Well the indications continue that the Paul Martin ship is going down. Bourque on his front page today had a big banner headline. "Stick a Fork in Martin Libs" it said. Bourque even showed a cartoon featuring a fork stuck through a pig on his page. He also ruminated about the upcoming Liberal leadership race, which can't be good news for the Liberals at all. It is never a good sign when the knife-the-leader stories come out in the middle of a freaking campaign. This is the same thing that happened to John Turner.
The main argument to keep the Liberals in was that they were "the devil you know" - a lame argument, of course, but that was the main excuse a lot of people gave for putting these fools back in the last time. Now, if they get back in, who knows who or what you're getting as Prime Minister. You might be getting Jack Layton calling all the shots again, and who wants to see that!?! You truly are getting the "devil you don't know" with these Liberals if you put them back in.
Other commentators have been blasting the Liberals. Warren Kinsella continues on the warpath calling the Tory war room better than the Liberal war room. The Liberals are now starting to roll out the big campaign promises in an effort to reverse course. Andrew Coyne's blog is back and he is having a cow over the latest 7 billion dollar Liberal election promises on education. Seven billion?! Is this what we are in for, a spending spree of campaign promises by the Liberals to try and buy the electorate?
The polls are a mess for the Liberals, they are starting to trail the Tories now in several surveys. People are still in an uproar because of the gun violence in Toronto and are starting to point fingers and say there ought to be tougher penalties; they are questioning the Liberals for letting crime get out of control. And the scandals never stop. Ralph Goodale still hasn't resigned yet, and I heard that Sarmite Bulte is in trouble because she's in bed with the entertainment lobby, or something. I'm not paying much attention. These Liberals are all the same in my mind, and these stories are all the same, it never stops with them. They all need a good long stay on the opposition side of the House as far as I'm concerned. The best thing that could happen to the Liberals is a big fat enormous defeat, then maybe the party can make an effort to clean their party up.
This reminds me of 1982 and the Saskatchewan election. I was a kid back then but I remember the NDP were making a flurry of announcements about campaign promises, promising free eyeglasses and all sorts of things. They were throwing money around like there was no tomorrow, but the people were fed up with the NDP and they saw through it all, and threw them out. This election is beginning to look like Saskatchewan 1982 to me. In those days the Tories were running Grant Devine as their leader and he had been basically discredited as a force because he was personally defeated in a byelection that was meant to get him into the House. His party was seen as a bunch of amateurs who couldn't win at the political game. Yet they ran a brilliant campaign promising to cut taxes, and won the provincial election in a big landslide. (In fact, one of the people they mowed down was Ralph Goodale. He lost his own race in Assiniboia-Gravelbourg.)
I see similarities between that 1982 campaign and the one this time. Stephen Harper's gang, like the Devine PCs in 1982, were discredited for having no clue about how to run a campaign or appeal to voters. But this time they have been taking the initiative and it's the Liberals who are now making up the promises as they go. The Harper Tories now look like the competent ones. Last election, and during that spring confidence vote, they looked decidedly incompetent. What a difference we're seeing from them in this campaign. And the Liberals, well, they look like the Allan Blakeney NDP. They are going nuts again with spending promises, just like they did. I don't see how this will work, given the huge corruption stench hovering over the Martin gang. Which when you think of it makes the Liberals look not only like the 1982 NDP, but like the 1991 Saskatchewan PCs.
There are other campaigns to compare the current Liberal one to: the 2003 Ernie Eves debacle, Kim Campbell in '93, all of John Turner's efforts. The 1990 Liberal meltdown in Ontario comes to mind. These 2006 federal Liberals are in the same league. They look like they are in disarray and running on fumes.
These Liberals look old and tired, incompetent, and on the take. Chalk up this week, almost down the drain, as yet another bad week for the Liberals.