My sentiments exactly: [URL=http://rabble.ca/columnists/2009/12/who-will-stop-stephen-harper?][/URL]
As for the NDP, it, too, is operating well below its potential. The longer Jack Layton is in Ottawa the more trapped he seems to become in the daily obsession with tactics. The NDP will never form the government (Quebec ensures this) and its strength therefore is squandered in this endless search for the perfect tactical maneuver. That game makes sense for the two contending parties but the NDP's strength is its vision (it's got to be there, probably locked up in a back room so it won't provoke anyone).
The NDP has no coherent vision that it is willing to boast about, just a series of disconnected policies, some of them admittedly very good but all of them harnessed to the singular strategy of replacing the Liberals. This is the critical weakness of the NDP -- it has decided that it will present itself as the real government in waiting with Jack Layton as prime minister. This strategy all but destroys any possibility of appealing to Canadians on the basis of a hopeful vision of what the country could be. Inadvertently, the NDP hobbles itself in the contest for hearts and minds.