Harper's progress 
James Bow predicted in January that the Conservatives would get 40 seats in the next election. This was before the AG's report and the subsequent performances by Martin since then. Now, James is saying

"It's important to note that although Stephen Harper is doing all the right things in terms of campaigning, he has not opened up a McGuinty-sized lead in the opinion polls; he's still ten points behind Martin in national support. He too has a lot of history behind him and Canadians, especially those Liberals who are holding their nose and clinging to their party, remember it."

This is far from the disaster that James and many others saw when the merger was announced and I think Stephen Harper deserves a lot of credit for it.

Lawrence Martin wrote today in the Globe that Harper and the Conservatives "have generated little enthusiasm, leaving the impression (likely an illusion) that the Liberals can win yet another election by default."

It is true that Harper hasn't been in the public eye. It seems that Harper has worked diligently at producing a united team within caucus, released a policy handbook that is going to help the candidates stay on the same page, and responded to the Liberal's initial negative attacks quickly and efficiently.

Despite the Liberals attempts to have Harper start denying accusations which invariably lead people to wonder if it isn't all true - it has been the Liberals themselves walking the tightrope - trying to explain what they really are or aren't supporting. This isn't all Liberal mistakes - it must include proper handling of the Conservative team by Harper.

There is a right time and a wrong time to present policy, give your vision, and release your leader onto the public. While some are complaining that they haven't picked the right time yet and taken advantage of the Liberal slide - more importantly, they haven't picked a wrong time yet. And for a party that had so many things that could have gone wrong, it is a good thing.

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