But somebody forgot to share those dire stats with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who seems to relish banging his head on the western wall no matter how painfully poor the prospects of winning seats...
The guy has been to western Canada twice since his coronation two months ago, pledging to give voice to regional concerns as if they were his own...
“The best way to overcome Western alienation, in my view, is to get a few more Liberals in the House of Commons in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I don't think that's an unrealistic expectation,” he told supporters in Saskatoon.
That’s still got to be a dream, if not a delusion, which is why it’s a curious strategy for a Liberal leader to focus on the West when, to paraphrase former premier Ralph Klein, he would be better off hunting where the ducks are.
The only glimmer, and a small one at that:
It’s not entirely hopeless, one supposes...
Martin's piece is right, the Liberals are nowhere in western Canadian and:
...to suggest there’s an Iggy mania in the making takes a vivid imagination.
The Liberal brand is a political anathema almost everywhere on the Prairies. It will take more than a few leader trips and mea culpas before The West wants in on any scheme that could toss the Conservatives out.
Where Martin is entirely off base, assuming that any Liberal of sound mind actually entertains a western wave. Martin sets the bar higher than even the most optimist would suggest. In my mind, and I suspect the Liberal braintrust, Ignatieff is merely trying to get the Liberals back in the conversation, which translates into a few seats at BEST, under optimal circumstances. Don't confuse building up from our low of 2008 as a testament to wild desires, nobody's that naive.
Is it really out of the question, for the Liberals to double their seat total in the next election, grab one or two, here and there on the prairies? It's not like that's never happened before, so outlandish to be nonsensical. Way, way back in 2004, the Liberals had 14 seats (14 in 2006 as well), and the vote breakdown for the four western province was as follows(2008 vote percentage in brackets):
British Columbia 28.6%(19.3%)
Martin seems to think Liberals want to paint the west red, but really the goals are far more realistic, entirely doable. A few more seats, more regional representation than the present extinction. That's what Ignatieff is up to, in my view, so no need for the head scratching at the "woo", everyone is well grounded. Small steps, which are achievable and sober.