According to National Newswatch Buzz Hargrove is ruminating running as a Liberal against Jack Layton.
It is no secret that Hargrove and Layton dislike each other. Indeed, the NDP even revoked Hargrove’s membership during the last electoin after he suggested NDP voters vote strategically (e.g. for Liberals) in some ridings to prevent the Conservatives from gaining power.
The bigger question is why the Liberals would want to be the vehicle for this feud. Taking out Layton will not end the NDP. Indeed, it’s unclear why the Liberals would want to take out Layton at all. He’s has been pretty good for the Liberals… the NDP remains more or less stuck in the polls. Why would the Liberals mess with a good thing?
The downside however, is not insignificant. Taking a run at Layton could galvanize NDP voters as well as give him greater prominance in the election. Layton usually has to fight for media attention. By offering up a high profile challenger the Liberals will draw attention to him that he could never earn on his own. Worse still, a high profile match up would enable Layton to claim the Liberals perceive him as a threat – lending him an air of credibility and respect that again, he has been unable to earn on his own.
All in all, it’s obvious what Hargrove gets out of it, the Liberals… less so.
But then, this is all rumour and speculation…