Not quite up to snuff yet

Sackville Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

t’s good to know the fed­eral Lib­er­als are feel­ing more con­fi­dent about them­selves these days. It’s also good to know that new­born at­ti­tude isn’t likely to re­sult in a push for an elec­tion any­time soon.

At a cau­cus re­treat in Baddeck, var­i­ous mem­bers of the party were sound­ing brave and say­ing it’s time to pull the plug on the mi­nor­ity Con­ser­va­tives.

Oth­ers were more cau­tious, ob­vi­ously aware of the fact the party still trails the Con­ser­va­tives slightly in pop­u­lar sup­port.

The mood up­swing comes near the tail-end of Leader Michael Ig­nati­eff ’s cross-coun­try tour to raise his pro­file among Cana­di­ans. While he might well have made gains, it’s all too clear he still has some ter­ri­tory to con­quer.

Lib­er­als do feel, how­ever, that their leader is more ca­pa­ble of head­ing a cam­paign now than ever be­fore. But the party is too wise than to re­peat last year’s dec­la­ra­tion that time was up for the Con­ser­va­tives. They lost a lot of ground and had to make a hu­mil­i­at­ing fast re­treat.

At any rate, Cana­di­ans don’t want elec­tions sim­ply be­cause one side sug­gests it’s time for one. It helps a great deal if there is a loom­ing is­sue, and that’s what’s lack­ing cur­rently.

Up­com­ing in the fall ses­sion of Par­lia­ment is a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill to scrap the long gun registry. It’s a sub­ject with plenty of at­ten­tion, but with a num­ber of Lib­er­als in sup­port of the bill, it’s not a gal­va­niz­ing is­sue for the party.

Along with that, there’s been lots of po­lit­i­cal flak over the Tories move to do away with the manda­tory long cen­sus form. They’ve been roundly crit­i­cized, but it’s not a safe bet it’s a hot-but­ton is­sue.

Also on the up­com­ing agenda is the Con­ser­va­tives’ promised tougher-on­crime leg­is­la­tion. They prob­a­bly have a fair num­ber of Cana­dian hearts and minds on this one.

If we do have a stronger Lib­eral Party and leader, best to try out that new mus­cle in the House. It can only im­prove. But it’s cer­tainly not yet up to elec­tion cam­paign grade.

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