As Ignatieff and team squabble amongst themselves and leap from hapless bravado to mewling retreat there isn't much hope that they will unseat the waxen idiot Harper and his crew of Mike Harris leftovers. It is little wonder that the Ignatieff coronation has yet to be consummated when he can't rein in his own caucus, few though they are.
Mr. Ignatieff, under fire after conflicts within his party and a steep fall in the polls, is changing his top aide amid criticism from some Liberals that the team that helped him get into politics didn't have the experience to guide the party to an election victory.
Little wonder that the internal dissent has continued to grow. Like it or not, there is a strong perception in the public that Ignatieff came back to Canada with one purpose in mind. That purpose was not to serve the constituents of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, a riding and community that is not in any real way his home. He did not return to Canada out of some sense of civic duty. Ignatieff is here to garner power and prestige for himself, he returned to Canada to become Prime Minister and nothing less. There's nothing unusual about politicians entering the field for their own gain but few have done so as nakedly as Ignatieff and his court.
This is not the first of Mr Ignatieff's poorly handled dealings within the party power structure.
And his advisers took the brunt of the blasts when he overruled his Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre, to allow former justice minister Martin Cauchon to run in the Outremont riding, which had been promised to another candidate. Mr. Coderre quit the post, saying the Leader's Toronto advisers were giving poor advice on Quebec.
Partisan defenders rallied behind Igantieff with a rousing chorus of, 'Yeah, well, we never liked Coderre anyway so nyah'. And hey, it isn't like old Denis was a spectacular intellect or ethical giant but in politics perception and publicity are key. In la Belle Province, one does not profit by yanking strings from the heights of imperial Toronto. One has to question the wisdom of the leader as well as his lieutenants but as has become a pattern not unlike that established by the Conservatives, Iggy let someone else take the heat. Thus Mr Davey + sword + falling on it... except he was pushed, to make sure.
And even there, the Ignatieff team bungles and manages to alienate more of the upper echelons of the party.
Two others close to Mr. Davey, deputy chief of staff Dan Brock, and communications director Jill Fairbrother, who is Mr. Davey's partner, were not fired, but many Liberals believed they might leave.
The staff change came in a messy internal scene, according to Liberal insiders. Mr. Davey and Ms. Fairbrother saw reports on TV, and Ms. Fairbrother denied to reporters that anything was happening – but Mr. Ignatieff confirmed it to them later last night.
That's leadership bitches. If I found out from the TV that the boss was going to cut me and mine loose I'd be a tad miffed. Actually I think my vengeful streak would kick in and I'd be inclined to see him undone.
Liberal sources said that about 10 days ago, it became clear that Mr. Ignatieff was taking advice to reach out for help to party veterans, and started asking not just Chrétien veterans like Mr. Donolo to join his team, but former advisers to Paul Martin like Tim Murphy and Elli Alboim to play a more important advisory role.
So while the Ignatieff leadership has failed to distinguish itself from the the ugly Conservatives in terms of policy, edging rightward and taking on an even grubbier patina of corporatism, they are now fully echoing the Cons administrative style. The equation goes... screw something up, flounder and prevaricate, blame someone down the power slope, congratulations to the leader. This country has little love for the leadership of Stephen Harper and that is proven out by his continued position fronting a minority government but Ignatieff and the Liberals are failing to present an attractive or viable alternative. Welcome, devils we know.
A fall in the polls – the latest Ipsos-Reid survey showed the Liberals with 25 per cent support, compared to 40 per cent for the Conservatives – made the clamour for change louder.
Iggy was supposed to be the brilliant mind, the renowned thinker and strong voice to lead the Liberals back to prominence. It now appears that Ignatieff might well become the Kim Campbell to Dion's Mulroney and really, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Should his bluffing and bluster actually lead to an election, the Liberals are now sitting on a potential popular vote (should Ipsos-Reid be accurate) that is only 9% greater than Ms Campbell achieved in 1993. Given the party's blundering in Quebec and dismal showing in the west, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Liberals will lose a considerable number of seats in the next vote. Prepare for some months of the Liberals being the parliamentary whelps, they'll find a way to either support or abstain from votes and maintain the Conservative minority. From here it would appear the best case scenario, pending an election, is to pray that Harper is held to another minority. After that Iggy can return to academia and the Liberals had best groom a leader that is more attractive and willing to draft policy that appeals to what remains a moderately progressive electorate.
So long great man, you really won't be missed.