I'm listening to Bourque right now on the radio on Charles Adler and he's talking about the Liberal meltdown. Already there's talk from Bourque about Michael Ignatieff hosting a Liberal leadership fundraiser tonight--- and the race isn't even on yet! Ignatieff hasn't even won his own seat yet and is having all kinds of troubles in his own riding. Yet he thinks he can become leader. Maybe he thinks he can do what Tony Clement did: lose his seat and then run for leader. It didn't work for Tony Clement and it won't work for Ignatieff, trust me. (I know, because I supported Tony and saw what happened.)
This can't be good- the Liberal leadership race stories are out there now and it illustrates the problems this central Liberal campaign is having. Anyway Ignatieff should worry about his own seat first. I was in Etobicoke-Lakeshore with John Capobianco yesterday and he got a great response in the area we canvassed. And I notice a lot of NDP signs up down there, too. The Liberals in Etobicoke are in big trouble.
The fallout from the debates continues. Andrew Coyne is convinced the race is OVER. In fact he says "this is beyond over. It's overer. It's overest." He cited focus groups that scored the debate 10-to-1 for Harper. He's convinced Paul Martin is FINISHED. Adam Daifallah is convinced Harper did well but he's much more cautious, recalling what happened in 2004.
Now you hear stories that the Liberals are preparing for defeat, like this one in the Globe. Liberal campaign people on the ground in the local ridings are grumbling about the national campaign. The latest numbers for the Liberals are gruesome bad: they trail the Tories in Quebec--- QUEBEC!!! They now trail the Tories in Ontario and one poll had them down by 10 points. If this type of momentum holds up for the Tories on election day so many prominent Liberals in Ontario will be going down to defeat that it will be a massacre.
Many Liberal local campaigns are in disarray. Garth Turner notes the contrast between the bustling Conservative campaign in Halton and the bare-bones, Liberal effort. From the sounds of it the Liberals in Halton are not only going to lose, they are going to get destroyed. Just based on what I hear about the organizational strength.
As for Tory local campaigns, all I'll say is that the poll numbers have created a lot of excitement. Morale is way up. And after what happened last time local people are determined to seal the deal. I think the Tories are going to be awfully energized for the next two weeks of the campaign.
MORE AWFUL LIBERAL ATTACK ADS
In a last gasp of desperation the Liberals are rolling out even more awful negative ads- eight of them in fact. One attack ad linked Stephen Harper to Mike Harris and blasted the Harris record as Ontario premier. Except the ad was freaking lying to the public. Harris didn't run a deficit: he actually balanced the books! It was Ernie Eves that did nothing to ensure the books were balanced after Harris left, and then it was the McGuinty Liberals that opted to run the deficits. Harris and his last finance minister Jim Flaherty would have made sure the books were balanced, you can bet on that. Paul Martin also made sure Ontario was starved of health care funds so Harris ended up taking a lot of blame for the health care problems, undeservedly.
The second thing is that Harris didn't even support Stephen Harper for the leadership of the Conservative party! Harris supported Belinda, and Belinda is now a Liberal. Consequently, when the Liberals attack Harris they are really attacking themselves, because Belinda's one of them now. Anyway, the Liberals don't have the sense to realize that they are running against Stephen Harper, not Mike Harris. They're stuck in the past and still fighting past fights. The Liberals are even still fighting the war in Iraq, even though that's old news as far as Canada is concerned. And Harris has been gone for almost four years now. The Liberals are wasting their money with these ads.
I hope the Conservatives have some ads to counter the Liberal attack ads--- and they better not be too gruesome because then the Liberals would simply complain about the Conservatives again and blame them for a negative campaign. So far, though, it's already shaping up to be yet another bad week for the Liberals, and the week has barely even started.