After being derided for not taking a position on the current Liberal-members-sponsored debate about co-operation with the NDP, Michael Ignatieff has finally taken a position. While he gets credit for his stand, it is possibly the worst perspective he can embrace. Ignatieff, and in turn whatever element of the Liberal Party he represents, has become half-pregnant.
According to Joan Bryden's Canadian Press story, Iggy has ruled out any form of pre-election arrangement with the NDP but is prepared to contemplate a coalition if that is what the numbers look like and that is what the public wants. He also describes himself as a uniter and not a divider. Yet by taking this position, I imagine, he has united more than a few Liberals against him and continues to divide the organization he runs.
Ignatieff is not taking this position because of a wave of co-operative momentum that has crossed the Atlantic. He is here because his party is in difficult straits and as a stand-alone entity the Liberals are weak. Many in his own party have sensed this and spoken out about the need to address this through some form of co-operation on the left.
In a Neville Chamberlain-like act of appeasement, Ignatieff now says no coalition now but we'll have one if we need one - a position he had before in 2008. That is not bound to inspire confidence in Liberal ranks. Rather than offering a road map for Liberal victory, he offers a temporary detour from the real problem: the inability of the mighty Liberal Party under his leadership to connect with the public.
Being half-pregnant is not possible, nor is this adopted response to a crisis in the Liberal cradle.