19% of Canadians -- and counting -- can
As the 2008 federal election progresses, it seems that Liberal leader Stephane Dion may be sho' nuff fucked.
With Stephen Harper's Conservative party comfortably in control of this election with 38% support, Dion's Liberals are polling at 23% -- a narrow lead over Jack Layton's NDP, who are polling at 19%.
"Although it is clear that the Liberals retain a small edge, on some days the difference is within the margin of error," said Ekos president Frank Graves.
In other words, the Stephane Dion Liberals are statistically tied with the NDP.
This comes as Dion gathers his former leadership rivals around him for campaign help.
Which he could certainly use. After all, as the campaign progresses, some of Dion's star candidates are nowhere to be seen -- in particular, Michael Ignatieff has inexplicably been a non-entity during this election campaign.
It seems even perennial insufferable douchebag Scott Reid can figure this one out.
Whether even the combined popularity of Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Ken Dryden and Martha Hall Findlay (among others) can save Dion at this point is anyone's guess. (You were going to make a "Kermit De Frog" joke here, weren't you? I have a sixth sense for these things. -Ed)
...Unless, of course, there's a reason why some of his higher-profile "team members" don't seem to be so eager to be seen with him.
An election result with the Liberals being punted from the status of Official Opposition in favour of the NDP would unquestionably turf any further leadership ambitions on Dion's behalf. The smart money says that any one of these individuals would absolutely love to play hero and lead the Liberal party out of the dredges of third-party status and back into the government benches.
Which would, of course, cast the Jamie Carroll affair in a whole new light.
Carroll, as some may recall, resigned as the national director of the Liberal party over outrage over comments he made about the backroom deals being made in the name of the leadership ambitions of Dion's rivals.
Of course, before anyone can even begin to worry about that, they have to worry about the current election. The Liberals still have almost a month to turn this thing around.
"If the alarm bells are not ringing already at Liberal headquarters, they should now," Graves says.
The question is: are those alarm bells being heard?