A new poll paints a devastating picture of a Liberal party completely reduced to a rump in Quebec if an election were held today.
"For the Liberals, they are in a worse position than they were in the middle of the sponsorship scandal," political commentator Jean Lapierre told CTV's Question Period on Sunday.
I certainly hope that nobody within the party is surprised. Although having heard the commentary of such punditorial wizards as Monsieur Cherniak, one can't help but imagine that they will be wide eyed with shock. As a party they have abandoned their role as opposition to the government. They have rolled over and exposed their bellies so often that their dismal performance has driven away any support they might have had. Stephane Dion has failed to provide leadership, he has failed to stem the tide of the weak minority re-shaping the nation to suit it's own agenda.
On a personal note, over the last year or two I have written a number of letters to Members of Parliament, Ministers and Senators. I have received detailed responses from Mr. Layton and the NDP, I have received the brush off and lies from Mr. Prentice and the PMO, I have received no responses whatsoever from my MP (to whom I have written more often than anyone). In fact, the only Liberal Party response to come in so far, is from a Senator. Senator Hervieux-Payette took the time to respond in detail to issues I raised concerning Bill C-10, no such response was forthcoming from the appropriate critics taking up space in the Opposition benches in the House of Commoms. This is not an issue of preception, it is an issue of performance. The Liberal Party has not shown an interest in doing the job of Opoposition, why on Earth would we entrust the greater responsibility of governing to them?
We've all seen the dismal display of the voting records and attendance of the Liberals in their supposed role as Her Majesty's Official Opposition.
Many of us are unlikely to forget Monsieur Dion and the Liberal's response (or lack thereof) to Bill C-484.
At this juncture, the country is best left as it is. The Conservative Party of Canada is in a de facto majority position, as they are operating unopposed. The Liberals are adrift, utterly ineffectual and there are no viable alternatives. Yet whilst the Liberals snipe at one another and there is a sense that the party ranks are jockeying for position, Dion continues to threaten that he might bring down Harper's government. Much as I would love to see the Conservatives faulter, fail and fall out of office, that will not happen. Any election in the near future will return a Conservative majority. If Dion and the Liberals think otherwise, they are simpletons and fools.
The Harper forces would love nothing more than an election. They are doing everything in their power to prompt a return to the polls. They would make the choice of potatoes on the Parliamentary cafeteria menu a confidence issue of they could.
Leadership is not the sole issue facing the Grits. There is a systemic reek of arrogance within the party that is made all the worse by their failure to do their jobs. Among the leaders in waiting, there is no-one that Canadians will rally behind. Ignatieff is neither liked nor trusted, Bob Rae will forever be tainted as the NDP premier who floundered and sank out of sight in Ontario, the man who generated the backlash that brought the much reviled Mike Harris to power. Failing the emergence of Justin Trudeau or a similar new face with sufficient charisma and strength to wash out the old, dirty players, there appears to be little more to hope for than a continued minority.
At this point the Liberals need to purge their ranks. The Conservatives were very, very successful in hanging the stink of Adscam and the sponsorship scandal around the neck of the Liberals. To date, that stink of corruption and entitlement has not been washed away. An imminent return to the polls would perform that purge in a most unpleasant manner. Stephane Dion, should he decide to bring down the Harper government, will go down in history as the man who presided over the decimation of the Liberal Party of Canada.
My solution to the Liberal malaise... have Dion step aside and draft Joe Clark as leader. Failing that or something equally audacious, we're doomed to their fumble fingered parody of the night of long knives. All of their protestations aside, the Liberals are in disarray. They need to clean out their ranks, pull up their socks and provide at least a semblance of vision and leadership.