I really have no idea why the Grits chose this time - this one square on the calendar - to withdraw their support of the Harper government. But that is probably more about me than Iggy. Chantal Hebert, far far cleverer person that me who actually pays attention, wrote about the decision in the Toronto Star this morning:
...it is the contention of Liberal strategists that the current poll deadlock between their party and the Conservatives will not be decisively broken, or at least not in Ignatieff's favour, until the public has a chance to see the Liberal leader in campaign action. They argue the supportive role of the minority government that the parliamentary situation has forced upon him hampers Ignatieff from showing Canadians what he and his policies are really made of. The Liberals are also convinced the longer they keep the government going, the more they are enabling Harper to mature in power. That this analysis is not universally shared by Ignatieff's own troops is obvious, but not necessarily exceptional.
I think that is a very fair approach to the question of Ig. I am just not sure that it is the best thing for the nation. Perhaps I am suffering from a wee touch of the old Stockholm syndrome but have the Tories done a bad job? Would the Grits do a very different job? Is there a likelihood of a minority government that is very different from the current situations?
I worry a bit about the nation. Canada is a funny place and is called things like a compromise or "Not a real nation" but it generally works. But I get the sense with this election that there is a bit of the jerking of Ottawa around by the parties for the sole sake of the parties. In the past Ottawa has been jerked around by the provinces, Quebec nationalists and strong personalities and to a degree that is what it is there for, that is what Ottawa is. But these are not the best of times and you would think that nation should come before party. Something happened during this decade without a name to place party first here and in the US. Don't know that I like it. Don't know what that means for my next vote.
[Interesting to note: I had an idea that I had used the Stockholm syndrome line before but it was six years ago and I was talking about PEI back in the days when I was far ruder and my commentators are largely people who burned out of here in a flame of glory at one point or another.]