Ignatieff/Harper: How it all went down - Macleans.ca
 

Ignatieff/Harper: How it all went down


 

Harper How about a panel? We could appoint a panel to look into this whole Employment Insurance thing over the summer.

Ignatieff A panel? You must be joking. Only a day ago, I stood before Canadians and firmly proclaimed: “The government’s answers in this accountability report aren’t good enough. The government’s performance in Parliament isn’t good enough.” And a panel is going to change that? For weeks I’ve described as “urgent” the need to implement serious reforms to EI. On the very weekend I was confirmed as party leader, I declared in the strongest terms possible the need for “immediate” action to “protect these unemployed workers across the country who badly need help and if the government will work with me, we can get it done. If they won’t, we’ll have to have an election.” Further, I stated without even the hint of hedging that “we have to fix [EI] and we have to fix it now.” Key word: Now. Today, one of my senior MPs said some Canadians would “starve to death” without “immediate” EI reform. Starve to death! So a panel? A panel that would consult and ponder and deliberate over the summer, wasting valuable time and leaving many jobless Canadians twisting in the cruel wind of one of the great economic crises of our time? I find the very thought of it absurd, and I reject your proposal out of hand.

Harper What if we make it a blue-ribbon panel?

Ignatieff Deal.

•••

Oh, mighty blue ribbon! Be it a non-confidence crisis in a system of parliamentary democracy, the desire of hipsters to be seen drinking an out-of-fashion beer or the low self-esteem of a pig at a state fair, there appears to be no problem you cannot solve. You are the bold, fabric-based answer to the needs of  unemployed Canadians in a time of economic turmoil. Your elegant rosette serves as a satiny beacon of hope to a nation whose problems can be solved only by an esteemed panel comprising those of great eminence and many monocles! Godspeed, flappy blue ribbon. Godspeed.


 
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Ignatieff/Harper: How it all went down

  1. Will ya wait for the members to be announced first, please?

    John Manley.

    Pamela Wallin.

    Mike Duffy (of course).

    Wayne Gretzky.

    Don Cherry, and

    Karl-Heinz Schreiber.

    • Why don't we get some unemployed people on the panel? They are the ones who have a first-hand account of the issue. And they have the time available.

  2. Reminds me of Kramer from Seinfeld, who threatened one company or another with a frivolous lawsuit, only to pronounce "deal" when the smallest of bones was thrown his way.

    You're suing us for $1 million because our coffee was too hot? Instead, how about we give you a free coffee for a year? Deal!

    You're suing us for $2 million because we stole your idea to base a cologne on the scent of a beach? Instead, how about we put your picture on our next Times Square billboard and call it even? Deal!

    You're threatening an election in the middle of summer because you say our government is doing a terrible job? Instead, how about we create another blue ribbon panel to do what Parliament is supposed to do? Deal!

  3. I fell asleep knowing that I would awake to Feschuk finding le mot juste. I was not disappointed. "Flappy" doesn't just describe the ribbon on the panel.

    • You nailed it, Kady.

      Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars have been spent for years, STUDYING and RECOMMENDING the reforms necessary to EI and other social programs such as CPP. Canada has become famous for its research. It has also become famous for its failure to act upon that research. Other countries do, turning to our expertise. Here? Nada.

    • You nailed it, Kady.

      Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars have been spent for years, STUDYING and RECOMMENDING the reforms necessary to improve EI and other social programs such as CPP. Canada has become famous for its research. It has also become famous for its failure to act upon that research. Other countries do, turning to our expertise. Here? Nada.

    • You nailed it, Kady.

      Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars have been spent for years, STUDYING and RECOMMENDING the reforms necessary to improve EI and other social programs such as CPP.

      Canada has become famous for its research. It has also become famous for its failure to act upon that research. Other countries do, turning to our expertise. Here? Nada.

      • Part of the problem is that the nobody agrees on what the research is saying, or what we should do about it. Others throw the research out the door when the discussion is about bread-on-the-table.

  4. Does the Ribbon come with Gold lettering?
    Is it screened on or is it embroidered?
    Is it a single chevron at the bottom, jagged cut or square?

    These are really really important details.

    Oh and be careful, you referred to pigs as being of low self esteem. You are going to get the pork lobby after you again.

    PS…excellent note, one of your best.

    • Perhaps most telling is that it is a blue-ribbon. Ignatieff couldn't even get Harper to concede on the colour of the ribbon.

  5. Real funny Feschuk—-while we`re on the old TV shows comparisons, how about on Cheers when Sam couldn`t afford to give Woody a raise, he just gave him a new title and of course Woody was thrilled.

    So, Harper doesn`t want to give in to Iggy so he says how about a fancy title like blue ribbon panel and you can have some of your guys there too—-kinda like those committee things that Kady whatshername is always hanging around with her sarcastic comments.

  6. Well said, good sir!
    Ahhhhhh – the panel – The Canadian solution for everything.
    Blue Ribbon!?!
    This must be serious business…… ;)

  7. I just want to know how you manage to be funny at five in the morning.

    • the better question is how our political leaders manage to do it around the clock.

      (my guess: the nurse jackie cocktail of coffee and crushed percocet.)

      • LOL!!!

  8. Mmmm…Pabst.

    • Does Pabst still exist ? Do they have lawyers ?

      Silly question. Who could exist without lawyers ?

  9. Brilliant and absolutely lethal post….sad day to be a LIberal. Except knowing that Coderre will be starving this summer – that brings a smile to my face.

  10. Does this mean the Liberal mascot will be changed from a Puffin to Wilbur the Pig from Charlottes web?

  11. oh wow…when will liberals get a backbone….I want Chretien and his fire power back! If it was Chretien, he would have pied harper during the meeting and put the video on youtube!

    Iggy is getting pushed around by Harper just like Dion got pushed around. Is there no one in this party that can stand up?

    Harper's govt, will only get stronger from now onwards. The economy will start to recover, all the scandels will be behind them and people will start to see the benifits of a Cons. govt and the support for them will only grow. Wake up Iggy, you are a politician, your job is to fight an election, not be scared by one!

    • I have a hard time remembering what Chretien was like when he leader of the Opposition.
      What was he like then?

      • despite calling himself a Trudeau loyalist, he argued against Trudeau in regards to Charlettown Accord and Quebec's status as a "distinct society" and it hurt him politically however he stood up for what he believed in and had the courage to do what he thought was right.

  12. "satiny beacon of hope"
    When I first read that, I thought it said satiny bacon of hope.

  13. Mmmmmmm….Baaacooon (drool drool)

  14. First thing I thought too, but I kept it to myself to avoid embarrassment.

  15. But now we have to hope that Ignatieff didn't wake up and read the morning papers or blogs.

    If he realizes that all the pundits are actually laughing at him, he might change his mind.

  16. What time does the Liberal Caucus meet?

  17. Blue Ribbon panels can solve a host of problems. I recall Peter Mackay won the PC leadership by promising to establish one to study Free Trade. Presumably they are still meeting somewhere, as I don't recall seeing their report.

  18. lol – Great post Scott.

  19. A Blue Ribbon Panel to be struck to discuss the EI reforms over the summer, a fat lot of good that is going to do with all MP's on the Bar-b-cue circuit who is going to have time to meet. Lib leadership and caucus once again have been snookered by PMSH. Note John Ivison national post june 17.2009 states that the Liberal Party have raised 20.3 million dollars in fund raising and during the last election spent 21.7 million a deficit of 1.4 million: the LOP is still waiting to collect cash rebates from elections Canada for expenses to date Elections Canada have only rebated 4 of 107 ridings: the Libs are still being investigated to their election spending can you spell in/out scheme

  20. Ironically (or perhaps appropriately?), in Canada, blue ribbons are awarded to second place. It's the red one you really want.

    • That may be a regional development. In BC, at least in most schools I'm aware of, its still a blue ribbon.

      The OED suggests the term is related to the Order of the Garter (the distinction of a blue ribbon also being known as a Blue Ribband). For those concerned about the bilingual heritage of our nation, the Cordon Bleu has a similar ancestry and import.