Inside the Liberal effort to resurrect Michael Ignatieff

Ignatieff has done a lot of things right, but he’s still dead in the polls

Flatlined

Photograph by Christopher Pike

Michael Ignatieff has been among the people.

“I’m in Newfoundland two weeks ago,” the Liberal leader said over tea in the sunroom at Stornaway, the official Opposition leader’s residence. On the wall behind him was a landscape by the Winnipeg artist Ivan Eyre, all slate-grey skies and autumn foliage. “And I’m in a training centre run by the operating engineers’ union. Great union. And this training site is training people in heavy machinery. Everything from bulldozers to cranes.

“A third of the kids in the course are women. Half of the women are on social assistance. They’re desperate to get a union ticket to be bulldozer drivers or crane operators. They’re fabulously determined. It’s a tough course. They put me into these damned cranes and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and they look fabulous. One of the women said to me, ‘You know, this is my ticket out of here. This is the ticket that allows me out of social assistance. This is my ticket that allows me to feed my kids. But I can’t do this if I don’t get child care.’

“When you hear a woman tell you that, you understand a lot about the economy. Unless we make these kinds of investments—in child care, in post-secondary education, in home care—we’re not going to meet the economic challenges we’ve got.”

Many hundreds of times since Ignatieff acceded to the Liberal leadership amid the wreckage of Stéphane Dion’s doomed late-2008 attempt to form a coalition government, he has read that he is a poncy silver-spoon egghead who can’t begin to imagine the struggles of ordinary Canadians. He handles this challenge by assuring a visitor repeatedly that he is not a poncy egghead. Addressing the plight of that young woman in Newfoundland “isn’t social policy,” he says. “This is rededicating ourselves to the equality of opportunity that made our country strong.”

As he spoke, there was at least a slim chance Ignatieff would find himself in a federal election campaign within a week. The semi-annual frenzy of election speculation—every September and March like clockwork—was rocking the nation’s capital. The papers were full of theories. Baroque manoeuvres in the Commons could bring Stephen Harper down any day. Everyone has to be ready for a campaign, just in case.

Now here’s the thing about Michael Ignatieff. He is doing almost everything better than Stéphane Dion was doing on the eve of the Liberal wipeout in the 2008 election. Ignatieff has spent nearly a year on the road, honing his retail skills, often for audiences of strangers he had to learn to persuade. He is not putting any highly divisive policy in the window comparable to Dion’s carbon-tax scheme. He can defend himself against attack, comprehensibly and often better than that, in two languages. His Office of the Leader of the Opposition is disciplined and coherent. His caucus deploys serious talent well. Ties between his parliamentary shop and the national Liberal party are smooth and respectful. Fundraising is a gong show. You can’t have everything.

But still: it is reasonable to expect Ignatieff will field the strongest Liberal campaign operation since Jean Chrétien’s last battle in 2000. And yet he is flatlining in the polls.

The website threehundredeight.com runs a monthly average of all federal political polls in Canada. In November, December and January, the Ignatieff Liberals averaged 28 per cent while the Harper Conservatives varied from 33 to 35 per cent.

So far, not too bad. A popular-vote outcome of 35 per cent to 28 would be about five points closer than the 2008 drubbing. The Liberals would perform only slightly worse than in 2006, when they lost to Harper for the first time.

Flatlined

Photograph by Blair Gable

But Ignatieff’s personal numbers are worse. Nanos Research publishes an occasional “leadership index” that combines respondents’ perceptions on trust, competence and vision for Canada. At the end of February, Harper’s score was as high as it’s been since Ignatieff became Liberal leader, at 98.9. Ignatieff’s was its lowest yet, at 36.9. His leadership index score has been below NDP Leader Jack Layton’s for 14 straight months.

Also in February, Harris Decima found that Ignatieff is viewed positively by 25 per cent of respondents and unfavourably by 51 per cent. That’s the lowest positive score of any national leader, and the highest unfavourable rating. The lowest positive rating Harris Decima ever measured for Stéphane Dion was 30 per cent. Ignatieff has been at or below that level for more than a year.

He’s being the best Liberal leader he can be. The reviews are really bad. What does he have to say about that?

Well, really, what can he say? He paused for a long time when I put the question to him, then answered slowly and very quietly. “I think about that question a different way than you do. It’s going to sound odd, but I just think we’re doing the right thing. I don’t even know why, all the time. I just know it’s the right thing when I’m out on the road. I see the connection we establish with Canadians. I see the way they’re listening. I feel that we’ve pulled an approach to politics off the road, from the bottom up, endless open mikes, endless listening. Instead of just denouncing the way Harper does politics, we’ve actually tried to do a different kind of politics.

“I’m on the road all the time. But look: I’ve shaken 50,000 hands, had 15,000 long conversations with Canadians. Of course it’s not going to show in the polls. The numbers aren’t large enough. I just think we’re getting in the right place.”

Privately, senior Liberals make much the same case. They have decided they can’t catch a fair break until an election begins. Most Canadians ignore politics if they can. News organizations pay much more attention to any government than to any opposition politician. That won’t change until a campaign begins. So Liberals are less and less interested in delaying an election.

It’s a paradoxical game plan at best. Maybe catastrophic. Their guy’s desperately unpopular? Then get him in front of voters as soon as possible. Still, it’s what you hear from more and more Liberals.

“Harper’s game plan is going to be all about: ‘The risk is too great to change governments now,’ ” a senior Ignatieff adviser said. “Maligning Ignatieff is part of that. That’s an appealing position for Harper. It makes sense. It’s a variation on what any incumbent would do.

“But at the same time there’s a kind of micro-story that, yeah, that might be true, but people individually feel they’re struggling. They’re having a really hard time making ends meet. Nobody really cares about them. And they’re anxious about the future. And they don’t feel Harper has the answers.
“And I think the opportunity is there for somebody like our guy—who’s seen as a bit of an egghead—and a party with our values to break through in an election.

“So why haven’t we been able to move? The moment might not be ripe enough. A year from now might be better, conceivably.”

So the Liberals might prefer to wait a year for an election? Here they are quick to point out that it’s not their call. “I’ve got 76 seats,” Ignatieff says. Not enough to bring a government down. He learned that lesson, to his considerable cost, in the fall of 2009 when he tried to force an election and the NDP propped the government up. “Jack Layton’s got a say. Gilles Duceppe’s got a say. But the crucial person who’ll decide whether we have an election or not is Stephen Harper.”

What’s really happening is that the Liberals are finally beginning to realize there is a cost to every choice, including paralysis. “The window might not be wide open now, but I mean, f…, it might be closed in six months,” the senior Ignatieff adviser said.

“Especially when the cost is further self-abnegation or self-mutilation from having to pull our punches. Or vote with the government. Or whatever. It’s a vicious circle, because when you do that you inhibit your ability to differentiate yourself from the government. It actually makes a lot more sense to just say, ‘F… it. They’re wrong. This guy’s numbers don’t add up. They’re actually more about F-35s and building $9-billion prisons. This government doesn’t give a s..t about you. Let’s go.’

“If we don’t go, we’re no worse off. In fact, we’re probably better off for having defined ourselves and laid down the markers. And if we do go? It’s a minority government. Things happen. These things aren’t meant to last forever.”

It’s not precisely the most stirring victory cry in the history of Canadian politics. The Liberals have made too careful a study of recent changes of government to kid themselves about how hard a task they face. “The last time the Liberals took down a Conservative government, Brian Mulroney was deeply unpopular,” the senior Ignatieff adviser said. “We had a deep recession and a constitutional crisis. And they’d been in office for almost a decade. The last time Conservatives beat Liberals,” in 2006, “the Liberals had been in power for, what, 13 years all told? And there was a casus belli with the sponsorship fiasco.

“What we’re trying to do here, what we’ve got to do, is try to win, absent those conditions.”

To do that, Ignatieff made a series of moves, beginning in late 2009, to whip a listless and underperforming Liberal operation into shape. He fired Ian Davey, his chief of staff, one of the Toronto Liberals who had driven to Harvard a few years earlier to persuade Ignatieff to return to Canada and enter politics. Most of Davey’s senior staff would not last much longer. In Davey’s place, Ignatieff hired Peter Donolo.

Donolo was the communications director who helped make Jean Chrétien prime minister in 1993. He brought a half-dozen Chrétien-era veterans with him into Ignatieff’s office, instituted clear mandates and lines of authority throughout the Office of the Leader of the Opposition—and watched for months while very little changed. Ignatieff was not more popular. The Conservatives ran waves of ads hammering home the notion that the Liberal who’d spent decades in England and the United States was “just visiting.”

So last autumn, to less fanfare, Donolo and Ignatieff instituted another wave of change. They appointed the Saskatchewan veteran Ralph Goodale as Ignatieff’s deputy leader, replacing him as Liberal House leader with Ottawa MP David McGuinty, the Ontario premier’s brother. Marcel Proulx from across the river in Hull-Aylmer became the Liberal whip.

 

Flatlined

Fred Chartrand/Cp; Sean Kilpatrick/Cp;

With McGuinty and Proulx running the Liberal operation in the House of Commons, and Goodale acting as a reliable fill-in leader during Ignatieff’s frequent road trips, the OLO has become even more of an executive operation. “The leader’s not a micromanager,” one Liberal staffer said. “He likes strong people doing their job around him.”

Goodale, who never seemed a great fit as House leader, plays a role roughly comparable to Joe Biden’s as vice-president in Barack Obama’s White House: he does not play on every file but he brings real clout when he does intervene. “He chairs a couple of strategy sessions a week with the leader and colleagues,” the senior adviser said. “On thorny issues, the leader will ask him to talk to people, sometimes inside caucus, sometimes outside. Before we jump into something he does a lot of reconnaissance.”

Ignatieff can trust Goodale to carry the ball in the Commons while he tours the country. In some ways, the Liberal leader has become so hands-off that long-time observers of the highly centralized Harper operation might be surprised. There’s this, for instance: neither Ignatieff nor Donolo attends the twice-daily question period strategy sessions.

McGuinty chairs both meetings, the first at 8 a.m., the second just before the daily jousting match. Jeremy Broadhurst, a young lawyer who has worked in the OLO since 2006, briefs the morning senior-staff meeting on the QP plan at 8:30. Donolo and others might suggest amendments to the day’s plan but they rarely do. Ignatieff is briefed, again by Broadhurst at 9:30. MPs’ offices prepare questions all morning long and McGuinty checks progress right after lunch. Ignatieff asks the questions that are needed from him at the top of QP at 2:15 p.m.

Throughout Harper’s tenure as opposition leader, and well after he became Prime Minister, he would meet at lunch with the entire shadow cabinet or cabinet for a group QP rehearsal. “The leader has to focus on what’s important,” the senior Ignatieff adviser said, hinting at the heretical possibility that QP prep might not be the most essential use of a party leader’s time. “I know in the past, other opposition leaders and even [Ignatieff], in other circumstances, would go in there and work up the question period lineup, rehearse his questions. But no.”

The same highly regimented approach to assignments works on the staffing side, too. It’s often said that the OLO is run, not by Peter Donolo, but by Pat Sorbara, a former adviser to one-time Ontario premier David Peterson. Sorbara’s name appears below Donolo’s on the org chart. Her title is “chief operating officer.” That’s telling. Somebody with less clout would be styled the “director of operations,” but Sorbara really is a chief. She is charged with running the details of the OLO operation while Donolo handles broad-strokes strategy. That means for most Liberal staffers, the most stressful phone call they can imagine will come from Sorbara. She doesn’t breathe fire, a Liberal party insider said, “but she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. And if she doesn’t like you, you don’t last long.”

Sorbara has also been working on voter identification and motivation, the meat and potatoes of modern campaigning. With Gordon Ashworth, the Liberals’ eternal national campaign chairman, she road-tested the database software and focused messaging for a campaign during last autumn’s by-elections in Winnipeg and Vaughan, outside Toronto. The Liberals lost Vaughan narrowly but won the Winnipeg riding from the NDP. “We’re running at the same speed as the Tories now on that stuff,” the Liberal party insider said of the party’s voter ID techniques. “That makes a big difference.”

So where’s the growth for a Liberal party that desperately needs growth? Disaffected former Liberals, mostly. People who’ve stayed home rather than vote for Paul Martin or Stéphane Dion. “The new Liberal voter that we need to win back is largely female, largely 50 and under, largely suburban, largely middle class—lower middle class too—largely indebted, largely non-Anglo-Saxon,” the senior Ignatieff adviser said. “But not exclusively, right? Just like the Conservative voter is largely male; largely over 50; largely Western Canadian; largely rural.

“The problem is we left too many of those folks at home in the last election. So that’s who our vote is. We’re already doing fine with certain segments. Not enough. We’re doing fine with youngish voters, but there are issues there with turnout. We’re doing fine with university-educated voters, but again, there’s not enough of this to go around.”

Flatlined

Photograph by Christopher Pike

What the Liberals really must avoid, this person said, is a fragmented vote. “In an election that’s going to be heavily polarized—that we’re going to work like mad to polarize—[the NDP] get squeezed big time. And we need to squeeze them big time because we can’t afford an NDP at 18 per cent and a Bloc at 10 per cent. Can’t afford that.

“Frankly we also can’t afford a Bloc at the level they’re at. You’re going to see a very different treatment of the Bloc than it has been in the past. It’s going to be less, ‘You’re bastards who want to destroy the country.’ It’s going to be, ‘Actually, you Quebecers haven’t got a thing in common with Harper. You abhor him more than any other Canadians do. And if you really want to get rid of him, don’t vote Bloc. Because voting for the Bloc is what keeps him in office.’ ”

That’s the rhetoric. What are they going to put in their platform? What’s there to vote for, besides a clever parsing of Conservative shortcomings?

In the sunroom at Stornoway, Ignatieff gave a pretty detailed answer to that question. The Liberals have been refining their platform for more than a year. “There are two fundamental issues for the country,” Ignatieff said. “One is, ‘Does this Prime Minister respect the democratic restrictions placed on the authority of a prime minister? Yes or no?’

“Issue number two is, ‘Can this Prime Minister be trusted, as we move forward, with the key sources of economic success?’ Which are: a health care system you can count on; a pension system you can count on; child care when you need it to get into the job market.”

On the first issue, the Liberals do not believe the nation is with them in believing Harper is a threat to democracy. The constant drip-drip of embarrassing stories has ignited no national outrage. Bev Oda altered a memo from her department to make support for a project look like opposition. A fundraising letter went out from Jason Kenney’s office on ministerial letterhead, not Conservative party stationery.

“It’s not the burning issue in the mind of the average voter,” a Liberal who has worked on the platform said. “But it’s significant because it’s significant. This is a government and a Prime Minister that have demonstrated again and again and again and again that they think the rules don’t apply to them. Sometimes they think the laws don’t apply to them. There really is a real issue about our democracy being eroded. It’s quite real.”

There are, in fact, some in the Liberal caucus who think the only way to spark a public debate about such relatively arcane issues is to put them at the centre of an election campaign. Which is why some MPs quietly support provoking an election before the March 22 budget, if it can be done.

As for the economic stuff, it gives the Liberals a shot—a long shot, to be sure—at displacing the Conservatives as a party that working-class Canadians feel is on their side.

“I actually think that the reason our country has been economically successful since the Second World War—in Liberal governments, in Conservative governments, in and out—has been that we’ve cared about equality of opportunity,” Ignatieff said.

Equality of opportunity will be a running theme of the Liberal campaign, then. It is a darned sight less flashy than Dion’s plan to shift billions of dollars from income taxes to carbon taxes, but it may sound less like it was delivered to the electorate by space aliens.

The Liberals will target rising university tuition. How? “Watch this space,” Ignatieff said. “We’ve got a very specific, costed, serious investment to make in removing barriers to access in post-secondary education. I’m thinking particularly of those Canadian families whose moms and dads didn’t get a chance at a university or college education and they want their kids to go. And we’re going to do something additional for Aboriginal Canadians.”

They’ve already announced a compassionate-leave plan to allow Canadians to take time off work, paid out of the Employment Insurance fund, to care for elderly relatives in declining health. They’ll also work to supplement the Canada Pension Plan through voluntary supplementary payments into the public pension system. They will, having twice lost the debate to the Conservatives about public child care versus direct cash payments to parents, try again with a more modest daycare project.

“One Canadian child in five under the age of five has access to a certified child care space. That’s not good enough,” Ignatieff said. “Nobody’s going to ram child care down families’ throats if they don’t want it. That stuff about ‘choice’ “—the preferred Conservative mantra for their per-child cheques—”is nonsense. You don’t have a choice if you don’t have child care spaces. And we haven’t built enough child care spaces in Canada.”

“There’s a universe of contrast opportunity on this ground,” said the Liberal who has been working on the party’s platform, “if we can actually get heard.”

This is the gamble the Liberals are rallying around, with varying degrees of enthusiasm: that they will be heard if they can start a real fight. Party pollster Michael Marzolini tells them approval for Ignatieff is higher among the narrow slice of the electorate that pays attention to politics between elections. Very well then: widen the slice. Don’t fear the electorate. Run toward it, arms waving.

“When the lights go on in an election, Canadians will have an alternative,” Ignatieff said. “That’s my job. My job is to give them an alternative. And then they’re the boss. They’ll decide what they’re going to do.”




Browse

Inside the Liberal effort to resurrect Michael Ignatieff

  1. Here is where Iggy shows what is really happening -> there he was on the Rideau Canal skating, which he is good at, for a photo opportunity. The Times article concludes by noting that a small crowd finally started to gather around him – when Justin Trudeau showed up.

  2. Here is where Iggy shows what is really happening -> there he was on the Rideau Canal skating, which he is good at, for a photo opportunity. The Times article concludes by noting that a small crowd finally started to gather around him – when Justin Trudeau showed up.

    • Trudeaumania strikes again …… Buh-bye Iggy-POPski …. LOL

  3. The only things the country knows about Ignatieff is what the Cons have told them.

    There is, so far, no counter-narrative.

  4. The only things the country knows about Ignatieff is what the Cons have told them.

    There is, so far, no counter-narrative.

    • That's a real problem though, because the Conservatives have largely defined him. It's tough to change, even if the Conservative definition is largely simplistic, even childish.

      • I agree…I assume the Libs are biding their time.

        • I was wondering this morning what the Liberals will do if they gain seats but lose the election. Would that be enough for them to keep Ignatieff? What if his personal numbers go up during the election? Is that enough to keep him on after a loss?

          Would he even want to stay?

          • Lib leaders are allowed one election before there's a leadership review. Gaining seats is good. Losing the election at the same time would mean a tinier Harp minority….which would put all 3 leaders in peril, and they might all resign.

          • I'd love to see all three (actually five) of them resign at once. We could certainly use a refreshing change in politics.

            I'm not even going to guess at what Duceppe might do because I'm of the firm belief that nobody understand Quebec politics, including politicians from Quebec. May's job depends on whether she can win a seat or not at this point, so I'm assuming she'll be taking a job outside of politics this summer.

            I'm pretty sure Layton would survive a leadership review though. I think he'll be resigning even if he doubles his seat count, but I think he can pretty much stay as long as he wants.

            I think Harper might be gone if doesn't get a majority and will definitely be gone if he loses seats, even if he wins the election. There have been too many factions making too many compromises for too long and a weaker minority is going to freeze their agendas for another election cycle.

            Ignatieff, I don't know. If he gains a few seats and his numbers go up, could he survive a review? Does he still want the job? Does anybody else? It can't be fun getting whipped by attack ads on a daily basis, after all.

          • A smaller Con minority than now would be the best outcome….Iggy would have had his one election, Harper would have had several….and gone backwards…. and the NDP as usual will have gone nowhere under the same leader.

            So all 3 of them could go….and we could have a fresh start.

            Duceppe has long wanted to return to Quebec, it's just that Marois is currently in his way. May should be coming to the end of her studies to be an Anglican priest so she has a fall-back.

        • When you bide your time for too long, it has a way of turning into implicit acceptance of the claim.

          • LOL no it doesn't.

          • The sparkling wit and cogent argumentation of the Liberal Party of Canada's most fervent defenders, ladies and gentlemen!

          • You've been told repeatedly I'm not a Liberal. Had you even read this sub-thread you'd know that.

    • If this is true, then your beloved Liberals are even more pathetic than one could have imagined.

      • A meaningless comment from a homesick ex-pat.

    • Which is precisely the opposite of what you used to say, which is that he's an international celebrity scholar who Canadians know quite well. Fascinating.

      • He is….they know him as a scholar and writer, not as a politician. Two quite different fields Dennis

        • Oh, so then there IS a narrative out there that you say Canadians are aware of. Which, of course, it contrary to what you just said. Amazing how your positions seem to change post-by-post. Truly amazing.

    • OE1, just noticed that even your grammar was faulty in your post. Ye Gods, pull yourself together!

    • What sort of a bunch of duffers allow themselves to be defined by the opposition?!

    • But you gotta vote; its your duty and ourduty in a democracy to vote …. people in countries where they don't vote …. don't have toilet paper either …. ONLY THEIR DICTATOR DOES!!!!

  5. Okay, Paul … enough is enough !!! If you were writing about a Conservative leader with the same rotten polling numbers, you and your media colleagues would have declared him DOA and not worth resurrecting …. but since it's a Liberal leader, you try to give advice to resurrect them. Why?!

    It's obvious that Ignatieff's abject personal polling numbers are dragging down the Liberal party brand, and even worse than Dion. Why is this happening? It's because Canadians don't recognize Ignatieff as a legitimate Canadian political leader, and he only survives because he's cloaked in Liberal drag. Come the next election, the CPC attack ads will reduce Ignatieff's credibility to near-zero, and you know that's inevitable.

    To get even more personal, the man is scary, his name is scary, and he is not worthy to be PM of Canada. Does that help you understand and stop your media attempt to resurrect what is dead?

  6. Okay, Paul … enough is enough !!! If you were writing about a Conservative leader with the same rotten polling numbers, you and your media colleagues would have declared him DOA and not worth resurrecting …. but since it's a Liberal leader, you try to give advice to resurrect them. Why?!

    It's obvious that Ignatieff's abject personal polling numbers are dragging down the Liberal party brand, and even worse than Dion. Why is this happening? It's because Canadians don't recognize Ignatieff as a legitimate Canadian political leader, and he only survives because he's cloaked in Liberal drag. Come the next election, the CPC attack ads will reduce Ignatieff's credibility to near-zero, and you know that's inevitable.

    To get even more personal, the man is scary, his name is scary, and he is not worthy to be PM of Canada. Does that help you understand and stop your media attempt to resurrect what is dead?

    • Observant, the Charlie Sheen of Canadian comment boards.

      • Thank you …. and I bet Charlie Sheen would be a lot more popular in Canada than "we Americans" Iggy …LOL

      • Dispute what he said rather than attacking him personally! You can't because you know what Observant said is true.

    • That just isn't true.

      Harper had similarly bad polling in 2005 — okay, not _that_ bad, not sub-Layton. But bad polling. And here's what Maclean's (Geddes) had to say about him then: http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=200505

      "The real Harper is instinctively strategic, occasionally volatile, and always passionately partisan. Don't assume those eyes are icy. The hottest flames are blue, too."

      • Neither Chretien nor Martin ever lit up the polls in terms of leadership and personality scores.
        They won elections.

        Most polling is wrong and as many politicians with bad personal numbers win as those with good numbers lose (ask Layton).

        • Okay …. now that you have given us the basis of your "logic", what do you conclude about Iggnatieff …. is he a winner or a loser … people want to know …??!!!

          • You really need to find a life.

          • Looks like yer searching for a life too …. a life after death of the Liberal Beast ….

        • So most polls are wrong eh? Ask Nik Nanos if he agrees with you. Yes individual polls fluctuate but we have had polls now during the whole time of Iggy's appointed leadership and not once has the Libs overtaken the Conservatives. And then there are those nasty leadership polls showing Iggy at the bottom of the barrel. However, I guess you can keep on denying reality. That's all you have is wishful thinking. Watch out the NDP could overtake the Libs in the coming election.

        • Well… I don't think Ignatieff is going to win.

          I think the same qualities that sank him among Liberals in 2006 will sink him nationally.

          But campaigns are funny things; anything can happen.

    • PW wrote a book about Stephen Harper's rise to the PMO – he took over the Canadian Alliance in 2002. I don't have polls in front of me, but I'm willing to bet Harper's personal numbers and the parties totals (even if you include the PC totals in full) weren't much different than where Ignatieff is sitting right now.

      • Ergo …???

    • I wonder if Observant has been working for Harper long enough to get a pension yet? Or a Senate appointment?

      You get a lot of moolah for selling your soul.

  7. Observant, the Charlie Sheen of Canadian comment boards.

  8. I’m so sick of the Liberals harping about a national child care strategy. They promised national child care in the 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 Liberal Party election platforms and have failed at every turn to even TRY to implement anything. Not only haven’t they done what they promised they haven’t even brought forward a plan or told Canadians even remotely what such a plan would cost.

    In the last election Ruby Dhalla said the Liberals would announce the details of their so called “National Child Care Strategy” in the “coming days” but haven’t yet done so. Canadians need to know what it would cost to nationally implement this provincial responsibility.

  9. I’m so sick of the Liberals harping about a national child care strategy. They promised national child care in the 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 Liberal Party election platforms and have failed at every turn to even TRY to implement anything. Not only haven’t they done what they promised they haven’t even brought forward a plan or told Canadians even remotely what such a plan would cost.

    In the last election Ruby Dhalla said the Liberals would announce the details of their so called “National Child Care Strategy” in the “coming days” but haven’t yet done so. Canadians need to know what it would cost to nationally implement this provincial responsibility.

    • Certainly they can be criticized for deciding to tackle the national deficit rather than fund their promised childcare for several years. but it does go to show how necessary childcare is and the comparative failure of the CPC plan.

      • I'd much rather have private child care than state run child care. But I would like to see a real refundable tax credit based child care strategy that essentially ends up paying for child care for people who are trying to get into the job market. But I see no reason why people (like me) who can afford child care should get subsidized state run child care.

        • And your welcome to your opinion, unrealistic or no.

          • I'd have to agree with John Edgar here. Id much rather a refundable tax credit based child care strategy than a national public one. I can't even begin to imagine the costs. If Quebec spends $7 billion a year on their plan what would it cost the country, we don't yet know because the Libs haven't come close to providing accurate costs yet, even after 17 years of promises.

            I also fail to see how a tax credit system is more unrealistic than a public daycare option.

      • So can the CPC be forgiven for focusing on the economy in the midst of a global economic meltdown the scope of which hasn't been seen since the great depression?

        • Thank God Harper hasn't done anything except pursue LPC policy on that one! If we'd taken Harper's advice to laxen bank regulation, they'd be foreclosing on the rockies!

        • If he hadn't completely bungled the economy, maybe.

    • We DID have a national Childcare plan….after two years of negotiation with the provinces Goodale and Martin had a plan…….we voted the Liberals out of office and chose Stephen Harper's pay-10-billion-dollars-and-counting-program-that-has-created-no-spaces-and-hasn't-reduced-thecost-one-iota plan

    • Canadians do not want another massive Ottawa gov't bureaucracy to run a national child daycare social engineering program. Canadians want less taxes, less gov't, less Liberals … believe it.

    • How come all of a sudden Canadians need to know what programs will cost?

      • what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

        • That's so wrong, it's hilarious.

    • I like the last statement: "Canadians need to know the cost…………."
      Well said but it also applies to: the true cost of the F35's, the true cost of corporate tax cuts, the true cost of the new jails, the true cost of the stimulus program, the true cost of the Afghan invasion etc etc etc

      • What was the cost of cancelling the helicopters ordered by Mulroney? A military plane did a belly landing this week – you're okay with more of that? Even if next time, there are no survivors?

        How many deaths are you okay with? Seriously? People who sign on with the military or Coast Guard are expendable? Nice.

        And the stimulus program, pricey though it was, would have cost more if Jack! and Iggy! had their ways. Short memory syndrome?

  10. 'his name is scary'

    Voter 1: So, who are you going to vote for?

    Voter 2: I dunno, but it won't be Ignatieff. His name is scary.

    If people are voting or not voting for someone because the person's name is 'scary', our shallowness as a nation is much, much worse than I ever imagined. God help us.

  11. That just isn't true.

    Harper had similarly bad polling in 2005 — okay, not _that_ bad, not sub-Layton. But bad polling. And here's what Maclean's (Geddes) had to say about him then: http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=200505

    "The real Harper is instinctively strategic, occasionally volatile, and always passionately partisan. Don't assume those eyes are icy. The hottest flames are blue, too."

  12. I don't know if Ignatieff will become prime minister. But I think he will win more seats, and keep Harper from winning that majority government. People have, thus far, formed a loose opinion of Ignatieff partially based on not seeing the man in a campaign (unlike Harper) or based on what they've been told to think about Ignatieff. In an election campaign, this all changes.

    And guess what? People don't like being told what to think and they don't like being lied to, and if what they see of Ignatieff clashes with what they've been told by the Harper ads and comments, then there will a price to pay for that.

    I've seen Ignatieff at an open house in Edmonton, and he was, quite frankly, extremely impressive: down to earth, honest, intelligent and knowledgable about local issues. It was a Liberal event, but there were some very tough questions on all manner of issues, and he won over a lot of people.

    If that's the Ignatieff that shows up come election time (the one that's cool under pressure, informed and honest) then Harper's going to be the big loser, especially if he can't win his majority.

  13. Certainly they can be criticized for deciding to tackle the national deficit rather than fund their promised childcare for several years. but it does go to show how necessary childcare is and the comparative failure of the CPC plan.

  14. I have long wondered: how much of Ignatieff's problems in the polls is due to the man himself, and how much of it is due to Conservative saturation attack ad bombing?

    Or, to put it another way: how many of the polled Canadians have heard anything about Ignatieff other than what the Conservatives have told them?

    Iggy may have real shortcomings as a leader, but any Liberal leader would be facing similar problems. (The Conservative attack machine would have a field day with Rae as leader, especially in Ontario.)

  15. I have long wondered: how much of Ignatieff's problems in the polls is due to the man himself, and how much of it is due to Conservative saturation attack ad bombing?

    Or, to put it another way: how many of the polled Canadians have heard anything about Ignatieff other than what the Conservatives have told them?

    Iggy may have real shortcomings as a leader, but any Liberal leader would be facing similar problems. (The Conservative attack machine would have a field day with Rae as leader, especially in Ontario.)

    • Both the CPC and LPC have spent decades mischaracterizing the NDP, so much that they don't even have to attack their policy anymore, they just say "socialist!" This how they've laways wanted it. If Rae becomes leader and that backfires on the LPC, well what do they expect!

      • Very true, Mike. Very true.

    • Who would be at fault for the Canadian public not hearing "anything" about iggy?

      Blame Iggy and the Liberal machine. It's the Liberals job to promote their leader. Fortunatly for the CPC the Liberals are so behind the times on fundraising techniques and so out of step with the Canadian public on policy that they can't afford to and/or their messages just aren't resonating.

      It's not like the Liberals havent been trying hard to paint harper as evil for the past 7 years. Theyve tried hard but Canadians just aren't buying with the Libs are selling.

    • Do you think that attacks on Ignatieff are going to diminish during a campaign? There will be three leaders attacking him. I suggest there will be no opportunity for Ignatieff to improve himself from what Canadians already think of him. In fact the existing opinion of him will probably solidify even more.

    • Once Liberals elevated Iggy to the Liberal throne, the CPC attack ads defined him adversely. Not a peep out of the Liberals because they knew the attack ads were true! Iggy was hung out to dry while twisting in the fartuous winds in the HoCs.

      The only response from the Liberal-Donolo counter-attack machine was to demonize All-Canadian Stephen Harper. They couldn't defend Iggy, so they attacked Harper and failed if you look at all the polls where Harper is preferred over Iggy by almost three to one.

      Maybe Liberals are working on Plan "C" now … ya think??

  16. My Daughter goes to Vincent Massey School in Alberta….when I found out that he was Ignatief's great uncle I did a little more research and found out that he is a fifth gen Canadian with family heavily involved in Canadian politics and diplomacy…..every time I see one of those commercials on now it just pi sses me off

  17. We DID have a national Childcare plan….after two years of negotiation with the provinces Goodale and Martin had a plan…….we voted the Liberals out of office and chose Stephen Harper's pay-10-billion-dollars-and-counting-program-that-has-created-no-spaces-and-hasn't-reduced-thecost-one-iota plan

  18. That's a real problem though, because the Conservatives have largely defined him. It's tough to change, even if the Conservative definition is largely simplistic, even childish.

  19. I wanted to say something similar but you beat me to it. Although now that I think of it maybe just voting for the least scary (or maybe the most interesting) sounding name is the way to go. The next question is how to determine how scary a name is, I'll have to think of some algorithm for it.

  20. I wanted to say something similar but you beat me to it. Although now that I think of it maybe just voting for the least scary (or maybe the most interesting) sounding name is the way to go. The next question is how to determine how scary a name is, I'll have to think of some algorithm for it.

    • "The next question is how to determine how scary a name is, I'll have to think of some algorithm for it."

      If your name happens to be Robin Bastard [ really saw it on a UK satirical show. He was the proprietor of a pawnbrokers - believe it if you will] i'd advise against running for office…but that's just me.

      • I remember the show (The New Statesman), it starred Rik Mayall as Alan B'Stard. I wonder if its available on DVD.

  21. Both the CPC and LPC have spent decades mischaracterizing the NDP, so much that they don't even have to attack their policy anymore, they just say "socialist!" This how they've laways wanted it. If Rae becomes leader and that backfires on the LPC, well what do they expect!

  22. 'And guess what? People don't like being told what to think and they don't like being lied to'
    And this is the rub for me. I'm not particularly left or right leaning but I do feel misled by all that 'accountability, transparency, integrity' BS. I refuse to be suckered in more than once.

  23. 'And guess what? People don't like being told what to think and they don't like being lied to'
    And this is the rub for me. I'm not particularly left or right leaning but I do feel misled by all that 'accountability, transparency, integrity' BS. I refuse to be suckered in more than once.

  24. LOL! Imagine people saying the opposite : "I'm voting for Harper, because his name just rolls off the tongue."

    • Well.. at least that reason has more evidence behind it than any other I've seen given.

  25. I'd much rather have private child care than state run child care. But I would like to see a real refundable tax credit based child care strategy that essentially ends up paying for child care for people who are trying to get into the job market. But I see no reason why people (like me) who can afford child care should get subsidized state run child care.

  26. LOL! Imagine people saying the opposite : "I'm voting for Harper, because his name just rolls off the tongue."

  27. PW wrote a book about Stephen Harper's rise to the PMO – he took over the Canadian Alliance in 2002. I don't have polls in front of me, but I'm willing to bet Harper's personal numbers and the parties totals (even if you include the PC totals in full) weren't much different than where Ignatieff is sitting right now.

  28. Finally! A column that is not about election speculation, nor based on polling.

  29. Great profile. It's interesting to see how Ignatieff's platform is shaping up. A "family care" plan, a national child care plan, a tuition plan, and something extra for Aboriginal Canadians. Except for the corporate tax hikes, it almost seems like a less ambitious version of Paul Martin's platform in 2006.

    • And who's going to pay for all this social spending? You?
      Just like Chretien's red book, it just won't happen.

    • Having cut corporate taxes 10 times in 10 years, rescinding an unaffordable further 1.5% cut is hardly a "corporate tax hike".

      • The corporate tax cuts have already been implemented. Ignatieff wants to increase corporate tax rates from current levels. That makes it a "tax hike".

        • Much as Harper increased income taxes on Canadians when entering office?

          • Indeed. In that case, the rate increase was 0.5%, and it was only in effect for six months, but it was still an increase.

          • In fact, when was the last Conservative Prime Minister to NOT raise taxes on the lowest income bracket, to the greatest detriment of the poorest Canadians? Mulroney gave about a 45% cut to the wealthiest Canadians, while overall raising it on the lowest bracket).

    • Ignatieff must have experience a great epiphany in his concern for the Canadian "family" …. given his sordid past record over his own British family …. who he abandoned proclaiming that "you can't live your life for the sake of your family, your children …" … all in his own words here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKMv8Y3Yr9s&NR

      • Wow. Is that your youtube channel? Thirty four angry "I hate Ignattieff" videos, with the average views hovering around, oh, 90 to 100?

        If that's your channel, you might want to try something else for fun.

  30. Great profile. It's interesting to see how Ignatieff's platform is shaping up. A "family care" plan, a national child care plan, a tuition plan, and something extra for Aboriginal Canadians. Except for the corporate tax hikes, it almost seems like a less ambitious version of Paul Martin's platform in 2006.

  31. I agree…I assume the Libs are biding their time.

  32. Neither Chretien nor Martin ever lit up the polls in terms of leadership and personality scores.
    They won elections.

    Most polling is wrong and as many politicians with bad personal numbers win as those with good numbers lose (ask Layton).

  33. And who's going to pay for all this social spending? You?
    Just like Chretien's red book, it just won't happen.

  34. Good-ale for PM!

  35. Excuses, excuses, excuses … because first impressions are lasting impressions about born-again pretend Canadian "Iggy". He's got "loser" written all over his face, no matter how you paint that Liberal. Canadians will just not want a PM "Iggy"..!!!

    You must accept that Iggy is just not believable promising all that stuff Liberal leaders have been promising for decades. Even half the polled Canadians who say they will vote Liberal do not want Iggy as party leader and by extension as PM of Canada. That means those Canadians will stay home rather than vote for a PM Iggy by default … and probably in even greater numbers than they did with Dion.

    Liberal party workers know that too, and their only strategy is to demonize All-Canadian Stephen Harper to bring him down to Iggy's low level … but they are failing as shown in the polls. Iggy is political dead meat and the media's attempt to resurrect him will fail too.

    If the Opposition Coalition bring down the Harper Government on the basis of their perceived attacks on "democracy", the Canadian voter will reject and punish them for causing a $400 Million election on issues that should be resolved in Parliament … and not dragging Canadians into an unwanted election to do the job of the Opposition.

  36. And your welcome to your opinion, unrealistic or no.

  37. Thank you …. and I bet Charlie Sheen would be a lot more popular in Canada than "we Americans" Iggy …LOL

  38. Ha! Comment of the day!

  39. Ha! Comment of the day!

  40. Another perplexing aspect of the equation is just how bad Harper is.

    • I suspect we won't know the full extent of that until he's removed from office and we get a look at the books. The Harper government does remind me a lot of the Devine government in Saskatchewan though, and we know how that ended. I suspect the end of Harper's reign will be similar.

      • The same guy who cooked the books in Ontario is now doing Harper's finances, as well!

    • But the Canadian "equation" does not include born-again pretend Canadian Ignatieff.

      • That's all you've got, isn't it?

        • Yeah, and he keeps

          • Oops…keeps on repeating it…sigh…wasn't really worth the effort.

          • Perhaps if you repeat your comment just one more time it will be worth the effort….;-)

  41. Another perplexing aspect of the equation is just how bad Harper is.

  42. You'd think not having Iggy supporters constantly underming him the way Dion did would be helpful, but it turns out having them on your side is even worse.

  43. You'd think not having Iggy supporters constantly underming him the way Dion did would be helpful, but it turns out having them on your side is even worse.

  44. The Libs may be down in the polls and money, but I know that when an election is called, I'll be donating. I have never been so disgusted with any government in my life. I could list the reasons, but they are too long to list.

  45. Iggy is also George Grant's nephew. His mother's side of the family goes way back.
    His paternal grandfather moved to Quebec in 1925.
    His father served in the Royal Artillery in WWII, then was Canada's delegate to the Red Cross, and spent his post-war career serving Canada as a diplomat and Ambassador, then was a provost and chancellor at the University of Toronto.

    It galls me every time I hear that he's not Canadian or that he's just visiting.
    I don't like being lied to by any politician of any stripe.
    Let's face it — the Cons have no problem lying. The truth however often trips them up.

  46. Iggy is also George Grant's nephew. His mother's side of the family goes way back.
    His paternal grandfather moved to Quebec in 1925.
    His father served in the Royal Artillery in WWII, then was Canada's delegate to the Red Cross, and spent his post-war career serving Canada as a diplomat and Ambassador, then was a provost and chancellor at the University of Toronto.

    It galls me every time I hear that he's not Canadian or that he's just visiting.
    I don't like being lied to by any politician of any stripe.
    Let's face it — the Cons have no problem lying. The truth however often trips them up.

  47. The Libs may be down in the polls and money, but I know that when an election is called, I'll be donating. I have never been so disgusted with any government in my life. I could list the reasons, but they are too long to list.

  48. Canadians do not want another massive Ottawa gov't bureaucracy to run a national child daycare social engineering program. Canadians want less taxes, less gov't, less Liberals … believe it.

  49. I was wondering this morning what the Liberals will do if they gain seats but lose the election. Would that be enough for them to keep Ignatieff? What if his personal numbers go up during the election? Is that enough to keep him on after a loss?

    Would he even want to stay?

  50. Who would be at fault for the Canadian public not hearing "anything" about iggy?

    Blame Iggy and the Liberal machine. It's the Liberals job to promote their leader. Fortunatly for the CPC the Liberals are so behind the times on fundraising techniques and so out of step with the Canadian public on policy that they can't afford to and/or their messages just aren't resonating.

    It's not like the Liberals havent been trying hard to paint harper as evil for the past 7 years. Theyve tried hard but Canadians just aren't buying with the Libs are selling.

  51. yeah. Just like they had a plan at Kelowna. If you believe what the Liberals are selling on this front I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

  52. Having cut corporate taxes 10 times in 10 years, rescinding an unaffordable further 1.5% cut is hardly a "corporate tax hike".

  53. So can the CPC be forgiven for focusing on the economy in the midst of a global economic meltdown the scope of which hasn't been seen since the great depression?

  54. Perhaps you could tell us where failed Liberal leader Ignatieff will win "more seats, and keep Harper from winning that majority government."???

    PM Harper did state that in the next election, Canadians will have to chose between a stable majority Conservative gov't ..or.. an unstable majority Coalition gov't. Do you honestly believe that the Opposition Coalition would allow Harper to govern with another minority???

    • I sincerely hope that if the Conservatives win another minority 'victory', that the ensuing throne speech is defeated post haste.

      • Then one of two things will happen: (1) we will have another election, which will most likely wipe out the Libs and Dips … or … (2) we will have a Coalition Troika Junta attempt to seize power and form an unstable and unCanadian gov't … leading to another election with the same results as in (1).

        Your thoughts ……

        • Wow, your grasp of our parliamentary system is a little thin, isn't it?

        • (1) I would hope that the GG, would at least realize that to immediately throw us in to another $300M election would not be appealing to the electorate. Why you would think an ensuing election would wipe out other parties eludes me. If after 3 elections Mr. Harper can't achieve his majority and has consistently failed to convince Canadians he deserves unfettered control of the government, would a fourth election prove otherwise?

          (2) Poppycock. You are just repeating a Conservative talking point designed to scare the uneducated. Any ensuing govenment that might be formed by one of the opposition parties would and could operate in the exact same manner as the current minority government. The spectre of a coalition is a canard generated by the Conservatives designed to frighten us poor hapless voters. If this happens, and the Conservatives are 'hungry for power', let them then try to defeat that government at the first possible opportunity, and then explain to the electorate why they had to do it.

          • Assuming we still get *similar* polling numbers to your scenario (I'll call it 33-34% CPC and 29-30% LPC) returning something similar to 2006 numbers, and a coalition is declared, here's what will happen:

            1) that 34% becomes a very hard voting bloc and will not budge. Despite the legitmacy of the practice of coalition, these voters will feel cheated by the system.
            2) Some right leaning Liberals (especially the older voters) will shudder at the thought of working with the NDP.

            The end game is never a positive one. The status quo sucks for everyone, but we decided on that based on where we put the x on the ballot, and how the country reacted to the coalition/prorogation thing.

          • But…

            What declared coalition? There need not be any formal coalition. There isn't one now, and we seem to be able to stumble on from day to day.

            If we have an election, that produces another Conservative minority 'victory', they will have the right to form a government and produce a throne speech. If that throne speech fails to attract majority support, that government falls.

            One of the options available to the GG is to approach the leader of the opposition and ask him if he wants to attempt to form a government. There does not need to be a coalition (formal or otherwise) for the leader of the opposition to then produce a throne speech and put it before the House.

            To my mind, that would be preferable to immediately throwing us in to another $300M election. Again, this talk of coalition is a scare tactic put forth by the Conservative Party that is playing games. Whether the Conservatives or the Liberals form a government, the result would be the same, no Bill could get passed without the support of another party.

          • Indeed the scenario you outline might almost seem like the architects of our parilamentary system knew what they were about; something that can hardly be said for some of its present occupants.

          • Right you are, no declaration required. I understand what you're getting at, and I agree about the unnecessary expense of an election. What I meant to say is that it does nothing to dislodge this "minority deadlock" and might actually exacerbate it, by locking in angry voters on both sides.

            What I can foresee is a lot of instability in parliament. With the non-plurality party given the chance to govern, the probability of a non-confidence vote passing increases (mathematically) – it's by no means a necessity and by no means a scare tactic. It could work and I'm fine with that. My… question, i guess, is what would happen should that next party be given the chace to govern, and the house loses confidence? My Parliamentary history isn't great, but I don't think that circumstance has ever arisen in a Westminster system. My feel is that after that one the GG would probably have to call an election.

    • If there are limited and I mean limited votes in Quebec the max I believe is 14 and lets concede the Maritimes but I'm not so sure then where Iggy will get the votes to defeat the Conservatives. Outside the core GTA there is not much left for him. The polls suggest that the Conservative core base is strong. The Libs not so much and now with Ontario bastion being breached who knows.

      • holinm:

        I don't think the Libs will win. I also don't think the Cons will get a majority. Got any talking points for me?

        • No…no talking points today. I don't have talking points. I simply give my opinion just like the rest of the amateurs on this blog. I have no inside knowledge other than what I read and see. Sorry to disappoint you.

  55. Perhaps you could tell us where failed Liberal leader Ignatieff will win "more seats, and keep Harper from winning that majority government."???

    PM Harper did state that in the next election, Canadians will have to chose between a stable majority Conservative gov't ..or.. an unstable majority Coalition gov't. Do you honestly believe that the Opposition Coalition would allow Harper to govern with another minority???

  56. When you bide your time for too long, it has a way of turning into implicit acceptance of the claim.

  57. Lib leaders are allowed one election before there's a leadership review. Gaining seats is good. Losing the election at the same time would mean a tinier Harp minority….which would put all 3 leaders in peril, and they might all resign.

  58. Thank God Harper hasn't done anything except pursue LPC policy on that one! If we'd taken Harper's advice to laxen bank regulation, they'd be foreclosing on the rockies!

  59. I'd have to agree with John Edgar here. Id much rather a refundable tax credit based child care strategy than a national public one. I can't even begin to imagine the costs. If Quebec spends $7 billion a year on their plan what would it cost the country, we don't yet know because the Libs haven't come close to providing accurate costs yet, even after 17 years of promises.

    I also fail to see how a tax credit system is more unrealistic than a public daycare option.

  60. What really gets me about the "just visiting" thing is that I know so many people who have moved out of the country for one reason or another. Some have come back within a few years, and others have stayed in the US or Europe for decades, but still intend to return to Canada at some point. I don't consider them any less Canadian for moving away. If anything, they appreciate Canada more when they return.

  61. Oh God, 'Observant' – are you back to your Russia phobia and 'viande mort' crap. I thought you'd finally gotten some new material. Sounds like panic has set in.

    • Hey, Jan … I've been pumping "memes" into the Canadian body politic …. and even Paul has used my reference to Liberals "flat-lining" …. LOL

      • Yes, Kinsella is looking for you.

        • Obsolete and Kinsella – hand in glove.

          • Now Kinsella agrees with me … about the incompetence of the federal Liberals ….LOL

      • "pumping memes'

        And here I thought they were talking points.

    • Dispute him Jan instead of attacking him. There are many in Canada who feel as Observant has said on this blog. The problem is the Libs have no way to fight it and to think that Canadians are going to begin to love Iggy and his arrogant, condescending mannerisms during a 36 day campaign is just plain wishful thinking. I can just see that bony finger pointing as he whines about this, that or the other thing with those eyebrows that are in constant revolt, his feigned outrage and of course his smarmy attitude as he tries to explain his flip flops on virtually anything that has come out of his mouth.

      • Only Cons. LOL

      • hollinm – another meme or just a bot with the same programming – real Cnadians want to know?

      • And then there's Obs and Hollin – hand in hand, every day. Posting side by side, checking each other's work.

        • Somebody has got to mop up the remnants of the Donolo Liberal forum brigades in their rear guard action of demonization and as they retreat in desperation …LOL

  62. Oh God, 'Observant' – are you back to your Russia phobia and 'viande mort' crap. I thought you'd finally gotten some new material. Sounds like panic has set in.

  63. LOL no it doesn't.

  64. I suspect we won't know the full extent of that until he's removed from office and we get a look at the books. The Harper government does remind me a lot of the Devine government in Saskatchewan though, and we know how that ended. I suspect the end of Harper's reign will be similar.

  65. Very true, Mike. Very true.

  66. A well rounded article but neglects an important variable. Namely, historically speaking, we now live in a post-modern "age of stupid", fueled by a combination of fear, ignorance and collective ADHD. The conservatives, republicans, Harper, Palin, Rove, they understand this simple fact and as such, have become masters in the selling of "stupid". Virtually all of the derogatory spew about Ignatieff is the fictional narrative created by Harper's propaganda department (paid for by us, of course). Intellectualism in this country is effectively dead and by extension, Ignatieff is seeking power at the worst possible time. Given the obscene litany of scandals Harper is guilty of, the conservatives should be hovering in the low teens in terms of electoral support. But these are not 'normal' times. Ignorance, stupidity, slander, the tools of Harper, are what 'sell' in this country, and this will likely be the case for the forseeable future. In short, we are doomed.

    • "it's only an administrative charge and look at the other guys eyebrows!"

      • Oh you notice his eyebrows too eh Mike :-)

    • Ignatieff and the Liberals are "doomed" in any next election because they have little credibility with Canadians. As for your so-called "scandals", they are just the construct of the opposition coalition and the goebbellian media maggots. If the opposition coalition unite and vote no confidence prior to the Budget over these sham scandals, you can be certain the Canadian electorate will punish the opposition for precipitating a $400 Million unnecessary election over something that should be resolved in Parliament and not dragging the Canadian electorate to do the job the opposition don't want to do.

      But what is truly bothering you is the fact that all the CPC attack ads have been using Iggy's and even Dion's own words to condemn them. You seem to prefer disingenuous "intellectualism" over the plain "truth" ….. because you can't handle The Truth about Ignatieff and the Liberals.

      • "But what is truly bothering you is the fact that all the CPC attack ads have been using Iggy's and even Dion's own words to condemn them"

        We know they have, although not necessarily as they were intended to be heard. Who needs context though when you're busy trying to define someone?

      • Yes. How silly of us not to realize that Elections Canada, Kevin Page, The Speaker of the House, The Auditor General are all part of the vast "Liberal Conspiracy" of godless socialists. Conservatives really love those tinfoil hats, eh? Funny you mention the word "truth" in your post given that your messiah, Herr Harper, leads the most corrupt, scandal ridden government in the history of Canada. If Harper wins the next election, it will be the direct result of 400 million stolen dollars from the Canadian taxpayer to oil his lie factory. But you go on and keep drinking your kool-aid.

        • Oh no. Someone's invoked Godwin…time to get off here.

    • Alot of words Xavier, but no content. Intellectualism is a scam. It is intellectuals, elites and arrogant know-it all who have destroyed the potential this country had. An education is of no use to anyone unless you have experience and common sense. You arrogant twit. You would deny Canadians democratic reform, a functional armed forces, freedom to not be in a union or be forced to live under laws created by the UN? Stupid marxist.

  67. A well rounded article but neglects an important variable. Namely, historically speaking, we now live in a post-modern "age of stupid", fueled by a combination of fear, ignorance and collective ADHD. The conservatives, republicans, Harper, Palin, Rove, they understand this simple fact and as such, have become masters in the selling of "stupid". Virtually all of the derogatory spew about Ignatieff is the fictional narrative created by Harper's propaganda department (paid for by us, of course). Intellectualism in this country is effectively dead and by extension, Ignatieff is seeking power at the worst possible time. Given the obscene litany of scandals Harper is guilty of, the conservatives should be hovering in the low teens in terms of electoral support. But these are not 'normal' times. Ignorance, stupidity, slander, the tools of Harper, are what 'sell' in this country, and this will likely be the case for the forseeable future. In short, we are doomed.

  68. What I find intriguing is the stubborn insistence of the media to quote 'polls' as if they are a) accurate, b) actual ethically run and unbiassed AND analyzed to prefection by the media.

    Honestly, the amount of times the media has been wrong after quoting said out-of-writ infotainment polls is pretty embarrasing……and yet they keep doing it…..amazing.

    It's not that I disagree with the article, it seems to me to be very good insight….BUT backing the story up with a reference to polls actually (for me anyway) makes your story less credible rather than more.

    • Stan L …. no matter which way you cut it, Ignatieff is dead political meat … and you know it too.

  69. They better hurry. Time is running out. If as Wells says and it is true that Ignatieff has spent more time running around the country and he still hasn't caught on. It is highly unlikely that in the noise of a 36 days campaign it will get any better for him. Remember his tours are one sided with no one challenging him, He is going to have three leaders attacking him day in and day out. He will also have to explain his flip flops on the coalition and other policy announcements. He has a tendency to be arrogant and condescending in his manner. That could really hurt him with the folks.

  70. What I find intriguing is the stubborn insistence of the media to quote 'polls' as if they are a) accurate, b) actual ethically run and unbiassed AND analyzed to prefection by the media.

    Honestly, the amount of times the media has been wrong after quoting said out-of-writ infotainment polls is pretty embarrasing……and yet they keep doing it…..amazing.

    It's not that I disagree with the article, it seems to me to be very good insight….BUT backing the story up with a reference to polls actually (for me anyway) makes your story less credible rather than more.

  71. Trudeaumania strikes again …… Buh-bye Iggy-POPski …. LOL

  72. I sincerely hope that if the Conservatives win another minority 'victory', that the ensuing throne speech is defeated post haste.

  73. Dispute what he said rather than attacking him personally! You can't because you know what Observant said is true.

  74. If you mean tax credit in the same way as we normally apply them (16.5% of cost) it simply doesn't solve the problem. it would be exactly like Harper's transit credit – gives a small amount of $ in the general direction, but doesn't actually increase use.

    You may prefer it, but that doesn't mean it actually addresses the issue.

  75. hollinm …. you know that Iggy's cross-Canada Summer Bust Tour had two objectives …(1) to gauge how he handles campaigning … after all he had already lived in Canada for the last 5 years and finally got out of the Ottawa bubble to meet "little Canadians" … better late than never, and, (2) to rally the lugubrious Liberal party workers behind his dubious leaders so they don't abandon him as they did Dion … sooo obvious.

  76. hollinm …. you know that Iggy's cross-Canada Summer Bust Tour had two objectives …(1) to gauge how he handles campaigning … after all he had already lived in Canada for the last 5 years and finally got out of the Ottawa bubble to meet "little Canadians" … better late than never, and, (2) to rally the lugubrious Liberal party workers behind his dubious leaders so they don't abandon him as they did Dion … sooo obvious.

  77. The leader of a party can have the most appealing personality but if he hasn't got a platform just as appealing he is "dead in the water" The present Liberal party has nothing to offer, or at least if they have, they are being as secretive as the Tories and holding it back. Chretien had his "Red Book" , which he milked for 3 elections and got a majority in all. The liberal platform if non existent must be developed and put out to the electorate for their perusal. If it attracts the people then go for it and campaign with that as the winning strategy.

  78. Remember his tours are one sided with no one challenging him,

    That would carry a hell of a lot more weight if it weren't your man Harper who spends his days running and hiding from the media and the public as though he were the last teenage girl in a slasher flick.

  79. Remember his tours are one sided with no one challenging him,

    That would carry a hell of a lot more weight if it weren't your man Harper who spends his days running and hiding from the media and the public as though he were the last teenage girl in a slasher flick.

  80. Hey, Jan … I've been pumping "memes" into the Canadian body politic …. and even Paul has used my reference to Liberals "flat-lining" …. LOL

  81. Dispute him Jan instead of attacking him. There are many in Canada who feel as Observant has said on this blog. The problem is the Libs have no way to fight it and to think that Canadians are going to begin to love Iggy and his arrogant, condescending mannerisms during a 36 day campaign is just plain wishful thinking. I can just see that bony finger pointing as he whines about this, that or the other thing with those eyebrows that are in constant revolt, his feigned outrage and of course his smarmy attitude as he tries to explain his flip flops on virtually anything that has come out of his mouth.

  82. LOL well that WOULD be the Con point of view I suppose. However when an election is called all polls revert to zero, and Canadians start paying attention.

    Harp has been in there 5 years and still hasn't 'caught on'.

    In or out of a campaign, 3 leaders attack him, so it doesn't much matter.

    The supposed flip-flops and your imagery of 'arrogant' are purely partisan….as is the 'folks' remark.

    • Sorry, Emily …. but the current polling numbers are the "starting point" going into any next election.

      The poll momentum will be largely influenced by the party leaders, as in previous elections.

      CPC election strategy for the first 2 weeks will most likely be attacks on Ignatieff to completely undermine the remnants of his low credibility … and then Canadians will ignore whatever he is trying to preach.

      Ignatieff is NOT a leader, NOT truly Canadian, NOT worthy to be PM of Canada …. NOT wanted!!!!

      • Go talk to Kinsella…he's looking for you.

        I'm not interested in your nonsense any more than any other website has been.

        • Kinsella now agrees with me about the incompetence of the federal Liberal party …LOL

          • So go tell him that.

          • Well, that's certainly a claim I'd boast about…

  83. LOL well that WOULD be the Con point of view I suppose. However when an election is called all polls revert to zero, and Canadians start paying attention.

    Harp has been in there 5 years and still hasn't 'caught on'.

    In or out of a campaign, 3 leaders attack him, so it doesn't much matter.

    The supposed flip-flops and your imagery of 'arrogant' are purely partisan….as is the 'folks' remark.

  84. The corporate tax cuts have already been implemented. Ignatieff wants to increase corporate tax rates from current levels. That makes it a "tax hike".

  85. Ignatieff became the Liberal leader right after the 2008 election. He was put in because the Liberals got themselves exposed in a pure power grab and needed a leader other than Dion immediately.

    Since then the Liberals have been in partisan attack mode. They have made a made (or at least exposed) a mockery of the Committee system.

    Mr. Ignatieff has been the Liberal leader in charge of this disgraceful 2 year attack and has the very best not been able to control it and make the Liberal MPs at least look competent.

    He has to wear a lot the blame for his party becoming such an unpopular option to Canadians.

    The Kind of leader Canadians want is one who would point out the positives of the CPC economic action plan, the bail out of the auto workers and the Liberal contribution to making it so AND accept that the deficits were going to go up.

    • You mean like when Harper prefaces his EAP messages with a heartfelt thankyou to the previous liberal govt for handing him a stable banking system? Get real. This is politics. Ignatieff is opposition leader.
      I do agree though that trying to pin all of the deficit on the Tories is dishonest – and dumb. How can they now logically claim to have guided the PM's arm in bringing in deficit measure, measures he did not want in 08? To me that's a dissont message from the libs, and not a smart one.

  86. Okay …. now that you have given us the basis of your "logic", what do you conclude about Iggnatieff …. is he a winner or a loser … people want to know …??!!!

  87. So most polls are wrong eh? Ask Nik Nanos if he agrees with you. Yes individual polls fluctuate but we have had polls now during the whole time of Iggy's appointed leadership and not once has the Libs overtaken the Conservatives. And then there are those nasty leadership polls showing Iggy at the bottom of the barrel. However, I guess you can keep on denying reality. That's all you have is wishful thinking. Watch out the NDP could overtake the Libs in the coming election.

  88. Ignatieff became the Liberal leader right after the 2008 election. He was put in because the Liberals got themselves exposed in a pure power grab and needed a leader other than Dion immediately.

    Since then the Liberals have been in partisan attack mode. They have made a made (or at least exposed) a mockery of the Committee system.

    Mr. Ignatieff has been the Liberal leader in charge of this disgraceful 2 year attack and has the very best not been able to control it and make the Liberal MPs at least look competent.

    He has to wear a lot the blame for his party becoming such an unpopular option to Canadians.

    The Kind of leader Canadians want is one who would point out the positives of the CPC economic action plan, the bail out of the auto workers and the Liberal contribution to making it so AND accept that the deficits were going to go up.

  89. Ergo …???

  90. Yes, Kinsella is looking for you.

  91. Only Cons. LOL

  92. Then one of two things will happen: (1) we will have another election, which will most likely wipe out the Libs and Dips … or … (2) we will have a Coalition Troika Junta attempt to seize power and form an unstable and unCanadian gov't … leading to another election with the same results as in (1).

    Your thoughts ……

  93. Well… I don't think Ignatieff is going to win.

    I think the same qualities that sank him among Liberals in 2006 will sink him nationally.

    But campaigns are funny things; anything can happen.

  94. I'd love to see all three (actually five) of them resign at once. We could certainly use a refreshing change in politics.

    I'm not even going to guess at what Duceppe might do because I'm of the firm belief that nobody understand Quebec politics, including politicians from Quebec. May's job depends on whether she can win a seat or not at this point, so I'm assuming she'll be taking a job outside of politics this summer.

    I'm pretty sure Layton would survive a leadership review though. I think he'll be resigning even if he doubles his seat count, but I think he can pretty much stay as long as he wants.

    I think Harper might be gone if doesn't get a majority and will definitely be gone if he loses seats, even if he wins the election. There have been too many factions making too many compromises for too long and a weaker minority is going to freeze their agendas for another election cycle.

    Ignatieff, I don't know. If he gains a few seats and his numbers go up, could he survive a review? Does he still want the job? Does anybody else? It can't be fun getting whipped by attack ads on a daily basis, after all.

  95. If there are limited and I mean limited votes in Quebec the max I believe is 14 and lets concede the Maritimes but I'm not so sure then where Iggy will get the votes to defeat the Conservatives. Outside the core GTA there is not much left for him. The polls suggest that the Conservative core base is strong. The Libs not so much and now with Ontario bastion being breached who knows.

  96. Do you think that attacks on Ignatieff are going to diminish during a campaign? There will be three leaders attacking him. I suggest there will be no opportunity for Ignatieff to improve himself from what Canadians already think of him. In fact the existing opinion of him will probably solidify even more.

  97. Once Liberals elevated Iggy to the Liberal throne, the CPC attack ads defined him adversely. Not a peep out of the Liberals because they knew the attack ads were true! Iggy was hung out to dry while twisting in the fartuous winds in the HoCs.

    The only response from the Liberal-Donolo counter-attack machine was to demonize All-Canadian Stephen Harper. They couldn't defend Iggy, so they attacked Harper and failed if you look at all the polls where Harper is preferred over Iggy by almost three to one.

    Maybe Liberals are working on Plan "C" now … ya think??

  98. If he hadn't completely bungled the economy, maybe.

  99. Yes the column is wonderful if you want to hear about the people who surround Ignatieff and how the OLO operates.

  100. Yes the column is wonderful if you want to hear about the people who surround Ignatieff and how the OLO operates.

  101. Yes thats true and Paul Martin lost that election.

  102. "The Resurrection of Our Liberal Saviour Iggnatieff" … by Paul Wells …. and well in advance of Easter on April 24th ….!!!!

  103. Wow, your grasp of our parliamentary system is a little thin, isn't it?

  104. "The Resurrection of Our Liberal Saviour Iggnatieff" … by Paul Wells …. and well in advance of Easter on April 24th ….!!!!

  105. Actually that's the kind of thing I want to know about all of our leaders.

  106. Ignatieff must have experience a great epiphany in his concern for the Canadian "family" …. given his sordid past record over his own British family …. who he abandoned proclaiming that "you can't live your life for the sake of your family, your children …" … all in his own words here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKMv8Y3Yr9s&NR

  107. The same guy who cooked the books in Ontario is now doing Harper's finances, as well!

  108. "it's only an administrative charge and look at the other guys eyebrows!"

  109. Good article Paul. Can you, or your co-workers, do us a favour and do a similar piece on all of the leaders?

    Okay, I've read all the comments so far, so I have to go drive my tractor for a bit.

      • Tell Geddes to ask Layton to fully disclose the progress or his prostate cancer therapy. It's well known that hormone and radiation therapy will reduce bone mass causing fractures. So far, nobody is linking his hip fracture to his cancer therapy.

        This disclosure is necessary because it's disingenuous if not misleading to claim he is "election ready" … and then threaten to vote no confidence on the Budget or other issues. Mr. Layton may not be healthy enough to endure the rigours of an election now, and the media must confront him on the true status of his health.

        So far, the media has taken a hands off approach to determining Layton's health … just as the media is whitewashing Ignatieff's sordid pre-2005 past political record when he was an "adopted Brit" and then a "we Americans" patriot, for 34 years. If it was a Conservative leader, the media would be ripping into him mercilessly.

        • His health, his decision. Mind your own beeswax, nosy parker..

          • The NDP declared the party is "election ready" … but is their leader Layton "election healthy" …. because he has made it an issue with his prostate cancer condition, and now his bones are fracturing presumably from the cancer radiation therapy. He must make a full disclosure about the prognosis of his cancer and treatment before any next snap election. Canadians deserve the whole truth from the NDP and Layton … what are they hiding?!

          • Even with the cancer and the hip surgery, he's been in the House for more votes than Harper.

          • Unlike the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP are not one-person parties. If Layton experiences more health problems, someone else in his party will step in.

            The upcoming election is not solely a question of leadership.

          • Because it's well known the leader of a party must physically control the party members..

      • Thanks, Paul.

  110. A smaller Con minority than now would be the best outcome….Iggy would have had his one election, Harper would have had several….and gone backwards…. and the NDP as usual will have gone nowhere under the same leader.

    So all 3 of them could go….and we could have a fresh start.

    Duceppe has long wanted to return to Quebec, it's just that Marois is currently in his way. May should be coming to the end of her studies to be an Anglican priest so she has a fall-back.

  111. But the Canadian "equation" does not include born-again pretend Canadian Ignatieff.

  112. Good article Paul. Can you, or your co-workers, do us a favour and do a similar piece on all of the leaders?

    Okay, I've read all the comments so far, so I have to go drive my tractor for a bit.

  113. The sparkling wit and cogent argumentation of the Liberal Party of Canada's most fervent defenders, ladies and gentlemen!

  114. You are a disgusted person …. and desperate too if you are looking to the remnants of the lugubrious Liberal party to lead and govern Canada. Do you really want scary Ignatieff as PM by default …. the man who declared himself a "we Americans" patriot who proudly and reverently proclaimed "I love the Republic I live in!!!" Have you no concerns about a man who abandoned Canada for 34 years and advocated "lesser evils" like "torture, targeted assassination, denial of rights, targeted assassination" to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime??? Have you sanitized Iggy's pre-2005 sordid past political and personal life, because you are so hate-filled about our current gov't???

  115. hollinm – another meme or just a bot with the same programming – real Cnadians want to know?

  116. "pumping memes'

    And here I thought they were talking points.

  117. Ignatieff and the Liberals are "doomed" in any next election because they have little credibility with Canadians. As for your so-called "scandals", they are just the construct of the opposition coalition and the goebbellian media maggots. If the opposition coalition unite and vote no confidence prior to the Budget over these sham scandals, you can be certain the Canadian electorate will punish the opposition for precipitating a $400 Million unnecessary election over something that should be resolved in Parliament and not dragging the Canadian electorate to do the job the opposition don't want to do.

    But what is truly bothering you is the fact that all the CPC attack ads have been using Iggy's and even Dion's own words to condemn them. You seem to prefer disingenuous "intellectualism" over the plain "truth" ….. because you can't handle The Truth about Ignatieff and the Liberals.

  118. If this is true, then your beloved Liberals are even more pathetic than one could have imagined.

  119. Sorry, Emily …. but the current polling numbers are the "starting point" going into any next election.

    The poll momentum will be largely influenced by the party leaders, as in previous elections.

    CPC election strategy for the first 2 weeks will most likely be attacks on Ignatieff to completely undermine the remnants of his low credibility … and then Canadians will ignore whatever he is trying to preach.

    Ignatieff is NOT a leader, NOT truly Canadian, NOT worthy to be PM of Canada …. NOT wanted!!!!

  120. While Iggy may indeed be in for a drubbing, we'll have to wait for an election to know for certain. What happens if 900,000 Liberals who didn't bother to vote in '08 decide to show up next time? In that same election, 168,000 fewer CONSERVATIVES bothered to vote. What if Harper's turnout drops a bit more?

    Yes, most pre-campaign polling is either a little off or way off the actual results at the polls:

    "If there is to be an election this spring, it's likely to be held in early May. According to polls conducted this month, the average support for the Conservatives stands at 37.1 per cent, while the Liberals are at 26.1 per cent and the New Democrats are at 16.6 per cent. Looking back at polls taken three months before each election since 1980 tells us we should expect these numbers to change.

    The variation between the average results of polls taken three months before an election over the last 30 years is +/- 4.8 points per party. In most cases, the variation is between 1.3 and 3.7 points, but the elections held between 1984 and 1993 featured much wilder swings.

    In June 1984, John Turner's Liberals stood at 45.5 per cent only to find themselves bottoming out at 28 per cent in September. This shift benefited both Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives, who went from 41 to 50 per cent, and Ed Broadbent's New Democrats, who saw their vote increase from 12 to 18.8 per cent.

    In 1988, the Progressive Conservatives jumped again, gaining 7.5 points and ending up with 43 per cent of the vote on election night. This time, it was the New Democrats who dropped most. In August 1988 the party had the support of about 27.5 per cent of Canadians. Three months later, the NDP took in 20.4 per cent of the vote.

    But 1993 is probably the best example of how campaigns can change pre-election polling results. In August 1993, Kim Campbell's Progressive Conservatives and Jean Chrétien's Liberals were statistically tied at 35 and 36.5 per cent support, respectively. But on election night, the PCs lost 19 points and were reduced to only 16 per cent support, going from 169 seats to only two. The Liberals picked up about five points, as did the New Democrats, but it was the Reform Party under Preston Manning that changed the game, increasing their support from 9 per cent in August to 18.7 per cent at the end of October.

    … If there is a silver lining for the Liberals, it is that in six of the nine elections it was the government that lost support. On average, the governing party has lost 5.1 points during the three months preceding an election since 1980, while the main opposition party has gained 2.7 points."
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/from

  121. A meaningless comment from a homesick ex-pat.

  122. Go talk to Kinsella…he's looking for you.

    I'm not interested in your nonsense any more than any other website has been.

  123. Ignatieff: Issue number two is, ‘Can this Prime Minister be trusted, as we move forward, with the key sources of economic success?' Which are: a health care system you can count on; a pension system you can count on; child care when you need it to get into the job market.

    Two of these issues are provincial jurisdiction already intruded upon by Ottawa (one with disastrous results), the third is a provincial jurisdiction Ignatieff is hoping Ottawa will intrude upon.

    If those are his big ticket items, I will repeat my suggestion to him that he might make a darn fine provincial premier. Those are the portfolios that seem to matter most to him.

    • Ignatieff is jawboning these issues to make him look like a kinder, gentler Liberal leader … even though he is advocating more government and more taxation. Canadian voters will reject Iggy because he is just NOT Canadian enough regardless of what he is trying to sell like a yankee doodle dandy. Even Liberal party workers in the trenches are giving up the ship with Iggy as captain.

    • You keep bringing up jurisdiction issues as if they were actually important.

      • Guilty as charged, Justice Mike!

        Yes, I do. Because yes, they are.

        • Not so. We simply don't live in a Canada where both levels of Canadian government don't work together to provide for large scale projects such as eduction and health care.

          So your distinction may be important in some alternate reality Canada, but not this one. Sorry.

          • So you advocate the federal government should throw its money around (because that's all it can do) regardless of the damage that does to responsible administration of a program?

            How many are there like you? You don't all actually vote, do you? (Shudder…)

            If you want the federal government to run our health care system (double shudder), Mike, we have an amending formula.

          • All the a priori right wing talk in the world can't wish away something which exists, I'm afraid.

          • You have a dim view of the left wing, Mike, if you believe only the right wing cares about the rule of law.

          • It's the spending power. I understand you don't like it because you have a theory it leads to more public money being spent, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
            I shouldn't have to explain this to Canadian high school graduates. Yeesh.

          • I shouldn't have to explain this to Canadian high school graduates.
            Bang on! Especially if you might care to take the trouble to, you know, read the comments that precede such huffiness:

            So you advocate the federal government should throw its money around (because that's all it can do) regardless of the damage that does to responsible administration of a program?

            But explain away if you enjoy getting huffy about it. Different strokes, I suppose…

    • Assuming you think intruding on healthcare has been disastrous.

      Are you seriously suggesting that health care right across this country would be in a better state if Ottawa set no standard; made no attempt to ensure the system is portable, at least tolerably accessible and equivalent in all regions of the country?

      • He's not saying it's disastrous, he's denying it exists. That's the strange part.

      • Do you seriously believe the system is portable, tolerably accessible and equivalent in all regions of the country?

        I am happy to hear neither you nor a close loved one has gotten sick in the last several years.

        • And having no national standards, and keeping the Fed's big nose out of provincial affairs is going to help that?

  124. Ignatieff: Issue number two is, ‘Can this Prime Minister be trusted, as we move forward, with the key sources of economic success?' Which are: a health care system you can count on; a pension system you can count on; child care when you need it to get into the job market.

    Two of these issues are provincial jurisdiction already intruded upon by Ottawa (one with disastrous results), the third is a provincial jurisdiction Ignatieff is hoping Ottawa will intrude upon.

    If those are his big ticket items, I will repeat my suggestion to him that he might make a darn fine provincial premier. Those are the portfolios that seem to matter most to him.

  125. Jan …. Canadians will perceive Iggy as NOT truly Canadian …. He even sounds like an American with his Bostonian-Harvard twang to his voice speech …!!!

    He's just NOT worthy to be PM of Canada … and even half those polled who said they would vote Liberal, didn't want Iggy as their leader or PM. That means there will be a massive Liberal stay at home vote against Iggy.

  126. (1) I would hope that the GG, would at least realize that to immediately throw us in to another $300M election would not be appealing to the electorate. Why you would think an ensuing election would wipe out other parties eludes me. If after 3 elections Mr. Harper can't achieve his majority and has consistently failed to convince Canadians he deserves unfettered control of the government, would a fourth election prove otherwise?

    (2) Poppycock. You are just repeating a Conservative talking point designed to scare the uneducated. Any ensuing govenment that might be formed by one of the opposition parties would and could operate in the exact same manner as the current minority government. The spectre of a coalition is a canard generated by the Conservatives designed to frighten us poor hapless voters. If this happens, and the Conservatives are 'hungry for power', let them then try to defeat that government at the first possible opportunity, and then explain to the electorate why they had to do it.

  127. How come all of a sudden Canadians need to know what programs will cost?

  128. Your Non-Existent plan:
    "Bilateral Agreements With the Provinces on Early Learning and Child Care – 2005"
    Explained here. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublic

    Best part is where the new government gives one-year notice on ending funding for the Non-Existant plan. Note the words "legally bound".

    "In January 2006, the Government of Canada gave one year's notice that it would cancel the bilateral child care agreements with the provinces. Although it was legally bound to provide funding only to the three provinces that had signed final agreements with the federal government on child care, the Government announced that all jurisdictions would receive federal funding for one year, ending 31 March 2007."

  129. Your Non-Existent plan:
    "Bilateral Agreements With the Provinces on Early Learning and Child Care – 2005"
    Explained here. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublic

    Best part is where the new government gives one-year notice on ending funding for the Non-Existant plan. Note the words "legally bound".

    "In January 2006, the Government of Canada gave one year's notice that it would cancel the bilateral child care agreements with the provinces. Although it was legally bound to provide funding only to the three provinces that had signed final agreements with the federal government on child care, the Government announced that all jurisdictions would receive federal funding for one year, ending 31 March 2007."

    • <DIV id=idc-comment-msg-div-134891769 class=idc-message><A class=idc-close title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(134891769)"><SPAN>Close Message</SPAN>
      Comment posted.
      <P class=idc-nomargin><A style="TEXT-DECORATION: none" class=idc-share-facebook href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.macleans.ca%2F2011%2F03%2F14%2Fflatlined%2F#IDComment134891769&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Inside%20the%20Liberal%20effort%20to%20resurrect%20Michael%20Ignatieff%20-%20Canada%20-%20Macleans.ca&quot; target=_new><SPAN class=idc-share-inner><SPAN>Share on Facebook</SPAN></SPAN> or <A href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(134891769)">Close MessageOhh don't get me wrong. I believe that Paul Martin and those guys worked real hard to put a press release together saying they were going to do something. I just don't believe they were actually going to follow through with it. I don't believe for a minute that had Paul Martin won the government that we'd see your socialist utopian social engineering project brought to fruition today.

      Also very interesting that their "National Plan" only had three provinces agree to it. One of which didn't really have an agreement but just wanted the fed to fork over some cash. That is not universality my friend, nor is it national. It was merely a poorly thought out and even more poorly executed ploy to buy off the Canadian public with their own money.

      • "Also very interesting that their "National Plan" only had three provinces agree to it."
        "but just wanted the fed to fork over some cash."

        You're not terribly familiar with how transfer payments and fed/prov agreements happen in Canada, are you?
        Also, I posted $700 million reasons why you're wrong. You lost this one, pardner, on to the next stagecoach.

        • $700 million for a national child care plan? If that's the case I'd say the real loser is you, for thinking for a minute that with that amount of money Paul Martin was trying to buy anything more than an election – or a laugh.

        • All 10 provinces reached an agreement wit hhte feds, the program was costed at $5 Billion an dth emoney booked in the fiscal framework for the first 5 years.

          MgEllis, you are simply wrong. Period.

  130. Which is precisely the opposite of what you used to say, which is that he's an international celebrity scholar who Canadians know quite well. Fascinating.

  131. holinm:

    I don't think the Libs will win. I also don't think the Cons will get a majority. Got any talking points for me?

  132. He is….they know him as a scholar and writer, not as a politician. Two quite different fields Dennis

  133. Oh, so then there IS a narrative out there that you say Canadians are aware of. Which, of course, it contrary to what you just said. Amazing how your positions seem to change post-by-post. Truly amazing.

  134. Wow. Is that your youtube channel? Thirty four angry "I hate Ignattieff" videos, with the average views hovering around, oh, 90 to 100?

    If that's your channel, you might want to try something else for fun.

  135. That's all you've got, isn't it?

  136. AH … election history is interesting, but you must put any future election in the context of current reality. You must agree with me that leadership credibility and acceptability are important to the final vote. Currently, there is a massive "credibility gap" between Harper and Iggy and in Harper's favour.

    Unexpected events can also swing an election around … and I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadian public service leaked something intended to sabotage the Conservatives. This would happen in the final days of the election and could condemn the politicized public service in the eyes of Canadian taxpayers.

    Current poll numbers are the starting point going into an election, but it looks like the momentum is in the Conservative's favour … and the Liberals are "flat-lining" according to Paul Wells.

    Using your numbers of Conservatives at 37.1 and the Liberals at 26.1 and applying the +/- 4.8 as momentum factors …. the Conservatives with a positive momentum could reach 41.9 and the Liberals drop to 21.3. If Liberal party "brand" supporter reject Iggy by not voting, Liberals could drop to 21.3%.

    That could be the future results based on current reality. Your thoughts ….

    • Observant, you asked for evidence that polls are wrong compared to election results and I supplied it. Now you seem to be changing the subject.

      "You must agree with me that leadership credibility and acceptability are important to the final vote. "

      No, I needn't agree with you. Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien were not always lauded by large chunks of the electorate for their "credibility and acceptability". They sold platforms that the public were in the market for — and won. Being in tune with what voters want is far more important than having a leader with good personal poling numbers (Jack Layton appears on his way to yet another 4th place finish, for example.)

      "Using your numbers…"

      They are NOT my numbers (see Éric Grenier writes at ThreeHundredEight.com).

      As to your theory that the public service will leak something untoward during the campaign, I'll point out there was no such Liberal public service sabotage of Harper (a long held Conservative fantasy) in the 2008 vote. The only example that comes to mind: The NDP's baseless accusations made against Ralph Goodale in 2006 (added to the whole "Paul Martin supports pedophiles" meme launched by the Conservatives).

      "Liberals could drop to 21.3% … That could be the future results based on current reality."

      Equally plausible is an NDP collapse and a Liberal gain, leaving the Conservatives holding the bag with the Bloc. If Harper loses his fourth try at a winning a majority, and needs the Bloc to govern (see Mr. Mulroney), history shows that the Conservative movement may reject him or break up … yet again (see young Mr. Harper).

      There's nothing current about your reality.

      • Correction. It was holinm who asked for the evidence.
        The rest of my comment applies to Observant.

  137. AH … election history is interesting, but you must put any future election in the context of current reality. You must agree with me that leadership credibility and acceptability are important to the final vote. Currently, there is a massive "credibility gap" between Harper and Iggy and in Harper's favour.

    Unexpected events can also swing an election around … and I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadian public service leaked something intended to sabotage the Conservatives. This would happen in the final days of the election and could condemn the politicized public service in the eyes of Canadian taxpayers.

    Current poll numbers are the starting point going into an election, but it looks like the momentum is in the Conservative's favour … and the Liberals are "flat-lining" according to Paul Wells.

    Using your numbers of Conservatives at 37.1 and the Liberals at 26.1 and applying the +/- 4.8 as momentum factors …. the Conservatives with a positive momentum could reach 41.9 and the Liberals drop to 21.3. If Liberal party "brand" supporter reject Iggy by not voting, Liberals could drop to 21.3%.

    That could be the future results based on current reality. Your thoughts ….

  138. We know Stephen Hawking very well as a scientist….would we know anything about him as a politician?

    No.

    Go be 'amazed' elsewhere.

  139. has Mr. Ignatieff asked Mr. Page to price out his fully allocated 30-year costs for Government sponsored Child care.

    What will be the average wage and pension and benefits for the government workers running these day cares in 10 years?

    What will be the student daycare worker ratio?

    What will the work force be?

    What will the economic impact on Canada when these Public servants running the day cares go on strike?

    Will the government relocate rural children to the Urban day care centres or will they follow the broken model of small inefficient hospitals in every small town?

    What will be the cost of the child abuse law suits that the government will become responsible for? Think residential schools to the power of 1000s.

    What will be the cost to the government when the day care system churns out broken children?

    What will the cost of gender equalization payments when some bureaucratic panel decides that the work done by a day care worker is equivalent to that done by nurse and teacher combined.

    What will the cost of the government bureaucracy to monitor and police and make sure that human rights are not being infringed.

    What will be the cost to tax payers to build the infrastructure to house these daycares?

    • All very good questions which the Liberals cannot or will not address. Like everything else they will give the provinces the money and then when the provincials fail to produce the blame game will start. A national daycare program is a recipe for a major boondoggle. The Libs love those boondoggles though.

      • These are ridiculous questions because they're all based on the assumption that they will be state-run daycares, when that has never been what the Liberals have proposed. You can continue to peddle this myth because it's a nice way to scare people from a good idea, but it does nothing to improve the state of child care services in Canada (worst in the OECD). Liberals are proposing a program in which subsidies and standards will ensure consistency in availabiliy and quality, and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a hell of a lot better than $100 a month, which covers 2 days of daycare if you're lucky.

        • That $100 will cover 14 days of daycare if your lucky enough to live in Quebec …. $7 per day all because they are a "have-not" province requiring some $8 Billion of equalization payments …. not to mention their dirt cheap cegep and university tuition fees. Vive le Quebec pauvre …..!!!!

        • If we have a system that supports non-state run day cares then what is the problem?

          There is no way we get a National Day care program without them being owned and operated by the State.

          If we were able to have universal cost effective private daycare then surely we would have the same with Medicare.

          Ryan are you saying Medicare should be privatized?

    • Sorry, wait: you're actually, honestly, unaware that there are functioning daycares in Canada?

      I mean, it's either that or you've constructed the worst straw man I've seen since Mrs Borbridge's Grade 5 class staged 'The Wiz'.

      • Aunt Agnes

        You surely must be In favour of privatization of Medicare in the model of the current Day care.

    • What will be the cost when it is medically and politically determined that babies must be breast-fed as a matter of infant rights … and the mothers are put on the government payroll to work at the daycare centres ??!!!!

    • the $100 a month program that Harper putin place has created no spaces and cost 10 billion to date…..double what MArtin's prgram was to cost.

      Perhaps you should worry about the guy who is doing the job now…..he doesn't seem to be able to put an accurate price tag on anything,

      • My neice, a single mom, earns $17.50/hour in Alberta. With the $100, plus her Child Tax Credit (or whaever it's called), that's $260 toward 800/month preschool daycare cost. Then the AB gov't kicks in subsidies based on her income (with AB tax credits allowing her to claim child equiv to spouse, her entire income isn't taxed by the proivnce) she ends up paying about $175 per month. So yes, that $100 counts to those in need.

        • If they can find a space!

  140. has Mr. Ignatieff asked Mr. Page to price out his fully allocated 30-year costs for Government sponsored Child care.

    What will be the average wage and pension and benefits for the government workers running these day cares in 10 years?

    What will be the student daycare worker ratio?

    What will the work force be?

    What will the economic impact on Canada when these Public servants running the day cares go on strike?

    Will the government relocate rural children to the Urban day care centres or will they follow the broken model of small inefficient hospitals in every small town?

    What will be the cost of the child abuse law suits that the government will become responsible for? Think residential schools to the power of 1000s.

    What will be the cost to the government when the day care system churns out broken children?

    What will the cost of gender equalization payments when some bureaucratic panel decides that the work done by a day care worker is equivalent to that done by nurse and teacher combined.

    What will the cost of the government bureaucracy to monitor and police and make sure that human rights are not being infringed.

    What will be the cost to tax payers to build the infrastructure to house these daycares?

  141. I plan to donate too…………..is your head exploding….lol

    • A fool and his money are soon parted ……

      • Ever contribute to the Conservative party?

        • "A fool and his money are soon parted …… "

          Best part? Every Liberal donation is partly funded by…You!

          • That does make it tempting.

    • I'm not going to vote him, but I think I'll send him a cheque.

  142. I plan to donate too…………..is your head exploding….lol

  143. Donolo sent Ignatieff on the Summer Bust Tour in an attempt to get the support of Liberal party workers in the trenches because they were rejecting his leadership as futile and failed. Liberal party workers know that the Conservatives and NDP have a lot of devastating ammunition they can use against Iggy because they know all about his sordid past political record and personal life. It will all come out in an election, and there is no defence … except their continued demonization of All-Canadian Harper which won't hold up, and they know it.

  144. Perhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of Iggy's popularity problems is his personal narrative, and how it's much more of an impediment it is than it was for, say, Dion — who was well liked by Canadians for his stands on national unity and federalism. With Iggy, this is a guy who finally came back after an extremely long absence. And I think Canadians are genuinely wondering why he came back; why should they replace a sitting prime minister with this guy.

    I tend to look at politics in its most simplest terms, in part because I think that's how most voters do it, and it's also how all political parties eventually shape their basic messages. With respect to contenders for high office, it's usually about your record, or what you bring to the table from your past. With Iggy, it generally is his career as a scholar oversees. Unfortunately, he hasn't been opposition leader for very long, and his record on that score so far has been sketchy. So, the record that he has to run on has huge question marks from a political standpoint.

    • Actually, the CPC claimed that Dion was too French and he wouldn't be really Canadian until he renounced his citizenship.

      • You're more than welcome to source your nonsense. Until then, that's exactly what I think it is. Thanks.

        • "When asked whether he thought Dion should give up his French citizenship, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday it was up to each politician to "use their own political judgement."
          "Harper was quick point out, however, that he supported the decision of Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to renounce her French citizenship in 2005" http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/12/07/di

          "In a column in the Calgary Sun, Ezra Levant, a long-time conservative pundit and publisher of the Western Standard, criticized Dion for holding dual citizenship." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/12/05/di

          this was just a couple….it was all over the MSM for days

          • Yes, I'm well aware of those stories. Now, where in them does it support the above-made claim from "Mike T.," which was:

            Actually, the CPC claimed that Dion was too French and he wouldn't be really Canadian until he renounced his citizenship.

            I don't ever recall Harper or anyone else suggesting that Dion was too French or not Canadian enough. What I do recall is the suggestion that it's inappropriate for a head of state or head of government in one country to also have formal ties to another. And, in the case of the GG, she agreed, didn't she.

      • Hey, Mike … do you think Iggy carries British and American passports … or did he stay faithful to Canada and eschewed foreign citizenship?

        I ask you because when Iggy was a publicly self-proclaimed "we Americans" patriot who hectored Americans on TV about their own patriotism with "You have to decide what kind of America you want; it's your country as much as it is mine!" and then passionately proclaiming: "I love the Republic I live in!".

        What do you think Americans would think of Iggy if they knew he never intended to take up American citizenship … and then made all these disingenuous proclamations just to suck up to them??!!!

        • no.

          • No ??!!!! So Harvard history professor Iggnatieff was only pretending to be a "we Americans" patriot when he proclaimed all those passionate patriotic outpourings ..??!!!

            Jeez, if Americans listening to Iggy thought he was not an American citizen, just a Canadian pretending, do you think he would have garnered all the neocon credibility from the Bush-Cheney-Rumfseld regime when he was advocating the preemptive attack on Iraq as a necessary "lesser evil" …??!!!

  145. Stan L …. no matter which way you cut it, Ignatieff is dead political meat … and you know it too.

  146. Perhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of Iggy's popularity problems is his personal narrative, and how it's much more of an impediment it is than it was for, say, Dion — who was well liked by Canadians for his stands on national unity and federalism. With Iggy, this is a guy who finally came back after an extremely long absence. And I think Canadians are genuinely wondering why he came back; why should they replace a sitting prime minister with this guy.

    I tend to look at politics in its most simplest terms, in part because I think that's how most voters do it, and it's also how all political parties eventually shape their basic messages. With respect to contenders for high office, it's usually about your record, or what you bring to the table from your past. With Iggy, it generally is his career as a scholar oversees. Unfortunately, he hasn't been opposition leader for very long, and his record on that score so far has been sketchy. So, the record that he has to run on has huge question marks from a political standpoint.

  147. Do you think Ignatieff has an "appealing personality" .. given his sordid past political record and personal life??? Do you think Canadians will vote Liberal to get a PM "Iggy" by default??!!!

  148. Do you think Ignatieff has an "appealing personality" .. given his sordid past political record and personal life??? Do you think Canadians will vote Liberal to get a PM "Iggy" by default??!!!

  149. Although you don't like to admit it but Harper happens to be Prime Minister of the country and the way he handles himself as prime minister is an entirely different matter. However, you knew that. You are just trying to be cute.

  150. "The next question is how to determine how scary a name is, I'll have to think of some algorithm for it."

    If your name happens to be Robin Bastard [ really saw it on a UK satirical show. He was the proprietor of a pawnbrokers - believe it if you will] i'd advise against running for office…but that's just me.

  151. Ignatieff is jawboning these issues to make him look like a kinder, gentler Liberal leader … even though he is advocating more government and more taxation. Canadian voters will reject Iggy because he is just NOT Canadian enough regardless of what he is trying to sell like a yankee doodle dandy. Even Liberal party workers in the trenches are giving up the ship with Iggy as captain.

  152. So you admit there is a narrative out there already, just not the one you want yet.

    For the record, I don't think most Canadians knew who the heck Iggy was before he came back. A B-list international celebrity isn't exactly a household name. But that's contrary to what you kept saying, isn't it.

  153. No…no talking points today. I don't have talking points. I simply give my opinion just like the rest of the amateurs on this blog. I have no inside knowledge other than what I read and see. Sorry to disappoint you.

  154. Much as Harper increased income taxes on Canadians when entering office?

  155. God forbid that cranks like you ever get to decide just who is or is not Canadian enough in this country. Have you no shame!!

    • Ignatieff intentionally abandoned Canada for 34 years and then pizzed on Canada, Canadians and the Canadian flag …. while declaring himself an "adopted Brit" and then a "we Americans" patriot who passionately proclaimed "I love the Republic I live in!!"

      What more do you need to conclude that Iggy is NOT worthy to be PM of Canada …??!!!

      • If you look at the date in that attack ad of when he said those words, they are less than a week after 9/11. If you didn't get emotional about that tragedy while living in America, no matter where you were born and raised, then you would be a robot. Ignatieff got swept up in that fever as did many other Canadians and Americans. It is evident in his book "The Lesser Evil" where he essentially makes a case for torture.

        Holding the words "I love the Republic I live in one week after 9/11 is deceitful and dirty politics. I hope if you live somewhere other than the country you were born in for several years you love it! Also, it's not like he was surfing in Cali or panhandling just for the sake of being in America. He was the Head of the KEnnedy School for Human Rights at HARVARD. If you're a professor, and Harvard asks you to teach, are you going to turn down that opportunity.

        Observant, you are an ignorant buffoon. I bet you want the F-35s to kill those damn terrorists though, even though Iggy declared "He loved that republic" directly due to the attacks those precious F-35s are supposed to ward off. You are one dimensional and poorly read. I could continue to destroy youm but you are not worth my time any longer.

    • Selective outrage kcm. Jan just made an identical claim for herself as the arbiter of who is a "real Canadian." It didn't seem to bother you in the first instance, only in the second.

      Examine your own biases.

      • I missed her remark – it looks simply ironic too me. No selectivity here. I have never attempted to define who is and who isn't Canadian [ being an ex pat myself i'm particularly sensitive to the issue] Be my guest and make assumptions you have no basis for making – but it doesn't suit you at all .

        • No assumption, just an observation.

          • I wont try and split that hair. :)

          • It's not a hair, it's a pretty thick rope.

            I didn't make any assumption about your motives, I simply remarked on your differing reactions to similar circumstances. I didn't come to any conclusion about your biases, I only suggested that you were displaying bias.

  156. God forbid that cranks like you ever get to decide just who is or is not Canadian enough in this country. Have you no shame!!

  157. Observant, you asked for evidence that polls are wrong compared to election results and I supplied it. Now you seem to be changing the subject.

    "You must agree with me that leadership credibility and acceptability are important to the final vote. "

    No, I needn't agree with you. Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien were not always lauded by large chunks of the electorate for their "credibility and acceptability". They sold platforms that the public were in the market for — and won. Being in tune with what voters want is far more important than having a leader with good personal poling numbers (Jack Layton appears on his way to yet another 4th place finish, for example.)

    "Using your numbers…"

    They are NOT my numbers (see Éric Grenier writes at ThreeHundredEight.com).

    As to your theory that the public service will leak something untoward during the campaign, I'll point out there was no such Liberal public service sabotage of Harper (a long held Conservative fantasy) in the 2008 vote. The only example that comes to mind: The NDP's baseless accusations made against Ralph Goodale in 2006 (added to the whole "Paul Martin supports pedophiles" meme launched by the Conservatives).

    "Liberals could drop to 21.3% … That could be the future results based on current reality."

    Equally plausible is an NDP collapse and a Liberal gain, leaving the Conservatives holding the bag with the Bloc. If Harper loses his fourth try at a winning a majority, and needs the Bloc to govern (see Mr. Mulroney), history shows that the Conservative movement may reject him or break up … yet again (see young Mr. Harper).

    There's nothing current about your reality.

  158. This column and the comments are precisely why Mike Ig. and the Liberals can't gain any traction.
    It's all about policy – and one that's different than the Conservative's policy, not that the L's can do the same better.
    Until the L's come up with a big idea and not one that just takes money from earners to give it to others, and, a prince to sell it, Mike and the L's are just twenty some odd percent.
    Change'll come, but with Mike in charge it'll just come later.
    Please young Libs, the future is not Mike Ignatieff and e-mail.

    • give me a break……what are Harper's policies again?

  159. This column and the comments are precisely why Mike Ig. and the Liberals can't gain any traction.
    It's all about policy – and one that's different than the Conservative's policy, not that the L's can do the same better.
    Until the L's come up with a big idea and not one that just takes money from earners to give it to others, and, a prince to sell it, Mike and the L's are just twenty some odd percent.
    Change'll come, but with Mike in charge it'll just come later.
    Please young Libs, the future is not Mike Ignatieff and e-mail.

  160. You keep bringing up jurisdiction issues as if they were actually important.

  161. If the LIberal strategists don’t think they can do any better than a minority government if an election is called this Spring, then, I for one, fervently wish that they wouldn’t bother …

    The pundits suggest that the Liberal Party needs to lose another election so that they can change leaders … and if that is what they are doing, then the Liberal Party is as guilty as the Harper Party in wasting tax payers time and money for their internal partisan purposes, and playing political games instead of doing their jobs.

    As for Ignatieff, I think he is an intelligent man, but he is too distant and aloof to be liked enough by the general public to be a leader …

  162. Actually, the CPC claimed that Dion was too French and he wouldn't be really Canadian until he renounced his citizenship.

  163. If the LIberal strategists don’t think they can do any better than a minority government if an election is called this Spring, then, I for one, fervently wish that they wouldn’t bother …

    The pundits suggest that the Liberal Party needs to lose another election so that they can change leaders … and if that is what they are doing, then the Liberal Party is as guilty as the Harper Party in wasting tax payers time and money for their internal partisan purposes, and playing political games instead of doing their jobs.

    As for Ignatieff, I think he is an intelligent man, but he is too distant and aloof to be liked enough by the general public to be a leader …

    • But katie …. PM Harper did say that in any next election, Canadians must decided whether they wanted a stable majority Conservative gov't … or … an unstable majority Coalition gov't. IOW, there will not be another minority gov't after the next election …. it will either be a majority Conservative or majority Coalition gov't. Your thoughts…..

    • No leader in Canadian politics is more distant and aloof than Stephen Harper, but the electorate votes him in again and again.

    • Another PMSer or hot flasher …. PM Harper did not call this election the LIBERAls did backed by the Socialists NDP and Separatists!!!!

      Cool down Katie ur info. is crap!!!

  164. Tell Geddes to ask Layton to fully disclose the progress or his prostate cancer therapy. It's well known that hormone and radiation therapy will reduce bone mass causing fractures. So far, nobody is linking his hip fracture to his cancer therapy.

    This disclosure is necessary because it's disingenuous if not misleading to claim he is "election ready" … and then threaten to vote no confidence on the Budget or other issues. Mr. Layton may not be healthy enough to endure the rigours of an election now, and the media must confront him on the true status of his health.

    So far, the media has taken a hands off approach to determining Layton's health … just as the media is whitewashing Ignatieff's sordid pre-2005 past political record when he was an "adopted Brit" and then a "we Americans" patriot, for 34 years. If it was a Conservative leader, the media would be ripping into him mercilessly.

  165. Oh are we voting on authors? If so, then his name recognition would count.

    Most people move beyond Dick and Jane you know.

    Entranced as everyone is by your brilliance Dennis….you aren't going anywhere with this.

  166. Indeed. In that case, the rate increase was 0.5%, and it was only in effect for six months, but it was still an increase.

  167. Oh are we voting on authors? If so, then his name recognition would count.

    Most people move beyond Dick and Jane you know.

    Entranced as everyone is by your brilliance Dennis….you aren't going anywhere with this.

    • If we're voting on authors I pick Spider Robinson for PM. I know he used to be an American, but he's been here so long the Conservatives would have to consider him a Canadian and vote for him on that basis alone…at least if they believe their own rhetoric about Ignatieff.

      • Ahhh well, if we were voting on authors I have a long list.

  168. Oh you notice his eyebrows too eh Mike :-)

  169. You're more than welcome to source your nonsense. Until then, that's exactly what I think it is. Thanks.

  170. <DIV id=idc-comment-msg-div-134891769 class=idc-message><A class=idc-close title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(134891769)"><SPAN>Close Message</SPAN>
    Comment posted.
    <P class=idc-nomargin><A style="TEXT-DECORATION: none" class=idc-share-facebook href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.macleans.ca%2F2011%2F03%2F14%2Fflatlined%2F#IDComment134891769&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Inside%20the%20Liberal%20effort%20to%20resurrect%20Michael%20Ignatieff%20-%20Canada%20-%20Macleans.ca&quot; target=_new><SPAN class=idc-share-inner><SPAN>Share on Facebook</SPAN></SPAN> or <A href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(134891769)">Close MessageOhh don't get me wrong. I believe that Paul Martin and those guys worked real hard to put a press release together saying they were going to do something. I just don't believe they were actually going to follow through with it. I don't believe for a minute that had Paul Martin won the government that we'd see your socialist utopian social engineering project brought to fruition today.

    Also very interesting that their "National Plan" only had three provinces agree to it. One of which didn't really have an agreement but just wanted the fed to fork over some cash. That is not universality my friend, nor is it national. It was merely a poorly thought out and even more poorly executed ploy to buy off the Canadian public with their own money.

  171. Kinsella now agrees with me about the incompetence of the federal Liberal party …LOL

  172. Correction. It was holinm who asked for the evidence.
    The rest of my comment applies to Observant.

  173. what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  174. All very good questions which the Liberals cannot or will not address. Like everything else they will give the provinces the money and then when the provincials fail to produce the blame game will start. A national daycare program is a recipe for a major boondoggle. The Libs love those boondoggles though.

  175. So you're ok that the so called soridid past of Ignatieff be used against him specifically because he's not an "All Canadian" boy like Harper. I say this is an un Canadian concept, and that you are in fact an ignorant bigot.

    • He's an ignorant bigot with a brain made of rubber – cooked to a specific formation – ie Harper's formation. Nothing else penetrates.

    • WOW … that's quite the denunciation … un Canadian AND an "ignorant bigot". What did I say that upset you so? Was is the fact that Liberal party workers in the trenches feel the futility of following Iggy's failed leadership? Or was it your fear of CPC "truth" attack ads that will slapchop Iggy into itsy-bitsy pieces and reduce him to a cartoon caricature … like Iggy POP …??!!!!

      • You don't get it do you? Here's a clue…no i'm not upset that you don't like Ignatieff or liberals or even that you have no idea what "truth" means in any objective sense- not at all. I'll leave it to you to search through whatever ethical standards you profess to hold to find out just what i might be upset about.

  176. So you're ok that the so called soridid past of Ignatieff be used against him specifically because he's not an "All Canadian" boy like Harper. I say this is an un Canadian concept, and that you are in fact an ignorant bigot.

  177. Ignatieff intentionally abandoned Canada for 34 years and then pizzed on Canada, Canadians and the Canadian flag …. while declaring himself an "adopted Brit" and then a "we Americans" patriot who passionately proclaimed "I love the Republic I live in!!"

    What more do you need to conclude that Iggy is NOT worthy to be PM of Canada …??!!!

  178. Selective outrage kcm. Jan just made an identical claim for herself as the arbiter of who is a "real Canadian." It didn't seem to bother you in the first instance, only in the second.

    Examine your own biases.

  179. Perhaps the only way to resolve our differences is to have an unwanted federal election precipitated by the Opposition Coalition Troika Junta and their lust to seize power … ya think …??!!!!

  180. So go tell him that.

  181. But they are Ignatieff's own words about his reason for abandoning his British family to go live with his BBC mistress.

    Surely this is a "character" issue that Canadians will want to know about before they cast their votes.

  182. A fool and his money are soon parted ……

  183. Ignatieff's attack strategy on Harper's lack of democratic credentials and economic mismanagement may work only if Ignatieff offers what he would do instead.

  184. Ignatieff's attack strategy on Harper's lack of democratic credentials and economic mismanagement may work only if Ignatieff offers what he would do instead.

    • I'd settle for a guy who doesn't pro-rogue when he gets into hot water, provides documents within hours of being told to by parliament, does not kill bills in the senate (especially after saying his entire life how the senate should not make important decisions such as killing bills), and doesn't pass unenforceable fixed election laws and then ignore them to call a convenient election.

      And the thing is, that shouldn't be that hard.

    • CPC attack ads in the first 2 weeks of any election will slapchop Iggy into quivering bits reducing him to near-zero credibility … so nobody will listen to what he has to say leaving Liberals leaderless and useless. Sorry ….

    • Yeah, I think that has to be part of it.

      Serious democratic reforms that strike directly at what Harper has done (advertising in the pre-writ period, highly partisan taxpayer funded ads), some sort of mechanism to limit the power of the PMO, etc…things the Liberals aren't exactly innocent of either…would go a long way, I think.

      When it comes to economic management, I'd really like to see recognition that with all of the advantages we gave to corporations starting with the Mulroney government and carrying on through Chretien and Martin, then worsening under Harper, the middle and working class have been basically under attack, that the corporations haven't lived up to their part of the bargain and, along with the recognition, a plan to deal with it.

    • I fully agree with that assessment. It's not enough to tear down someone else's program without at least giving real hints as to what you plan about replacing it with.
      It's enough for media and observers to rip a government up one side and down another but it isn't their job to provide the answer's.
      Being a wanting Prime Minister, it is Ignatieff's job to offer those answer's.

      • This is a reply to all.

        I do think that the next federal election will be unpredictable. I do think that Harper and Layton will be predictable. Ignatieff will be unpredictable. He may either be a great or poor campaigner. I also think that the Liberals will try to frame the election on Harper's autocratic style. Generally, discourse over the minutiae of democratic principles do not thrill an electorate. One must include this with bread and butter issues such as economics that affect families. It can be done, but only if the Liberals are willing to frame the election campaign this way.

  185. Canadians were introduced to ignatieff by the media, intelligent, worldly, been there done that guy, bonus, political dynasty, roots that rival young Trudeau. We get that.

    BUT he's not running for personality of the year,
    he is 'telling' Canadians he should be Prime Minister….

    The new and improved Liberal platform is the same new and improved Liberal platform that was repeatedly promised and never happened,
    with 3 majority Liberal govts and 6 back to back surplus'.
    And we should not laugh when this new and improved Liberal platform is delivered now?

  186. Canadians were introduced to ignatieff by the media, intelligent, worldly, been there done that guy, bonus, political dynasty, roots that rival young Trudeau. We get that.

    BUT he's not running for personality of the year,
    he is 'telling' Canadians he should be Prime Minister….

    The new and improved Liberal platform is the same new and improved Liberal platform that was repeatedly promised and never happened,
    with 3 majority Liberal govts and 6 back to back surplus'.
    And we should not laugh when this new and improved Liberal platform is delivered now?

    • repeatedly promised and never happened

      Conservative transparency and accountability?

      Not only did it not happen, but it is actually worse than it has ever been

      • Kinsella says there is not enough time to develop that nebulous line of attack in a 36 day election campaign … and he is an expert on election strategy development and implementation. Listen to him … he knows ….

        • It's funny what can rise and fall in a campaign.
          Do you think a heavy cycle of attack ads may actually overplay your hand and bring ethics into the equation?

          • Especially when they steal taxpayers' money to pay for said ads?

  187. All parties want power.
    As for coalitions, it may indeed be Mr. Harper who relies on the NDP or the Bloc to hold power.
    A good chunk of the populace opposes Harper and wants an election — including the ever-contradictory Conservative supporters on these threads, who swing wildly between "Bring it on! Majority here we come" braggadocio and "we don't need an expensive election" demurring.

    • It's fun watching Iggy spinning like a top … and the doing his wobbly flip-flopping as he slows down ….LOL

  188. All parties want power.
    As for coalitions, it may indeed be Mr. Harper who relies on the NDP or the Bloc to hold power.
    A good chunk of the populace opposes Harper and wants an election — including the ever-contradictory Conservative supporters on these threads, who swing wildly between "Bring it on! Majority here we come" braggadocio and "we don't need an expensive election" demurring.

  189. In fact, when was the last Conservative Prime Minister to NOT raise taxes on the lowest income bracket, to the greatest detriment of the poorest Canadians? Mulroney gave about a 45% cut to the wealthiest Canadians, while overall raising it on the lowest bracket).

  190. These are ridiculous questions because they're all based on the assumption that they will be state-run daycares, when that has never been what the Liberals have proposed. You can continue to peddle this myth because it's a nice way to scare people from a good idea, but it does nothing to improve the state of child care services in Canada (worst in the OECD). Liberals are proposing a program in which subsidies and standards will ensure consistency in availabiliy and quality, and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a hell of a lot better than $100 a month, which covers 2 days of daycare if you're lucky.

  191. I remember the show (The New Statesman), it starred Rik Mayall as Alan B'Stard. I wonder if its available on DVD.

  192. Having used both state and private DC the debate of state vs private is an irrelevant one – they can both work fine.

    I think i'd support a tax credit if it were set up in the same way as the current child tax benefit operates. That is you send real money on a regular basis to those who need the funding in order to get off welfare and enter the job market. Most people in this situation can't afford the minimum $500/mnth out of pocket expense[ perhaps this is what JE meant by refundable?] I have to say i don't see the need for a universal programme that has to be taxed back off of those who can afford to pay for their own DC.[ for those in the middle of the pack a generous non refundable tax credit should work]
    Whether it is cost efficient should have as much of a bearing as equity.

  193. Ever contribute to the Conservative party?

  194. Having used both state and private DC the debate of state vs private is an irrelevant one – they can both work fine.

    I think i'd support a tax credit if it were set up in the same way as the current child tax benefit operates. That is you send real money on a regular basis to those who need the funding in order to get off welfare and enter the job market. Most people in this situation can't afford the minimum $500/mnth out of pocket expense[ perhaps this is what JE meant by refundable?] I have to say i don't see the need for a universal programme that has to be taxed back off of those who can afford to pay for their own DC.[ for those in the middle of the pack a generous non refundable tax credit should work]
    Whether it is cost efficient should have as much of a bearing as equity.

    • I'm extremely hesitant to think the private sector is able to provide health care without massive subsidies. I mean Harper's tax incentive to create hundreds of thousands of new spaces pretty much resulted in zero.

      • Leaving it to business to create DC spaces they had no interest in certainly fell flat; i can't say the same about the cash sub Harper sent out. It was hardly enough. But it did fill a need. The libs would do well to leave it alone, or better yet tighten up the tax loopholes and inequities that do bedevil the programme.

  195. Hey, Mike … do you think Iggy carries British and American passports … or did he stay faithful to Canada and eschewed foreign citizenship?

    I ask you because when Iggy was a publicly self-proclaimed "we Americans" patriot who hectored Americans on TV about their own patriotism with "You have to decide what kind of America you want; it's your country as much as it is mine!" and then passionately proclaiming: "I love the Republic I live in!".

    What do you think Americans would think of Iggy if they knew he never intended to take up American citizenship … and then made all these disingenuous proclamations just to suck up to them??!!!

  196. repeatedly promised and never happened

    Conservative transparency and accountability?

    Not only did it not happen, but it is actually worse than it has ever been

  197. His health, his decision. Mind your own beeswax, nosy parker..

  198. Sorry, wait: you're actually, honestly, unaware that there are functioning daycares in Canada?

    I mean, it's either that or you've constructed the worst straw man I've seen since Mrs Borbridge's Grade 5 class staged 'The Wiz'.

  199. But katie …. PM Harper did say that in any next election, Canadians must decided whether they wanted a stable majority Conservative gov't … or … an unstable majority Coalition gov't. IOW, there will not be another minority gov't after the next election …. it will either be a majority Conservative or majority Coalition gov't. Your thoughts…..

  200. I wonder if Observant has been working for Harper long enough to get a pension yet? Or a Senate appointment?

    You get a lot of moolah for selling your soul.

  201. "A fool and his money are soon parted …… "

    Best part? Every Liberal donation is partly funded by…You!

  202. So, it's your channel then. Yowsah.

  203. Obsolete and Kinsella – hand in glove.

  204. And then there's Obs and Hollin – hand in hand, every day. Posting side by side, checking each other's work.

  205. What will be the cost when it is medically and politically determined that babies must be breast-fed as a matter of infant rights … and the mothers are put on the government payroll to work at the daycare centres ??!!!!

  206. You really need to find a life.

  207. He's an ignorant bigot with a brain made of rubber – cooked to a specific formation – ie Harper's formation. Nothing else penetrates.

  208. Now Kinsella agrees with me … about the incompetence of the federal Liberals ….LOL

  209. "Also very interesting that their "National Plan" only had three provinces agree to it."
    "but just wanted the fed to fork over some cash."

    You're not terribly familiar with how transfer payments and fed/prov agreements happen in Canada, are you?
    Also, I posted $700 million reasons why you're wrong. You lost this one, pardner, on to the next stagecoach.

  210. That's so wrong, it's hilarious.

  211. Now that the news has come out about Harper's "shadow government", the millions or billions he's been spending hiring "consultants", who are not government employees, not subject to the same regulations and qualifications — here's where we're going to find out just how corrupt Mr. Righteous Harper is. It looks like it's so bad, they can't even find out how much money, how many people have been hired without proper certification, registration, qualification — by Stealth Harper.

    Great to see Hollinm and Observant so defensive. They're obviously paid staffers, and obviously on the downslide.

  212. Now that the news has come out about Harper's "shadow government", the millions or billions he's been spending hiring "consultants", who are not government employees, not subject to the same regulations and qualifications — here's where we're going to find out just how corrupt Mr. Righteous Harper is. It looks like it's so bad, they can't even find out how much money, how many people have been hired without proper certification, registration, qualification — by Stealth Harper.

    Great to see Hollinm and Observant so defensive. They're obviously paid staffers, and obviously on the downslide.

    • Governments.

      Hiring Consultants.

      In Canada.

      As we speak.

      We're not making this up.

      • Orson Bean or Wells or whatever!

        &
        Margaret, what are you talking about shadow gov't. BS, you don't know what ur talking about. i WORK IN GOVT AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT UR TALKING ABOUT!!!! UR HAVING A MID LIFE CRISIS OR SOMETHING!!!!

        I guess you like Jacko Wacko (Jack Layton) with the increased taxes to fund his programs or Iggy's increased taxes to fund new programs as well. THE BIGGEST SCAM ON ETHICS WAS LIBERALS BACKED BY NDP AND SEPARATISTS IN BRINGING DOWN OUR CURRENT GOV'T SPENDING WASTING MILLIONS OF TAXPAYERS DOLLARS!

    • Margaret, what are you talking about shadow gov't. BS, you don't know what ur talking about. i WORK IN GOVT AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT UR TALKING ABOUT!!!! UR HAVING A MID LIFE CRISIS OR SOMETHING!!!!

      I guess you like Jacko Wacko (Jack Layton) with the increased taxes to fund his programs or Iggy's increased taxes to fund new programs as well. THE BIGGEST SCAM ON ETHICS WAS LIBERALS BACKED BY NDP AND SEPARATISTS IN BRINGING DOWN OUR CURRENT GOV'T SPENDING & WASTING MILLIONS OF TAXPAYERS DOLLARS!

  213. Somebody has got to mop up the remnants of the Donolo Liberal forum brigades in their rear guard action of demonization and as they retreat in desperation …LOL

  214. Yeah, and he keeps

  215. Looks like yer searching for a life too …. a life after death of the Liberal Beast ….

  216. I'd settle for a guy who doesn't pro-rogue when he gets into hot water, provides documents within hours of being told to by parliament, does not kill bills in the senate (especially after saying his entire life how the senate should not make important decisions such as killing bills), and doesn't pass unenforceable fixed election laws and then ignore them to call a convenient election.

    And the thing is, that shouldn't be that hard.

  217. Oops…keeps on repeating it…sigh…wasn't really worth the effort.

  218. It's fun watching Iggy spinning like a top … and the doing his wobbly flip-flopping as he slows down ….LOL

  219. The social assistance and union crowd. Yeh that's Iggy's crowd! Far left hand out specialists yelling gimmie, but I no workie!

  220. The social assistance and union crowd. Yeh that's Iggy's crowd! Far left hand out specialists yelling gimmie, but I no workie!

    • I no workie………………..seriously…??…….that's just offensive…and you probably don't even know why

    • this response is so very typical of the brain-dead folks who believe the Harper propoganda. If you had a union, you probably would be working. Don't count on the greed-based corporations to create a job for you. They're not in it for you, only their gigantic salaries and shareholder dividends. Harper is simply their autocratic front man.

  221. Assuming we still get *similar* polling numbers to your scenario (I'll call it 33-34% CPC and 29-30% LPC) returning something similar to 2006 numbers, and a coalition is declared, here's what will happen:

    1) that 34% becomes a very hard voting bloc and will not budge. Despite the legitmacy of the practice of coalition, these voters will feel cheated by the system.
    2) Some right leaning Liberals (especially the older voters) will shudder at the thought of working with the NDP.

    The end game is never a positive one. The status quo sucks for everyone, but we decided on that based on where we put the x on the ballot, and how the country reacted to the coalition/prorogation thing.

  222. WOW … that's quite the denunciation … un Canadian AND an "ignorant bigot". What did I say that upset you so? Was is the fact that Liberal party workers in the trenches feel the futility of following Iggy's failed leadership? Or was it your fear of CPC "truth" attack ads that will slapchop Iggy into itsy-bitsy pieces and reduce him to a cartoon caricature … like Iggy POP …??!!!!

  223. I like Ignatieff and feel he's a very misunderstood man. It is unfortunate that our political system has gotten to the point where you are consumed by ego and innuendo rather than policy and credibility. Ignatieff has been aware almost since arrival as leader how tenuous his connection was with the “average” Canadian and he set out to change that. Harper and the club are doing everything they can to maintain this distance between Ignatieff and the voter. And they get plenty of help from the press and even some assistance from Ignatieff own party.
    When you have an uncertain public read newspaper stories that start off with a line like “the Liberal leader said over tea in the sunroom at Stornaway,” doesn't exactly build a positive image among the Tim Horton crowd. Rather a pretentious description and I would suspect that many people don't read any further then that.

  224. Then you have the Harperites flooding the airways with vile negative ads aimed directly at Ignatieff. One has to ask why the still see him as a threat when his leadership appears to be hindering the Liberals more than helping them. For someone with such low polling figures to have the CRAP spending millions to discredit him makes me wonder what they are afraid of.
    I think Ignatieff party has mishandled a number of issues in his regards. The fact that we are a country previously known for their compassion and multiculturalism in a growing global economy I think the fact the he has spend time abroad brings some very positive aspects to the role of PM. The Libs got so tied up in deflecting that they missed out on a chance to play it up.

  225. I like Ignatieff and feel he's a very misunderstood man. It is unfortunate that our political system has gotten to the point where you are consumed by ego and innuendo rather than policy and credibility. Ignatieff has been aware almost since arrival as leader how tenuous his connection was with the “average” Canadian and he set out to change that. Harper and the club are doing everything they can to maintain this distance between Ignatieff and the voter. And they get plenty of help from the press and even some assistance from Ignatieff own party.
    When you have an uncertain public read newspaper stories that start off with a line like “the Liberal leader said over tea in the sunroom at Stornaway,” doesn't exactly build a positive image among the Tim Horton crowd. Rather a pretentious description and I would suspect that many people don't read any further then that.

    • Aw shucks …. poor Iggy … polled Canadians put him dead last in popularity and leadership … even lower than Duceppe and LizzieMay … now that must sting …!!!

  226. Then you have the Harperites flooding the airways with vile negative ads aimed directly at Ignatieff. One has to ask why the still see him as a threat when his leadership appears to be hindering the Liberals more than helping them. For someone with such low polling figures to have the CRAP spending millions to discredit him makes me wonder what they are afraid of.
    I think Ignatieff party has mishandled a number of issues in his regards. The fact that we are a country previously known for their compassion and multiculturalism in a growing global economy I think the fact the he has spend time abroad brings some very positive aspects to the role of PM. The Libs got so tied up in deflecting that they missed out on a chance to play it up.

    • The "truth" attacks will continue until Iggy stops talking and returns to Harvard where he is idolized as a true and loyal "we Americans" patriot who passionate proclaimed "I love the Republic I live in!!!"

      I wonder if a PM "Iggy" has a secret agenda to make Canada a republic and eventually fold it into the US Republic he so loves …..hmmmm

      • "The "truth" attacks will continue…"

        By that I assume you the Conservative attacks on the truth.

        • Well, he did use quotation marks around the word, so that's like crossing your fingers when you promise something…

      • Delusion is listening to the lie for so long it becomes your reality. I would put more faith in someone who has spent time out of Canada nurturing valuable networks. Unlike Harper who has expertly alienated any global networks.

  227. It must really bother you reading my messages of Truth about the lugubrious Liberal party and their failed leader Iggy of Harvard. Don't fret … and election will put you out of your misery.

  228. Guilty as charged, Justice Mike!

    Yes, I do. Because yes, they are.

  229. "But what is truly bothering you is the fact that all the CPC attack ads have been using Iggy's and even Dion's own words to condemn them"

    We know they have, although not necessarily as they were intended to be heard. Who needs context though when you're busy trying to define someone?

  230. The NDP declared the party is "election ready" … but is their leader Layton "election healthy" …. because he has made it an issue with his prostate cancer condition, and now his bones are fracturing presumably from the cancer radiation therapy. He must make a full disclosure about the prognosis of his cancer and treatment before any next snap election. Canadians deserve the whole truth from the NDP and Layton … what are they hiding?!

  231. That $100 will cover 14 days of daycare if your lucky enough to live in Quebec …. $7 per day all because they are a "have-not" province requiring some $8 Billion of equalization payments …. not to mention their dirt cheap cegep and university tuition fees. Vive le Quebec pauvre …..!!!!

  232. CPC attack ads in the first 2 weeks of any election will slapchop Iggy into quivering bits reducing him to near-zero credibility … so nobody will listen to what he has to say leaving Liberals leaderless and useless. Sorry ….

  233. You mean like when Harper prefaces his EAP messages with a heartfelt thankyou to the previous liberal govt for handing him a stable banking system? Get real. This is politics. Ignatieff is opposition leader.
    I do agree though that trying to pin all of the deficit on the Tories is dishonest – and dumb. How can they now logically claim to have guided the PM's arm in bringing in deficit measure, measures he did not want in 08? To me that's a dissont message from the libs, and not a smart one.

  234. Yeah, I think that has to be part of it.

    Serious democratic reforms that strike directly at what Harper has done (advertising in the pre-writ period, highly partisan taxpayer funded ads), some sort of mechanism to limit the power of the PMO, etc…things the Liberals aren't exactly innocent of either…would go a long way, I think.

    When it comes to economic management, I'd really like to see recognition that with all of the advantages we gave to corporations starting with the Mulroney government and carrying on through Chretien and Martin, then worsening under Harper, the middle and working class have been basically under attack, that the corporations haven't lived up to their part of the bargain and, along with the recognition, a plan to deal with it.

  235. Kinsella says there is not enough time to develop that nebulous line of attack in a 36 day election campaign … and he is an expert on election strategy development and implementation. Listen to him … he knows ….

  236. Thanks, Paul.

  237. I agree. I've had the pleasure of hearing Ignatieff a couple of times in Winnipeg, and the questions weren't scripted. He took them all on directly and honestly, and I'm impressed. He will make a fine Prime Minister!

    • What impressed me about Ignatieff, aside from being a fine public speaker and being well-briefed on regional issues, was his ability to say "no" to some people. Far from alienating them, Ignatieff had some pretty sound reasoning behind his arguments. Now, that's not to say he convinced everyone, but he certainly presented a rational and reasonable explanation for his positions. THAT talent, combined with his grasp of policy and his ability to connect with ordinary people in a way that is actually quite effective, is what I think the Harperites fear, especially in a less-scripted and controlled election campaign.

  238. I agree. I've had the pleasure of hearing Ignatieff a couple of times in Winnipeg, and the questions weren't scripted. He took them all on directly and honestly, and I'm impressed. He will make a fine Prime Minister!

  239. Even with the cancer and the hip surgery, he's been in the House for more votes than Harper.

  240. Not so. We simply don't live in a Canada where both levels of Canadian government don't work together to provide for large scale projects such as eduction and health care.

    So your distinction may be important in some alternate reality Canada, but not this one. Sorry.

  241. Assuming you think intruding on healthcare has been disastrous.

    Are you seriously suggesting that health care right across this country would be in a better state if Ottawa set no standard; made no attempt to ensure the system is portable, at least tolerably accessible and equivalent in all regions of the country?

  242. If we're voting on authors I pick Spider Robinson for PM. I know he used to be an American, but he's been here so long the Conservatives would have to consider him a Canadian and vote for him on that basis alone…at least if they believe their own rhetoric about Ignatieff.

  243. Governments.

    Hiring Consultants.

    In Canada.

    As we speak.

    We're not making this up.

  244. What impressed me about Ignatieff, aside from being a fine public speaker and being well-briefed on regional issues, was his ability to say "no" to some people. Far from alienating them, Ignatieff had some pretty sound reasoning behind his arguments. Now, that's not to say he convinced everyone, but he certainly presented a rational and reasonable explanation for his positions. THAT talent, combined with his grasp of policy and his ability to connect with ordinary people in a way that is actually quite effective, is what I think the Harperites fear, especially in a less-scripted and controlled election campaign.

  245. He's not saying it's disastrous, he's denying it exists. That's the strange part.

    • Is this what he really said? Was this 'loosely' translated by Hamilton? Because previously the nat post reported Ignatieff saying:

      "Ignatieff suggested Wednesday his party would support federal funding for the proposed 18,000-seat arena, provided the city comes up with a “well-put-together” business plan that demonstrates the facility will have a “cultural use” and serve as a “real regional economic driver.”
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/Ignatieff

      • Yes, that happen today..

        I say let's take it with a grain of salt and a HUGE shot of tequila because it is going to be a fun ride!!

        • I liked the Crystal Pepsi analogy, Claudia! :)

          • Thanks!

            I am sticking to it : )

          • Personally, I like the tequila idea.

  246. "Equality of opportunity will be a running theme of the Liberal campaign, then. It is a darned sight less flashy than Dion's plan to shift billions of dollars from income taxes to carbon taxes, but it may sound less like it was delivered to the electorate by space aliens"

    lol I can remember sitting around in the bar with buddies when Dion was speaking. " What the hell's he taking about!" someone yelled. " Three peelers…he talking bout strippers or something!"
    How the hell could Ignatieff do any worse? As long as he stays away from strippers, green shrifts and gets his videos professionally produced?
    It's gonna be a tough sell though; selling yourself as NDP lite. There's a danger the public will say:" Okay…here's 20% of our vote then." I hope they remember to include some business friendly, good stewards of the economy stuff. It's a pragmatic balance that Canadians have come to expect from them.

  247. So you advocate the federal government should throw its money around (because that's all it can do) regardless of the damage that does to responsible administration of a program?

    How many are there like you? You don't all actually vote, do you? (Shudder…)

    If you want the federal government to run our health care system (double shudder), Mike, we have an amending formula.

  248. You've been told repeatedly I'm not a Liberal. Had you even read this sub-thread you'd know that.

  249. I'm not going to vote him, but I think I'll send him a cheque.

  250. Ahhh well, if we were voting on authors I have a long list.

  251. Unlike the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP are not one-person parties. If Layton experiences more health problems, someone else in his party will step in.

    The upcoming election is not solely a question of leadership.

  252. Hey, kcm … it's an indisputable fact that Iggnatieff was the father of the $50 Billion Carbon Tax scheme and Dion agreed to include it in his Green Shift … and you know what happened next ….LOL

    • So what. It was an idea before its time and badly sold. Calling it cracy! A tax on everything didn't help much either.

      • If Liberals or a Liberal-led coalition becomes the gov't before 2012 (when Kyoto Treaty GHG targets were set to be met), you can bet they will resurrect a multi-Billion$$$ Carbon Tax …. so that they can purchase Billion$$$ of Chinese Kyoto Carbon Credits to mitigate our inability to physically eliminate our 30% GHG excess …. and to help finance Chinese high sulfur, coal-fired power stations being built and operated by Liberal-connected Canadian businesses in China … and you know who I mean.

        • Hey that would make a good attack ad. Maybe you should pass it on to the PMO – just mark it personal/paranoid. No doubt It'll get prompt attention.

  253. Hey, kcm … it's an indisputable fact that Iggnatieff was the father of the $50 Billion Carbon Tax scheme and Dion agreed to include it in his Green Shift … and you know what happened next ….LOL

  254. I was being sarcastic lgarvin. The use of 'real Canadians' is a virtual trademark Con phrase.
    I don't know how you could have missed that.

  255. Ignatieff – “We've got a very specific, costed, serious investment to make in removing barriers to access in post-secondary education…"

    Everyone already has access to debt and Canada has enough debt-laden graduates. Canada needs positions for those graduates to fill so that they can pay down their debt and begin their careers. Adding to a surplus supply of highly educated young Canadians by further subsidizing the education of single mothers and aboriginals (who already receive generous subsidies) does not address the lack of jobs for these individuals, it only exacerbates the current situation.

  256. Ignatieff – “We've got a very specific, costed, serious investment to make in removing barriers to access in post-secondary education…"

    Everyone already has access to debt and Canada has enough debt-laden graduates. Canada needs positions for those graduates to fill so that they can pay down their debt and begin their careers. Adding to a surplus supply of highly educated young Canadians by further subsidizing the education of single mothers and aboriginals (who already receive generous subsidies) does not address the lack of jobs for these individuals, it only exacerbates the current situation.

  257. But…

    What declared coalition? There need not be any formal coalition. There isn't one now, and we seem to be able to stumble on from day to day.

    If we have an election, that produces another Conservative minority 'victory', they will have the right to form a government and produce a throne speech. If that throne speech fails to attract majority support, that government falls.

    One of the options available to the GG is to approach the leader of the opposition and ask him if he wants to attempt to form a government. There does not need to be a coalition (formal or otherwise) for the leader of the opposition to then produce a throne speech and put it before the House.

    To my mind, that would be preferable to immediately throwing us in to another $300M election. Again, this talk of coalition is a scare tactic put forth by the Conservative Party that is playing games. Whether the Conservatives or the Liberals form a government, the result would be the same, no Bill could get passed without the support of another party.