Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


How in the world does Iggy actually become prime minister?

Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin muses hopefully (not sure why I can't actually find this column at the Globe and Mail Web site) about Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's chances of soon becoming our next prime minister:
If he runs a smart campaign and generates excitement as a leader of promise, the one who makes the country do better, the Liberals will win.
I've been scratching my head lately trying to figure out just how this gets accomplished. Let's take a look at where the parties currently stand in terms of seats in the House of Commons:

Conservatives: 143
Liberals: 77
Bloc Quebecois: 48
NDP: 36
Independent: 1

For Michael Ignatieff to actually win any upcoming election campaign, he'd have to make up a 66 seat difference with the Stephen Harper Conservatives. Not sure if we should even contemplate the idea of a doubling of the Liberal seat count in order to get a majority.

So, tell me, just how do Liberals win that many seats in an election now? If they win a dozen more in Quebec they're ecstatic. What about the rest? They're already dominant out East. The West is pretty much allergic to Liberals all the time. Ontario? A pickup of dozens of seats one year after the last election? Get out of here.

Just what is Iggy's electoral path to victory? Would be much obliged if someone were to show it to me.

On the other hand, I'm developing much more time for Andrew Coyne's assertion at Maclean's that Mr. Ignatieff can't possibly be considering an election at this point in time. It has to be a bluff, or a call, or whatever other poker term you want to use. Because he can't possibly think he's going to be prime minister any time soon, can he?

UPDATE (Wed. Sep. 9, 10:28 am): Looks like other people are doing the math, too, and coming to similar conclusions. As one of them points out, you have to wonder how coalition comes into play, and if that's how Iggy plans to be PM. Yet, as others point out, our current PM is counting on it. He wants to run against the coalition, and then some.

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