Ignatieff finds his fight

Paul Wells on the Liberal leader’s surprisingly good start to the election campaign

by Paul Wells

Fighting back

Photograph by Roger Lemoyne

“You know, Mr. Harper doesn’t like elections,” Michael Ignatieff told a room full of Liberals in Mississauga, Ont. For the Prime Minister, he said, elections seem to be just “a kind of pesky interference in the normal course of things.” The crowd of 500 packed into the Payal Banquet Hall obligingly made disapproving noises.

“I’ll tell you why he doesn’t like elections very much,” the Liberal leader went on. “Because it’s the moment when the power returns to the people of Canada. We love elections, don’t we?” The crowd started to applaud. “We want an election!”

It was the first weeknight of the election campaign, barely 80 hours after Stephen Harper’s government fell to a non-confidence vote in the Commons. A few hours before Ignatieff spoke, Harper had promised an income-splitting plan that would allow one spouse to transfer income to another so the two could pay a lower total tax bill. “Fine and dandy,” Ignatieff allowed as he described the plan to the crowd.

“Now here’s the problem, though. He’s not gonna deliver it to the Canadian family until he’s balanced the budget. He’s not going to deliver it for five years. He’s not going to deliver it until rainwater turns to beer. He’s not going to deliver it ’til pigs fly.” The crowd was roaring with laughter now.

“What he’s actually saying to the Canadian family is, ‘Take a number and get to the back of the line!’ What he’s saying is, ‘First I’ve got to give a whole lot of giveaways to oil companies, insurance companies and banks. They’re on the top of my list. So get to the back of the line!

“‘And then I’ve got to build $13 billion worth of prisons. Instead of educating your children, I gotta lock ‘em up, okay?’ And then, if that isn’t enough, he’s gonna spend $30 billion on an untendered, uncompetitive bid for fighter jets. That is $1,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. And that is why he can’t do anything for Canadian families at all. Because you—and we—are at the back of the line. And the Liberal party is saying, ‘Let’s get this family to the front of the line! The front of the line!’” And the crowd went wild.

Of course this crowd would. A dozen candidates from the Toronto suburbs were on stage with the leader. They had brought their most faithful supporters. “Liberal leader excites Liberal room” isn’t news. But there is news on this Liberal campaign, and it has been spreading outward in concentric circles from moments like this.

First there is the leader’s manner. Ignatieff was speaking without notes or a teleprompter. He has performed off the cuff, and very well, at every stop on this campaign. It makes him look and sound more relaxed than Harper, who is good with a teleprompter but apparently can’t do without one.

Then there is the setting. The Liberal campaign leadership—campaign managers Gordon Ashworth and Pat Sorbara, chief of staff Peter Donolo—have made a study of Stéphane Dion’s 2008 campaign and made conscious choices to do things differently this time.

Dion spent much of his campaign in Liberal-held ridings, trying to hold onto them. He had not built a party organization capable of filling a room when he showed up. So he spent the beginning of the 2008 campaign sending a very strong message that Liberals were in trouble on their own turf. Ignatieff will have to play defence too before long, but his first moves have been into NDP, Bloc and Conservative ridings. Liberal advance teams have been told to compete to see who can turn out the biggest crowd. The 500 in Mississauga was actually smaller than other audiences he’s faced so far. So where his predecessor looked weak on defence, Ignatieff has projected strength on offence.

But the leader and the crowd won’t matter if the Liberals can’t craft a message that might appeal to voters who’ve spent nearly a decade staying home or voting Conservative. Here, too, Ignatieff has done some hard thinking.

His first concrete policy plank was a $1-billion-a-year program to pay $4,000 toward tuition for students planning to go to college or university. Low-income recipients would get $6,000. All of it would be tax-sheltered. No cumbersome new program would need to be set up: the delivery mechanism, Registered Education Savings Plans, already exists.

The Liberals were planning to deliver a new policy proposal every day for the rest of the week, with a full platform rollout on the weekend. “Here’s the key thing about it,” Ignatieff said about the platform at a Toronto news conference. “This electoral program of the Liberal Party of Canada will cost less—it will cost less than the Conservative program. And we will not raise taxes on ordinary Canadian families. And you know why? Because we’ve said no to corporate tax giveaways.”

In plain English, that means the Liberals plan to raise corporate income taxes the Conservatives already cut, from 18 per cent to 16.5, at the beginning of the year. Economists doubt the move will have much effect on revenues, so there is probably a measure of voodoo in Ignatieff’s revenue projections. Fortunately, the Conservatives are oddly eager to give him some cover: they have an interest in exaggerating the cost of the tax increase, just as he has an interest in exaggerating the new revenues it would provide. It probably won’t provide a fraction of the $6 billion he claims, but the Conservatives, for their own reasons, are using that figure too.

What was most striking to an observer who’s often remarked on Ignatieff’s formidable capacity for wishy-washiness was his willingness, at least sometimes, to take a stand. He has made the Harper government’s purchase of F-35 fighter planes a centrepiece of his campaign. But he doesn’t deny Canada will need new jets someday soon. Why fuss over the bidding process then?

“The key thing here is, I’m thinking like someone who might be—if the people honour me with their trust—the prime minister of Canada,” he told the Toronto news conference. “And if I get myself locked into this deal that Stephen Harper wants to foist on the Canadian people, I might be in the awful position of having to stand up in the House of Commons and saying ‘Folks, I’m really sorry here. But the plane that we promised you, or that the Harper government promised you at $50 million a pop, has just jumped up to $150 million a pop.’ That’s not a place I want to be. That’s not a place I will be.”

Besides, he said, in 2014 the federal-provincial deal on health care financing will come up for renegotiation. “I’ve got to be able to assure that that’s my priority. And that means I’ve absolutely got to deliver the right plane at the right price. We can’t fool around here. There’s only so much money to go around.”

It is still, always, a bumpy ride with this guy. Three minutes after he told reporters he wanted to protect health care dollars against overpriced jets, one of us asked him what he would do for big cities. Ignatieff lit off again in his most self-destructive mode: eager to please. Liberals “get cities,” he insisted. “As we move forward, the key thing here is to get regional rapid transit. To help cities right across the country move people in a more environmentally sustainable way. That’ll be, I think, the chief priority of a Liberal government when we come in.”

So Ignatieff’s chief priority will be health care. And transit. Maybe he can come up with something involving hospital trains. Ahead of him lay 31 more days of things he could potentially identify as priorities. A minefield for any inveterate people pleaser.

The other danger is simpler: that the campaign was already over before Stephen Harper asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament. Canadians have had two years getting used to Ignatieff and many more years to decide how they feel about every other party leader. The first polls of the campaign—a half-dozen showing the Conservatives a dozen points ahead of the Liberals, or more—suggest a lot of voters have long since found him wanting.

Five weeks of gritty stump speeches before well-stocked houses may help keep him from digging the Liberals any deeper. To dig them out of their hole and back into office he’ll need more luck than the electoral gods are used to bestowing.

He cannot have imagined any of this would be as hard as it’s been. But his opponents cannot have imagined that, with his back to the wall, he would finally learn to fight.




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Ignatieff finds his fight

  1. Mr. Ignatieff has a lot of material to choose from when he is talking to Canadians about Mr.Harper but I am glad to see that he is talking to Canadians rather than trash talking like Mr. Harper. I like the promises and may be willing to give Mr. Ignatieff a chance because he has not proven to me that he will not keep his promises. Stephen Haprer has made it very clear that what I think does not matter to him and that his promises are empty. In the last election Mr. Harper promised me that he would build a more honest, open and accountable government. Now we are having another election because Mr. Harper made the decision to be less open, less than honest and he has decided that he does not have to be accountable to an average Canadian.
    Contempt, Mr. Harper treats average Canadians with contempt and we are having another wasteful election because he broke his promise of a more open, honest accountable government.

  2. Mr. Ignatieff has a lot of material to choose from when he is talking to Canadians about Mr.Harper but I am glad to see that he is talking to Canadians rather than trash talking like Mr. Harper. I like the promises and may be willing to give Mr. Ignatieff a chance because he has not proven to me that he will not keep his promises. Stephen Haprer has made it very clear that what I think does not matter to him and that his promises are empty. In the last election Mr. Harper promised me that he would build a more honest, open and accountable government. Now we are having another election because Mr. Harper made the decision to be less open, less than honest and he has decided that he does not have to be accountable to an average Canadian.
    Contempt, Mr. Harper treats average Canadians with contempt and we are having another wasteful election because he broke his promise of a more open, honest accountable government.

    • I kind of like Iggy's stump speech Paul quoted but it is nothing if not trash talk.

      • At least it's policy related trash talk.

        • Hey, if he refrains from invoking Harper's sulphurous airs and commitment to voter disengagement I will be happy.

    • We are going to the polls because Iggy did not want the budget that Harper had set out. Tax cuts to the low and middle income earners. Iggy is only for his friends – the high income earners. Iggy will run the country AMERICAN STYLE"

      • It's difficult to see how the party committed to increasing the corporate tax rate is only looking out for the rich.

  3. Great piece, and so far a fascinating campaign. I hope it continues, & am actually looking forward to whatever dramatic maneuver SH comes up with.

    Of course, if it keeps up, Paul may have to write an addendum. http://www.macleans.ca/columnists/article.jsp?con

  4. Great piece, and so far a fascinating campaign. I hope it continues, & am actually looking forward to whatever dramatic maneuver SH comes up with.

    Of course, if it keeps up, Paul may have to write an addendum. http://www.macleans.ca/columnists/article.jsp?con

    • Sorry boys, Paul has it right. Those at the head of the class are easy targets for people with the insulation of never being in that position. Mr. Ignatieff is a someone interested in the profile of the job, not Canada or Canadian life. His arrogance equals if not exceeds PET. The election is young, so don't get too excited this soon.

  5. 'The first polls of the campaign—a half-dozen showing the Conservatives a dozen points ahead of the Liberals, or more—suggest a lot of voters have long since found him wanting.'

    Those polls could very well show that. Could show something else, too. Something the Harper pre-election attack ads could have done is lower the bar for Ignatieff. Canadians don't expect much, if anything, from Ignatieff. He doesn't have to set the world on fire in order to exceed those expectations. I know a few Liberals were saying that going in, and I wrote it off as wishful thinking on their part. And, it still might be just that, only a week in. That said, Iggy's come out the gate stronger than expected, and Harper's come out weaker than expected. But, that's what you get when you assume things…

  6. I think the Canadian voters are actually going to warm to Mr Ignatieff much faster now that the media is giving him the national spotlight.
    He continues to show Canadians his willingness to listen, answer questions and present his platform with ease and confidence. I think Canadians when comparing him to Mr Harper will be questioning the validity of the Conservative attack ads. The Liberals don't need to attack the crassness and dishonesty of Harper when ithe Conservatives do such a fine job of exhibiting all by themselves.

  7. I think the Canadian voters are actually going to warm to Mr Ignatieff much faster now that the media is giving him the national spotlight.
    He continues to show Canadians his willingness to listen, answer questions and present his platform with ease and confidence. I think Canadians when comparing him to Mr Harper will be questioning the validity of the Conservative attack ads. The Liberals don't need to attack the crassness and dishonesty of Harper when ithe Conservatives do such a fine job of exhibiting all by themselves.

    • They're not going to warm to him when they find out the TRUTH about the Party SHUTTING OUT the English speaking population in Quebeck — while they're cozying up to the BLOC and singing the PRAISES of the Ethnic Cleansing Language Laws – that were enacted ILLEGALLY – AGAINST OUR WILL: And promoting them as 'Protecting the French Language' ! That's what IGGY and his 'leaders' have really done! Singing the praises of the ERASURE of the English language & culture – that has devastated the LIVES & Freedoms of 2.5 MILLION English speaking Canadians! And he dares spew his bull about 'protecting democratic rights' ??? That my friends is why Liberal support is in the TOILET in Quebeck . The very vote the party needs to win a majority has been abused, betrayed and I repeat SHUT Out – not ALLOWED to participate anymore!! Now why on earth would they do this? Ask yourself.. The ONLY conclusion we can reach is – (look at the downward spiral the past 15 years) the Quebec Arm of the Liberal Party is DELIBERATELY DESTROYING it. Facts and numbers do not LIE. Iggy & company does.

  8. Turns out not all Canadians are drinking the Harper Kool-Aid, or Flaherty's Financial Punch.

    MESSAGE TO CONSERVATIVES: Lowering taxes while increasing spending is a disaster waiting to happen. But you guys don't care about facts, do you?

  9. Turns out not all Canadians are drinking the Harper Kool-Aid, or Flaherty's Financial Punch.

    MESSAGE TO CONSERVATIVES: Lowering taxes while increasing spending is a disaster waiting to happen. But you guys don't care about facts, do you?

    • You cannot lower taxes while increasing spending. Tax cuts + spending increases = budget deficits. There's no excuse for Canada to make the same fiscal blunders as the United States when Canadians can follow the workings of the US Congress more closely than people in other countries.

      However, the problem is more basic than tax cuts and deficit spending. Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada represent a class of businessmen and entrepreneurs whose loyalties are primarily to their markets and to their investments. Many businessmen don't care if the tax cuts that they receive now lead to budget deficits later because they see government as an intrusion.

      Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton expect to score points by touting protectionism (which has always been rooted in anti-Americanism), but 75 per cent of Canada's trade is with the United States. The business for which I work, United Brass Mfg., manufactures valves and fittings forged from bronze, copper and brass that we get from both Canada and the US. The graphite that we use to cool our dies also comes from both Canada and the US. Protectionism would not be good for United Brass.

      What could kill the campaigns of both the Liberals and the New Democrats, however, is a proposed tax increase. Stéphane Dion proposed a green tax and the Liberals lost big where it counts the most― at the polls.

      I think Stephen Harper understands the spirit of the times better than Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton. People in Canada, and all over the world, want to tax cuts, and they don't care about deficits.

      • Add to that – that the Liberals are holding hands with DUCEPPE and promoting the ILLEGAL – disgusting Ethnic Cleansing Language Loi's… with freaking vigor… illegal – destructive – English language & culture KILLING "Laws" condemned all over the freaking world – and this human rights pretender – that has repeatedly SPIT on our pleas for help to (As promised by the party for decades) Abolish these horrific loi's and have rewarded our trust – loyality by stabbing us in the heart! That's what the Liberal Party gives to the faithful! Get ready for your turn…

      • The problem is that the CRETIEN LIBERALS cut the military spending so much and the world is in crisis, that now we need our millitary to step up to the plate they are in 3rd world condition, all thanks to the Sponsorship Scandal LIBERALS. He has no choice but to inject money into the military.

        Also, the deficit that you so much relate to was caused to keep us out of financial crisis. Do you have a job! Thank Harper for that, he is the reason that CANADA is in the most enviable financial position in the world today.

    • hey there letterM or whatever …. you don't know ur Ahole from your ARHOLE! Voting for Iggy who caused this unnecessary election is a total waste of millions of taxpayers dollars …..

  10. "Ahead of him lay 31 more days of things he could potentially identify as priorities. A minefield for any inveterate people pleaser."

    Harper seems to be identifying priorities as he goes along too – look at his sudden interest in climate change. I gagged on my sandwich at that one.

  11. "Ahead of him lay 31 more days of things he could potentially identify as priorities. A minefield for any inveterate people pleaser."

    Harper seems to be identifying priorities as he goes along too – look at his sudden interest in climate change. I gagged on my sandwich at that one.

    • Hey there Janice, international policies on climate change only work if other 3rd world nations that are up and coming into the industrial age do the same with their pollution , N America is not the culprits of pollution, the Chinese, India, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, South and Central America, are all big polluters, and Harper emphasized that until these countries come on board with significantly reducing their pollution then it doesn't really matter what is done here in North America, and we are not the major culprits in causing world pollution!!!! …. No need to choke on ur sandwich there Janice!!!! You must live out in Lotus Land where they smoke so much weed that they don't know what reality is!!!

  12. I kind of like Iggy's stump speech Paul quoted but it is nothing if not trash talk.

  13. At least it's policy related trash talk.

  14. Paul, one thing you didn't mention that sets Ignatieff dramatically apart from Stephen Harper, is that Ignatieff actually meets journalists like you and answers all your quesions, uncomfortable or not. During this election Harper has been keeping journalists, and anyone else who isn't a card carrying party member, yards away, answers few if any questions and then has rules about which topics he will respond to. He is showing the same contempt for voters during this election as he showed to Parliament a few weeks ago. It seems to me this is an important aspect of this campaign that you are not covering.

    Also your comment about priorities seems disingenuous to me. The way I read your article, Ignatieff was saying that rapid transit was a priority with respect to cities, since that was what you asked him about. This doesn't mean he ranks rapid transit alongside health care in his priority list as you seem to have concluded.

    • It would help if the media actually asked tough questions, like exactly where he is going to get the money for all the spending that he is promising.

      Ignatieff is still going to be buying jets, maybe slightly cheaper ones, but the cost is going to be the same order of magnitude. And if he delays buying, they will just end up costing more, like the Chretiens' helicopters did.

      He has not said that he is repealing Harper's "tough-on-crime" bills which have already passed. So those prison costs are not disappearing, or at least some of them aren't.

      Raising corporate tax rates to 18% only gets you $2 billion (according to Stephen Gordon)

      Nobody has asked him how the responsibility to protect is supposed to work if the Libyan rebels don't have arms to defend their families from slaughter against Ghadhafi's tanks and artillery. Ignatieff has said no troops and no harms, which sort of means R2P is just massively hollow rhetoric.

      Nobody has asked him about the Liberals incredible shrinking child care plan (compared to Chretien's red book and Martin's platform), and the fact that the Liberal Party is keeping Harper's Child Care Benefit.

      Nobody has asked him how $4000 is supposed to help children from families of modest means pay for a $50000 university education, rather than just being a gift to the upper middle class.

      Nobody has asked him if he intends to ban oil tanker traffic on the St. Lawrence, and in Vancouver Harbour.

      Nobody has asked him if he is going to set foot in Alberta during this campaign.

      Nobody has asked him why he was opposed to the 1-on-1 debate BEFORE he was for it.

      The media has all these questions, but someone have the amazing ability to ask no questions of substance.

    • Media are not gods, to who elected officials have to jump every time they put a microphone in their faces, unless of course your name is "Official Opposition" and you are looking for every opportunity to campaign. The mistake made way too often is that "bad news", which the media does on a regular basis, is not the same as responsible reporting. In other words, an interview every couple of days with the Prime Minster isn't better than one a month. Quality gentlemen, not quantity.

      • But can you blame them when they can't get the former to want at least the latter?

    • hEY THERE Sunshine Coaster …. ur smoking a little too much weed out there, you're all looking for more free handouts from the Liberals never ending pot of gold!!!!!

  15. Paul, one thing you didn't mention that sets Ignatieff dramatically apart from Stephen Harper, is that Ignatieff actually meets journalists like you and answers all your quesions, uncomfortable or not. During this election Harper has been keeping journalists, and anyone else who isn't a card carrying party member, yards away, answers few if any questions and then has rules about which topics he will respond to. He is showing the same contempt for voters during this election as he showed to Parliament a few weeks ago. It seems to me this is an important aspect of this campaign that you are not covering.

    Also your comment about priorities seems disingenuous to me. The way I read your article, Ignatieff was saying that rapid transit was a priority with respect to cities, since that was what you asked him about. This doesn't mean he ranks rapid transit alongside health care in his priority list as you seem to have concluded.

  16. Iggy's handlers have been doing a good job. They got him to stop saying "I" ten times in each sentence.

    Harper needs to let loose with his sense of humour.

    "I've been told tonight that I should engage in self-deprecation but in my church they say that can make you go blind," Harper said.

    "Look, no, I'll admit I have my flaws. Even my friends tell me that I can be dismissive and insulting but what the hell do those idiots know anyway."

    • Ha ha. It's funny because it's true!

    • That's a sense of humour? Man – you need to get out more. Also I don't need to hear about his damned Evangelical church; which has given him the outrageous idea that he's a performer; because they just loooove to do that in the Alliance church, do bad acting, bad singing, bad gospel.

  17. Iggy's handlers have been doing a good job. They got him to stop saying "I" ten times in each sentence.

    Harper needs to let loose with his sense of humour.

    "I've been told tonight that I should engage in self-deprecation but in my church they say that can make you go blind," Harper said.

    "Look, no, I'll admit I have my flaws. Even my friends tell me that I can be dismissive and insulting but what the hell do those idiots know anyway."

  18. I notice there is a change in the order of the weeks too….it usually starts off with 'gaffe week' for both parties, and then goes to 'policy week'

    But Ignatieff has rolled out policy in the first week, and Harper has had nothing but gaffes.

    Granted there is plenty of time yet for Harp to come up with new policy, and plenty of time for Iggy to gaffe…but I don't think having a 'lot of priorities' is one.

    It's a complex country, so there is more than one topic and more than one priority…..each topic has it's own priorities in fact.

    There is no simple one black/white answer to the problems facing us.

  19. I notice there is a change in the order of the weeks too….it usually starts off with 'gaffe week' for both parties, and then goes to 'policy week'

    But Ignatieff has rolled out policy in the first week, and Harper has had nothing but gaffes.

    Granted there is plenty of time yet for Harp to come up with new policy, and plenty of time for Iggy to gaffe…but I don't think having a 'lot of priorities' is one.

    It's a complex country, so there is more than one topic and more than one priority…..each topic has it's own priorities in fact.

    There is no simple one black/white answer to the problems facing us.

  20. It would help if the media actually asked tough questions, like exactly where he is going to get the money for all the spending that he is promising.

    Ignatieff is still going to be buying jets, maybe slightly cheaper ones, but the cost is going to be the same order of magnitude. And if he delays buying, they will just end up costing more, like the Chretiens' helicopters did.

    He has not said that he is repealing Harper's "tough-on-crime" bills which have already passed. So those prison costs are not disappearing, or at least some of them aren't.

    Raising corporate tax rates to 18% only gets you $2 billion (according to Stephen Gordon)

    Nobody has asked him how the responsibility to protect is supposed to work if the Libyan rebels don't have arms to defend their families from slaughter against Ghadhafi's tanks and artillery. Ignatieff has said no troops and no harms, which sort of means R2P is just massively hollow rhetoric.

    Nobody has asked him about the Liberals incredible shrinking child care plan (compared to Chretien's red book and Martin's platform), and the fact that the Liberal Party is keeping Harper's Child Care Benefit.

    Nobody has asked him how $4000 is supposed to help children from families of modest means pay for a $50000 university education, rather than just being a gift to the upper middle class.

    Nobody has asked him if he intends to ban oil tanker traffic on the St. Lawrence, and in Vancouver Harbour.

    Nobody has asked him if he is going to set foot in Alberta during this campaign.

    Nobody has asked him why he was opposed to the 1-on-1 debate BEFORE he was for it.

    The media has all these questions, but someone have the amazing ability to ask no questions of substance.

  21. Mostly because most of those are terrible questions, with the exception of the question about Libya, which is not nearly the back and white issue you make it out to be.

  22. Good article. But I am not at all surprised that Iggy has started off strong. There were literally zero expectations on the man, and I've long believed that he has been sold short by a lot of people. It remains to be seen if he has the political discipline to get through a 5 week campaign in one piece, but I'm certainly not surprised that he has exceeded the zero-based expectations that were on him.

    • I'm not sure what you mean by "[getting through] a 5 week campaign in one piece" but, of the two leaders, Harper seems to me to be the one more likely to implode, given the right provocation. My admittedly subjective impression is that, beneath the calm, deliberate presentation, lies a residue of barely submerged anger. It welled up in his diatribe in the House in 2008 directed at the "separatists and socialists" and I often have the impression that it could be triggered again. I wonder if that's one reason why his handlers are so determined to keep the pesky media at bay.

      • I agree with you – 100%. He is an angry person, and it showed during his first stump speech outside Rideau. He was babbling, making no sense, that happened twice on the campaign. I put it down to panic, but may be it's anger. I heard a story that he once threw a chair in a meeting, and that he has a foul mouth.

    • Look at his work history. 18 books, serious books. 11 honorary Doctorates. One PhD in history from Yale. Talk show host on BBC political show. Foreign correspondent, going to hot spots like Belfast during troubles, ME, Kosovo. Director (not prof) of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Yale, for 5 years before coming back to Canada.

      This is not a lazy person, and this is a very disciplined, well trained person. He is also #60 or so on the world's top 100 list of prominent thinkers. Once he has his sea legs – look out Harper.

  23. Good article. But I am not at all surprised that Iggy has started off strong. There were literally zero expectations on the man, and I've long believed that he has been sold short by a lot of people. It remains to be seen if he has the political discipline to get through a 5 week campaign in one piece, but I'm certainly not surprised that he has exceeded the zero-based expectations that were on him.

  24. This comment was deleted.

    • Not long now till we have our own birther movement here in Canada. sheesh.

      Sure he lived in England, and the US. To work at Oxford and at Harvard!. I would think we would see those credentials as a positive when considering someone for the top job in Ottawa.

  25. I think asking Iggy why the Libs supported the tough-on-crime legislation, but then refused to go along with building new prisons, is an excellent question.

    Also, weren't the corporate tax cuts initiated in a previous budget that the Liberals supported? Another great question.

    • That'd be the budget during which we were entering the recession with, yes?
      It turned out to be less harsh than expected, so thinking people adjust their budgets accordingly.

  26. I think asking Iggy why the Libs supported the tough-on-crime legislation, but then refused to go along with building new prisons, is an excellent question.

    Also, weren't the corporate tax cuts initiated in a previous budget that the Liberals supported? Another great question.

  27. Sorry boys, Paul has it right. Those at the head of the class are easy targets for people with the insulation of never being in that position. Mr. Ignatieff is a someone interested in the profile of the job, not Canada or Canadian life. His arrogance equals if not exceeds PET. The election is young, so don't get too excited this soon.

  28. Media are not gods, to who elected officials have to jump every time they put a microphone in their faces, unless of course your name is "Official Opposition" and you are looking for every opportunity to campaign. The mistake made way too often is that "bad news", which the media does on a regular basis, is not the same as responsible reporting. In other words, an interview every couple of days with the Prime Minster isn't better than one a month. Quality gentlemen, not quantity.

  29. Definitely worried about Ignatieff overreaching.

    So far so good for the Liberals but they can't keep talking about throwing money at voters. I'd like for them to offer something concrete on the replacement of our F-18. My brother, an aviation nut, says we should look into getting more recent F-18 models. Obviously the Liberals want a competition and on paper that's a good idea, but it seems like a good idea to pitch something more than "Harper's wrong about the F-35". A lot of people like the idea of getting this badass jet fighter so simply telling them "we're not getting it" isn't a good way to win them over.

    Basically less money being thrown around and more ideas on how to work with what we've got.

    • Most of their promises have been pretty tame. No huge multi-billion promises for the most part.

      • This is true, but I do think it would be good to come up with policy that doesn't need be presented "X amount of dollars for Y".

        I'm not saying any policy presented that way is bad, but I would like to hear about things that the Liberals would be commited to changing that doesn't imply programs that offer financial benefits. Obviously thos programs are how you win votes but it bothers me.

        • They've already done that with the Open Government Initiative. The amount of money on new websites and webmasters will easily be offset by the websites and webmasters the Conservatives have the government paying for, and/or reducing the size of PMO back to where it was, I figure.
          http://www.liberal.ca/open/

          • Nice link.

            I usually avoid the official party websites because I'm always afraid I'll get caught up in the rhetoric but that initiative is exactly the kind of stuff I want.

          • Their proposal for the SRO is a much better solution for providing pension options to Canadians than the pooled pension plans the CPC has proposed, and it wouldn't cost the government anything. It's exactly the policy I was looking for after I researched the topic over the last couple years.

  30. Definitely worried about Ignatieff overreaching.

    So far so good for the Liberals but they can't keep talking about throwing money at voters. I'd like for them to offer something concrete on the replacement of our F-18. My brother, an aviation nut, says we should look into getting more recent F-18 models. Obviously the Liberals want a competition and on paper that's a good idea, but it seems like a good idea to pitch something more than "Harper's wrong about the F-35". A lot of people like the idea of getting this badass jet fighter so simply telling them "we're not getting it" isn't a good way to win them over.

    Basically less money being thrown around and more ideas on how to work with what we've got.

  31. Iggy's not looking so icky anymore, better than Hosni Harper, the bully, and I used to vote Conservative, maybe not now.

  32. Iggy's not looking so icky anymore, better than Hosni Harper, the bully, and I used to vote Conservative, maybe not now.

  33. Not long now till we have our own birther movement here in Canada. sheesh.

    Sure he lived in England, and the US. To work at Oxford and at Harvard!. I would think we would see those credentials as a positive when considering someone for the top job in Ottawa.

  34. It is an interesting exercise to look at voter turnout rates for Canada's 40th election in 2008. Overall, only 58.8 percent of registered voters took the time to hold their noses, pick up a pencil and mark an “X”, an all-time low since Confederation. In Mr. Harper's own riding of Calgary Southwest, only 52,996 out of 90,756 voters exercised their franchise for a turnout of 58.4 percent, just below the national average, rather surprising considering that this is the Prime Minister's riding and surely one would want to curry favour. Of those who voted, 72.96 percent voted for Mr. Harper meaning that he received the support of only 42.6 percent of all eligible voters in his riding.

    Here is a look at Canada's historical voter turnout and how it has dropped markedly over the past 5 decades:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/03/cana

    • Would dearly love to see Harper lose his own riding. I'd buy the entire neighbourhood a drink.

    • My theory is this. Deliberately discourage Canadians from voting. I call it pushing the 'they're all crooks syndrome'. That way you reduce the competition to party insiders and increase you chances of winning. The last thing the tories want is everybody voting.

  35. It is an interesting exercise to look at voter turnout rates for Canada's 40th election in 2008. Overall, only 58.8 percent of registered voters took the time to hold their noses, pick up a pencil and mark an “X”, an all-time low since Confederation. In Mr. Harper's own riding of Calgary Southwest, only 52,996 out of 90,756 voters exercised their franchise for a turnout of 58.4 percent, just below the national average, rather surprising considering that this is the Prime Minister's riding and surely one would want to curry favour. Of those who voted, 72.96 percent voted for Mr. Harper meaning that he received the support of only 42.6 percent of all eligible voters in his riding.

    Here is a look at Canada's historical voter turnout and how it has dropped markedly over the past 5 decades:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/03/cana

  36. Ha ha. It's funny because it's true!

  37. Most of their promises have been pretty tame. No huge multi-billion promises for the most part.

  38. That'd be the budget during which we were entering the recession with, yes?
    It turned out to be less harsh than expected, so thinking people adjust their budgets accordingly.

  39. But can you blame them when they can't get the former to want at least the latter?

  40. What I admire most about the Liberals in this election is the quality of the rest of their team compared to that of the Tories. Potential ministers including Dryden, Goodale, Rae, Findlay, Cutler, etc. represent mainstream Canadian thinking, not the right-wing screed of the Harpies. In my own riding, the Tories have parachuted in onetime CFL'er and short-time Larry Smith to run against one of the most effective and dedicated federalist politicians in the country, Francis Scarpaleggia. The quality difference is striking.

  41. What I admire most about the Liberals in this election is the quality of the rest of their team compared to that of the Tories. Potential ministers including Dryden, Goodale, Rae, Findlay, Cutler, etc. represent mainstream Canadian thinking, not the right-wing screed of the Harpies. In my own riding, the Tories have parachuted in onetime CFL'er and short-time Larry Smith to run against one of the most effective and dedicated federalist politicians in the country, Francis Scarpaleggia. The quality difference is striking.

  42. I'm not sure what you're getting at, Paul.

    Barack Obama can't make a speech without a teleprompter.

    I'm sure Mackenzie King was a terrible stump speaker.

    I'm not comparing Stephen Harper to those gentlemen, but I'm not sure what people skills have to do with being Prime Minister.

    • Working without a teleprompter demonstrates mastery of the material (leaving out considerations as to if said material be worthy of mastery). Having the material down cold & improvising there upon is part and parcel of a public speaker tool kit (or at least should be). The PM's job is primarily one of communication. Many of the early Iggy-knocks focused upon him being out of touch with the people of Canada (ads asking "Where has Iggy been?"), Iggs gets on a bus and starts touring the country giving speeches and talking to people.

      Look, one can say what you want about him or anybody else (except me) and it might affect people's choices. The question is, will it affect enough people's choices. In dealing with large numbers, the answer is (likely) not. At some point enough people with see him perform & will, at the gut level, decide if the Iggy-knocks are true or not. Upon that will the election be decided.

      • I'm just not sure what this revelation by Wells is, well, revealing. Anyone with a clue could figure out that as a former professor, and frequent media pundit, Ignatieff would be at ease on camera and in front of a crowd of people.

        Is it Wells' thesis that voters know so little about Ignatieff, even his background, that expectations are at zero and he is being discovered as an all right (articulate) kinda guy.

        • You are unsure about what having people skills has to do with being PM? Maybe you should take some time to consider how having people skills might be important to the job & then cross reference that with PW's comments about Iggy demo-ing his improved people skills.

          • An excellent example of good communication skills is the new B.C. Premier, Christy Clarke. She left politics and spent a few years as a talk show host on a very popular radio station. She is never at a loss for words or facts.

          • Agreed. Also, Brad Wall in contrast to Dwain Lingenfelter. Ralf Klein vs. Ed Stelmack.

          • I'm saying it didn't prevent any number of previous Prime MInisters from being successful.

          • Like who? Trudeau had legendary skills; Mulroney wasn't exactly short on it – Chretien definitely was there – John Turner was a little stiff but at least he had a decent education.

            Problem is that Harper is a fake. He doesn't really know what he's doing; he has no interest in politics, or governing, he just wants power and all the perks. He doesn't work hard – that's his biggest problem, whereas Ignatieff is probably the hardest-working politician Ottawa has ever seen – and the most thorough. Authored 18 books – you don't do that sitting on your fat butt in your office or your chauffeur driven car.

            He's a fake, he's panicking, he's barely able to do it without handlers. That's why so much control – because they cannot rely on him to be able to handle speaking off the cuff. He just doesn't have the know-how about his own job.

          • Stephen Harper speaks calmly, clearly and to the facts. This is commendable and gives a sense of dependability.

            Ignatieff is all American-style bluster and slogans. It comes across as vacuous and self-serving, aimed at riling up the crowd.

            BTW, Calm down. No one is questioning Micheal Ignatieff's scholarly credentials or his experience with documentaries.

          • Here are some facts.

            Stephen Harper speaks with the calm of someone remembering the tips he got from his anger management therapist. He requires a podium set up every time he speaks which is never off the cuff. This gives a sense of a barely-under-control wing-nut who would doesn't dare utter his actual thoughts because they would scare the beejeezus out of the electorate.

            The "scarey unstable coalition" is not a fact – it's a fabrication, a bogey man and Stephen Harper sounded like a loon going on about it all week.

            American style slogans and attack ads aimed at riling up the crowd are the specialty of your guy.

            Stephen Harper has been in power 5 years. Why doesn't he run on his record instead of smearing the opposition?

          • I think you are right….he is a fraud

    • What do people skills have to do with Prime Minister…let's see…what do people skills have to do with understanding and representing people? What do they have to do with making policy, which is a set of rules or laws that affect the people? What do they have to do with selecting and managing the best and the brightest to run a modern country?

      Oh — if by people skills you mean "communication" skills — those matter, too.

    • People skills are the number one priority for being a leader. Democracy is often defined as government of the people, by the people, for the people. If you can accept that definition, it is difficult for me to understand why you would be unsure of the need for people skills in a Prime Minister. The word "people" is mentioned three times in that standard textbook definition of democracy.

  43. I'm not sure what you're getting at, Paul.

    Barack Obama can't make a speech without a teleprompter.

    I'm sure Mackenzie King was a terrible stump speaker.

    I'm not comparing Stephen Harper to those gentlemen, but I'm not sure what people skills have to do with being Prime Minister.

  44. Working without a teleprompter demonstrates mastery of the material (leaving out considerations as to if said material be worthy of mastery). Having the material down cold & improvising there upon is part and parcel of a public speaker tool kit (or at least should be). The PM's job is primarily one of communication. Many of the early Iggy-knocks focused upon him being out of touch with the people of Canada (ads asking "Where has Iggy been?"), Iggs gets on a bus and starts touring the country giving speeches and talking to people.

    Look, one can say what you want about him or anybody else (except me) and it might affect people's choices. The question is, will it affect enough people's choices. In dealing with large numbers, the answer is (likely) not. At some point enough people with see him perform & will, at the gut level, decide if the Iggy-knocks are true or not. Upon that will the election be decided.

  45. I'm not sure what you mean by "[getting through] a 5 week campaign in one piece" but, of the two leaders, Harper seems to me to be the one more likely to implode, given the right provocation. My admittedly subjective impression is that, beneath the calm, deliberate presentation, lies a residue of barely submerged anger. It welled up in his diatribe in the House in 2008 directed at the "separatists and socialists" and I often have the impression that it could be triggered again. I wonder if that's one reason why his handlers are so determined to keep the pesky media at bay.

  46. I'm just not sure what this revelation by Wells is, well, revealing. Anyone with a clue could figure out that as a former professor, and frequent media pundit, Ignatieff would be at ease on camera and in front of a crowd of people.

    Is it Wells' thesis that voters know so little about Ignatieff, even his background, that expectations are at zero and he is being discovered as an all right (articulate) kinda guy.

  47. This is true, but I do think it would be good to come up with policy that doesn't need be presented "X amount of dollars for Y".

    I'm not saying any policy presented that way is bad, but I would like to hear about things that the Liberals would be commited to changing that doesn't imply programs that offer financial benefits. Obviously thos programs are how you win votes but it bothers me.

  48. You are unsure about what having people skills has to do with being PM? Maybe you should take some time to consider how having people skills might be important to the job & then cross reference that with PW's comments about Iggy demo-ing his improved people skills.

  49. Few years back i saw Ignatieff walking in our silly parade here in Edmonton. A fun parade for families. He walked with a few suporters along side. I'll never for get that. If he can do that among the rite wingers he's got what it takes for me. Right there with the folks ,even with no reason to be there, other than to meet the people of Canada. People skills means you care for people and can communicate with the masses.!

    • I saw him speak at the Calgary Zoo during Stampede week – he's very impressive. He likes people, he will talk for hours if he has the time; he's not afraid of any questions at all – he's personable, good natured, fun – and good looking too.

      • You had me till that last bit, Margaret.

  50. Few years back i saw Ignatieff walking in our silly parade here in Edmonton. A fun parade for families. He walked with a few suporters along side. I'll never for get that. If he can do that among the rite wingers he's got what it takes for me. Right there with the folks ,even with no reason to be there, other than to meet the people of Canada. People skills means you care for people and can communicate with the masses.!

  51. An excellent example of good communication skills is the new B.C. Premier, Christy Clarke. She left politics and spent a few years as a talk show host on a very popular radio station. She is never at a loss for words or facts.

  52. Agreed. Also, Brad Wall in contrast to Dwain Lingenfelter. Ralf Klein vs. Ed Stelmack.

  53. They've already done that with the Open Government Initiative. The amount of money on new websites and webmasters will easily be offset by the websites and webmasters the Conservatives have the government paying for, and/or reducing the size of PMO back to where it was, I figure.
    http://www.liberal.ca/open/

  54. I'm saying it didn't prevent any number of previous Prime MInisters from being successful.

  55. I am surprised that people is surprised that Ignatieff would be that good on the campaign trail, he is a fantastic speaker, engaging and personable.

    That been said, I am stickying to my CRYSTAL PEPSI analogy with Ignatieff, things won't change, people has made up their mind long ago about him and the LPC, of course his numbers will improve a bit, exposure will always do that to you.

    The LPC has made many, many, many mistakes everything is about perception and they don't seem authentic, they look in a hurry to be on the top spot they forgot that sometimes patience is a virtue!

  56. Maybe your post may have changed a few minds? :)

  57. Maybe your post may have changed a few minds? :)

  58. So Ignatieff's chief priority will be health care. And transit. Maybe he can come up with something involving hospital trains. Ahead of him lay 31 more days of things he could potentially identify as priorities. A minefield for any inveterate people pleaser.

    …something involving stealth hospital trains…stay with the programme PW

    • Now that sounds cool. Who cares if you have to wait if you get to ride the stealth train…

      • Much better carbon print then a f 35 too.

        They're a bugger to get off the ground though.

        Forget about landing them altogether.

        Guess that's where the hospital comes in handy?

  59. So Ignatieff's chief priority will be health care. And transit. Maybe he can come up with something involving hospital trains. Ahead of him lay 31 more days of things he could potentially identify as priorities. A minefield for any inveterate people pleaser.

    …something involving stealth hospital trains…stay with the programme PW

  60. Nice link.

    I usually avoid the official party websites because I'm always afraid I'll get caught up in the rhetoric but that initiative is exactly the kind of stuff I want.

  61. I am more inclined to TRUST Ignatieff than I am Harper. A leader who muzzels his ministers, who needs American handlers, who treats Canadians like fools, unable to understand we are being hoodwinked on the fighter jets, deserves to drop in the poles and he will. My vote is going Liberal this time and a heck of a lot of people I talk to in business and elsewhere are thinking the same way. This is the NEW Liberal party and the leader is looking pretty good. No more American designed attack ads; we want to hear policy ideas and even if a few of them are implemented, we will be happy. We want a democratic leader, not a dictator.

    • Only a fool would think that we are being hoodwinked on the fighter jets. We're getting our jets for a better price then the Americans, the British and the Dutch.

      You mean democratic leaders like Trudeau or Chretien? Stephen is a hundred times more democratic than these liberal autocrats ever were.

      • Thats why he was found in contempt I suppose, shut down parliment, etc., etc. Real democratic that Harper boy.

        • ur A FOOl you not so proud Canadian, NO CONTEMPT, THAT WAS JUST A PLOY CAUSE ALOT OF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CONSERVATIVES CAUSE ALOT HAVE BEEN SPOILED WITH LIBERAL HANDOUTS, THROUGH INCREASED TAXES, OVER THE YEARS, UR just looking for another handout. Just like everyone on this blog page who will vote for Ignatieff.

          Socialism is great until the Gov't. runs out of other peoples' money!!!!!

          • Right On thank you

      • Pele, I'm no expert on aircraft and I doubt you are either.

        I have heard and read what experts have to say though, and it sounds like this is one of those items with a lot of features, none of which it excels at. (For example: http://tinyurl.com/3lzswly) We have probably all had experience of some similar item in our own lives – sometimes it's better to have several machines that just do one thing really well than one thing that does all but poorly.

        It features stealth which is exciting to our politicals no doubt, but hardly critical or even useful – even if it works. It has major problems with it's excessively computerized systems' software. I understand it is ill-suited to use in the far north because of distances between refueling. It is already way over budget and not on schedule or anything like. In short, the F35 sounds like a costly boondoggle.

        We would be better off with an array of drone-type aircraft, helicopters, etc specific to the use or uses for which they are to be actually to be deployed.

    • Hey there onenot to work …. you fool …. Trust Iggy …. when he is responsible for bringing down the Gov't. and wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars on an unnecessary election. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND ALL OTHERS FOR THINKING THAT IGGY IS TRUSTWORTHY, WITH HIS NOTION OF A 3 HEADED PRIME MINISTER, iggy, jacko, and the bloc weirdo all 3 at the helm at once in governing the country when you vote for IGGY!!!! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!!

    • youd rather trust a guy who can't give educated attacks but dumb ones that don't even make sense, over harper who calmly answered all smartly? your just as stupid as ignatieff whic by the way might as well have a coconut for a head!

  62. I am more inclined to TRUST Ignatieff than I am Harper. A leader who muzzels his ministers, who needs American handlers, who treats Canadians like fools, unable to understand we are being hoodwinked on the fighter jets, deserves to drop in the poles and he will. My vote is going Liberal this time and a heck of a lot of people I talk to in business and elsewhere are thinking the same way. This is the NEW Liberal party and the leader is looking pretty good. No more American designed attack ads; we want to hear policy ideas and even if a few of them are implemented, we will be happy. We want a democratic leader, not a dictator.

  63. In all my years watching elections, never have I seen such outwardly partisan favouritism by the media towards a party. They seem to be practically campaigning for Mr. Ignatieff.

    After week one, they pat themselves on the back and declare that Mr. Ignatieff “had a good week”. According to Ekos he did not. Further, given that it was almost exclusively about whether Mr. Ignatieff would form a coalition (surely the last topic he wanted to be at the top of the agenda) objectively it doesn’t seem “good”.

    Partisan wishful thinking in place of objective news? I wonder if the media realizes just how much harm they are doing to the institution.

    • Charles, I suggest you go on over to the National Post.

    • But … he *did* have a good week. They're supposed to say so, 'cause it's the truth.

  64. In all my years watching elections, never have I seen such outwardly partisan favouritism by the media towards a party. They seem to be practically campaigning for Mr. Ignatieff.

    After week one, they pat themselves on the back and declare that Mr. Ignatieff “had a good week”. According to Ekos he did not. Further, given that it was almost exclusively about whether Mr. Ignatieff would form a coalition (surely the last topic he wanted to be at the top of the agenda) objectively it doesn’t seem “good”.

    Partisan wishful thinking in place of objective news? I wonder if the media realizes just how much harm they are doing to the institution.

  65. it's official, every man woman and goat in the media believe Iggo had a good week. The media campaigning to get Iggo elected is a nauseating exercise in self interest. The difference in the coverage of the Liberals and Iggo compared with the coverage of PM Harper and the Conservatives by "journalists" is a tale of total opposites with a clear Liberal bias. The media hacks that are on the Liberal train are a compliant, subservient, Liberal sales team that prop up Iggo and fluff his pillow while lobbing softball questions designed to let Iggo attack PM Harper, and turn Liberal talking points into a never ending bum numbing lecture. Iggo was pontificating the other day about how the media flunkies promoting his campaign all hate PM Harper, and sit at the back of the plane complaining about the PM, "they are very upset with Harper", "you should see it" , says the American candidate. Iggo apparently missing the irony of "journalists" supposedly covering the Liberal campaign complaining about PM Harper's campaign. Contrast that with the belligerent, hostile, activist approach of the media stalking PM Harper, where the media have nothing good to say, all negative, all the time, and are so hateful, angry and activist they have to be kept behind a fence like wild animals. The media stalking PM Harper behave like an angry mob of Liberal party employees who just heard their taxpayer subsidized paycheck will now be cancelled. The media are a ruthless pack of Liberal activists and agents who are trying once again to hijack an election, and insert the inserted leader of the Liberal party into the PMO.

    • Want some cheezies with that whine?

    • And if Harper fails, a large part of the blame for that will have to be laid on people like yourself I'm afraid.

      Simply because you're so quick to blame the media, the opposition, the rules, the people, the weather, the anything – absolutely anything – other than the actions of your own party or leadership. Did conservative supporters object when he appointed Fortier, in direct contradiction to his promises? Hell no.. they rallied 'round and cheered him on. When he started taxing income trusts, did they turn to the party and go, "What the hell.. that's not how we do things, guys, that's how THEY do them," No. They circled the wagons again.

      When he passed the fixed election law you all cheered.. justifiably even. Then when he ripped it apart, showing it to be useless, was there any outrage within the party? Nope.. the support never wavered, and the sheep brigade started trying to make up crap about how it was only intended for majority governments, never mind that being in direct contradiction to what the CPC MPs themselves were saying only a few weeks before.

      And all through it, was any of it the fault of the party leadership? Nah. All the nasty liberal media, or evil coalition's fault.

      It makes me sad, really, because although the ongoing confidence vote scheme was a nasty application of realpolitik, Dion's response to it was pathetic. But if you guys hadn't been cheering him on no matter what he did, he probably wouldn't have pissed off so many swing voters unfixing the election date and so would have already had his majority — and we wouldn't be here. By refusing to self-criticize, you're forcing the rest of Canada to do it for you, and the only way that Canada can do that is by refusing the party power.

      • Thanks for you're nauseatingly shallow, superficial, adscammer point of view. It sounds like you may have been kicked on the head by you're unicorn. I await you're next self important, delusional, Liberal point of view, perhaps you can tell us all why the Green Shaft was such a great tax, and if you're not to busy planting magic beans, please feel free to extoll the virtues of Shawnigate and Adscam. Do you think the media will ever ask their Liberal comrades when they are going to pay back that stolen taxpayer cash? Yeah me neither… Anyway, thanks for you're adscammer point of view.

        • You DO realize that you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar……..right???

          • You do realize that a bag of coyote urine keeps raccoons away… right????

        • I realize you're obsessed with the Liberals. That's what I'm trying to point out. If you stopped being so obsessed with what the other guy is doing, and maybe took a look at what your own guys are doing, you might actually be in a majority situation already. This fixation on "the enemy" is simply destructive.

          Did the Liberals have problems? Damn right. Significant ones, and no argument. Except that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm saying, and what you're so desperately trying to ignore.

          • Once again you're "obsessed" with the belief in you're own opinion, and the assumption that anyone else cares, which you're right about me trying to "desperately to ignore"

        • You say Adscam
          and I say Cadman
          You say Shawinigate
          and I say In-&-Out

          Adscam, Cadman
          Green Shaft, Census

          Let's bring the whole thing on.

    • Actually its the conservative media. They are trying to get Harper elected but he wont talk to them soooooo, they have to talk to somebody and Michael has nothing to hide. Believe me, the tory press hates doing that but if they didn't then they wouldn't have anything to report and ordinary Canadians would catch on to their right wing agenda. If Harper was talking you wouldn't see any press on Michael.

      • It's corporate media by and large – it's big business and it has no heart, loyalty or beliefs. It has only its own interest at heart.

        That means generally maintaining the status quo especially when that means NOT losing your corporate tax cut. Not to mention supporting the party that has been handing over sacks of advertising money to any and all media outlets. Until now, the media has conspicuously played along with Harper, not forcing him to face them in media scrums, etc. Most of them out and out declared support for the Conservatives during the 2008 election.

        Just once I'd like an answer to this: how do you logically explain the existence "left wing" corporate media?

      • I'm not sure which alternate universe you're from, but down here on Earth, things are the opposite of what you ridiculously suggest.

        • Another deflective, 'you're crazy' spew from a tory. Before you know it he will be saying your mother wears army boots!!! But he's saving that one for the big ending!

    • couldn't agree with you more!

  66. it's official, every man woman and goat in the media believe Iggo had a good week. The media campaigning to get Iggo elected is a nauseating exercise in self interest. The difference in the coverage of the Liberals and Iggo compared with the coverage of PM Harper and the Conservatives by "journalists" is a tale of total opposites with a clear Liberal bias. The media hacks that are on the Liberal train are a compliant, subservient, Liberal sales team that prop up Iggo and fluff his pillow while lobbing softball questions designed to let Iggo attack PM Harper, and turn Liberal talking points into a never ending bum numbing lecture. Iggo was pontificating the other day about how the media flunkies promoting his campaign all hate PM Harper, and sit at the back of the plane complaining about the PM, "they are very upset with Harper", "you should see it" , says the American candidate. Iggo apparently missing the irony of "journalists" supposedly covering the Liberal campaign complaining about PM Harper's campaign. Contrast that with the belligerent, hostile, activist approach of the media stalking PM Harper, where the media have nothing good to say, all negative, all the time, and are so hateful, angry and activist they have to be kept behind a fence like wild animals. The media stalking PM Harper behave like an angry mob of Liberal party employees who just heard their taxpayer subsidized paycheck will now be cancelled. The media are a ruthless pack of Liberal activists and agents who are trying once again to hijack an election, and insert the inserted leader of the Liberal party into the PMO.

  67. Curious about your use of the word "surprisingly" Mr. Wells. Are you actually surprised that an internationally respected, award winning author, former documentary host and political theorist would not do an outstanding job in public speaking? The only ones surprised would be those thick headed enough to allow their opinions of Mr. Ignatieff to be swayed by republican style trash talk attack ads, paid for with their own tax dollars.
    I'll tell you whats *not* surprising: watching Harper, the former mail room clerk and "NEO-CON OAF SAVANT" and his campaign implode upon itself in the first week.

    • Franz, remember all the years when the Leafs started well at the beginning of the season while Detroit or some other real contender started slow?

      Remember the Kinshasha "Rumble in the Jungle" 1974? Foreman came out swinging, but Ali won the fight.

      • which has nothing to do with this election?!

  68. Curious about your use of the word "surprisingly" Mr. Wells. Are you actually surprised that an internationally respected, award winning author, former documentary host and political theorist would not do an outstanding job in public speaking? The only ones surprised would be those thick headed enough to allow their opinions of Mr. Ignatieff to be swayed by republican style trash talk attack ads, paid for with their own tax dollars.
    I'll tell you whats *not* surprising: watching Harper, the former mail room clerk and "NEO-CON OAF SAVANT" and his campaign implode upon itself in the first week.

  69. Charles, I suggest you go on over to the National Post.

  70. I always said that Ignatieff will show his mettle when he's actually in a fight. That's a performer for you; dress rehearsals are boring, practise is boring; he wants to be in the middle of it, on the edge – out in the ring.

    We're finding out what he's like, and it's good.

    • Want some magic beans with that Liberal Kool-Aid?

      • Educated people really scare you don't they. Pity!

        • actually it just seems to be anyone that has a differant opinion is what scares him/her.

        • Surely, you're not trying to suggest you're educated. Indoctrinated maybe, but surely not educated. Pity!

    • he's good? lol you must be blind and unable to hear, cuz ignatieff can only give stupid attacks that don't even make sense, and cannot give what he intends on doing!

  71. I always said that Ignatieff will show his mettle when he's actually in a fight. That's a performer for you; dress rehearsals are boring, practise is boring; he wants to be in the middle of it, on the edge – out in the ring.

    We're finding out what he's like, and it's good.

  72. Want some cheezies with that whine?

  73. I saw him speak at the Calgary Zoo during Stampede week – he's very impressive. He likes people, he will talk for hours if he has the time; he's not afraid of any questions at all – he's personable, good natured, fun – and good looking too.

  74. Like who? Trudeau had legendary skills; Mulroney wasn't exactly short on it – Chretien definitely was there – John Turner was a little stiff but at least he had a decent education.

    Problem is that Harper is a fake. He doesn't really know what he's doing; he has no interest in politics, or governing, he just wants power and all the perks. He doesn't work hard – that's his biggest problem, whereas Ignatieff is probably the hardest-working politician Ottawa has ever seen – and the most thorough. Authored 18 books – you don't do that sitting on your fat butt in your office or your chauffeur driven car.

    He's a fake, he's panicking, he's barely able to do it without handlers. That's why so much control – because they cannot rely on him to be able to handle speaking off the cuff. He just doesn't have the know-how about his own job.

  75. Would dearly love to see Harper lose his own riding. I'd buy the entire neighbourhood a drink.

  76. Look at his work history. 18 books, serious books. 11 honorary Doctorates. One PhD in history from Yale. Talk show host on BBC political show. Foreign correspondent, going to hot spots like Belfast during troubles, ME, Kosovo. Director (not prof) of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Yale, for 5 years before coming back to Canada.

    This is not a lazy person, and this is a very disciplined, well trained person. He is also #60 or so on the world's top 100 list of prominent thinkers. Once he has his sea legs – look out Harper.

  77. I agree with you – 100%. He is an angry person, and it showed during his first stump speech outside Rideau. He was babbling, making no sense, that happened twice on the campaign. I put it down to panic, but may be it's anger. I heard a story that he once threw a chair in a meeting, and that he has a foul mouth.

  78. That's a sense of humour? Man – you need to get out more. Also I don't need to hear about his damned Evangelical church; which has given him the outrageous idea that he's a performer; because they just loooove to do that in the Alliance church, do bad acting, bad singing, bad gospel.

  79. Ignatieff is doing well – no thanks to the media; who participated in his slandering, character assassination etc., right at the beginning.

    They're making up for it now, but let's hope it's not too late. If it is and Harper gets a majority, they, along with Harper and all who paved Harper's way for him – are "damned for all time."

    • Damned for all time?

      How do you really feel?

      • Stephen Harper quote "You won't recognize Canada" nuff said!

        • Michael Iganatieff quote- " I'm a proud American"- nuff said!

    • hey there Marg!! Iggy is not doing well, and will not be Prime Minister with my Vote …. that's for sure, U must be looking for another Liberal Free Handout!!!!!

  80. Ignatieff is doing well – no thanks to the media; who participated in his slandering, character assassination etc., right at the beginning.

    They're making up for it now, but let's hope it's not too late. If it is and Harper gets a majority, they, along with Harper and all who paved Harper's way for him – are "damned for all time."

  81. Now that sounds cool. Who cares if you have to wait if you get to ride the stealth train…

  82. And if Harper fails, a large part of the blame for that will have to be laid on people like yourself I'm afraid.

    Simply because you're so quick to blame the media, the opposition, the rules, the people, the weather, the anything – absolutely anything – other than the actions of your own party or leadership. Did conservative supporters object when he appointed Fortier, in direct contradiction to his promises? Hell no.. they rallied 'round and cheered him on. When he started taxing income trusts, did they turn to the party and go, "What the hell.. that's not how we do things, guys, that's how THEY do them," No. They circled the wagons again.

    When he passed the fixed election law you all cheered.. justifiably even. Then when he ripped it apart, showing it to be useless, was there any outrage within the party? Nope.. the support never wavered, and the sheep brigade started trying to make up crap about how it was only intended for majority governments, never mind that being in direct contradiction to what the CPC MPs themselves were saying only a few weeks before.

    And all through it, was any of it the fault of the party leadership? Nah. All the nasty liberal media, or evil coalition's fault.

    It makes me sad, really, because although the ongoing confidence vote scheme was a nasty application of realpolitik, Dion's response to it was pathetic. But if you guys hadn't been cheering him on no matter what he did, he probably wouldn't have pissed off so many swing voters unfixing the election date and so would have already had his majority — and we wouldn't be here. By refusing to self-criticize, you're forcing the rest of Canada to do it for you, and the only way that Canada can do that is by refusing the party power.

  83. Here is why we still need to talk about the coalition:

    If two of the leading journalists in this country, when discussing the possibility of a coalition forming after the election, are not willing to clarify the position of the BQ within the formation of coalitions in this country, then, yes, we need to talk about the problem of coalition forming a lot more in the upcoming weeks.

    Do Coyne and Wells really believe that the BQ is like any other partner in a coaltion agreement? If no, then how could a coalition have been formed in 2008? Do the math. It would not have worked by a long shot.

    But if the BQ IS to be part of the coalition, then how is such position to be valid within a coalition? Everytime the federal coalition government has to come to an agreement with one provincial matter or antother, will the BQ have a 'supporting say" before the federal coalition government will negotiate or settle anything between the feds and the provinces?

    And so, do Coyne and Wells really think that if the BQ were to be “supporting” any coaltion, that the rest of the provinces would just roll over and play dead? Both you sirs don't understand the sentiment in this country, if you think the BQ is just like any other party being involved in a coalition forming. THAT, the inclusion of the BQ, is the only important issue to be discussed when talking about coalition forming, and both Wells and Coyne have not spoken one word of it. Do they really not understand??? Do they think Ignatieff knows the difference between federal parties and provincial parties when forming federal governments of this country?

      • The headline reads: "Most Canadians would support Liberal-NDP coalition, rather than Harper majority: Poll"

        The poll asks an impossible question. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the Liberals and the NDP to form a coalition between the two of them if their numbers combined are LESS than the Conservative numbers; the Libs and the NDP will need the support from the BQ to pull it off, just like in 2008.

        And so I am asking the relevants questions, not the polling questions which blindly mislead the Canadian voters.

        Give me the numbers. Give me one scenario in which a Liberal/NDP coalition would work without the involvement of the BQ. Show me the numbers!!! And then we'll talk.

    • Putting the Bloc into any cooperative arrangement (nay, coalition) is just fine because, by making them work with other federal Canadian parties, reduces the likelihood that they will want to separate. Excluding the Bloc and treating it like a pariah only furthers resentment and a desire for Quebec to "take its balls and go home." We should welcome the idea of provinces united working for the good of all Canadians. Times have changed, it's not the 60s anymore. And the Berlin Wall has fallen.

      • Are you out of your mind?

        The BQ doesn't even run a federal campaign but then gets to sit at the federal table after the elections are over and done with?

        Quebec cannot get all it wants through the front door, but now is allowed to get all it wants through the back door?

        I will tell you that the other provinces will not allow this to happen. You are dillusional if you think the ROC will just roll over and play dead.

        We have a Canadian federation, electing a federal government. Nothing in the constitution has changed in that regard. And provincial elections are being held to choose a provincial government. Get the facts straight.

      • So you would agree that the west needs a Separatist party too.

      • Naive,

        The Bloc is like a Quebecois public union always in aggressive collective bargaining mode. Give them more clout and they'll rob more Canadians of their money, and funnel it into Quebec.

    • Here's a copy of the 2008 coalition accord. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

      Notice the clause in section 3.

      Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent
      consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois.

      By the way, this accord is binding until June 10, 2011. Jack and Gilles must laugh to themselves when Ignatieff denies that he'll sign a coalition accord or give the Bloc special consultation status. Until June 10, he's legally bound to do just that.

  84. Here is why we still need to talk about the coalition:

    If two of the leading journalists in this country, when discussing the possibility of a coalition forming after the election, are not willing to clarify the position of the BQ within the formation of coalitions in this country, then, yes, we need to talk about the problem of coalition forming a lot more in the upcoming weeks.

    Do Coyne and Wells really believe that the BQ is like any other partner in a coaltion agreement? If no, then how could a coalition have been formed in 2008? Do the math. It would not have worked by a long shot.

    But if the BQ IS to be part of the coalition, then how is such position to be valid within a coalition? Everytime the federal coalition government has to come to an agreement with one provincial matter or antother, will the BQ have a 'supporting say" before the federal coalition government will negotiate or settle anything between the feds and the provinces?

    And so, do Coyne and Wells really think that if the BQ were to be “supporting” any coaltion, that the rest of the provinces would just roll over and play dead? Both you sirs don't understand the sentiment in this country, if you think the BQ is just like any other party being involved in a coalition forming. THAT, the inclusion of the BQ, is the only important issue to be discussed when talking about coalition forming, and both Wells and Coyne have not spoken one word of it. Do they really not understand??? Do they think Ignatieff knows the difference between federal parties and provincial parties when forming federal governments of this country?

  85. Much better carbon print then a f 35 too.

    They're a bugger to get off the ground though.

    Forget about landing them altogether.

    Guess that's where the hospital comes in handy?

  86. I know that Coyne and Wells are trying very hard to avoid the real coalition questions, but if they could answer at least some of them, it would be helpfull for all of us trying to understand coalition forming within this country.

    Take Layton's election promise to cut the oilsands subsidies and replace those with subsidies for renewable energy only.

    Harper wins a minority again, but the opposition parties replace that and form a coalition with the so-called "support" from the BQ, (by means of a Permanent mechanism for consultation – Duceppe's exact words from 2008).

    Lib 80 NDP 30 BQ 50 and Tories 148 (total 308), for instance. The coalition defeats the Tories in a confidence motion when the budget is presented once again.

    Then, Lib/NDP coalition (110) wants to bring in the legislation to cut oilsands subsidies. The BQ supports this legislation (because it is in the interest of Quebec to change subsidies over to clean energy). The motion passes.

    And the people who voted for the Tories – a federal party as opposed to the BQ which is a provincial/separatist party – will just stand back and let all of that happen, without any upheaval in the western or central or eastern regions of this country?

    Then, later, equalization payment schedules will have to be set. Once again, the Lib/NDP coalition government, with the 'support' from the BQ, will draw up the latest on equalisation payments to be dished out, and will be dished out to Quebec in high numbers. Do you think the other provinces within our federation will just roll over and play dead ????

    How would Coyne and Wells see this sort of thing going forward with a Lib/NDP coalition government being 'supported' by the BQ? Please, tell us.

    • Would be hard for an anti-Harper coalition if he has 148 seats. It would only take 6 party switchers to give him a majority … I'm sure there're 6 Liberal MP's who would jump ship to the CPC to become ministers or parliamentary sec's.

      A coalition ideally needs Harper's seat and vote count to be cut back considerably, b/c an election is primarily a referendum on the incumbent gov'ts record.

  87. I know that Coyne and Wells are trying very hard to avoid the real coalition questions, but if they could answer at least some of them, it would be helpfull for all of us trying to understand coalition forming within this country.

    Take Layton's election promise to cut the oilsands subsidies and replace those with subsidies for renewable energy only.

    Harper wins a minority again, but the opposition parties replace that and form a coalition with the so-called "support" from the BQ, (by means of a Permanent mechanism for consultation – Duceppe's exact words from 2008).

    Lib 80 NDP 30 BQ 50 and Tories 148 (total 308), for instance. The coalition defeats the Tories in a confidence motion when the budget is presented once again.

    Then, Lib/NDP coalition (110) wants to bring in the legislation to cut oilsands subsidies. The BQ supports this legislation (because it is in the interest of Quebec to change subsidies over to clean energy). The motion passes.

    And the people who voted for the Tories – a federal party as opposed to the BQ which is a provincial/separatist party – will just stand back and let all of that happen, without any upheaval in the western or central or eastern regions of this country?

    Then, later, equalization payment schedules will have to be set. Once again, the Lib/NDP coalition government, with the 'support' from the BQ, will draw up the latest on equalisation payments to be dished out, and will be dished out to Quebec in high numbers. Do you think the other provinces within our federation will just roll over and play dead ????

    How would Coyne and Wells see this sort of thing going forward with a Lib/NDP coalition government being 'supported' by the BQ? Please, tell us.

  88. Thanks for you're nauseatingly shallow, superficial, adscammer point of view. It sounds like you may have been kicked on the head by you're unicorn. I await you're next self important, delusional, Liberal point of view, perhaps you can tell us all why the Green Shaft was such a great tax, and if you're not to busy planting magic beans, please feel free to extoll the virtues of Shawnigate and Adscam. Do you think the media will ever ask their Liberal comrades when they are going to pay back that stolen taxpayer cash? Yeah me neither… Anyway, thanks for you're adscammer point of view.

  89. Want some magic beans with that Liberal Kool-Aid?

  90. http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM

    This is a fun view of MI and Rae. Sorry it upsets a few fellow liberals. But it's a great column. And it's fair to say MI has come a way since then.

    And this is classic Salutin:

    P.S. I'm really tired of people saying, "We didn't vote for a coalition." That's the definition of a coalition – something you didn't vote for because what you did vote for didn't work out on anyone's side and you need a majority of votes to run a government.

    If you had voted for a coalition, it wouldn't be a coalition, it would be The Coalition Party or something like that. You didn't vote to lose your job or get cancer or have that bridge washed out on your trip either. Unexpected, undesired things happen, so people improvise, they cope, they rig up new arrangements. Sometimes it's even for the best

    • Salutin's bit about coalitions trespasses into the swamp of stupidity. It's also highly irresponsible.

      Wise people take the time to research before they invest. If certain outcomes are probable, it will deter them from investing in a particular brand.

      There are thousands of traditional Liberal supporters who will plug their noses and vote Conservative rather than allow a Liberal/NDP coalition tied to the Bloc.

      Harper, Ignatieff, Duceppe and Layton know this. Everybody knows this but deluded numbskulls like Salutin.

      • Which is why, as Coyne argued in his recent article, Ignatieff is not talking about coalitions/alliances/whatever, while Harper is. Because for Ignatieff it's a loser, as it would alienate blue Liberals, while for Harper it's a winner, as he needs those blue Liberals to ward off the Lib-NDP post-election coalition.

      • Nice try with the coalition = lib/ndp + the bloc. That was 08. That ship has sailed buddy.

    • Umm, there are many pre-election coalitions … see the Swedish Alliance coalition, or their Red-Greens. Or Australia's National-Liberal coalition. All are separate parties running as a coalition in elections, putting forward joint governing platforms to secure a mandate.

      • You'll note, as Rick said, two of your examples contain the word coalition and the other certainly seems to imply one.?

  91. http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM

    This is a fun view of MI and Rae. Sorry it upsets a few fellow liberals. But it's a great column. And it's fair to say MI has come a way since then.

    And this is classic Salutin:

    P.S. I'm really tired of people saying, "We didn't vote for a coalition." That's the definition of a coalition – something you didn't vote for because what you did vote for didn't work out on anyone's side and you need a majority of votes to run a government.

    If you had voted for a coalition, it wouldn't be a coalition, it would be The Coalition Party or something like that. You didn't vote to lose your job or get cancer or have that bridge washed out on your trip either. Unexpected, undesired things happen, so people improvise, they cope, they rig up new arrangements. Sometimes it's even for the best

  92. "He's not going to deliver it until rainwater turns to beer. He's not going to deliver it 'til pigs fly.”

    Ignatieff's speech is reminiscent of American-style campaigning where goofy slogans are geared toward Joe public. Compare this to Stephen Harper's style of speaking calmly and clearly to the facts.

    I'd rather a good Canadian as a P.M. than Ignatieff's northern version of Joe Biden.

    • If Iggy's objection to the income-splitting proposal is only its timing, then when does he plan on implementing that policy? Or does he not agree with it as a policy?

    • …and Republican style attack adds adopted by Harper makes him a 'good Canadian P.M.'? Are you sure your not a tea bagger?

      • I, personally, don't like the attack adds. I don't believe they add anything that isn't already there. Their tone is childish and I believe they ultimately tarnish the dignified Conservative brand.

        However, I don't think they are what characterize Ignatieff in the minds of the voting public. If anything, they are a childish distraction. Even so, they are essentially correct. The best attack ad against Ignatieff is just letting him be himself in front of the camera.

        If by a "tea-bagger" you mean someone who wants to see fiscal responsibility and a firm, non-relativistic moral compass from his government, then I may very well be one.

        P.S. I'm tired of the slander. I could just as easily characterize you as a welfare-state-teat-sucking, union-worshipping pseudo-intellectual who would bankrupt Canada like Greece, Ireland or Portugal. (or the U.S. influenced by Obamanomics)

        Come to think of it, if attack adds will keep the levers of power from your ilk, maybe….

    • Pele
      Do you consider Tommy Douglas American-style too? He was quite famous for folksy jokes and anecdotes in his speeches. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDBRjJj4EKg

      You are really scraping the bottom of that anti-American barrel.

  93. "He's not going to deliver it until rainwater turns to beer. He's not going to deliver it 'til pigs fly.”

    Ignatieff's speech is reminiscent of American-style campaigning where goofy slogans are geared toward Joe public. Compare this to Stephen Harper's style of speaking calmly and clearly to the facts.

    I'd rather a good Canadian as a P.M. than Ignatieff's northern version of Joe Biden.

  94. Damned for all time?

    How do you really feel?

  95. Franz, remember all the years when the Leafs started well at the beginning of the season while Detroit or some other real contender started slow?

    Remember the Kinshasha "Rumble in the Jungle" 1974? Foreman came out swinging, but Ali won the fight.

  96. Only a fool would think that we are being hoodwinked on the fighter jets. We're getting our jets for a better price then the Americans, the British and the Dutch.

    You mean democratic leaders like Trudeau or Chretien? Stephen is a hundred times more democratic than these liberal autocrats ever were.

  97. The irony to Micheal Ignatieff's campaign is that if he were to become P.M (heaven forbid), he'd still have to address the issue of our needing new planes and an up-grading in our deplorable prison situation. These problems aren't going to go away. The longer they are neglected, the bigger a priority they will become and the more expensive they will be to address.

    Trudeau cut our military, strangled our prisons and killed our comparatively strong economy to finance his social experiments. The whole time he campaigned on the "Come Work With Me" slogan, appealing to working class families. Ignatieff is trying to resurrect that same type of buzz. The difference is, Canadians aren't buying it anymore.

    • Agreed, these are problems to address.

      Hopefully by intelligent minds making decisions based on facts. Something we have not seen yet from the Harper government.

      • Kathryn, please try to support your opinions on some sort of factual basis. Your current contribution to this discussion leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Iggy hasn't said that he won't buy jets. He said he'll do it through an open and transparent tendering process to ensure we get what's best for out military and for the best price. The deal we have now is sole-sourced, and totally secret. When Parliament requested documents regarding this deal, the government refused, leading to the contempt of Parliament conviction. Regardless of whether you hate Iggy or not, can we not agree that our government should be using open and transparent tendering processes when spending tens of billions of our tax dollars?

      • The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, in which Canada's involvement began in 1997 when the then Liberal Government invested $10 mil, is a cooperative venture including the U.S. Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark among others. In 2002 the Liberal government invested another $150 mil in the 2nd phase of this project. The Conservatives have continued with Canada's participation in the JSF program.

        The reasons are simple. The JSF program is designed to ensure that companies in the participating countries get all the procurement contracts for R&D and supply chain manufacturing. This is why Paul Martin invested in the program in the first place. Canada's contribution has already produced $350 mil of contracts for our aerospace industry. Not only this, but this investment has bolstered our industry to be in prime position coming out of the recession.

        The Liberals know all about the details about the JSF venture; they're the ones who initiated it in the first place. Details can be found at f-35.ca

        Recent set-backs in the program have added to the overall costs and the Liberals wanted to exploit this to discredit the Conservatives. That's why the Conservatives were hesitant to provide the costing. They were trying to avoid the cheap partisan manipulation the Libs were cooking up. In this case, like the others, it was, in fact, the Liberals who were acting contemptible, abusing our parliamentary rules to play their cheap partisan games.

        • You didn't answer the question. Should we not be using an open and transparent tendering process?

          On the playing games debate: it doesn't matter. The power of Parliament to call for documents and persons is what matters. We can debate the motivations. The fact is that this is fundamental to our Parliamentary system, and our government is flouting the law. This is deadly serious. If we allow the Parliament to be completely neutered, then we end up with a system with no legislative branch: just a completely unaccountable all-or-nothing executive branch. Is that good for the country? Will you still think it's good for the country when the other guys, inevitably, take power? I can't say I'm looking forward to those abuses by the Liberals in five or ten years, but I will get a certain satisfaction at the howls of outrage from many of those people who are cheering on the current team, the country and its institutions be damned

          • I would hope that the Conservatives would play aggressively by the rules, not twist them to suit partisan brinkmanship.

            What the Liberals have done is akin to a dirty hockey player high-sticking an opponent while the ref isn't looking. It's a cheap shot.

            The JSF project is an open book. So are the cost of the planes. All the details are posted online. Heck, even wikipedia has all the information. The Liberals committed Canada to the process when they invested $160 mil. in 2002. If we were to pull out now to issue a tender we'd lose our investment, our buying advantage for these planes and much of the $360 mil worth of the contracts associated with this process. Again, the Liberals know this but are exploiting Canadian well-being for political gain. This is contemptible.

            Maybe the Conservatives should have provided the costing. However, I'm sure they were aware how the Liberals would spin the numbers with fake outrage and smear the Conservatives mercilessly. I can understand why they prevaricated.

  98. The irony to Micheal Ignatieff's campaign is that if he were to become P.M (heaven forbid), he'd still have to address the issue of our needing new planes and an up-grading in our deplorable prison situation. These problems aren't going to go away. The longer they are neglected, the bigger a priority they will become and the more expensive they will be to address.

    Trudeau cut our military, strangled our prisons and killed our comparatively strong economy to finance his social experiments. The whole time he campaigned on the "Come Work With Me" slogan, appealing to working class families. Ignatieff is trying to resurrect that same type of buzz. The difference is, Canadians aren't buying it anymore.

  99. Stephen Harper speaks calmly, clearly and to the facts. This is commendable and gives a sense of dependability.

    Ignatieff is all American-style bluster and slogans. It comes across as vacuous and self-serving, aimed at riling up the crowd.

    BTW, Calm down. No one is questioning Micheal Ignatieff's scholarly credentials or his experience with documentaries.

  100. Salutin's bit about coalitions trespasses into the swamp of stupidity. It's also highly irresponsible.

    Wise people take the time to research before they invest. If certain outcomes are probable, it will deter them from investing in a particular brand.

    There are thousands of traditional Liberal supporters who will plug their noses and vote Conservative rather than allow a Liberal/NDP coalition tied to the Bloc.

    Harper, Ignatieff, Duceppe and Layton know this. Everybody knows this but deluded numbskulls like Salutin.

  101. Have a look at the National Newswatch website right now.

    The Press has reached the Orwellien. Look at them all saying how well Mr. Ignatieff is doing, how poorly Harper is doing, and then look at the polls showing the Liberal leader at near historical lows in personal approval, Mr. Harper at historical highs, and the CPC now in pretty clear majority territory – after this first “great” week for Mr. Ignatieff.

    I fear our press is literally enganged in a suicide mission.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    • No it didn't have to be this way, If Harper would talk to the media maybe they would have something to report about him other than he won't talk to the press. As for the polls 'they're made up' live with it!

  102. Have a look at the National Newswatch website right now.

    The Press has reached the Orwellien. Look at them all saying how well Mr. Ignatieff is doing, how poorly Harper is doing, and then look at the polls showing the Liberal leader at near historical lows in personal approval, Mr. Harper at historical highs, and the CPC now in pretty clear majority territory – after this first “great” week for Mr. Ignatieff.

    I fear our press is literally enganged in a suicide mission.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

  103. Would be hard for an anti-Harper coalition if he has 148 seats. It would only take 6 party switchers to give him a majority … I'm sure there're 6 Liberal MP's who would jump ship to the CPC to become ministers or parliamentary sec's.

    A coalition ideally needs Harper's seat and vote count to be cut back considerably, b/c an election is primarily a referendum on the incumbent gov'ts record.

  104. Umm, there are many pre-election coalitions … see the Swedish Alliance coalition, or their Red-Greens. Or Australia's National-Liberal coalition. All are separate parties running as a coalition in elections, putting forward joint governing platforms to secure a mandate.

  105. Which is why, as Coyne argued in his recent article, Ignatieff is not talking about coalitions/alliances/whatever, while Harper is. Because for Ignatieff it's a loser, as it would alienate blue Liberals, while for Harper it's a winner, as he needs those blue Liberals to ward off the Lib-NDP post-election coalition.

  106. If Iggy's objection to the income-splitting proposal is only its timing, then when does he plan on implementing that policy? Or does he not agree with it as a policy?

  107. My theory is this. Deliberately discourage Canadians from voting. I call it pushing the 'they're all crooks syndrome'. That way you reduce the competition to party insiders and increase you chances of winning. The last thing the tories want is everybody voting.

  108. Thats why he was found in contempt I suppose, shut down parliment, etc., etc. Real democratic that Harper boy.

  109. Actually its the conservative media. They are trying to get Harper elected but he wont talk to them soooooo, they have to talk to somebody and Michael has nothing to hide. Believe me, the tory press hates doing that but if they didn't then they wouldn't have anything to report and ordinary Canadians would catch on to their right wing agenda. If Harper was talking you wouldn't see any press on Michael.

  110. Educated people really scare you don't they. Pity!

  111. Were you always so steadfastly pro-Harper (pre moving to Alberta?)

  112. Were you always so steadfastly pro-Harper (pre moving to Alberta?)

    • Hahaha, not at all, Liberal my whole life as a matter of fact my family and friends are so shocked about me supporting Harper, but I have been elegible to vote since the late 80's so my options are limited, Mulroney was never a choice to me, KC is the biggest mistake a party has ever made, I loved Chretien, didn't agree with him 50% of time, the same way I don't agree with Harper 50% of the time, I voted for Martin first time until a friend, a CBC head honcho by the way, took me to see Stephen Harper whom I loathed and then as I heard him and started following him I was very surprised, how much I liked what he had to say, especially about strategy, I can see what he wants to do and is a good thing for Canada, will he accomplish it, I don't know but I will like to see him try it.

  113. Stephen Harper quote "You won't recognize Canada" nuff said!

  114. …and Republican style attack adds adopted by Harper makes him a 'good Canadian P.M.'? Are you sure your not a tea bagger?

  115. No it didn't have to be this way, If Harper would talk to the media maybe they would have something to report about him other than he won't talk to the press. As for the polls 'they're made up' live with it!

  116. I think you are right….he is a fraud

  117. Things are already starting to change Claudia…..and I am afraid it Harper that is coming across as fake and
    in- authentic…..

  118. Things are already starting to change Claudia…..and I am afraid it Harper that is coming across as fake and
    in- authentic…..

    • I don't think so, for people who doesn't like Harper seems that way, but it is the undecided voter who matters in this election and I can almost assure you they won't be giving it to Ignatieff.

      Now this has nothing to do with me not liking Ignatieff (because I do like him, he is just not a politician) it's strategy and the Liberal party is so far long from having a good one.

      Harper's strategy looks rigid very square but that's what makes it work, discipline, focus, the content might seem rather harsh but it is working. For example PW tweeted something really good yesterday, LPC has 4 weeks to talk coalition but Harper has had 124 weeks to talk about coalition, it's not the coalition itself (just because we could be talking about something else) but the strategy, you see what I mean, what do you think it's working? 62% Believe Harper over Ignatieff so that gives you an idea what's working.

      • I'm not really getting your point. You admire Harper because he's pushing the boogeyman tactic of the coalition longer and harder than his rivals get to push their messages out?

        • This election is going to be won over strategy, not issues!

          In 36 days Ignatieff is not going to be able to do what he hasn't done in 700+ days.

          The subject of the strategy is not nice, likeable, but it is very smart the way the CPC has worked it to their advantage.

          • Oh how cynical. Typical con supporter, bravo to the bully, policy and integrity be damned.

          • It might sound cynical, but it is the truth.

            LPC policy isn't there, integrity I really believe is highly debatable coming from the LPC, the bullying I don't agree with it and I sure wish wasn't there, it is a shame but their strategy works, so far 62% want a majority government, what does that tell you?

  119. You DO realize that you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar……..right???

  120. which has nothing to do with this election?!

  121. actually it just seems to be anyone that has a differant opinion is what scares him/her.

  122. PW writes: Economists doubt the move will have much effect on revenues, so there is probably a measure of voodoo in Ignatieff's revenue projections. Fortunately, the Conservatives are oddly eager to give him some cover: they have an interest in exaggerating the cost of the tax increase, just as he has an interest in exaggerating the new revenues it would provide. It probably won't provide a fraction of the $6 billion he claims, but the Conservatives, for their own reasons, are using that figure too.

    shouldIsellyourwheat writes: Raising corporate tax rates to 18% only gets you $2 billion (according to Stephen Gordon)

    Yes, SG has been very active on his blog and twitter making these claims for quite sometime. But, let's consider some facts.

    1) SG has written a number of blogs critical of the NDP. Fair to say he doesn't support them. He blogged the Liberal 2020 think tank meeting where he posted that he was not a Liberal. Coming from Orillia and living inQuebec, it's fair to assume he doesn't support the Bloc. Hmm, so which party does that leave?

    2) Ahh, but you say – he was firmly against the Conservative move to end the mandatory long form census. True – but that's central to what he does as ann academic economist – he constantly accesses Stats Can data.

    3) Now, SG along with Mike Moffatt on WCI blog has revised the dynamic cost of the CIT cuts fronm estimates of $6 billion to $2-3 billion, and now I see on twitter SG is claiming $1 billion. Quite a revision. Makes it easier to dismiss those who argue addressing the structural deficit first should be the main priority before any tax cut of any sort.

    4) At the same time he claims that the GST cut of 2% (the $12 billion or whatever) has no dynamic effect – zero. ie no one buys more goods with the savings. This is at the same time that household debt has risen to record numbers, unabated bu the GST tax cut.

    5) Evan Solomon addressed this issue on Power &Politics the other day. The effect of the CIT tax cut will be immediate. The rebound in investment will be a number of years from now – 5+ (if it occurs at all – historically it has not over the past decade – evidence SG ignores)

    6) SG claims that the $6 billion loss/savings is inaccurate because Corporate profits were at a peak in 2007 where the numbers were derived (from a surge in commodity prices). However, in his blog, he recently highlights that the recession is completely over. And at the same time, Mark Carney has claimed that high commodity prices are here to stay. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/26/us-econ
    So, who's right?

    So, take what SG claims with a grain of salt. There are other more effective ways of improving productivity. Clearly, he wants lower CIT – but that's a one trick hedgehog.

  123. The headline reads: "Most Canadians would support Liberal-NDP coalition, rather than Harper majority: Poll"

    The poll asks an impossible question. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the Liberals and the NDP to form a coalition between the two of them if their numbers combined are LESS than the Conservative numbers; the Libs and the NDP will need the support from the BQ to pull it off, just like in 2008.

    And so I am asking the relevants questions, not the polling questions which blindly mislead the Canadian voters.

    Give me the numbers. Give me one scenario in which a Liberal/NDP coalition would work without the involvement of the BQ. Show me the numbers!!! And then we'll talk.

  124. Here are some facts.

    Stephen Harper speaks with the calm of someone remembering the tips he got from his anger management therapist. He requires a podium set up every time he speaks which is never off the cuff. This gives a sense of a barely-under-control wing-nut who would doesn't dare utter his actual thoughts because they would scare the beejeezus out of the electorate.

    The "scarey unstable coalition" is not a fact – it's a fabrication, a bogey man and Stephen Harper sounded like a loon going on about it all week.

    American style slogans and attack ads aimed at riling up the crowd are the specialty of your guy.

    Stephen Harper has been in power 5 years. Why doesn't he run on his record instead of smearing the opposition?

  125. You had me till that last bit, Margaret.

  126. There are something like 25% undecided voters in every poll. In the last election at least that many made up their minds during the election cycle and right at the end. Many of them made it up to just stay home.

    Campaigns matter.

    I think the Liberals knew this and that's why they were eager to go to the polls. It's their strategy to get MI out there for Canadians to make up their own minds about him and so far it's working. I'm not saying he'll win but it seems unlikely he can do worse than Stephan Dion running on the Green Shift.

  127. There are something like 25% undecided voters in every poll. In the last election at least that many made up their minds during the election cycle and right at the end. Many of them made it up to just stay home.

    Campaigns matter.

    I think the Liberals knew this and that's why they were eager to go to the polls. It's their strategy to get MI out there for Canadians to make up their own minds about him and so far it's working. I'm not saying he'll win but it seems unlikely he can do worse than Stephan Dion running on the Green Shift.

    • Of course campaigns matter and you are right about those 25% or so undecided voters, this campaign is all about them.

      I don't believe Ignatieff will change those minds, it's a case of a little bit too late. I am not sure he can do better than Dion, so far the numbers aren't on his side but is early in the campaign we'll see what happens.

  128. I would like to make one point about the tax splitting issue. It is easy to make the case between husband and wife as they form a team to bring income into the household even is one of them is doing the household chores and child raising.
    The child however is the net benifiary of this teamwork. Society recognizes the struggle of raising a child and has opted (for a long time) to provide the baby bonus to families of small children. The Harper system was designed to maximize income for the rich (as always with the conservatives) as they will benefit the most. Baby bonus gives the same rich or poor.

    • We have costs to pay and we are in record debt.

      Every tax cut to the wealthy, unless it is offset by a cut in expenses is going to be paid by the rest of us. If there is is no significant cost-cutting being done (there isn't) this is a tax on the poorest.

      It is like income splitting for seniors when most of the oldest and poorest seniors are single and female.

      This is fundamentally unfair.

  129. I would like to make one point about the tax splitting issue. It is easy to make the case between husband and wife as they form a team to bring income into the household even is one of them is doing the household chores and child raising.
    The child however is the net benifiary of this teamwork. Society recognizes the struggle of raising a child and has opted (for a long time) to provide the baby bonus to families of small children. The Harper system was designed to maximize income for the rich (as always with the conservatives) as they will benefit the most. Baby bonus gives the same rich or poor.

  130. Pele, I'm no expert on aircraft and I doubt you are either.

    I have heard and read what experts have to say though, and it sounds like this is one of those items with a lot of features, none of which it excels at. (For example: http://tinyurl.com/3lzswly) We have probably all had experience of some similar item in our own lives – sometimes it's better to have several machines that just do one thing really well than one thing that does all but poorly.

    It features stealth which is exciting to our politicals no doubt, but hardly critical or even useful – even if it works. It has major problems with it's excessively computerized systems' software. I understand it is ill-suited to use in the far north because of distances between refueling. It is already way over budget and not on schedule or anything like. In short, the F35 sounds like a costly boondoggle.

    We would be better off with an array of drone-type aircraft, helicopters, etc specific to the use or uses for which they are to be actually to be deployed.

  131. What do people skills have to do with Prime Minister…let's see…what do people skills have to do with understanding and representing people? What do they have to do with making policy, which is a set of rules or laws that affect the people? What do they have to do with selecting and managing the best and the brightest to run a modern country?

    Oh — if by people skills you mean "communication" skills — those matter, too.

  132. It's corporate media by and large – it's big business and it has no heart, loyalty or beliefs. It has only its own interest at heart.

    That means generally maintaining the status quo especially when that means NOT losing your corporate tax cut. Not to mention supporting the party that has been handing over sacks of advertising money to any and all media outlets. Until now, the media has conspicuously played along with Harper, not forcing him to face them in media scrums, etc. Most of them out and out declared support for the Conservatives during the 2008 election.

    Just once I'd like an answer to this: how do you logically explain the existence "left wing" corporate media?

  133. But … he *did* have a good week. They're supposed to say so, 'cause it's the truth.

  134. Putting the Bloc into any cooperative arrangement (nay, coalition) is just fine because, by making them work with other federal Canadian parties, reduces the likelihood that they will want to separate. Excluding the Bloc and treating it like a pariah only furthers resentment and a desire for Quebec to "take its balls and go home." We should welcome the idea of provinces united working for the good of all Canadians. Times have changed, it's not the 60s anymore. And the Berlin Wall has fallen.

  135. I, personally, don't like the attack adds. I don't believe they add anything that isn't already there. Their tone is childish and I believe they ultimately tarnish the dignified Conservative brand.

    However, I don't think they are what characterize Ignatieff in the minds of the voting public. If anything, they are a childish distraction. Even so, they are essentially correct. The best attack ad against Ignatieff is just letting him be himself in front of the camera.

    If by a "tea-bagger" you mean someone who wants to see fiscal responsibility and a firm, non-relativistic moral compass from his government, then I may very well be one.

    P.S. I'm tired of the slander. I could just as easily characterize you as a welfare-state-teat-sucking, union-worshipping pseudo-intellectual who would bankrupt Canada like Greece, Ireland or Portugal. (or the U.S. influenced by Obamanomics)

    Come to think of it, if attack adds will keep the levers of power from your ilk, maybe….

  136. Pele
    Do you consider Tommy Douglas American-style too? He was quite famous for folksy jokes and anecdotes in his speeches. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDBRjJj4EKg

    You are really scraping the bottom of that anti-American barrel.

  137. Agreed, these are problems to address.

    Hopefully by intelligent minds making decisions based on facts. Something we have not seen yet from the Harper government.

  138. Are you out of your mind?

    The BQ doesn't even run a federal campaign but then gets to sit at the federal table after the elections are over and done with?

    Quebec cannot get all it wants through the front door, but now is allowed to get all it wants through the back door?

    I will tell you that the other provinces will not allow this to happen. You are dillusional if you think the ROC will just roll over and play dead.

    We have a Canadian federation, electing a federal government. Nothing in the constitution has changed in that regard. And provincial elections are being held to choose a provincial government. Get the facts straight.

  139. We have costs to pay and we are in record debt.

    Every tax cut to the wealthy, unless it is offset by a cut in expenses is going to be paid by the rest of us. If there is is no significant cost-cutting being done (there isn't) this is a tax on the poorest.

    It is like income splitting for seniors when most of the oldest and poorest seniors are single and female.

    This is fundamentally unfair.

  140. I realize you're obsessed with the Liberals. That's what I'm trying to point out. If you stopped being so obsessed with what the other guy is doing, and maybe took a look at what your own guys are doing, you might actually be in a majority situation already. This fixation on "the enemy" is simply destructive.

    Did the Liberals have problems? Damn right. Significant ones, and no argument. Except that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm saying, and what you're so desperately trying to ignore.

  141. I suppose it's better late than never that Michael Ignatieff is finally hitting his stride. The Liberals could have forced elections after the meltdown on Wall Street and at the TSX, but Mr. Ignatieff probably didn't want the responsibility of governing while the economy was so toxic two years ago. Now that things could be looking up, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc hope to take advantage of corruption in high places, forgetting that corruption in low places– like Quebec– might work against them.

  142. I suppose it's better late than never that Michael Ignatieff is finally hitting his stride. The Liberals could have forced elections after the meltdown on Wall Street and at the TSX, but Mr. Ignatieff probably didn't want the responsibility of governing while the economy was so toxic two years ago. Now that things could be looking up, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc hope to take advantage of corruption in high places, forgetting that corruption in low places– like Quebec– might work against them.

  143. What a freaking joke it is all over except the CON VICTORY PARADE!

    200430,007,09422,466,62113,683,57060.9%
    200630,007,09423,054,61514,908,70364.7%
    200831,612,89723,677,63913,929,09358.8%

    2011 should be approx: 54% or less with a solid Conservative base turn out of 30% + having had the benefit of receiving the bulk of the stimulus spending plus a host of other goodies it is 100% certain Steve Harper will have a major majority government.

    It is all over, even before it started …and the MSM knows it and hence a free ride for Steve.

    AND…..

    The media only gets four questions per day from Steve … and even then they must be on his subject topic ……. The world now knows Canadian journalist crawl on their hands and knees and beg for a question … while other real professional journalist put their lives on the line for the truth around the world …..

    • So journalists aren't professionals if they cover any beat besides live war zones? Let me guess, working in an office isn't "real" work either to you?

  144. What a freaking joke it is all over except the CON VICTORY PARADE!

    200430,007,09422,466,62113,683,57060.9%
    200630,007,09423,054,61514,908,70364.7%
    200831,612,89723,677,63913,929,09358.8%

    2011 should be approx: 54% or less with a solid Conservative base turn out of 30% + having had the benefit of receiving the bulk of the stimulus spending plus a host of other goodies it is 100% certain Steve Harper will have a major majority government.

    It is all over, even before it started …and the MSM knows it and hence a free ride for Steve.

    AND…..

    The media only gets four questions per day from Steve … and even then they must be on his subject topic ……. The world now knows Canadian journalist crawl on their hands and knees and beg for a question … while other real professional journalist put their lives on the line for the truth around the world …..

  145. You cannot lower taxes while increasing spending. Tax cuts + spending increases = budget deficits. There's no excuse for Canada to make the same fiscal blunders as the United States when Canadians can follow the workings of the US Congress more closely than people in other countries.

    However, the problem is more basic than tax cuts and deficit spending. Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada represent a class of businessmen and entrepreneurs whose loyalties are primarily to their markets and to their investments. Many businessmen don't care if the tax cuts that they receive now lead to budget deficits later because they see government as an intrusion.

    Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton expect to score points by touting protectionism (which has always been rooted in anti-Americanism), but 75 per cent of Canada's trade is with the United States. The business for which I work, United Brass Mfg., manufactures valves and fittings forged from bronze, copper and brass that we get from both Canada and the US. The graphite that we use to cool our dies also comes from both Canada and the US. Protectionism would not be good for United Brass.

    What could kill the campaigns of both the Liberals and the New Democrats, however, is a proposed tax increase. Stéphane Dion proposed a green tax and the Liberals lost big where it counts the most― at the polls.

    I think Stephen Harper understands the spirit of the times better than Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton. People in Canada, and all over the world, want to tax cuts, and they don't care about deficits.

  146. Ladies and gentlemen ….. sorry if I sound a little harsh on journalists but Harper & Co have been riding shotgun on the media since the days Reform held their first news conference in the basement of our H of C with those Canadian flags in background… It has been their way or the highway ever since. Politicians are responsible to public and it is the responsibility of the MSM to ensure they are … far too many have died trying to get to the truth in the Winds of War … surely here at home it should be cake walk to get to truth from the Conservative Party of Canada … as bad mannered as they are they will not shoot y'all ! …yes Mr. Harper has hired more RCMP personal BG's than ever before …. go for it get it all on camera and put them on the front page next to the thugs in the middle east …. Note: should Mr Harper ever get a majority it will get only worst and hello FOX TV North.

    • What utter nonsense!!

  147. Ladies and gentlemen ….. sorry if I sound a little harsh on journalists but Harper & Co have been riding shotgun on the media since the days Reform held their first news conference in the basement of our H of C with those Canadian flags in background… It has been their way or the highway ever since. Politicians are responsible to public and it is the responsibility of the MSM to ensure they are … far too many have died trying to get to the truth in the Winds of War … surely here at home it should be cake walk to get to truth from the Conservative Party of Canada … as bad mannered as they are they will not shoot y'all ! …yes Mr. Harper has hired more RCMP personal BG's than ever before …. go for it get it all on camera and put them on the front page next to the thugs in the middle east …. Note: should Mr Harper ever get a majority it will get only worst and hello FOX TV North.

  148. Hahaha, not at all, Liberal my whole life as a matter of fact my family and friends are so shocked about me supporting Harper, but I have been elegible to vote since the late 80's so my options are limited, Mulroney was never a choice to me, KC is the biggest mistake a party has ever made, I loved Chretien, didn't agree with him 50% of time, the same way I don't agree with Harper 50% of the time, I voted for Martin first time until a friend, a CBC head honcho by the way, took me to see Stephen Harper whom I loathed and then as I heard him and started following him I was very surprised, how much I liked what he had to say, especially about strategy, I can see what he wants to do and is a good thing for Canada, will he accomplish it, I don't know but I will like to see him try it.

  149. You say Adscam
    and I say Cadman
    You say Shawinigate
    and I say In-&-Out

    Adscam, Cadman
    Green Shaft, Census

    Let's bring the whole thing on.

  150. So journalists aren't professionals if they cover any beat besides live war zones? Let me guess, working in an office isn't "real" work either to you?

  151. Their proposal for the SRO is a much better solution for providing pension options to Canadians than the pooled pension plans the CPC has proposed, and it wouldn't cost the government anything. It's exactly the policy I was looking for after I researched the topic over the last couple years.

  152. Iggy actually looks more comfortable campaigning than Harper. Which is surprising because it's his first time out.

  153. Iggy actually looks more comfortable campaigning than Harper. Which is surprising because it's his first time out.

  154. Iggy hasn't said that he won't buy jets. He said he'll do it through an open and transparent tendering process to ensure we get what's best for out military and for the best price. The deal we have now is sole-sourced, and totally secret. When Parliament requested documents regarding this deal, the government refused, leading to the contempt of Parliament conviction. Regardless of whether you hate Iggy or not, can we not agree that our government should be using open and transparent tendering processes when spending tens of billions of our tax dollars?

  155. 1) SG has written blogs criticizing every party. Because they are all guilty of stupid policy.

    What other more effective ways are you aware of of raising productivity?

  156. 1) SG has written blogs criticizing every party. Because they are all guilty of stupid policy.

    What other more effective ways are you aware of of raising productivity?

  157. I don't think so, for people who doesn't like Harper seems that way, but it is the undecided voter who matters in this election and I can almost assure you they won't be giving it to Ignatieff.

    Now this has nothing to do with me not liking Ignatieff (because I do like him, he is just not a politician) it's strategy and the Liberal party is so far long from having a good one.

    Harper's strategy looks rigid very square but that's what makes it work, discipline, focus, the content might seem rather harsh but it is working. For example PW tweeted something really good yesterday, LPC has 4 weeks to talk coalition but Harper has had 124 weeks to talk about coalition, it's not the coalition itself (just because we could be talking about something else) but the strategy, you see what I mean, what do you think it's working? 62% Believe Harper over Ignatieff so that gives you an idea what's working.

  158. Of course campaigns matter and you are right about those 25% or so undecided voters, this campaign is all about them.

    I don't believe Ignatieff will change those minds, it's a case of a little bit too late. I am not sure he can do better than Dion, so far the numbers aren't on his side but is early in the campaign we'll see what happens.

  159. You'll note, as Rick said, two of your examples contain the word coalition and the other certainly seems to imply one.?

  160. Nice try with the coalition = lib/ndp + the bloc. That was 08. That ship has sailed buddy.

  161. The 'coalition' is a losing argument. Hypocrite Harper was ready to do it himself. The more Harper talks about the coalition the more this will turn into a vote on his character.

    • Sarah,

      Stephen never signed a coalition accord with other opposition parties. They agreed to an undecided alternative based on an issue-by-issue basis.

      Compare that to the signed 2008 Liberal/NDP accord which, by the way, doesn't expire until June 30, 2008. It's still binding. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

  162. The 'coalition' is a losing argument. Hypocrite Harper was ready to do it himself. The more Harper talks about the coalition the more this will turn into a vote on his character.

  163. Once again you're "obsessed" with the belief in you're own opinion, and the assumption that anyone else cares, which you're right about me trying to "desperately to ignore"

  164. You do realize that a bag of coyote urine keeps raccoons away… right????

  165. I'm not sure which alternate universe you're from, but down here on Earth, things are the opposite of what you ridiculously suggest.

  166. Surely, you're not trying to suggest you're educated. Indoctrinated maybe, but surely not educated. Pity!

  167. Michael Iganatieff quote- " I'm a proud American"- nuff said!

  168. So you would agree that the west needs a Separatist party too.

  169. What utter nonsense!!

  170. Another deflective, 'you're crazy' spew from a tory. Before you know it he will be saying your mother wears army boots!!! But he's saving that one for the big ending!

  171. Voting for Iggy and he caused this unnecessary election along with the socialist NDP and Separatists
    Are all you people crazy, a useless election costing taxpayers millions of dollars, that is bad ethics for sure!!!! And you're going for the guy, Iggy that created this FIASCO!!!! Shame on all of YOU!!!!

  172. Voting for Iggy and he caused this unnecessary election along with the socialist NDP and Separatists
    Are all you people crazy, a useless election costing taxpayers millions of dollars, that is bad ethics for sure!!!! And you're going for the guy, Iggy that created this FIASCO!!!! Shame on all of YOU!!!!

  173. hey there letterM or whatever …. you don't know ur Ahole from your ARHOLE! Voting for Iggy who caused this unnecessary election is a total waste of millions of taxpayers dollars …..

  174. Hey there Janice, international policies on climate change only work if other 3rd world nations that are up and coming into the industrial age do the same with their pollution , N America is not the culprits of pollution, the Chinese, India, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, South and Central America, are all big polluters, and Harper emphasized that until these countries come on board with significantly reducing their pollution then it doesn't really matter what is done here in North America, and we are not the major culprits in causing world pollution!!!! …. No need to choke on ur sandwich there Janice!!!! You must live out in Lotus Land where they smoke so much weed that they don't know what reality is!!!

  175. Hey, if he refrains from invoking Harper's sulphurous airs and commitment to voter disengagement I will be happy.

  176. hEY THERE Sunshine Coaster …. ur smoking a little too much weed out there, you're all looking for more free handouts from the Liberals never ending pot of gold!!!!!

  177. Hey there onenot to work …. you fool …. Trust Iggy …. when he is responsible for bringing down the Gov't. and wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars on an unnecessary election. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND ALL OTHERS FOR THINKING THAT IGGY IS TRUSTWORTHY, WITH HIS NOTION OF A 3 HEADED PRIME MINISTER, iggy, jacko, and the bloc weirdo all 3 at the helm at once in governing the country when you vote for IGGY!!!! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!!

  178. ur A FOOl you not so proud Canadian, NO CONTEMPT, THAT WAS JUST A PLOY CAUSE ALOT OF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CONSERVATIVES CAUSE ALOT HAVE BEEN SPOILED WITH LIBERAL HANDOUTS, THROUGH INCREASED TAXES, OVER THE YEARS, UR just looking for another handout. Just like everyone on this blog page who will vote for Ignatieff.

    Socialism is great until the Gov't. runs out of other peoples' money!!!!!

  179. hey there Marg!! Iggy is not doing well, and will not be Prime Minister with my Vote …. that's for sure, U must be looking for another Liberal Free Handout!!!!!

  180. I'm not really getting your point. You admire Harper because he's pushing the boogeyman tactic of the coalition longer and harder than his rivals get to push their messages out?

  181. This election is going to be won over strategy, not issues!

    In 36 days Ignatieff is not going to be able to do what he hasn't done in 700+ days.

    The subject of the strategy is not nice, likeable, but it is very smart the way the CPC has worked it to their advantage.

  182. Naive,

    The Bloc is like a Quebecois public union always in aggressive collective bargaining mode. Give them more clout and they'll rob more Canadians of their money, and funnel it into Quebec.

  183. Here's a copy of the 2008 coalition accord. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

    Notice the clause in section 3.

    Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent
    consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois.

    By the way, this accord is binding until June 10, 2011. Jack and Gilles must laugh to themselves when Ignatieff denies that he'll sign a coalition accord or give the Bloc special consultation status. Until June 10, he's legally bound to do just that.

  184. I'm going to keep posting this, because it's the central issue of this election.

    Here's a copy of the 2008 Liberal/NDP coalition agreement. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

    Notice the clause in item #3.

    "Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent
    consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois."

    Ignatieff is currently bound to honor this legal document, as it expires on June 30, 2011. Jack and Gilles know this. They must Facebook poke each-other every time Ignatieff denies he'll form a coalition or give special consultation status to the Bloc.

  185. I'm going to keep posting this, because it's the central issue of this election.

    Here's a copy of the 2008 Liberal/NDP coalition agreement. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

    Notice the clause in item #3.

    "Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent
    consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois."

    Ignatieff is currently bound to honor this legal document, as it expires on June 30, 2011. Jack and Gilles know this. They must Facebook poke each-other every time Ignatieff denies he'll form a coalition or give special consultation status to the Bloc.

  186. Sarah,

    Stephen never signed a coalition accord with other opposition parties. They agreed to an undecided alternative based on an issue-by-issue basis.

    Compare that to the signed 2008 Liberal/NDP accord which, by the way, doesn't expire until June 30, 2008. It's still binding. http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

  187. With Harper, the Canadian economy is seen to one of the most attractive by outside investors. As a small business owner, it has become easier to do business and there is the problem. The Bay Street lawyers and finance people hate it because there is less complicated paper work for them to do for us business owners. They are dying to get back liberals to layer up the business paper work to get done.
    If it is going Liberal again – I know many business owners who are deciding just to sell. Here's what Liberals think of Family – give a day for Family Day but let those business owners pay for it. Just when I am not taking home pay but my employees get to pay off their mortgages.
    The Conservatives understand with business owners how hard it is. Do not confuse us with the GEs. Liberals never speak to us. Ziggy spoke at my finance club and did not have a clue about how many companies are closing with HUGE reluctance and moving those jobs to South America or China. Conservatives are doing everything they can to make sure the jobs stay in Canada. Did you know th e Hong Kong tax rate on a small business? The Conservatives know but I was just speaking to another Liberal and she had not idea but thought that 12% tax rate for business was OK.

  188. With Harper, the Canadian economy is seen to one of the most attractive by outside investors. As a small business owner, it has become easier to do business and there is the problem. The Bay Street lawyers and finance people hate it because there is less complicated paper work for them to do for us business owners. They are dying to get back liberals to layer up the business paper work to get done.
    If it is going Liberal again – I know many business owners who are deciding just to sell. Here's what Liberals think of Family – give a day for Family Day but let those business owners pay for it. Just when I am not taking home pay but my employees get to pay off their mortgages.
    The Conservatives understand with business owners how hard it is. Do not confuse us with the GEs. Liberals never speak to us. Ziggy spoke at my finance club and did not have a clue about how many companies are closing with HUGE reluctance and moving those jobs to South America or China. Conservatives are doing everything they can to make sure the jobs stay in Canada. Did you know th e Hong Kong tax rate on a small business? The Conservatives know but I was just speaking to another Liberal and she had not idea but thought that 12% tax rate for business was OK.

  189. They're not going to warm to him when they find out the TRUTH about the Party SHUTTING OUT the English speaking population in Quebeck — while they're cozying up to the BLOC and singing the PRAISES of the Ethnic Cleansing Language Laws – that were enacted ILLEGALLY – AGAINST OUR WILL: And promoting them as 'Protecting the French Language' ! That's what IGGY and his 'leaders' have really done! Singing the praises of the ERASURE of the English language & culture – that has devastated the LIVES & Freedoms of 2.5 MILLION English speaking Canadians! And he dares spew his bull about 'protecting democratic rights' ??? That my friends is why Liberal support is in the TOILET in Quebeck . The very vote the party needs to win a majority has been abused, betrayed and I repeat SHUT Out – not ALLOWED to participate anymore!! Now why on earth would they do this? Ask yourself.. The ONLY conclusion we can reach is – (look at the downward spiral the past 15 years) the Quebec Arm of the Liberal Party is DELIBERATELY DESTROYING it. Facts and numbers do not LIE. Iggy & company does.

  190. Add to that – that the Liberals are holding hands with DUCEPPE and promoting the ILLEGAL – disgusting Ethnic Cleansing Language Loi's… with freaking vigor… illegal – destructive – English language & culture KILLING "Laws" condemned all over the freaking world – and this human rights pretender – that has repeatedly SPIT on our pleas for help to (As promised by the party for decades) Abolish these horrific loi's and have rewarded our trust – loyality by stabbing us in the heart! That's what the Liberal Party gives to the faithful! Get ready for your turn…

  191. We are going to the polls because Iggy did not want the budget that Harper had set out. Tax cuts to the low and middle income earners. Iggy is only for his friends – the high income earners. Iggy will run the country AMERICAN STYLE"

  192. The problem is that the CRETIEN LIBERALS cut the military spending so much and the world is in crisis, that now we need our millitary to step up to the plate they are in 3rd world condition, all thanks to the Sponsorship Scandal LIBERALS. He has no choice but to inject money into the military.

    Also, the deficit that you so much relate to was caused to keep us out of financial crisis. Do you have a job! Thank Harper for that, he is the reason that CANADA is in the most enviable financial position in the world today.

  193. The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, in which Canada's involvement began in 1997 when the then Liberal Government invested $10 mil, is a cooperative venture including the U.S. Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark among others. In 2002 the Liberal government invested another $150 mil in the 2nd phase of this project. The Conservatives have continued with Canada's participation in the JSF program.

    The reasons are simple. The JSF program is designed to ensure that companies in the participating countries get all the procurement contracts for R&D and supply chain manufacturing. This is why Paul Martin invested in the program in the first place. Canada's contribution has already produced $350 mil of contracts for our aerospace industry. Not only this, but this investment has bolstered our industry to be in prime position coming out of the recession.

    The Liberals know all about the details about the JSF venture; they're the ones who initiated it in the first place. Details can be found at f-35.ca

    Recent set-backs in the program have added to the overall costs and the Liberals wanted to exploit this to discredit the Conservatives. That's why the Conservatives were hesitant to provide the costing. They were trying to avoid the cheap partisan manipulation the Libs were cooking up. In this case, like the others, it was, in fact, the Liberals who were acting contemptible, abusing our parliamentary rules to play their cheap partisan games.

  194. Kathryn, please try to support your opinions on some sort of factual basis. Your current contribution to this discussion leaves a lot to be desired.

  195. Oh how cynical. Typical con supporter, bravo to the bully, policy and integrity be damned.

  196. couldn't agree with you more!

  197. You didn't answer the question. Should we not be using an open and transparent tendering process?

    On the playing games debate: it doesn't matter. The power of Parliament to call for documents and persons is what matters. We can debate the motivations. The fact is that this is fundamental to our Parliamentary system, and our government is flouting the law. This is deadly serious. If we allow the Parliament to be completely neutered, then we end up with a system with no legislative branch: just a completely unaccountable all-or-nothing executive branch. Is that good for the country? Will you still think it's good for the country when the other guys, inevitably, take power? I can't say I'm looking forward to those abuses by the Liberals in five or ten years, but I will get a certain satisfaction at the howls of outrage from many of those people who are cheering on the current team, the country and its institutions be damned

  198. It might sound cynical, but it is the truth.

    LPC policy isn't there, integrity I really believe is highly debatable coming from the LPC, the bullying I don't agree with it and I sure wish wasn't there, it is a shame but their strategy works, so far 62% want a majority government, what does that tell you?

  199. As a fiscally conservative, libertarian-type, Iggy scares me (Not as much as Layton, but that's different…) I've struggled my way through University – since when do politicians keep their pomises to students?

    If anything I have become disenfranchised because I do not believe ANY party right now has the ability to DECREASE spending and DECREASE taxes. To have an ELECTED Senate. All they do is attempt to BUY YOUR VOTE with half-brained plans that they are NOT accountable to.

    Do you think Iggy will pose any different solution than Shawinigan or Ad-Scam? As a last point, how do you think the Conservatives would do if they did NOT HAVE TO PANDER to the NDP to get things passed? If anything the PCs are more guilty of that in my mind then any of these personnel scandals.

  200. As a fiscally conservative, libertarian-type, Iggy scares me (Not as much as Layton, but that's different…) I've struggled my way through University – since when do politicians keep their pomises to students?

    If anything I have become disenfranchised because I do not believe ANY party right now has the ability to DECREASE spending and DECREASE taxes. To have an ELECTED Senate. All they do is attempt to BUY YOUR VOTE with half-brained plans that they are NOT accountable to.

    Do you think Iggy will pose any different solution than Shawinigan or Ad-Scam? As a last point, how do you think the Conservatives would do if they did NOT HAVE TO PANDER to the NDP to get things passed? If anything the PCs are more guilty of that in my mind then any of these personnel scandals.

  201. I heard that "people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones", Listening to all this fabricated outrage over ethics coming from the Liberals seems a bit hypocritical. Maybe after they pay us back for the millions that they stole from all of us, then we can take them seriously, Until then dont count on my vote "Iffy".

  202. I would hope that the Conservatives would play aggressively by the rules, not twist them to suit partisan brinkmanship.

    What the Liberals have done is akin to a dirty hockey player high-sticking an opponent while the ref isn't looking. It's a cheap shot.

    The JSF project is an open book. So are the cost of the planes. All the details are posted online. Heck, even wikipedia has all the information. The Liberals committed Canada to the process when they invested $160 mil. in 2002. If we were to pull out now to issue a tender we'd lose our investment, our buying advantage for these planes and much of the $360 mil worth of the contracts associated with this process. Again, the Liberals know this but are exploiting Canadian well-being for political gain. This is contemptible.

    Maybe the Conservatives should have provided the costing. However, I'm sure they were aware how the Liberals would spin the numbers with fake outrage and smear the Conservatives mercilessly. I can understand why they prevaricated.

  203. It's difficult to see how the party committed to increasing the corporate tax rate is only looking out for the rich.

  204. Right On thank you

  205. People skills are the number one priority for being a leader. Democracy is often defined as government of the people, by the people, for the people. If you can accept that definition, it is difficult for me to understand why you would be unsure of the need for people skills in a Prime Minister. The word "people" is mentioned three times in that standard textbook definition of democracy.

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