Imagine, how happy Jack Layton and his brothers and sisters will be if they crack the 33-seat barrier reef -- that'd be their second-highest total in party history.
It's why he's so adamant that strategic voting is more evil than Harper's haste. A Liberal government is in Jack's mind the biggest obstacle to his road to 24 Sussex Drive.
No, he doesn't want you NdP voters to think about what could be -- afterall, we've already sacrificed universal child care, a working plan and commitment to the First Nations people of our country, and two years of possible action on Kyoto. Instead, he wants you to sit at the kitchen table and understand that only he, Jack of all parades, can deliver from the back row of the house.
To reach his goal, he will need some tight battles to fall his way, a few from the CONs but more from the Liberals, in both Ontario and B.C.
If the electorate is as puzzled heading into the voting booth as some polls suggest, you have to wonder just what hill Jack's hoping to climb. If for a second election he plays a large role in a Harper government, this time many of his own supporters may really feel the pinch.
That's because part of the CON unspoken plan will hit home -- and hard.
Never mind having put his commitment to the environment on hold, because we all know it can wait for an NdP government in 2019, but good ol' Jack is ready to let the public sector feel the price of his own pride.
It's pure deduction, having witnessed it here in B.C. during the last left-right hand-over. We saw what an empowered, mean-spirited right-wing government will do to cut costs in troubled times. Rip up contracts, chop services, shift government jobs to the private sector - with deep slashes to wages in the process. And while the hard working people who rely upon those jobs, from Revenue Canada, Health Canada and Parks Canada, to name a few, will take the hit, Jack will have his handful of extra seats. A closer view of the catbird seat, where his pal Steve will cheer him on.
Naturally, the only way to block that tragic trajectory is for NdP supporters to vote Liberal in ridings where it's between a CON and Liberal candidate. I also endorse the idea of Liberal supporters lending Jack a vote in battles where it is the NdP with the best shot to knock off a CON. But you won't hear that from Jack. He's all about the plan.
And if Canada's middle class, the working poor and disadvantaged have to take a few punches for his prize, it's part of the game.
You go Jack. Just don't tell your followers what the exact cost will be.