The Untold Story
"...his staff, whom [Martin] often calls the best campaign team in history - Martin is not a particularily meticulous student of history - had come up with a plan."
He's got the analysis. He's got the campaign preparation and strategy for the Tories. He's also got a great look inside the Liberal campaign, illustrated beautifully in this paragraph:
And the polls? Nationally they showed the Liberals tied with the Tories or
even a bit behind. Alcock said his only worry was that the Liberals were running
too strong, not too weak. "There's a lot of people who argue that we had to come
down in order to activate what we need, which is people needing to stop Harper,"
Alcock said. "In fact if we're going to do better than last time - that is, get
a majority - we'd rather be a bit lower than we are."
Alcock was describing a political version of the slingshot effect, by which
space probes fly dangerously close to planets so they can borrow some
gravitational energy to whip away even more quickly. The Liberals had decided
they needed to flirt with losing to win.
Two things were immediately obvious about this strategy. First, it was
extremely dangerous, because as a rule of thumb, when you flirt with losing, you
lose. And it was awfully familiar. It was as if somebody had taken the 2004
campaign and decided that its chaotic shape - trouble, decline, panic,
last-minute recovery - was the shape all winning campaigns must take.
Alcock paused and looked at his interrogator. "I know this sounds like
Who was arguing that the road to victory lay in near-defeat. "Well, David
Herle is certainly one of the big ones."
There you have it - a look inside the mind of David Herle. If that paragraph alone isn't worth buying a Maclean's, I don't know what is.