Yesterday, 800 senior brass of the Liberal party unanimously appointed Michael Ignatieff as the interm-Liberal leader. Edward Blake and Stephane Dion are the only Liberal leaders since 1873 that failed to become Prime Minister. The appointment will be made permanent when he is endorsed at the next Liberal convention. The formality of a vote seems silly when there are no other options.
Under Dion's leadership the Liberal party was rudderless as it drifted to the left. Harper exploited his weaknesses at every turn. Ignatieff is looking to take his party back to the centre and focus on the best interest of Canadians and not just his party.
Ignatieff has been luke warm at the idea of toppling the government. He will read the budget before deciding how to vote. He will only topple the government if it is necessary. This is how the opposition is supposed to function in a minority government. He has offered to work with the government to come up with mutually acceptable solutions.
Harper is taking the change in leadership seriously. Plans are already been made to have a meeting to discuss the budget. Harper is also going to fill 18 empty vacant seats before the house resumes. Harper has always been reluctant to appoint senators because he wants them to be elected. The move signals that Harper is aware of the possibility of having to face the voters again or being replaced as Prime Minister.
Effective government requires a strong leadership with an effective opposition to provide a counter balance. Perhaps Canada will finally have the right balance.