Liberals make first mistake
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff may have made the first critical mistake of the 2011 federal election. Right out of the starting block he has given up the only leverage he had to become the next Prime Minister of Canada (for the 2nd time). In his campaign launch on Saturday, Mr. Ignatieff ruled out a forming a coalition government with any other federal party and even going so far as to say that whichever party wins the most seats should form the government. Why he would make it easier for the Conservatives to win by simply getting a plurality is beyond me. If I was a card carrying Liberal, I would be furious about this move.
First, the Liberals are down in the polls by 19% based on the lastest Ipsos Reid survey. Instead of only having to keep the Stephen Harper Conservatives to a minority by eroding about 4% points, Ignatieff has now committed himself to eliminating the much wider 19 point spread. Now, if the Conservatives fail to win a majority but win the most seats (the likely outcome), Ignatieff will be hard pressed to justify changing his stance.
The other nonsensical aspect of this declaration is that a coalition government is perfectly legal and acceptable but saying he would not employ it to form the government. In many western democracies that work on a parliamentary system, coalition governments are quite common and they work. So why can’t it work in Canada.
Last night @PoliticWatcher (http://politicswatcher.blogspot.com/) asked if Mr. Ignatieff improved his campaigning skills after his exhaustive summer tour. Clearly not as he has made his goal for victory that much harder to attain, for him and his party.
Update: Today, a newly released QMI poll shows that only 17% of Canadians believe Michael Ignatieff will NOT form a coalition government if given the opportunity. Now he has a credibility issue too?