Senior federal Liberals are publicly questioning the party's lack of election readiness in Quebec, placing the blame on Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and his key organizers in the province.
“He has no instinct,” former Liberal minister and political commentator Liza Frulla said in an interview.
“At a certain point, people feel it if there is something wrong, even if they don't know exactly what it is. But he, poor Stéphane, doesn't feel it.”
Ms. Frulla also said publicly what many Liberals are saying privately about Mr. Dion's lieutenant in Quebec, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette.
And on, and on.
The part I want to focus on, which seems part of a disturbing trend, dragging our heels on getting candidates in place. Let's face it, there have been several instances where potential candidates have taken a pass, people aren't beating down the Liberal door to run in Quebec. With that real environment in mind, there is no excuse for the constant dithering, and slow reaction, when we have willing people, ready to run:
Former Liberal MP Nick Discepola, who won three elections for the party in a riding just outside of Montreal, said he offered to run again and is still waiting for an answer.
While he sits on the sidelines, Mr. Discepola said that Bloc Québécois MP Meili Faille is working to retain her seat, while Conservative minister and Senator Michael Fortier is organizing his own bid in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
“They know I have an interest,” Mr. Discepola said of Liberal Party officials.
“They haven't decided as far as I know.”
Mr. Pinkus said the Liberal Party has lost a number of potential candidates through these types of delays, explaining that strong people have grown tired of waiting.
It was only a few months ago, that the Liberals went through this process with Garneau, who was supposed to be in, but heard nothing, then decided to take a pass, which in turn lit a fire, and now he is back in. I find it odd that Dion is firing off emails to the ridings in Quebec, telling them to "be ready for an election", while the brass is dragging its feet on getting candidates in place. Again, if there are qualified people, ready to run, there is no excuse for delay, no excuse for pissing away goodwill through inaction. What is the problem, and why haven't we learned from the past?
If the Liberals are forced to avoid an election because of what frankly amounts to systemic incompetence, it represents a real shame, because conditions are ripe. A new poll from Ipsos today, the outfit which generally tends to overstate Conservative support, has the two parties in a deadheat, the Liberals with there highest total in months. Just a month ago, the Conservatives enjoyed a 7 point lead. When Ipsos has a deadheat, it's a good sign.
Plenty of talk about waiting for the "winning conditions". Fast tracking potential candidates, in a region where volunteers are scare, might be a good start. Get it together, a sense of urgency is clearly lacking, and I don't understand why.