Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Underestimate Iggy at your own peril

Alf Apps, the Liberal Party's cooler-than-thou president, gave his opinion in an internal party memo stating essentially that the Liberals will rely on a strategy of making the dark and brooding Iggy seem more unpredictable than an accomplished author and biographer can be:

Mr. Ignatieff has been criticized since the fall of 2009 as “an out-of-touch, self-serving academic, elitist, entirely lack in charisma as well as being an aloof loner.”

Mr. Apps described the leader’s travels across Canada this summer, dubbed the Liberal Express tour, as “a sort of testing ground for him.”

Jean Chr├ętien, too, was underestimated, notes Mr. Apps in the memo, but went on to win a trio of majority governments.

“The true magic of politics,” he says in the memo, “is in defying the predictable narrative with a performance and persona that delights and, above all, inspires.”

Never mind all the negativity, he says, “the key to winning elections is in confounding/surprising the pre-campaign critics from the media by running a great campaign.”

Not a bad strategy, of course. Harper was able to defy expectations in 2005/2006 and look where it got him. But this entire thing depends on us fulfilling the goal of a "great campaign," and at the current moment, the question should be whether we can run a great campaign.

I don't doubt the passion and commitment from Liberal volunteers, supporters, candidates and strategists - I never would. But do we have the resources available to pull it off? We've increased our treasury, but we're still not as competitive as we should be.

Iggy can defy the pundits all he wants, and I'm sure he will. I just hope that the Party can keep up.

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