Monday, September 28, 2009

"Denis la Menace"

The question I am asking myself tonight is relatively straightforward. When Mr. Ignatieff stood up at his caucus retreat and said "no more" to the government, did he really expect things to unfold as they have?

Clearly the answer is no.

A few weeks ago I had suggested that however awkward the current situation was, the Liberals had nevertheless managed to break free from supporting the government. Long-term, that was an important win. At the same time, election fear had pushed the NDP to support the government allowing the Liberals oppose without consequence.

All good, right? Cue Denis Coderre.

I am not going to go through all of the background on this one but suffice to say Mr. Coderre has taken (in the grand scheme of things) a small story and made it into a big one. What was a Quebec riding issue is now being characterized as an indictment of Ignatieff's Toronto-based staff (Jane Taber has a nice piece on this in the on-line version of the G&M).

For Mr. Ignatieff, these are not happy days. The Liberals have some valid arguments to make against the "90% done" messages on the government's stimulus plan. They have tabled their confidence motion. Yet they now have to spend time and energy dealing with the Coderre fall-out and the impression it has left that things are not right at party HQ.

Tell me Mr. Harper isn't looking at Jack and saying "Why now, Jack? Why support me now?". Yes, things are looking rosy for the Conservatives.


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