Before we get all the warped judgements, wherein praise is overstated and scorn brings tortured emphasis, it's important to keep things in perspective. You don't discount failures, but you also realize that almost like sport, the line between winning and losing isn't as vast as commentary suggests, more a statement on human nature than real world manifestations. Often times, political change comes from a one line consideration, which is then bastardized by the plugged in chattering class, fictional meanings attached, when really it is usually quite simple.
I'm not sure what will happen tonight, but it is fair to say Liberal expectations at the beginning of the campaign won't be met, anywhere from a hold to some erosion to devastating, that appears our spectrum. With that in mind, it's about to get negative for the Liberals(I have my own opinions), so before the maelstrom begins, perhaps a contrarian consideration, because people deserve some acknowledgement.
Not a testament to resonance, likability, certain strategic errors whatever, but I will continue to say Ignatieff, the "happy warrior" ran a good campaign. Ignatieff didn't do what he needed to do in the debate, but on the hustings he was energized, engaged, inspirational, open and pretty much gaffe free. When you think of all the potentially risky political positions Ignatieff put himself in, he deserves some credit for pulling it off. Contrasted with the Conservative campaign, I am profoundly proud that the Liberals waded in, embraced democracy the way it's supposed to be, ran a VERY accountable campaign.
In terms of war room gaffes, hard to point, instead a pretty smooth machine. When it came to social media, the Liberals engaged in interesting ways, particularly Ignatieff using twitter to push the debate issue. In addition, rapid response has been an issue in the past, this election the Liberal team came out with some great quick reactions, the facebook ad comes to mind as an example of terrific turnover. I would classify that facebook ad as the first example of a political ad going viral in Canada.
The Liberal base seemed energized this election, evidence of improved ground game, greatly improved fundraising, big, diverse crowds. In terms of pure democratic expression, call me crazy, but I'm somehow proud of the way Liberals have rallied, gives me resolve moving forward.
Let's vote, let's turnout, let's make the best of it, then let's digest honestly, ignore the vultures and do what we MUST to rebuild.