Thursday, April 21, 2011

Out The Window

Scott Reid is right, throw your plans out the window war rooms, this election is now about who can adapt quick enough to seismic change. Nothing is written in stone at the moment, but "best laid plans" are now old news and only the nimble stand a chance.

Nobody knows if the NDP vote will hold, so many scenarios now in play, it's hard to accurately gauge the landscape. Sometimes surges fizzle out, so you can convince yourself to just stay on message and things will swing your way. However, while there might be some rationale to that approach, I would argue assume the worst and react accordingly. Particularly for the Liberals, the status quo campaign is yesterday's news, not desperation but recalibration and a FIGHT FOR LIVES MENTALITY, because, well, WE ARE.

It's time for Mr. Ignatieff to stop being so polite, he needs to raise the volume, up the ante, put on the pressure, blah, blah, blah, this thing is lost unless the Liberals throw some dynamite around. This means the Sunday 1/2 hour buy better not be nice piano music and stories about Ignatieff's family, but hard hitting, in your face, compelling arguments to rally Canadians under our banner. When Ignatieff appears on Quebec television Sunday, he needs to dispense with the affable fellow and go on the attack as though a jury is about to decide his fate. Today I heard the word "serene" from Ignatieff, on a question about Quebec. With all due respect, screw that flowery crap, get in their and grab it, because it's waving goodbye every second you waste. These are the stakes, you want us to rise up, then rise up yourself and quite being so bloody diplomatic, "serene" made me want to lose my lunch, we need tough not nicieties.

If the Liberal war room is consoling itself with the fact they've run a good campaign (which I think they have btw, strange as it may seem!), which can happen, they are making a mistake. It's all gone to hell people, it's become unglued, it requires URGENCY, right now, not tomorrow. The polls aren't swinging back unless we retool our message, bruise our opponents, don't sit there and take potshot ads from Layton, rip into everyone with zeal.

It's not over, but it sure as shit is if Liberals do the usual "oh it will turn around", it WON'T, it ISN'T, it HASN'T, it CAN'T. There is no time for comforting words, get out there like the enemy has breached the perimeter and your family's livelihood is at stake. Hyperbole, call it what you will, but the next few days could well determine the fate of the Liberal Party of Canada, and I believe that with everyone in my bones. Let's roll!!

42 comments:

Dan F said...

1990.

Ontario.

That is all.

bigcitylib said...

You're right. Iggy should go out and tell the press, like he did today, that he's got more real political experience than Jack.

Steve V said...

Is that sarcasm bcl? Can't tell.

Steve V said...

I think this fair and firm, say to Canadians we have a precarious fiscal situation, do you really trust a party with no economic experience? The NDP platform is the stuff of unicorns, I can't find anyone who can cost it out, the few that have even bothered. It's not even about going after the NDP, but the free ride is over.

Jerry Prager said...

So just how many people are in your bones, you speaking blood marrow genes all the way back to Adam and Eve ?

Jerry Prager said...

Not being a liberal, I find myself on both sides of the fence at once. I can't believe I thought the Liberals were really going to go with 100 days of democratic renewal. We wouldn't even be here now if they hand. So now the Liberals have to put the table on the table. Come down from the mountain and deliver a noble solution. The best idea wins.

Mark Francis said...

"say to Canadians we have a precarious fiscal situation, do you really trust a party with no economic experience"

That plays to Harper's theme.

Iggy has to convince Quebec to vote Liberal. I'm not sure an economic argument will work.

Koby said...

I very much doubt there is anything the Liberals can do to stop the bleeding and after the CBC interview and the debates I have no faith in Ignatieff whatsoever, but here is what I would do.


English Canada: The Liberals have lost the Francophone vote. There no hope of getting them back. So there is no need to pander to them anymore. Talk about the Clarity Act and its importance. Characterize Stephen Harper as once having been an Alberta separatist for having written the Firewall letter and Separation Alberta Style and blast Jack Layton as having abandoning the Clarity Act and supporting the extension of bill 101.

French Canada: Talk about social issues. Harper's Achilles heel has always been his social conservative base and the Liberals have been stupid not to attack it. At the this point in time the Liberals have to drop a bomb shell. I have always favored legalizing marijuana, but think it is too late for that now and doubt Ignatieff has the ability to make his lunch let alone the case. Maybe he could suggest that he would be willing to entertain the idea. However, Liberals definitely need to talk about legalizing euthanasia.

Steve V said...

"That plays to Harper's theme.

Iggy has to convince Quebec to vote Liberal. I'm not sure an economic argument will work."

But Mark, it is the economic hesitation that holds back NDP, if you don't address, then the main barrier is removed. You position yourself as the only credible alternative to Harper to manage the economy. I think we may find a receptive media, because that scepticism exists in spades.

Steve V said...

Koby

I don't think an old Harper letter matters to anyone, we've covered this ground more times than I can remember. IMHO, any past reference is a losing reference, voters have already giving this guy the keys, it doesn't work.

Paul said...

“Who’s going to stand up and defend the firearms registry? Jack Layton wasn’t there on the firearms registry, just ask the victims of the Polytechnique,” he said.

In just one sentence Ignatieff makes those on both sides of the registry issue mad at him.

Guess there's a reason we have leadership conventions eh?

Steve V said...

"In just one sentence Ignatieff makes those on both sides of the registry issue mad at him."

Yes, it's so bad, it's the first time I've heard of it!

thwap said...

I think for the good of the country the Liberals should take the high road.

Convince the voters in the ridings where they Liberals won or placed a strong second last time that it still makes sense to vote Liberal to stop the anti-constitutional, anti-democratic harpercons, and swear-off attacking the NDP where it looks like they are going to be the ones to stop the harpercons.

It might mean the end of Ignatieff, but I honestly think he's still playing a part. I think he's genuinely grown into the role a little, but the learning curve is still too steep.

For the record, my latest post has called for the NDP to lay-off the Liberals.

As far as economics go, ... it really isn't rocket-science. The media is giving Jim Flaherty a pass after all. And all Paul Martin did was raise taxes and slash spending.

I really wouldn't wait for the seal of approval from economists who brought us the great recession without even knowing how they did it.

sharonapple88 said...

For the record, my latest post has called for the NDP to lay-off the Liberals.

Is it too late? Some polls are showing a Conservative majority, with people becoming comfortable on this. People had warned of a split vote... well, we have it now.

Political Outsider said...

We have a split vote... now. Just wait till next week's polls. The anti-Harper vote might not be split anymore.

sharonapple88 said...

We have a split vote... now. Just wait till next week's polls. The anti-Harper vote might not be split anymore.

I don't think the NDP will get enough from the Liberals to make the difference. The well's been poisoned. An Ipsos poll shows a large percentage of people becoming comfortable with a Conservative majority. (I'd link it, but I found it too depressing.)

Mark Francis said...

Steve,

Harper territory is the economy. If Iggy starts talking about that, then it does play to Harper's (perceived) strength, and soft NDP support that sides Liberal as a result may be offset by soft Liberal support sliding Conservative, which is a bad thing(tm).

Harper and Iggy duelling over economic policy plays into Harper hands.

Still, playing it safe is certainly out the window these days. We'll see soon enough what the Libs try.

What a wild election this has turned out to be.

I really think the Libs needed a younger leader, preferably a minority.

Steve V said...

I don't take Ipsos seriously.

Mark

I hear you, but to ignore is worse. It actually allows Libs to play offence on deficit, economic plan. Directed at NDP, our bona fides suddenly look relatively strong.

Jerry Prager said...

If Iggy went back to his riding and did his local debate, took on all challengers, and when the NDP candidate brings up days off the job, national press watching, Iggy can frame it with, the people who hired me know my constituency office workers have done the job for the community that I hired my staff to do, while I have held forums during prorogation, visited x number of commmunities etc etc etc. Iggy knocks the ball out of the park,and moves on.

Jerry Prager said...

Keep the focus on Harper corruption: the G8-Border Infrastructure electronic paper trail needs to be an ad.
Soudas and the Montreal mob, racketeers in the PMO, the Gravenhurst G8 skim scam.

Jerry Prager said...

I still also say make a bid for national unity government, no Harper cabinet ministers, but using prop rep create an all inclusive party cabinet, including a green if one is elected, empty seats for Bloc who won't sit in them, 100 days of democratic renewal, health and environmental best practices conferences with provinces and cities, family stabilization policies etc. Make a liberal stand by giving up political class - Party power over our democracy.

sharonapple88 said...

The G8 is good. No one thinks it was great (except for the people in Tony Clement's riding).

And hey, there's this Toronto Star article:

"A Toronto builder siphoned almost $1.8 million of taxpayers’ money from a municipal project in cottage country by taking advantage of weak controls in the Conservative government’s economic stimulus program, a Star investigation has found."

sharonapple88 said...

I left out the best part from the article:

"Here’s the kicker: Local residents have been told property taxes will rise to make up the difference between the final price tab and what the federal, provincial and town governments originally intended to pay."

Miles Lunn said...

If you look at the poll numbers outside of Quebec, the NDP is polling more or less where they were in the past three elections at this point in time, so as long as the surge is contained to Quebec, neither the Tories or the Liberals have a lot to worry about. We will get a better hold on this after the Easter weekend. In Quebec, most of the gains will come at the expense of the Bloc. The 16-22% who plan to vote Tory in Quebec are the least likely to switch to the NDP so the Tories could lose or gain seats but it likely won't make too big a difference. The Liberal strength is on the West Island of Montreal and this area is pretty affluent so I doubt the NDP will make much in terms of inroads here. If they gain seats in Montreal, it is more likely to be on the East End which is Bloc territory.

My blog is non-partisan so my advice is simply what I think would work best, not what I want. In the case of the Liberals I would have ad showing newspaper clippings on the situation in Portugal and Greece and then say the policies those two countries adopted is what the NDP advocates and then have clippings on the Bush policies in the US and state this is what the Conservatives advocate. While it is true that Greece and Portugal have had just as many centre-right as centre-left governments, perception matters more than reality and many think the failure there was due to excessive left wing policies and likewise the failure in the US due to excessive right wing policies. It may not work this late in the game, but seems like the best plan.

Koby said...

"I don't think an old Harper letter matters to anyone, we've covered this ground more times than I can remember."

No they have not covered this ground. They have never tried to paint Harper as a former Alberta separtist. The Liberals could learn a thing or two from the Conservatives. The Conservatives develop a narrative and hit on it again and again. The Liberals find as many old Stephen Harper quotes as they can and spray them around aimlessly. Iggy needs to protray himself as the defender of the central government. This will not garner many votes in Alberta or Sask, but so what. It could help in Ontario, parts of Montreal and the Maritimes In other words, it could help in the only places the Liberals stand any kind of chance.

Tomm said...

Steve,

I don't think a good poll for the NDP means the end. Ignatieff can't panic. He needs to be calm and continue to bring forward more policy... please tell me he has something to pull out of his hat?

But anyway, give it a couple of days. If the polls don't switch back to at least 25%, then he has to start saving the furniture.

Omar said...

I think it would be helpful if supporters didn't lose their minds in panic as well.

Steve V said...

Miles

Not sure I agree, we are seeing Quebec momentum clearly spilling outside. Mind you, the NDP was polling lower than 08 prior to Quebec. The trick now for the Libs is to beat back NDP outside.

Omar

No offence brother, but I've been warning about Quebec for years and everytime I've gotten this same "don't panic" commentary. How has that worked out? Exactly. Not panic, but "serene" is out the window, we need some jam and we need it yesterday.

Steve V said...

Miles

Not sure I agree, we are seeing Quebec momentum clearly spilling outside. Mind you, the NDP was polling lower than 08 prior to Quebec. The trick now for the Libs is to beat back NDP outside.

Omar

No offence brother, but I've been warning about Quebec for years and everytime I've gotten this same "don't panic" commentary. How has that worked out? Exactly. Not panic, but "serene" is out the window, we need some jam and we need it yesterday.

Omar said...

Pauline Marios and her ringing party endorsement notwithstanding, separatism is at its lowest ebb in years and the populace seems to be embracing a progressive, federalist option. I'm not about to finger that as a bad thing.

Steve V said...

No, as I stated, it's good to replace the Bloc. But, from a Liberal perspective, sticking to the plan is tantamount to total failure. Nanos again this morning confirms, and the days are dwindling. Newsflash everyone, the plan isn't working! Don't confuse urgency with panic, the former needed in spades.

Steve V said...

Like for example, I know we planned on taking today off, but UMMM, times change and Ignatieff should be out in front of the cameras, I don't care what day it is. Duceppe has a full schedule today, Layton will be making an appearance, but we have a down day. Sorry, scheduling change, get your ass out on the trail all day long, nobody what day it does, we have few left. If Duceppe can do it, he recognizes the threat, what are we doing?

Omar said...

It's Good Friday, maybe taking the day off will look good in some eyes? ;-)

Quebec will come back to the Liberals when there is something to come back to. I think they should take Ignatieff for a spin, but if it ain't happening, it ain't happening.

Steve V said...

Duceppe is out all day, he changed his plans to combat Layton. We stay the course, because addressing reality is panic I suppose. I'll go with the Bloc on this one, hair on fire!

Omar said...

I love that 'hair on fire' thing, but I wonder how it comes across blazing on Ignatieff's head? Harper does HoF and he appears an angry and irrational tyrant. HoF Ignatieff seems forced and somehow dispassionate. He has to be himself, he can't be no one else. I wonder what Kinsella would advise?

Steve V said...

Actually hair on fire didn't work for Harper, so perhaps a different choice. Ignatieff not campaigning today is pure bullshit.

sharonapple88 said...

Ignatieff not campaigning today is pure bullshit.

I agree. Hopefully he goes to a public church....

But things could be worse... This NDP candidate has gone on vacation....

Steve V said...

Layton will be doing press today as well.

Omar said...

I thought Ignatieff was attending a Coptic church service. Is that not today? I'll be impressed by the politician who shuns the religious niceties over the next couple of days.

sharonapple88 said...

Layton will be doing press today as well.

Yeah, that guy loves a camera. Anyone remember that shot of him at a Toronto bar during the Olympics? He'll do anything for a shot.

" With wife Olivia Chow nearby, Layton celebrates the goal for just a second, before turning from the TV that's playing the game to face the CTV camera instead, trying to move his body out from behind those around him, and then—when a woman's arm raised in ecstatic celebration blocks his face from the shot—Layton takes his outstretched hand and, still smiling, grabs her arm and forces it down and out of the way as the shot fades out."

Makes him a brilliant politician... although if I were that woman, I would have smacked him one.

Gayle said...

Maybe Ignatieff is meeting with his team today so they can introduce a brand new strategy tomorrow.

Steve V said...

They must be. This Quebec interview tomorrow, it's imperative Ignatieff stop with this "serene" nonsense and shore up our support, so at least we hold our seats. Critical, critical moment.