After 8 years since the retirement of Jean Chretien, and three minority parliaments, Canadians are tired of minority governments. I'm not saying that I'm tired of them, but many people are. So, if that's true then I would say that there is a very strong possibility of a large bleeding of support from the Bloc Quebecois, the Greens but especially the NDP. That movement would benefit the Liberals most, but much of the soft, mushy centre could very well rally around the Conservatives.
The Liberals have introduced a platform that is reasonably affordable, but does have some old style big government Liberal ideas. Among the ideas is more money for students, which if I were living in Canada...that might just be enough.
Anyway, I don't feel like talking too much about the Liberal platform right now, but Michael Ignatieff is correct that many Canadians want to see some vision, which is not exactly Harper's strong point.
Stephen Harper won in 2006 because he wasn't Paul Martin or any Liberal even remotely connected to the sponsorship scandal, or Jean Chretien. He won again in 2008 because he wasn't Stephan Dion and didn't come across as weak. He has stayed in power through prorogation, through cooperation with the smaller parties on some issues, and with the Liberals on others as well as through a fair deal of fear mongering.
Harper hasn't been a great Prime Minister, but in a way he fulfilled the same role as Joe Clark and a host of other Tory Prime Ministers. He's certainly not a John A. McDonald, a John Diefenbaker, or a Brian Mulroney in that they were visionaries, but more of a placeholder putting a bit of a check on Liberal domination.
Anyway, I think there is a very good chance that the Liberal platform, fatigue with Harper's divide and conquer, go for the vital organs strategy, and fatigue with a constant state of election rhetoric and minority government in general, could lead Michael Ignatieff to become the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.