It’s a tough position the Liberals find themselves in these days, defending the middle ground against aggressive encroachments from both the left and the right. It used to be a position of strength in Canadian politics and arguably one that led to them being what some dubbed the “natural governing party” for the vast majority of the last century, but times have changed. Being caught in the middle of a two-front war is a hazardous predicament – one that a columnist metaphorically likened to that of Germany in WWI.
Aside from the fact that they’ve been running an excellent campaign (as they did in the last election too), I think the NDP is reaping popular dividends at the moment from having been the party most clearly and consistently opposed to the Harper regime over the past several years. As for the Liberals, despite all their rhetorical bluster, for various internecine political reasons we’re all familiar with, they’ve been forced to effectively prop up the Harper Conservatives and vote with them more often than not on innumerable bills, thereby undermining the party’s credibility as the opposition of choice.
But the Libs aren’t going down without a fight, which is good to see for a change. Their latest advert attacks both Jack Layton and Stephen Harper for their unprincipled past deeds, corporate giveaways and budget-busting proposals… All in a matter of seconds.
Even if one disagrees with the assertions made in this advertisement, you have to admit that its execution is quite brilliant. Too bad they didn’t think of it sooner. Maybe even going so far as to have some souvenir Harper-Layton coins minted to drop off when doorstepping…