And yet the latest SC numbers seem to have Liberal hearts all in a tizzy.
Remember, S. Dion has faced a wave of mud re. attack ads and bad press in Conservative newspapers, but this wave seems to have crested. Furthermore, the Libs seem to be hitting back on some of these issues, like the income trust non-scandal, with some success.
However, this hitting back has come a bit late, esp. with bill C-288 (Kyoto Implementation Bill). The Tories have managed with to paint this as an economy killer, and most of this success has been due to a lack of effort/arguments on the part of the Liberal Party to point out why it is not. Not that there are not good arguments for the bill, its just that nobody within the party seems to have bothered to make them.
In any case, C-288 is now in the Senate and can be kept there, given the makeup of that body (Lib dominated), as long as is necessary. And if you do the math, even with no delay it will not come out until about April/May, which means it cannot, as far as I can see, serve as a trigger to a SPRING election.
In any case, the Tories ability to muddy the waters with respect to environmental issues will end once their Clean Air Act emerges from committee. If this is toothless, it will be seen to be despite any efforts by the Natty Post. If it is not, it can be passed (and the passage of C-288 can be credited with giving it some teeth). The NDP and especially Green Party response will be key.
As for the party "split" over anti-terror measures, I don't think there is any way past principled differences of opinion, but the party should have foreseen the effect of cancelling some of the provisions in question might have on the Air India investigation.
Finally, remember that a lot of what we are seeing in response to this poll is merely CPC chest-pounding. 34 per cent is a long, long way from a majority. Millions of dollars and several weeks of mudslinging, borderline illegal, and often plainly dishonorable behavior have bought Harper three points and brought him to within sight of his last election total. He would be a fool to call another one on the basis of these numbers.
The best advice for the Libs right now comes from Tom Axworthy, who says to forget the euphoria of the convention and get on with things.