More wishful thinking at the Globe
It's no mystery where John Ibbotson's sympathies lie when it comes to federal politics, but he is generally a pretty astute observer of the scene. In today's column, however, his head has failed to filter out what his heart wishes were true.
He believes that there is a chunk of swing voters in Ontario who will be frightened by Ralph Klein's mysterious secret plan to destroy health care in Alberta. There are two reasons why this is a drastic overestimation of things:
1) It's Alberta, not Ontario
2) Paul Martin's supposed "brilliant" plan to capitalize on any fallout is to huff that "I will look Ralph Klein in the eye and say 'no'."
If there was any evidence that Ontario swing voters believe Paul Martin's rhetoric, I might be convinced by Ibbotson's musings. For that matter, is there any evidence that, in the 2+ years since Martin was fired as Finance Minister, he has ever once looked anyone in the eye and said No? If he has, they're outnumbered 50 to 1 by the people he has told, "Your situation is a priority for me."
The truest line spoken in the campaign thus far is still this one:
"The thing that the Liberals don't get is, no one believes anything they say." - Stephen Harper
The only way for the Liberals to deal with this is to promise less, instead of more. Unfortunately for them, that doesn't exactly jibe with their vision of the national government, and besides, Harper pretty much has that ground staked out already.