The Liberal Party of Canada’s MP Denis Coderre quit as Michael Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant with a public statement that was deeply divisive for that party when he blamed Ignatieff’s Toronto gang for his departure. He now seems to have recognized the extent of the damage he has wrought with his public sniping at his lackluster leader, and is desperately trying to mend fences by backpedalling faster than an Olympic cyclist.
I doubt that his apparent willingness to extend an olive branch to Michael Ignatieff will get him back into the fold much less into the inner circle of the Toronto-centric Grits.
It’s interesting to see how spectacular has been the crash-and-burn ending of the Michael Ignatieff’s honeymoon with the mainstream media (MSM). Watching the CTV Sunday afternoon show, Question Period, I was struck by the change in the tone of co-hosts Jane Taber and Craig Oliver in their questioning of Grit representatives.
Weeks ago, Grits got a free pass as the co-hosts cheered on. Now, however, Grits are slowly turned on a spit of pointed questions while Tory spokespersons deliver party commercials to sell the their economic policies.
Turn around is fair play, I suppose. And it shows how fickle the MSM can be. I am reminded that, when the MSM turned on Paul Martin and his hapless replacement Stéphane Dion, those two were doomed—though it took a general election to deliver the coup de grâce.
These are dark days indeed for the federal Grits. As reported by the Chronicle Herald, one “can feel the gloom on Parliament Hill, with Liberal staffers and politicians making black jokes and grimacing at their falling fortunes.”
And apparently, Scott Reid, who was director of communications for former prime minister Paul Martin, has admitted that the federal Liberals are actually doing worse than the polls show, referring to the fact that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, who were neck and neck with the Liberals all summer, moved decisively ahead this fall and now lead by 10 points.
As Mr. Coderre so aptly put it, “When the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t put it back in.”
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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