We saw an example of this last week in Ottawa. Stephen Harper denounced the NDP-Liberal coalition-in-waiting as socialist (it was also framed as lining up with the Bloc - the supposed threat to Canada). He suspended parliament to stop it. On the weekend, Liberal John Manley attacked his party for agreeing to a deal with the NDP. His call for his party leader to step down came straight from the boardroom.
The drama began on November 28 when Jack and Gilles went up the Hill. They joined Stephane Dion to announce the Liberal - NDP coalition agreement, along with support from the Bloc. If this partnership forms government at some point in the coming months, it would give Canadians an experience rarer than a Leafs' Stanley Cup victory parade: true majority rule.
Looks like the much anticipated poop-storm at Liberal Party Headquarters is finally hitting the fan. According to the Star, Dion might resign as early as tomorrow. LeBlanc is expected to step aside and support Ignatieff, and predictions are a quick caucus vote would favour Iggy.
So, it's Ignatieff who will be the new Liberal leader.
The guy who is great on paper, but not so good in person.
Every Iggy supporter I have talked to, has said they are supporting Ignatieff, not because of his leadership, or values - but just because they think he can win.
Now, the Liberals have bypassed the Liberal community completely and simply acclaimed Ignatieff - a battle of attrition to see who had money left over after the last leadership campaign. This should do wonders for Harper's message of the Liberals being undemocratic.
If Stephen Harper ever wanted to cement the mantle of the 'Canadian party' on the Conservatives, running against a guy who spent the last 20 years outside of Canada ought to do it.
Michael Ignatieff seems to be contemplating playing Mackenzie King to Stephen Harper's R.B. Bennett. His "coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition" remark on the weekend certainly points in that direction.
Related rabble.ca story:
Last Wednesday the pundits were ready to write Harper's political obituary. But on Thursday afternoon Harper had schmoozed the Governor General into giving him a parliamentary time-out, thus preventing the potential coalition forces from bringing his government down this week on a vote of non-confidence. By Friday the polling industry weighed in with surveys suggesting that Harper was a big gainer coming out of the battle and that the coalition option was deeply unpopular with Canadians.