Michael Ignatieff took control of the Liberal party with flair, calculation and skill. In his first months he's done the Grits more good than Stephane Dion ever could have hoped to do. Recent polls bear this out.
Problem, for Iggy: That's not saying a lot. Under Dion the Liberal party came near imploding. Now Liberal MPs are no longer desperately bailing to stay afloat. They can breathe. But stabilizing the lifeboat doesn't get you ashore. Can Ignatieff win, any time soon? Increasingly the answer looks like no.
No doubt many Canadians appreciate that the country now has a more effective opposition leader. But Ignatieff and his advisers need to accept and understand this very plain fact: They wrote this year's federal budget. In doing their bidding Prime Minister Harper gave them policy they wanted.
They can't pretend otherwise.
Talking tough therefore just makes Ignatieff look silly, and perhaps a little vain. Meantime, Harper is one big step closer to the broad political centre that is the key to majority power in Canada.
But before you think the Conservatives have simply out-Liberalled the Liberals and abandoned their conservative foundational roots... think again... because, actually, if you consider the extraordinary economic situation in Canada and the world, and consider that Canada under the Harper Conservatives has been the most fiscally conservative, most careful, most reluctant-to-splurge, of all the Free World's governments, while on the other hand the Liberals wanted to join with the wanna-spend-like-crazy-Obama Communist NDP and Bloc separatists to copy the non-Free World in an unwanted-by-Canadians coup... well, it's clear that the Conservatives are still conservative and will return to being the same tight-with-money, deficit-avoiding guys they wanted to be even now but obviously couldn't really.
And don't forget that current Liberal Leader Ignatieff, like his predecessor Dion, signed onto the usurpers' conspiracy agreement, despite claiming to have been opposed thereto. Sorry, Iggypoo, can't have it both ways!
It does seem like Ignatieff, once looking strong and invincible, has had his imaginary forcefield of strength and intelligence fade away already, revealing his actual form as just another of those infinitely-flawed, same-old-same-old Liberals.
No amount of blustering and pretending to be Mr. Tough Guy will save him now, for he's been exposed like Dion.
No do-overs for you, Iggy!