Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Revenge of the Nervous Nellies

Ever since they decided to start acting like an opposition last week, the Libs have largely managed to suppress any public doubts within their own party as to whether they're more comfortable returning to their traditional role propping up the Harper Cons. But John Ivison column features what looks to be the first major wave of internal backlash:
(M)any members of the caucus have come down with a bad case of cold feet since Mr. Ignatieff announced last week his decision to bring down the government at the first opportunity. Speaking privately to a number of MPs and backroom Liberals yesterday, many professed extreme disquiet at Mr. Ignatieff's strategy.

One MP said the mood at the caucus meeting in Sudbury was "near unanimous" against a fall election. Yet, less than an hour after caucus had debated the issue, the Liberal leader emerged to hand down his decision.

"We might as well have stayed in bed," said the MP.

Another Liberal said Mr. Ignatieff should have explained to Canadians why the Conservatives have to go, and why the Liberals deserve to replace them, before saying he intends to bring down the government.

"I'm waiting for Mr. Ignatieff to make that case. The cart is before the horse," he said. "We need to provide a compelling road map."

The MP said it is not too late to pull back from the edge. "If the membership and the public clamour loudly that this is not what we need at this point, cooler heads may prevail. If not, we risk a significant backlash over spending $300-million on an election at a time when the country can't afford it -- a backlash that could push the Conservatives into majority territory."
Mind you, it'll be another step for Libs to start attaching their names to further attempts to back down. But all indications are that at least some of Ignatieff's troops are trying to push for yet another retreat - and there can't be much doubt that the Libs' ability to go into battle will suffer for that fact.

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