It is now the back half of the election campaign, and we are beginning to see the finish line. Depending on where you stand, it's either a great view or a catastrophic view, the proverbial freight train coming towards you when you thought you saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It is apparent that not only is there a strong possibility the Conservatives be re-elected, they may well do so with a majority. Nanos has them at 40% right now, with a 15-point lead over the Liberals. Dion is having to circle the wagons as he's increasingly coming under fire from within his own party ranks, bearing down to protect what the Liberals already hold while the knives start to come out. He will likely, depending on the severity of the defeat, be replaced, the third leadership change since December 2003. There will be no clemency as the Liberals realize they made a tremendous mistake going with the compromise candidate that had less than 1-in-5 support heading into their last leadership convention. Dion is a good man but he has simply been over his head in this position. He was a solid Cabinet minister for Chretien, deftly handling one of the most hot topics of the time. But since he made his own "green shift" and embraced environmental politics as his mantra, he has slipped greatly because Canadians are simply not willing to put their money where their mouths are on this issue.
Is there a chance of a Phoenix-like resurrection? Of course. With a little more than 2 weeks left in this campaign and the Tories still making gaffes as much a part of their routine as a prime-time ad spot, the opportunity to reverse fortunes is still an open window. But it is going to take something major for the Liberals to turn the tide, and that's going to be difficult since they've already released their full election campaign platform (remember when the Red Book was a seminal event?) and the Tories have not. Their cards are all on the table, and when you're all-in with low cards, you need a miracle from the dealer to save you.