I could be sitting here as your prime minister, but I turned it down because I didn’t think it was right for someone who believes in the national unity of my country to make a deal with people who want to split the country up.
This is just an extraordinary statement. One, it validates everything the Conservatives have said about the coalition: that it did, indeed, put the Liberals in bed with the separatists. And two, as a Conservative spokesman took about a millisecond to point out, if he was so opposed to doing a deal with “people who want to split the country up,” why did he sign that letter to the Governor General, expressing his support for the coalition and urging her to put it in charge of the country? If it was right then, why is not right now? And if it is not right, why is it not? After all, weren’t we told over and over at the time that the Bloc were not “enemies of Canada“, but the duly elected representatives of the people of Quebec?
Ignatieff’s instincts on the coalition were, and are, sound. He may even sincerely believe what he is saying. But he didn’t act on those beliefs when it counted. And the Conservatives are going to make him wear it. Especially after this.