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The Commons: Who is this man?

Six months in, Michael Ignatieff remains a subject of some confusion


 

The Commons: Who is this man?The Scene. Near the end of his visit to the National Press Theatre the other day, having completed his prepared statement and having finished his response to the last of two dozen questions from the assembled reporters, Michael Ignatieff was afforded a chance to make an exit. But he was not ready to leave. He had one last answer. To a question that hadn’t been asked.

“If you’ll allow me to conclude on one note,” he said. “My stake in this is actually proving to Canadians, who are very skeptical about politics and our political system, that we can make this system work for them. That we can hold a government to account, get them to improve their performance, get good government for Canadians. That’s the big prize here actually. Make Canadians feel we got a pretty good system here and it works for Canadians and it delivers results for them. We get that, good result.”

He then turned to his right and walked away from the podium, a pensive look on his face—perhaps considering his own words, perhaps worrying that he’d said something he shouldn’t have, perhaps wondering if he’d made much sense to anyone in the room.

It is dangerous to believe what a politician says, or even to believe that he believes what he says. It is impossible, ultimately, to separate the individual from his stated purpose of persuasion and his unending pursuit of public approval. But it is tempting to believe Mr. Ignatieff genuinely believes this much. If only because, in relative terms, it sounded so odd. So out of sync with everything else, simultaneously quaint and precocious, alluring and disorienting.

In short, Michael Ignatieff remains a subject of some confusion. And in the absence of straightforward answers, his supporters and foes have rushed to simple declarations. He is a visionary. He is a snob. He is a patriot. He is an interloper. He’s a leader. He’s a wimp. He’s bold. He’s passive. He’s eloquent. He’s arrogant. He’s an intellectual. He’s aloof. He understands the world. He doesn’t understand you. He is better than Stephane Dion. He’s worse than Paul Martin. He is change. He is risk. He’s the next great prime minister. He’s better off at Harvard.

Six months into his time as leader of a hallowed political institution, it is no clearer whether the truth lies somewhere in between or beyond these limits entirely.

So far, he’s dispatched quietly with his estimable old rival, Bob Rae, and the impressive young turk, Dominic LeBlanc. He handed the party apparatus to an exuberant bald man named Rocco. He stocked his office with the smart and young and new. He struck half a dozen committees dedicated to the vague idea of renewal.

When Parliament returned from its imposed hiatus, he undid a coalition agreement that would have made him prime minister. He acquiesced instead to the government’s economic plan with reservations and a demand that Mr. Harper report regularly on his progress. “The new Liberal leader is going to face some stiff challenges as his honeymoon period winds down,” warned one columnist.

When a half dozen Liberal MPs from Newfoundland agitated over the decision, he announced for the cameras that he would give them a pass. “It could have far-reaching consequences for him, for his party, and potentially for the country,” gasped the Globe’s editorial board. Within a week everyone had forgotten it ever happened.

He insisted on using the daily ritual of Question Period to ask actual questions to which he sought actual answers. The press gallery only periodically paid attention. He smiled and lectured and glared and joked. He did not insist on subjecting himself to reporters each afternoon in the House foyer, but when he did he was generally entertaining. Seemingly daunted by the example of his predecessor, he avoided articulating his own ideas out loud. He mused once that taxes might eventually have to be raised to balance the national account and was accused of misunderstanding economics, or at least politics.

The Conservatives eventually unleashed their long-promised attacks. “The honeymoon is over,” declared a party spokesman. A vigorous response never materialized. Mr. Ignatieff’s poll numbers persisted all the same.

Then came this brief brush with crisis, a word that has now lost almost all meaning here.

The summer break beckoned, but so did a final chance to fell Mr. Harper’s government. Various advisors clamoured for an election campaign most everyone else agreed his party wasn’t prepared to run. Everyone here, save for those few who still defer to the Prime Minister’s alleged genius, believes himself a keener political strategist than everyone else and so the preemptive wagering on what he might do and what that might say about him began with some glee. “It’s a lock that if Michael Ignatieff doesn’t force an election this week, he will be pilloried as a weakling by some,” observed the endlessly reasonable Bruce Anderson, a veteran of this game. “If he does force one, his blood will be called for by those who say he is a self-absorbed opportunist.”

Mr. Ignatieff took the weekend. His options seemed clear—wimp or jerk. But on Monday morning he proposed something else entirely. All those straightforward questions he’d been asking had gone mostly unacknowledged. He wanted answers. He didn’t want an election, but admitted he would force one if necessary. He would later object when someone tried to suggest this was an ultimatum.

“I’m a reasonable person,” he said that day in the National Press Theatre.

“I’m not a stubborn person,” he added.

“I’m pragmatic,” he concluded.

In hindsight, perhaps he wasn’t saying so for our benefit, as much as his own. Maybe he was trying to reassure his own conscience, grasping at declarations of intent lest he lose himself in the drama.

He appeared next at Question Period and calmly repeated his requests, apparently confusing the prime minister and various other observers with a distinct lack of showy confrontation. He dragged himself from one television studio to the next, pleading his case to whichever camera was put in front of him. Had the NHL playoffs still been going, he might well have shown up on Coach’s Corner. And Don Cherry might well have dismissed him as a floater. After he struggled through an interview on the evening news, the At Issue panel more or less did.

He and Mr. Harper spent yesterday in meetings. They finished around eight o’clock, apparently with something of a deal. Before much of anything was clear, Mr. Ignatieff was being hailed as both a masterful winner and a grievously wounded loser.

“The one certain consequence of this bogus election standoff,” proclaimed one columnist in the morning’s paper, “would be the end of the Michael Ignatieff honeymoon.”

He met with his MPs, then emerged to speak with the herd that had amassed around the spare microphone stand set up in Centre Block’s gothic Hall of Honour. His caucus followed and arranged themselves around him. Silence fell over the visiting school groups touring nearby.

“On Monday, I said to the Prime Minister that I need some answers to some critical questions and we needed to make progress for Canadians. I said I wasn’t seeking an election, I was seeking collaboration, not confrontation,” he recapped.

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve made two substantial gains for all Canadians,” he declared.

Aside from the odd gesture for emphasis, his arms hung mostly at his sides. He spoke evenly and slowly. He explained the details, as much as there were details to explain. It was unclear to how many of his questions he’d proffered satisfactory answers.

“This is all business. This is working to get results for Canadians,” he said. “I feel that this is a good day for our country. But more importantly, it’s a good day, also, for this system of parliament. We’ve tried to make it work. And we’re going to try to make it work and get good results for Canadians.”

After he repeated himself in French, he opened the floor to questions and a dozen voices competed loudly for his attention. He pointed to the TV reporter most directly in front of him.

“Given your predecessors problems being steamrolled by Mr.Harper and the Conservatives,” the correspondent posited, “how important was it to get something and not to appear to just sort of accept and roll over?”

“Do I look steamrollered?” he smirked. “Next question.”

He took a few more, then turned on his heels and left in the direction from which he’d come. His caucus parting like the sea to let him through, clapping as he went. Reporters yelled questions at the back of his head. A hundred more might’ve been asked.

Everyone here is still groping for easy answers. Everyone here is still trying to figure this man out.


 

The Commons: Who is this man?

  1. Good piece, Aaron. I've been critical of Ignatieff for many, many reasons, but it's important to acknowledge that he seems to be a fundamentally reasonable man. As he says, he is also stubborn and pragmatic, and these are good qualities to have in a leader.

    I don't think that he's the right guy to lead Canada, but he could turn out to be a decent and effective Opposition leader.

    • A reasonable man in an unreasonable age. Yet you damn him with faint praise sir!

  2. Excellent post Aaron. Too many on all side were and are clamoring for blood. This was an excellent reminder that if we want decorum in our house than we shouldn't burn those who bring it to us.

  3. No he doesn;t look steamrolled at all. A steamroller flattens and levels what he looks like now is someone who might actually have a little something to offer to some people and very little to offer to others the tricky bit is who in which pile and in that case I would suggest they ask a liberal Party member as they will be the ones to judge sooner or later! As a Conservative I give him Cudos after all he put on a good dog and pony show covering the basic theatrics necessary although a little too much drama at the very beginning as the Up and Down part was too much and is now coming back to haunt him as I note some liberals are already calling him Up and Down Iggy (must be Dions supporters revenge I imagine for his rapid hurling under the bus by Iggy) however I digress over all a good move though.

    • I don't know Wayne. I supported Dion, and I don't have an axe to grind with Ignatieff.

    • Erm… I doorknocked in rural southwestern Ontario for the Liberals during the last election (clearly, I'm a masochist) because I was inspireed by Dion and the fact that he seemed to occasionally give notice to the issues, particularly the environment. I feel no ill will towards Ignatieff- He was by no means my first choice, but he's doing the right thing here. If we make the noises about wanting compromise, we shouldn't go crazy when we get it.

  4. All in all, a good result for Iggy, the Libs and the country.

    The Ottawa press gallery can now take a chill pill. I look forward to see how the CBC "At Issue" panel spins this turn of events as a failure when it basically resulted in what Canadians want: no summer election and the Cons and Libs attempting to work together like adults.

    • The Libs wanted to go to the polls but something gave them cold feet over the weekend. You're not supposed to telegraph that you want to go to the polls unless you're going to follow through. It confused everyone from the political players to the pundits. Chantal Hebert was scratching her head trying to make heads or tails of the whole thing.

      • The Libs may have wanted to go to the polls (but I haven't seen a lot of solid evidence for this… it was more posturing by the Libs to get some sort of cooperation from the Cons). Outside of Ottawa it is blatantly obvious that Canadians have no appetite for a summer election, and the Libs clearly have clued in to this (perhaps even from the start).

        In the end, Iggy and the Libs wanted the Cons to acknowledge that they're a minority government, and to demonstrate a modicum of cooperation. They got want they wanted, as did Canadians.

        The media was clearly confused by a politician who doesn't use brass-knuckled aggression to get what he wants. They've obviously been following Harper's shenanigans for too long.

        • ''Libs wanted the Cons to acknowledge that they're a minority government''

          And what Libs learned, is 'they' are in a minority parliament,
          not leading a coalition government .

          What they learned is that 'making parliament work' does not mean 5 months of non-stop election threats,
          offering no ideas/solutions for the Government to 'steal'
          because you want 'Harper will wear the recession'.

          Libs also learned experience DOES matter, MI doesn't have the political experience to go into a face off with PMSH, and come out on top.

        • ''Libs wanted the Cons to acknowledge that they're a minority government''

          And what Libs learned, is 'they' are in a minority parliament,
          not leading a coalition government .

          What they learned is that 'making parliament work' does not mean 5 months of non-stop election threats,
          offering no ideas/solutions for the Government to 'steal'
          because you want 'Harper will wear the recession'.

          Libs also learned experience DOES matter, MI doesn't have the political experience to go into a face off with PMSH, and come out on top.

      • Some Liberals wanted to go to the polls (like me). Some didn't. There was no shift over the weekend.

        And I'm sure everyone feels really bad if the political players and pundits were confused. I know that's the constituency call parties should be working to please and not, you know, Canadians.

      • The Libs wanted to remind that they are major players, not go to the polls – no matter what whispers of hawks asking for one. All the while dominating headlines at least the last whole week of the session. People take a closer look at Iggy (the polls will verify this is a good thing), and they reminded Harper and Canada that the Cons haven't been cooperating as parliamentarians traditionally have.

  5. He faced down the knife wielding destroyer, a goliath to the Gallery, and leapt over the abyss with only the puny words of academia and the BBC. Not bad.

  6. Yeah…he is a real winner…eh!!!

    What was it he accomplished again?
    Someone? Anyone?

    • Read. I didn't say he won.

  7. I just don't think he's conniving or duplicitous enough to be PM

  8. Hmm… Like he did in January, he is given a golden opportunity to grab power and chooses to pass because Canadians aren't telling him that's what they want. Not only is power not an end in itself for him, but while in Opposition he insists on being as effective and constructive as possible, even when it means cooperating with the other party. What's the opposite of opportunist? Maybe this democracy stuff can work after all if we send the right people to Parliament.

    • He knew in January if he had to face the electorate, a distinct possibility if the GG so chose, that his party would have gotten thrashed. This time something gave the Liberals cold feet despite their lead in the polls: their internals were probably telling them that Canadians would have punished their opportunism, because that's exactly what it would have been. For crying out loud: we had an election 8 months ago, and 3 in 4 and half years.

      • That's a highly implausible scenario you paint, and its all speculation out of thin air. You'll recall Harper was pretty opportunistic in calling that election we had 8 months ago, and no one seemed to care.

        Fact is, with very strong leads in Quebec and Ontario, the Liberals would have won an election held this summer. But it wasn't what was best for Canadians. It was a pretty selfless act by Ignatieff, which blows a hole in the lame "just in it for himself" meme.

        • "It was a pretty selfless act by Ignatieff, which blows a hole in the lame "just in it for himself" meme."

          Couldn't agree more!

        • Please BCer, you're not adressing naifs around here. Altruism? Please. The Liberal braintrust took a long hard look at going to the polls and decided to keep their powder dry because they were worried their gambit would blow up in their faces.

          It was cold self-interested political calculation and self-preservation. We all know that and I sure as hope you do too.

          • Don't you recall May 2005 when the Conservatives wanted to bring down the government because the Gomery Commission was giving them juicy stories every day? It did not happen because Belinda Stronach crossed the floor. I don't want to debate Stronach's decision, but if you want to convince me that Harper decision at that time was purely in the interest of Canadians and not because of some "cold self-interested political calculation", be my guess…

            They all do it. Do I find it lame? Absolutely. But if we could all grow up, stop prentending that when "our" guys are doing it, it's ok, but that if "their" guys are doing it, then it is an absolute scandal.

          • "They all do it."

            Agreed, that's politics, and my simple point was that to couch it in altruism as BCer in Toronto did was a joke.

        • '' It was a pretty selfless act by Ignatieff''

          Puleeese, MI gets one kick at the cat to win a general election, or the Libs will toss him onto the bone pile with the last 2 losers, Martin and Dion.

          He knows HE is not ready.
          And that should be obvious to Liberals, because it was abundantly clear to the rest of Canandians watching his poor performance this week.

          And the chest thumping has already started, again.
          Libs to bring down the govt when parliament resumes….
          Like 2 months on the BBQ circuit will give MI the political experience he is so lacking.

        • '' It was a pretty selfless act by Ignatieff''

          Puleeese, MI gets one kick at the cat to win a general election, or the Libs will toss him onto the bone pile with the last 2 losers, Martin and Dion.

          He knows HE is not ready.
          And that should be obvious to Liberals, because it was abundantly clear to the rest of Canandians watching his poor performance this week.

          And the chest thumping has already started, again.
          Libs to bring down the govt when parliament resumes….
          Like 2 months on the BBQ circuit will give MI the political experience he is so lacking.

        • '' It was a pretty selfless act by Ignatieff''

          Puleeese, MI gets one kick at the cat to win a general election, or the Libs will toss him onto the bone pile with the last 2 losers, Martin and Dion.

          He knows HE is not ready.
          And that should be obvious to Liberals, because it was abundantly clear to the rest of Canandians watching his poor performance this week.

          And the chest thumping has already started, again.
          Libs to bring down the govt when parliament resumes….
          Like 2 months on the BBQ circuit will give MI the political experience he is so lacking.

  9. Its the second coming of Preston Manning.

    • Preston Manning has a brilliant political mind,
      MI is not even on the same planet as Manning.

  10. Let's see… Harper's conservatives have brought in a Liberal budget, (don't believe me, just ask the Conservative bloggers). Harper will be compelled to move further then he wants on E.I.. Harper, is slowly losing favour with the true right wing voters and his negative ads may be quickening his fall from grace across Canada. (Good use of 3 million dollars.) This latest move will, once again, anger his core, buy Ignatieff more time and, probably, give his ministers more time to show Canada what a bunch of screw ups they really are. (Oh yeah, how many more court battles will the Cons lose over the next few months.)

    • Yah, I am furious that PMSH will be advancing his election promise for the self employed to opt in to EI;
      furious too that the BLUE ribbon panel has no Dippers or Bloc on it, and is the answer to the Premiers demand for EI changes;
      and really mad that the panel will look at taking the unfairness out of EI that Chretien/Martin introduced so they could raid the EI surplus…(sarcasm off)

      ps. did you notice that EC is investigating the 'Liberals' right now, holding up there taxpayer funding?

  11. I see that Stephen above has already made the comparison to Manning—good point—but Manning never had a chance of becoming PM due to the divided Right at that time. Iggy has a chance and in my opinion a better chance now then this time last week. He seems like less of an opportunist now—we like our people to be ambitious, but not reckless. The coalition was reckless and he needs more distance from it before people are comfortable.

    But he may never be PM and if he isn`t, as CR has said, he could be an excellent opp. leader like Manning, a thinker, a pragmatist, and not just an opp. screamer. But his biggest problem seems to be getting his voice box and his brain to work in sync.

  12. "Everyone here is still groping for easy answers. Everyone here is still trying to figure this man out."

    Jarrid's analysis: the Liberal backroom boys, who Iggy gives serious time to, unlike his predecessor Dion, told him to go for it despite some misgivings about the crass opportunism of such a move.

    Then some Liberal internal polling over the weekend told them that they risked getting hammered by a public outraged with being dragged to the polls after a mere EIGHT months and for the FOURTH time in FIVE years.

    The crass Liberal backroom boys got cold feet and gestured to Iggy to climb down from the limb.

    Moral of the story: crass opportunism has its limits.

    • You don't need internal polling to know that forcing an election now would be an unwise move. Canadians would freak.

      Both the Cons and Libs played up the election rhetoric over last weekend but, in the end, they both stood down because they knew they had to, and actually cooperated for once. A good result.

      The only thing crass in all this is the Cons continuing lack of understanding that they have a minority government. Maybe it's time for them to tone down the partisan vitriol for once.

      • The election drama was precipitated by the Liberals not the Government, dogged on by the Dippers and Bloc.

        This week the Liberals learned that they are not leading a coalition,
        that 'they' are in a minority government.

  13. Am glad that the boys managed to work something out.
    In my opinion, neither side should be posturing over who turned out the winner.
    I'd love to see more co-operation in the future….

  14. Those that have liked him, and liked him the most, from the beginning are probably the ones who find him the most confounding. But that is a very large part of what we like about him, what we saw in him early on: he doesn't fit inside any preconceived boxes.

    Pick any one of 'em: left or right, opportunities or intellectual, family heritage of duty or opportunitist, ideologue vs strategist. He's kind of all of those and none of them at the same time. He doesn't fit our categories and to explain it can't be done in our 30 second talking points or 15 second at issue pop political analysis. He blows open old concepts and paradigms and to many of us that is a refreshing start to the political deadlock and political deadweight we have had in Ottawa for too long.

    We have become so accustomed to getting only spin and positioning and next day's headline focus and politics over policy…. that someone who doesn't play that way.

    • Ted, were you part of the Liberal braintrust that had to make the hard calculation not to pull the plug on Parliament?

      I ask because your prose bespeaks a lack of sleep.

      We're all supposed to be impressed because Iggy didn't pull the plug thereby forcing an election that would have likely signalled the end of his political career? I think it was a good call for the Liberals to back off because Canadians would have punished them for forcing an unwanted election. It hardly warrants giving Iggy a medal though.

      • No. I am saying that it is not possible to understand him by thinking the way we have become accustomed to thinking about politicians – as conniving strategists more worried about tomorrow's headlines and scoring quick hits. That's not the same thing as saying he can be understood or that he's got some higher thinking going on… it is just an observation that he is a very different kind of politician – for good or ill – than we have seen in some very very very long time in federal politics.

        I'm not giving him a medal nor am I saying just blew his career. Funny how many times people seem to say that.

  15. [CONT] We have become so accustomed to getting only spin and positioning and next day's headline focus and politics over policy…. that someone who doesn't play that way… is not so easily digested or understood.

    Does not mean he's any kind of saviour or the right choice – I happened to think he very much is – but he brings with him the opportunity for something very different and very new and… quite possibly… something we have been saying we've wanted in a politician for a very long long time.

    • " but he brings with him the opportunity for something very different and very new and… quite possibly… something we have been saying we've wanted in a politician for a very long long time."

      On what basis do you make these observations? Certainly it is not from Iggy's public pronouncements. He has not made many other than forecasting tax increases, saying he loves the tar sands and of course he is a patriot despite living outside the country for 34 years. If you really listen to what he says its all gobbly goop only said eloquently. He really is a snake oil salesman and I don't think the vast majority of ordinary Canadians is going to buy his b.llsh.t.

    • " but he brings with him the opportunity for something very different and very new and… quite possibly… something we have been saying we've wanted in a politician for a very long long time."

      On what basis do you make these observations? Certainly it is not from Iggy's public pronouncements. He has not made many other than forecasting tax increases, saying he loves the tar sands and of course he is a patriot despite living outside the country for 34 years. If you really listen to what he says its all gobbly goop only said eloquently. He really is a snake oil salesman and I don't think the vast majority of ordinary Canadians are going to buy his b.llsh.t.

  16. The fact is Iggy is a political neophyte who fell into the same trap as Dion. Desperate to force a Liberal agenda on a Conservative government with the only hammer being to threaten to defeat the government. That's a fools' game as Dion found out and the arrogant Count is finding out in spades. He comes across as officious and with that lizard like tongue licking his lips he looks damn right creepy. Iggy lost this week and it is probably right that his honeymoon is offer. The fawning media desperately wanted/wants Iggy to try to topple the Harper government so they can get rid of that devil incarnate. However, Iggy knows the polls show that a Liberal government, even a minority, is not for certain. If he calls it wrong and Harper gets a majority that ends Iggy's ambitions and he will have to go back to Harvard.

  17. The fact is Iggy is a political neophyte who fell into the same trap as Dion. Desperate to force a Liberal agenda on a Conservative government with the only hammer being to threaten to defeat the government. That's a fools' game as Dion found out and the arrogant Count is finding out in spades. He comes across as officious and with that lizard like tongue licking his lips he looks damn right creepy. Iggy lost this week and it is probably right that his honeymoon is over. The fawning media desperately wanted/wants Iggy to try to topple the Harper government so they can get rid of that devil incarnate. However, Iggy knows the polls show that a Liberal government, even a minority, is not for certain. If he calls it wrong and Harper gets a majority that ends Iggy's ambitions and he will have to go back to Harvard.

    • The libs need another leadership race. Maybe they can convince that old fart McCallum to take a run at it.

      • Honestly, I'm not sure who the Liberals should choose as their next leader if the Ignatieff Experiment does not succeed. Probably Rae, in spite of his Achilles heel.

      • what do you mean another race they never had one to begin with :)

  18. When will it be MGI? When will you meet your maker?

    Paul Edgar Philippe Martin 2003-2006 RIP

    Stéphane Maurice Dion 2006-2008 RIP

    Michael Grant Ignatieff 2008-20?? RIP

    • The only national political leader who won't have a career by the end of 2009 (or by mid-2010, at the latest) is Stephen Harper.

      • Wishful thinking on your part. Better people than you have counted Stephen Harper out during various phases of his political career. There is no question the Conservatives have gone through a rough patch. However, that happens in political life. Now it is the turn of the arrogant Count to feel some of the heat. He certainly didn't perform well this week and many people are beginning to question his leadership abilities.

    • Stephen Harper 2006-September 28, 2009.

  19. Iggy looks limp. He huffs, and he puffs, and he threatens to blow your house down, but backs down. Words, words, and more words.

    • I have to say that Harper looks limp for having compromised with the Liberals on EI. Iggy may not have gotten all that he wanted but he did get our notoriously firm PM to bend…

      • that's a stretch – what bend setting up a committee – you can't be serious :)

  20. Do you think Iggy'll show up at the O.K. corral before 2011? I dunno, he looks a little gun-shy to me.

    • Whaaaatevvver… Harper is the one dropping in the polls and who has managed to alienate a majority of Canadian voters. Iggy and the Libs have lots of room for growth… and they will. The Cons have already peaked.

  21. If we really must be pessimistic of Ignatief'f's decision, I'd say that the a halt on stimulus money was too daunting to face. Better to see Canada's recovery from the passenger seat than get into power of a shattered economy.

    • Except, as has been demonstrated by many including Maclean's Kady O'Malley, that was just a load of Harper crap. The money that could be spent this summer and into the fall has already been approved. And the money that needs approving is for the end of the year or into the next year, with plenty of time to approve it.

      This is what gets people pissed with Harper. His consistent dislike of honesty in the face of perceived partisan gain.

      • Not demonstrated, deduced. And with all all respects to those "many", somebody still has to sign the cheques, no matter how much money has been promised.

      • I do not agree with your assessment. While the executive branch continues to work they only deal with essential matters of state. Spending money will virtually stop because it is the politicians who must authorize the release of funds not the bureaucrats. If they are out in their ridings campaigning they are not in Ottawas working. So you are right the money may be approved but the fact is it will stop flowing or be significantly curtailed because of an election. As well, if the Liberals are lucky enough to win a minority all funding committments of the previous government will stop so the new government has an opportunity to review them. In the middle of the recession that will not be good for the country.

  22. This message brought to you by Liberal hyper-partisan Ted.

  23. Harper lied when he claimed that extending EI to the self-employed was part of the 2008 Conservative campaign platform

    Harper lied when he claimed having a summer election this year would stop the stimulus money from flowing into infrastructure programs

    He, to put it generously, massively mischaracterized what Ignatieff said about raising taxes

    He lied about Chuck Cadman

    He lied about fixed election dates

    Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head

      • Extending maternity and paternity benfits is not the same thing as extending EI benefits. That would only help the self-employed if they happened to have newborns. Nice try though. Rob Silver exposed this lie recently in his Globe and mail blog: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/silver-power

        Do try and keep up.

  24. Good journalistic effort, as usual, Mr. Wherry.
    We seem to be in a hurry to label others, pigeon-hole them, 'frame' them, and it is easy to do, if not fair to them.
    Mr. Ignatieff is required to do the job that he has applied himself to.
    He must be able to capture his lengthy thought processes into 'sound-bites' and mind his facial reactions to questions.

    However, it is a positive thing to know he is more than feeding the media prescribed pablum.

  25. Once again I don't know how you are seeing what you say you are seeing. Sure he can talk English and put a phrase togther but beyond that what has he done. Any real pronouncements he has made he has had to backtrack on, clarify etc. A different politician? He is doing exactly what Dion did. Threaten an election every other week if he does not get what he wants. That is not smart politiking when you saw that the last guy was roundly criticized and the public determined he was feckless.
    Ted I think you are wishful thinking here and because you are a Liberal supporter you want him to succeed in the worst way. Unfortunately most people do not see the Count the way you do. Otherwise his polling numbers would be a lot higher and Canadians would be clamoring for an election.

  26. How many articles can you write on the same subject. You need a girlfriend and/or boyfriend

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