I have not studied the polls with the sort of depth needed to have a really solid sense of what would happen if the Harper government fell this fall. My quick-and-dirty guess is another minority, maybe Conservative, maybe Liberal. What looks better for the Liberals is the appearance that Ignatieff is in control of the situation. He has said that he’s not satisfied that the Cons are working hard enough, especially on EI reform – a non-trivial issue given the economy. By talking in this manner, Ignatieff gives the impression that he is prepared for an election and has an actual issue over which he could conceivably fight it. It’s a much better appearance than the one Dion presented where the Liberals appeared mortified at the thought of an election. Dion barely seemed in control of his party at times, let alone the overall situation in the House.
Like a lot of progressive-minded Canadians, I’m still not a super-Iggy fan but it’s nice to have a political tactician who can do the realpolitick thing as well as Harper. Also, it has to be a huge benefit for the Liberals to have Bob Rae playing the role of the good soldier and pointing out that “[a]n election is not a political game. An election is about fundamental choices. It’s about our values. It’s about our interests, where we think the country needs to go and there is a sense that this government is just not up to the job.”