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Douglas Bell

Going on offence, finally Add to ...

The Liberals rolled out yet another version of Ig for public consumption Sunday. And while I laughed out loud at Andrew Coyne's assertion that the Engish ad looked as though it were shot in Narnia, on the whole the ads are pretty good. Ignatieff looks and speaks like a guy who could be prime minister and does so (in the English ad at least ) pushing a positive, if somewhat abstract, program. Gone is the defensive crouch after the Tory attack ads. "We need a government that thinks big that has a global perspective" says Ig full, it seems, of earnest ready-aye-ready fervor. The French ads are more pointed in getting after Harper on his economic and environmental record -- though on the environment Ig's sucking in Quebec and blowing in Alberta. C'est la guerre.

With Ig having poured the blood in the water I asked (for the thirty millionth time) a Toronto area Liberal and former denizen of the Hill whether he agreed with the idea that in order for the Grits to overcome the problems inherent in vote splitting on the left they needed to explore the possibility of an entente cordiale with the NDP. And that perhaps Bob Rae might be the right man for that job.

I agree. But that is a conversation for after the writs are returned.

My idea for the campaign is a bit different. I want Bob Rae to put together a small staff of warriors who really hate Tories (a LOT) and follow Harper around and be an omnipresent rapid (instant?) response unit kicking all and sundry in the balls.

Take the Yellowknife thing with the two kids sleeping outside, for example. Bob should have been there with a giant poster of the Kelowna Accord on one side of him, and the Child Care Accord on the other. And he should have kicked Harper's ass long and hard. That is the shit we need. Iggy can take the high road explaining that citizenship matters and that we are a high-minded people who deserve good government from people who actually want to govern.

And bollocks to the NDP. I don't trust them, and they hate Liberals way more than Tories. Like I said, we can "negotiate" with them AFTER the dust settles.

So I guess I'm saying that negotiating an entente cordiale (and they hate Bob most of all) would be fruitless, and take away from our main mission: scooping as many Dipper votes as we can. On the other hand maybe sending Bob over there to try to get it done would be a good idea, in a cat among the pigeons way.

So there you have it. The Liberals are (for the moment at least this being politics and all) going all in. It's world-class, cosmopolitan, New Yorker profiled Ig v. The Petty Tyrant. The Grits are banking on the efficacy of a Harris Decima poll taken in July that showed two thirds of Canadians want to elect a majority government at the next election. Combine that with Nik Nanos' assertion in this morning's Toronto Star that ""If [Ignatieff]can somehow convey some extra advantage related to vision or appeal, his numbers are the ones most likely to be volatile and to move" and you've got a reasonable rationale for the Grits new found aggression.

On thing's for sure: It's all a vast improvement over the summer of slumber and kayaks up the Rideau.

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