Like the classic Chicken Little tale, it appears the puffin shit landing on comical Liberal leader Stéphane Dion's shoulder has convinced some progressives the sky is falling.
Two weeks into a national campaign, it's still time to be talking about the kind of government we want, not the kind we have to accept.
If Barack Obama can convince Americans that the U.S. is better than the last eight years, why can't NDP leader Jack Layton convince a significant number of Canadians that Canada is better than the last 18 months?
As the Liberal party implodes and fields the least electable candidate since the ass-?grabbing John Turner, why should progressive Canadians be asked to consider falling behind this fading parade?
After only 14 days of electioneering, Liberal "insiders" are already squealing to the press, exposing dissension in the once Big Red Machine's ranks. There would have been bodies in the backwoods with this kind of insubordination back in Liberal fixer Keith Davey's day, but under Dion's corduroy rule, loyalists are desperate to distance themselves from what they see as an imminent disaster.
Layton is the second-most-popular choice for prime minister among Canadians in these early stages, and, except for his fossil-?fuelled attempt to bar Green leader Elizabeth May from the leaders' debate, he has also been running the second-best campaign.
By ditching his suit jacket for a sweater, Stephen Harper has managed to soft-pedal his hardcore values, but as the North American economy crumbles, why assume his lint-free run is forever?
As reports of the collapsing Liberal and Bloc Quebecois vote eat up newspaper inches, mainstream media often feature positive reports of the NDP run. If Ja-?rack Layton could stop rhyming off huge spending numbers and start expressing his dreams by stealing a bit of Obama's politics of hope, why couldn't he ignite an electoral brush fire among the majority of Canadians opposed to Harper's cruel rule?
For the first time since forever, the NDP even has a chance of electing MPs in Quebec, and their Montreal-?bred bilingual leader could be a real option for social democratic Bloc Quebecois supporters tired of the stale Sovereignty Show.
There is no certainty around elections, and voters and votes cannot be moved around easily like poker chips or small change. It's hard to imagine supporters of the newly ascendant Green party, perhaps a real party for the first time ever, stepping aside to be part of some amorphous alliance of the left.
And with the Liberals in such disarray, it's getting harder to determine who is the real progressive front-runner in the strategic voting game.
Did anyone foresee the complete collapse of the Conservative party under Kim Campbell in 1993? Lyn McLeod (remember her?) and her Liberals seemed poised to take Ontario in 1995 until Mike Harris and his nasty Tory team came out of nowhere in the election's final week.
And when Bob Rae was still an NDPer, the provincial party stole a 1990 Ontario victory that even its own members couldn't have predicted.
There's plenty of election left. Harper and his team have ample opportunity to go for the gaffes. And the uncertainty that surrounds battlefields and banking could still make his campaign explode in his face.
As we like to say on the left, it ain't over till the fat person sings.