There are signs everywhere that the Liberal campaign is in freefall. Their attack ads have a faint odour of desperation about them, their leader Michael Ignatieff is sinking out of sight in the polls with popularity stats about on par with his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, and he’s facing “a walloping” in Quebec, according to Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hébert.
So, if the Liberals should fall to defeat on May 2, what can we expect?
Well, Ignatieff will withdraw from politics. Then I believe Justin Trudeau will become the next Liberal leader—Bob Rae may contest the post, but it’s Quebec’s turn to provide the leader. NDP candidate Thomas Mulcair seems likely to defeat ex-justice minister Martin Cauchon in the riding of Outremont, putting paid to that Grit’s chances of leading the party.
With the prospect of another four years in opposition—and knowing the Liberal tradition of alternating between francophone and anglophone leaders—many of the high-profile Grits will forsake federal politics in favour of cushy jobs in the private sector and elsewhere. And, at this point in time, Trudeau seems likely to win Papineau riding. He’s, apparently, one of the few Liberals who seem assured of a seat in Quebec and, therefore, one of the few francophones with full bona fides to contest the Liberal leadership.
Son of PET, to the rescue.