-Jack Layton has got to be feeling a little antsy right now. One day, polls show his party three back of the Liberals and poised for their best showing in years. The next, it looks like they might even lose seats. A lot has been made about the political future of Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, but with the NDP capable of winning anywhere from 15 to 45 seats next election, it's clear Jack Layton's future and, to a lesser extent, his party's are very much still up in the air.
-The same Ipsos Poll shows that Stephen Harper is actually more trusted than Paul Martin. Methinks this will make the "Stephen Harper will eat your children" campaign a lot more difficult to pull off this time. With a moderate policy convention behind him and a year to see that Harper isn't the monster he was painted to be last year, a smear campaign is going to be very difficult. Instead, the Liberals are going to need to give Canadians a reason to vote for them.
-A better reason than this...
-There are some interesting seat projections up all All Things Canadian.
-There are some wild theories being tossed around. In the past two days, I've seen theories printed about:
1. The Liberals proroguing the House to wait for a fall election
2. Paul Martin going to the GG and telling her to let Stephen Harper form government with Liberal support
3. Martin asking the GG for a longer election campaign than last year, feeling the longer it runs, the less the Tories can run on Adscam.
Will any of these happen? Uh...no, but the papers do need to find a way to fill space.
-The Tories are going to have a huge advantage on the ground war next election. Maybe it's only because I'm in Alberta, but Liberals here are the most dejected I've ever seen them. The ridings can't find candidates and are going to have a hard time rallying volunteers once the election starts. Most alarming is there seems to be a feeling of acceptance that the Conservatives will win. I've heard a lot of long-time "true believes" saying stuff like "a Harper minority government wouldn't be the end of the world" and leadership talk has really been heating up - not a good sign heading into an election.
-I think the smartest thing Harper can do would be to reveal a massive ethics package as part of his platform. He needs to keep the issue on corruption and having a strong ethics platform would do something to remove the "all the parties are the same" mentality a lot of voters have. This week's CBC poll found only 29% think some parties are more ethical than others and Harper needs to fight that perception.