Michael Ignatieff's Liberals are stepping up their election readiness, preparing attack ads against the Harper Conservatives and discussing two dates in November as the most likely scenario for a vote.
The shift in Liberal focus comes amid criticism from political observers of Mr. Ignatieff's lost summer – one that some believe he has squandered, failing to tell Canadians why the Harper government should be defeated and what he would do if he were prime minister.
Given that, to force one now would be illogical. But then again, we're talking about Liberals...
It will take all three opposition parties to defeat the government. And the Liberals will have their first opportunity to bring in a no-confidence motion in late September or early October. If successful, it would trigger an election around the dates in November that are being discussed, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16.
It's puzzling as to why they want to go now, just a year after the last election. And at a time of fragile economic recovery, risking instability and uncertainty.
Then again, Liberals only care about themselves...
See also: Fall election risky business for Liberals
Obviously, the Liberals are only thinking of themselves. They really don't give a stowed puffin turd about Canada nor Canadians.
But given this public-relations reality for those out of power, it is unlikely the Liberals will be focusing as much on Ipsos Reid, Harris-Decima or any other vote predictor when they discuss the wisdom of pulling the pin on the Harper government. What will catch their eye, however, will be that the economy seems to be pulling out of the recession -- something that could take the wind out of their election sails.
There will also be a discussion of whether blowing their Sept. 28 opportunity to force a vote -- a concession Mr. Ignatieff wrung from the PM this spring, when they agreed to call off a summer vote until after a bi-party committee could study changes to Employment Insurance -- would mean having to wait until next-year -- in the midst of the Olympics -- before they get another chance. Even then, the Liberal party's chances could be blown if Mr. Harper is seen on the benches as Canada defeats the U.S. for gold in hockey.
The Grits must decide their greatest handicap: A rebounding economy, Olympic glory and their growing reputation for caving in to Tory demands, or running with an invisible man at the helm into a vote that no one wants.