The Canadian people have mumbled: we don't trust Stephen Harper enough to give him a majority but we don't distrust him enough to return the Liberals to power either.
In a sense, weak Liberal leadership is the best thing Harper has going for him just as Stephen Harper's machinations keep the Liberals in the game. It's a Mexican standoff. But what if the Conservatives got smart and brought in a new gun, a moderate who could connect with the Canadian voter, someone in the mold of an old style "progressive" conservative?
My guess? I'm pretty sure that'd be a slam dunk for the Tories. They don't need to push a lot more buttons to get the five or six percentage swing needed to get into majority range. God knows the Liberals haven't reached the disaffected vote and the Tories have certainly gotten in there before. They know the way back.
I think the Canadian public is ready for a progressive conservative government - from the Tories, not the Liberals. Iggy's journey into the centre-right really hasn't paid off for the party, has it? C'mon, be realistic. He may have no end of fine qualities and talents but, politically, he's a dud.
If Harper & Company open the door to a moderate successor I'd bet Liberal support will collapse.
On count A, I think you are absolutely correct. A perceptual shift towards a more moderate stance would vault the cons into the majority they crave. On the other side of the aisle, Ignatieff is not so much a dud as a total bomb. Ineffectual, waffling, untrustworthy and I'd say started well to the right of centre and has crawled further right still. He'll never win even a minority and the sooner the libs figure that out the better off they'll be. But it will take more than a leadership change to fix their problems. They need a drastic culling of the corrupt herd.
John Tory, for instance, maybe?
The trouble with the conservative party is the leadership of Harper. He makes every decision. His cabinet, while some supporting Harper more than others, are all rather irrelevant and compromised.
Already it will be hard to excise this damage Harper has done to the party and government (which isn't yet fully apparent to the public or press). A moderate outsider, like Tory, is likely the best hope. But he'll face opposition from the reformacon true believers who have usurped all the power in the Conservative party.
Maybe it would help if Preston Manning could forcefully denounce Harper, rather than beat around the bush with half-criticisms. A Chinese-communist-style purging of the old guard, encouraged by a revered elder: that's what it has come down to.
oh dear, it seems so...unless,the Libs come up with a winner.But they've lost so much trust.
The Conservative party would have to lose all those retrogrades in caucus to pull it off. They would have to recreate the progressive conservative party to become believable. A somewhat moderate conservative at the helm with the likes of Toews, Day, Nicholson, Baird, Clement and Flaherty still in the party would not cut it.
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