I had to lend my laptop to a co-worker and have been suffering withdrawal. Well, it was probably good for me.
I've missed a lot of news, and I'm sure you were very well served by other blogs. Nevertheless, here's some catch-up:
Buzz Hargrove's recent attack on Harper forced Paul Martin to say "I have profound differences with Mr. Harper, but I have never questioned his patriotism."
The funny thing is, Paul Martin has been questioning Harper's patriotism all along. He questioned it when Harper failed to reflexively proclaim his love for Canada, and he questioned it when he brought up Harper's historical speeches in the debate and in advertising.
Those actually may be valid questions to raise -- not because Harper isn't patriotic, but because of what they imply about what sort of changes Harper wants to make. However, Hargrove has bungled things so badly by endorsing the Bloc Quebecois that Martin has now had to switch directions.
The thing is, Jack Layton is out to get as many votes as possible. He can get those votes mainly from people who voted Liberal in the past. He's also in danger of losing votes if NDP-leaners get too scared of Stephen Harper and decide they must vote Liberal to block him.
So, there's really no choice when it comes to strategy for Layton. He has to keep hitting the Prime Minister. And he certainly can't suggest that it might be a good idea to re-elect Martin... partly because he heads another party, but mainly because it's not true.
A Toronto Star article today suggests that a serious defeat will cripple the Liberals financially for a long time. They say that the campaign funding changes hurt the Liberals most of all because they depend on corporate donations and are weak on individual contributions compared to the other parties. I have to think, however, that this is mainly just a result of being in power for 12 years. It can all change when people want the Liberals back.