we lack focus. You come out of Montreal, inspired and renewed, seeing a process, but then it is derailed immediately as we fall into the SAME trap of chasing mostly meaningless, little upside, side issues. The end result, no traction, and more lost time addressing the fundamental identity crisis, which is the real reason we never capitalize. You can throw dirt at the government, but if you're not a credible alternative, any gains are fleeting, and the Conservatives never pay the full price for their problems. Couple this glaring fact with an electorate that is sick to death of conventional, gotcha politics, and you spin your wheels going nowhere.
I welcome the policy in spirit, but to date little has been down to define Ignatieff and the Liberal brand. Anybody who thinks a tight framed election- wherein issues change hour to hour, day to day- can change an identity in a seismic way is simply fooling themselves. Oh, you might get lucky, but in terms of sound strategy, it's almost a laughable "out".
The Liberals will finally prosper, when we make a concerted, firing on all cylinders, focus like a laser, assault on the status quo. Voters crave a new manifestation, a party that breaks from normal affairs. Nobody is going to embrace change, when the alternative resembles "same shit, different pile". You can sense the voter indifference, the apathy, which is why it so maddening to watch the Liberals fail to address real erosion and just carry on in almost boring, predictable fashion. If we really want to lose, then keep telling ourselves the polls don't matter, because that lack of urgent attention will ensure our ultimate defeat. Actually, the polls do matter, and right now they are sending a very clear, sober message to the Liberal Party of Canada.