Could you just imagine a headline like that? Only if you accept the fact that the federal Liberal party is finished as a viable political entity. It was this particular realization, coupled with Warren Kinsella's post earlier today, that got me thinking along these lines.
Michael Ignatieff, since wresting control of the Liberal Party of Canada a year ago, what have you accomplished? You raised some cash and bored people to tears at every lectern that would plug in a mic for you. Then last Autumn, you boldly stated you were going to challenge the PM in an election at the first opportunity. Then you backed down sheepishly and announced you would be hosting a fabulous thinkers' conference the following Spring.
Allow me to let you in on something (I pray you are sitting down): believe it or not, within hours of its closing, scarcely anyone in this country noticed your big ol' "thinkers conference" even took place. Your middling popularity perpetually wanes like the attention of students listening to a meandering lecture on the nuances of meaning in a post-modern world; their minds wandering as they wonder how their liberal education will ever help them land a meaningful job with hope of putting more than a bit of food on their families' tables.
Meanwhile you and your party are getting railroaded at every turn by a wily, unscrupulous opponent. Your brightest stars and best ideas are the equivalent of Ovechkins and Kovalchuks on otherwise directionless teams, fizzling out hopelessly when the time comes to put up or shut up. Not since Robert Stanfield has a major party been led by someone with such a mix of blandness and dubiously-principled mediocrity.
I hope it hasn't escaped your attention that, when lumped together, the Greens and the Dippers are the favoured option of more Canadians than your own party, historied and entrenched as it is. As a scholar, I trust you can see the significance of this. Tilt at your right-centre windmills all you want, but it isn't getting you anywhere (least of all, into 24 Sussex).
Jack Layton, dear Jack, please please, do go (yes, now). You have done a decent job making your party politically relevant again without completely selling the furniture. You and your party's members have been stalwart cage rattlers and fought the good fight (mostly). Alas, you have had your chance to get the country to trust you and it just hasn't happened. Face facts, Jack, and step aside to allow a fresh face to come forward that can inspire more than just your base.
Elizabeth May, dear Elizabeth, you have gallantly tried to unseat a nasty bit of work in Peter MacKay, and have sold out too easily in launching yourself across the country in search of that magic riding that can propel Canada's first GPC member into the HoC (oh, teehee, would that be you, personally ***blush***?), but this is starting to get ridiculous. No other candidate is helping the cause - if that is the true goal - except by providing more federal dollars to the party coffers just by being so hopelessly listed on the ballots of all the nation's ridings; and thus giving the local Harpercons an even better chance of coming up the middle to win those ridings without any real support. This strategy has sadly failed you and the Greens for two elections now, despite owning the moral high ground definitively. You are an eloquent and intelligent leader, but it just is not going to happen. Please understand this and step aside for a new leader to take hold of a new, merged party.
So who are the party backroomers with the courage, pull and good sense to will this sort of merger to happen? Which individual has the fire, moxie, charisma, wherewithal, smarts and financial backing to make a run of it in leading such a party?
Who will lead the United Progressive Party of Canada?
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