How soon after the results of Election 41 are in and we start hearing the calls for Michael Ignatieff's head? How about tonight? *Note: I started this post before I read Kelly's comment.
We have two federal leaders: Harper and Ignatieff that can't much change the minds of the electorate, despite both parties having low support in the polls. Neither can overcome the weakness of the other. Add rumours of a surging NDP and the only conclusion I can come to is that the NDP has the most credibility out of the big three parties.
Now Harper has dragged the conservative brand so thoroughly through the mud I am surprised they poll above 20% at all. But the Liberal brand was so completely tarnished during the Chretien/Martin years they have yet to completely recover. Canadians are disaffected with politics, (I can't find the link, but there was a story today about how much Canadians are disgusted with our federal politics), and many find they are voting by holding their noses. Picking which party smells the least and making their X. If I look at the polls through the prism of which party Canadians hate the least, the numbers make more sense.
By all accounts, Ignatieff is doing a damned good job of campaigning. He's attracting crowds, answering questions, and diving into the election heart and soul. Despite all that, support for the Liberal party is trending downward, not up.
We hear that Ignatieff is not connecting with Canadians. And I don't think that has anything to do with Ignatieff. It has to do with the big fat Liberal albatross hanging around his neck. It would take a person of superhuman character to overcome that deficit; overcome the voter anger, apathy and general ill will. In short, the Liberal party needs a messianic person, and that person just doesn't exist.
I'm one of those that believes the Liberal party still hasn't learned the lessons of the last 15 years. And their trotting out Chretien and Martin during this campaign does much to bolster that belief.
Maybe the Liberal party will have to kick Ignatieff to the curb in order for the party to rediscover what it means to be a Liberal. But if the party membership believes that's all it will take will be making the exact same mistake over again.