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We have extended the sharp, pointed stick of friendship…

ANDREW COYNE


 

We have extended the sharp, pointed stick of friendship

… It is now for the opposition to run onto it.

Stephen Harper reached out to incoming Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff yesterday to ask for co-operation on the economy…

Mr. Harper, while unwilling to express regret for the recent political chaos, greeted his new opponent with an offer to be a “willing partner” on the economy.

“The government is willing to make changes to accommodate the opposition,” Mr. Harper said in a rare television interview with CBC anchorman Peter Mansbridge.

“I think the big national parties should be working together to fix the economy, and we’re more than willing to do that, and I hope the next Liberal leader, the first thing he’ll do is be willing to sit down with me to have that discussion.”

Mr. Harper said his Conservative government will return to Parliament in late January with a budget that will contain the significant economic-stimulus package demanded by the opposition.

But he rejected the notion that he stoked the crisis by placing partisan measures in his economic statement, arguing the opposition parties always planned to defeat him…

And his campaign team was more bellicose.

Conservative campaign manager Doug Finley sent an e-mail to supporters attacking the Liberal-NDP coalition as undemocratic, and warning they now want to install a prime minister, Mr. Ignatieff, who “might not even be elected by members of the Liberal Party (or any other party.)”


 

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