Once glance at Serge Chapleau's editorial cartoon in today's La Presse will tell you all you need to know about the hit on Michael Ignatieff from the resignation of his Québec lieutenant. Another measure is the Liberal Leader's decision to muzzle his caucus from commenting on the Coderre case, a degree of centralization heretofore associated in reports from Ottawa with Stephen Harper.
Not that the diktat will do any good, mind you: Worthy of note in today's press are Liberals expressing no-confidence in their leader -be it MP Judy Sgro, who tells Lawrence Martin, "Ninety-nine per cent of us don't want an election." Or another MP, an anonymouse in this case, quoted in the Toronto Star: "We haven't been able to get a good headline since August."
Mr. Ignatieff does catch one break however: La Presse is reporting this morning that, "Ten days before Denis Coderre's stunning resignation, the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party officially demanded that Michael Ignatieff reprimand his ex- lieutenant."
In other words, to put this in the Queen's English, you can forget all the BS about the Toronto advisers who supposedly did in Mr. Coderre.
All-in-all, though, not an auspicious platform from which to be voting no-confidence in the government. Mr. Ignatieff should be praying, along with his caucus, that Jack Layton can count or that the NDP does not change tack before the vote later today.
Update Liberal spin doctors - and some commenters on this site - are pointing to Denis Coderre's postings on Facebook today as having resolved the matter.
However, as I read these comments, he's sticking to his story of having been the victim of Mr. Ignatieff's Toronto advisers:
"Denis Coderre hopes that Liberals will turn out en masse at the meeting of the Quebec wing on Sunday in Québec City...
I've always had confidence in Michael Ignatieff and am pleased that he has said that, now, what relates to Québec will be resolved between him and Quebec authorities….
My resignation should be understood as related only to my inability to do my job as lieutenant. There were never any problems in Quebec or with Quebec."