While we can hope that the departure of Ian Davey as Ignatieff chief of staff will somehow lift the LPC leader's sagging fortunes, there's a real risk that it's too little, too late. lt's good that the leader has gone for an experienced hand but I'm not sure that Donolo has ever had the challenge he's now facing. He never had to rescue Jean Chretien from Jean Chretien. His former boss was a political veteran, a skilled campaigner.
I think one of the first things Donolo should do is teach the Liberal leader to talk. Mr. Ignatieff needs to speak to the Canadian people, to present them an array of ideas and policies they can support. Day care, arts funding... blah, blah, blah. I'm sure they're all wonderful and deserving but they hardly rank among the existential crises facing Canada and the world.
Just because Harper doesn't want to talk about the serious stuff - and he doesn't if only because that would mean he might have to do something - doesn't mean the Liberal leader should follow suit.
I think the Canadian public realizes that bad stuff happens, that it is happening and that no one in Ottawa is even talking about that much less dealing with it. If the future of Canada and the fate of future generations of Canadians is a political potato too hot to handle, why have a national government at all?
We need to talk about things that matter to the Canadian public - things such as the security of our healthcare system, the rapidly growing gap between rich and poor, Canada's position and role in the world and every aspect of the global warming problem. Those are just for starters. We have to discuss these and, in the process, remind everyone of what liberalism is supposed to mean.
This isn't about polls or electoral tactics. It's about the heart and soul of the Liberal Party. It's about deciding whether the LPC is going to cleave to its liberal roots or content itself with being transformed into centre-right Democrats to the Tory's far-right Republicans.
Michael, let's talk.