...pick up NDP support.
Stop reading this blog right now, because I obviously don't understand Canadian politics.
But, until Steve comes along and explains everything, here's my best attempt.
Most important, I have to admit, is the leadership issue. Much as I dislike some of the directions Ignatieff has taken the party, and much as I dislike the guy's personality (as I wade through "Blood and Belonging" I am convinced Iggy must carry a pocket mirror around with him so he can check to see if he's as wonderful today as he was yesterday--I mean how many pictures of the author looking fabulous does one book need?), I have to admit that he is holding down his end of the deal as leader. That is, when he appears on TV he doesn't look like he's about to suddenly break down and cry, you can understand what he's saying, and what he is saying is relatively coherent. (He also has very kingly eye-brows). This is quite different from even a year ago, when I remember JimBobby writing somewhere that he needed to light all of his incense sticks to get Dion to make sense.
And I didn't think it would make much difference, but it clearly has. There are no anonymous Libs peeing in the soup. Any infighting that does exist seems to be staying behind closed doors. Lib partisans (me at least) are not looking forward to the notion of a summer/fall election with a gnawing sense of doom in the pit of their stomachs.
The other thing, too, is: Harper's Torys are out of gas idea-wise and they know it. This seems to be what is behind the recent decision to unmuzzle their MPs. As the economy tanks, Harper doesn't really know what the party line is anymore, so why not let the party define it collectively? Of course, we see where that's got them. Unmuzzled, the Tory idea of governing the nation is to trash Liberal operatives, flirt with Creationism, and hang out with gun nuts.
So, in a couple of ways, the LPoC is in a much better position to let the government defeat itself. Now all that's needed are some decent fund-raising numbers.