Friday, 20 February 2009

Stephen Harper must be looking over his shoulder

Michael IgnatieffI told myself I wasn't going to post on politics anymore. Yeah right.

It's Michael Ignatieff's fault. A speech he gave in Regina this week really underscored how dangerous he is to the Conservatives.
Michael Ignatieff says it was western Canadian rage which -- in part -- convinced him to back away from a proposed governing coalition with the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois.


"You are, after all, looking at someone who turned down the chance to become prime minister of Canada, and I did so, in part, because I felt that it would divide the country," said Mr. Ignatieff. "I want to be someone who unites the country, and that includes the West."

Westerners probably had trouble believing their ears. After Pierre Trudeau's open contempt for Westerners sunk the Liberal boat for decades anywhere west of Thunder Bay, the concept of a Liberal leader who actually cares what they think (or at least says he does) must be positively intoxicating.

Now, Ignatieff is probably making a virtue out of necessity, but having been raised in the West, I can imagine how delighted his listeners must have been. A Liberal Party that is intent on becoming a national party in fact and not just in name is a real threat to Harper's Conservatives, and I'm sure they know it. Western alienation is a force that they've tapped very effectively and if Iggy can compete in that arena, they risk seeing one of their strongholds crumble.

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