Not quite up to snuff yet
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.