'This is a serious step and we owe an explanation' - Macleans.ca
 

‘This is a serious step and we owe an explanation’


 

Below is a transcript of Michael Ignatieff’s remarks to the House this morning in moving the official opposition’s motion of non-confidence. The Liberal leader’s office says he spoke without a prepared script.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House today to announce formally that the official opposition has lost confidence in the government. This is a serious step and we owe an explanation both to this House and to the Canadian people of our grounds for doing so.

Nous avons perdu confiance dans ce gouvernement et nous nous mettons debout pour protéger les gens qui ont été abandonnés par ce gouvernement. Je vais essayer de donner des raisons concrètes pour lesquelles nous allons retirer la confiance de ce gouvernement.

First of all, the Conservatives have lost control of the public finances of our country. A year ago they were at the edge of deficit; by February, they were at a deficit of $32 billion; suddenly, four or five weeks later, it is at $50 billion; and at the end of the summer they announced the deficit was at $56 billion.

Who in the House can actually believe this figure will not climb somewhere near $60 billion by Christmas? This is a terrible record of failure and someone must stand up in the House and call it what it is: abject failure on the public finance management of this country.

They have no plan to get us out and all Canadians must understand that this deficit is going to hang around the necks of Canadians like a stone. It jeopardizes our capacity to provide adequate health care for Canadians in the future. It jeopardizes our capacity to help seniors and guarantee a secure retirement for our fellow citizens. It jeopardizes our capacity to help the unemployed. That is the first reason Liberals cannot have confidence in the government.

The second reason is a question we have to ask ourselves. We have a $56 billion deficit and what do we get for it? Do we have some grand new project that renews the infrastructure of our country, that makes us stronger, that makes us more united? What we have instead is a reward program for the Conservative Party of Canada. Conservative ridings have benefited disproportionately from this stimulus expenditure and we have the figures to prove it.

Then there is the issue of actually getting the money out the door. We have seen the press releases, we have heard the announcement that 90% has been committed but when we actually look at the stimulus funding that we can see on the ground, 12% has gone out the door. I was at a soy bean field in Burlington. The Conservatives wish us to believe that it is a car park. I am here to tell everyone it is still a soy bean field.

There is worse than that. The government has used taxpayers’ money and spent six times more promoting its own inaction plan than it has to promote the public health of Canadians and warn them about the dangers of H1N1.

That brings me to the third issue, which is the protection of the public health of Canadians. With H1N1, every Canadian can see on television that in other countries people are already being vaccinated. We are still waiting for a plan. We are still waiting for the vaccine. It is the government’s responsibility and it has not stepped up.

If people were to go to aboriginal communities and talk to the chiefs, as I did yesterday, they listen with disbelief as the health minister tells them 90% of them are ready for the H1N1 epidemic. They know perfectly well their nursing stations are not ready. What did they get from the government? They got body bags.

We are not finished. Across the country there are cancer and heart patients waiting for nuclear medicine and diagnostics because twice on the government’s watch over four years it has failed to supply an adequate amount of nuclear isotopes for the Canadian medical profession. This record of failure is just not good enough.

As if that was not enough, when the Canadian health system is under constant relentless attack from our ideological friends south of the border, what do we hear from the other side of the House? There is total deafening silence. That is public health.

Let us look at what Conservatives have done in respect of Canadian technologies and jobs. The government has been in office for nearly four years and the litany of great Canadian companies that have gone under, been bought and traded away is getting longer and longer: Nortel, Inco, Falconbridge, Stelco, Alcan. There has been no attempt to defend Canadian jobs and Canadian technologies.

We are now in the absurd situation of having a technological hub, which is a world leader in the Kitchener—Waterloo area, sitting there watching while Canadian patents and technologies developed at home are sold to their competitors. How are we to create the jobs of tomorrow unless we have a government that stands up for Canadian technology today?

We welcome public investment but we want transparent public reviews so Canadian workers and employers can know exactly what undertakings foreign companies give when they come to this country, so that we actually do have net benefit for this country.

Let me move to another area where the government has failed Canadians. It has failed to protect Canadians abroad. If one is named Suaad Mohamud or Abdulrazik, it turns out that their passport is not worth what they think it is worth. They cannot count on the protection of the Canadian government.

This side of the House says very clearly so all Canadians can understand, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

Speaking of Canada overseas, the government, over four long years, has steadily diminished Canada’s influence and weight overseas. Who in the world can take us seriously as a partner in climate change? We were missing in action at Bali, and we will be missing in action in Copenhagen if the government survives.

Who will actually listen to Canada on the climate change issue? We have had three ministers of the environment, three plans and no action. We have lost all credibility on this issue in the international area. Who would vote for Canada?

Who would vote for Canada in the Security Council? We have held a seat there almost every decade since the founding of the institution? Who would vote for Canada in the Security Council when the Prime Minister of Canada cannot even bother to show up at the UN General Assembly?

Who in China or India will take seriously Canadian entrepreneurship, Canadian technology, Canadian products if the Prime Minister of Canada cannot even bother to show up to lead trade missions to open those markets to our Canadian entrepreneurs?

These are the kinds of failings that have made us, week after week, month after month, not just over the last year, over four long years come to the conclusion that we cannot continue to support the government.

Is this a pattern of incompetence or is this a pattern of malice? It is a little of both but there is something else going on that needs to be named by its proper name. There is a deeper design here, a design to permanently weaken the capacity of the federal Government of Canada to help Canadians.

There is, on the opposite side of the House, what could be called the starve-the-beast ideology. We know where that ideology comes from but it is not suited to Canada. It will weaken and eventually it could change Canada beyond recognition.

This party stands against that ideology all the way down. We stand against it because we believe profoundly that if this ideology prevails in this country it will permanently weaken the tissues that bind our society together, the health care system of which we are so proud, the care for the aged which distinguishes us as a civilized society, and the capacity of our society to provide security in retirement.

The government works on one plan and one plan only, starve the beast, lower expectations of government so far until Canadians cease to have any expectations of the federal government whatsoever. This is an unworthy way to govern this country, and we stand against it.

Les Canadiens ne cherchent pas un gouvernement centralisateur. La vision de ce parti à la Chambre, est celle d’un gouvernement de coopération, d’un gouvernement qui reflète les vraies valeurs des Canadiens comme l’entraide, non le chacun pour soi, et les valeurs de compassion et de compétence. Les Canadiens cherchent un gouvernement qui comprend les mots comme compromis, collaboration, compassion, respect. On attend en vain un gouvernement qui réponde à ces valeurs.

It is not just the Conservatives’ ideology. It is not just their policies. It is the way they conduct politics in this country, what they have done to our politics. All adversaries are enemies. We cannot run Canada that way. This is not a country that we can divide in that way.

All adversaries are enemies, all methods are fair and all public money is available for partisan purposes. This is unworthy of the political traditions of this country.

When we have a little private moment among our friends at a fund raiser in Sault Ste. Marie the real story comes out which is that we want an election so that we can teach Canadians a lesson. That is not how I understand democracy. That is not how this party understands democracy.

We actually receive lessons from the public. We do not give them to the public. We do not use an election to teach left wing judges a lesson. We do not use elections to teach women who help other women through the cycle of domestic abuse a lesson. We want to use elections to bring Canadians together, to arouse them to a higher purpose.

This kind of approach to politics will weaken and divide our country. It goes beyond that. There is a cynicism about politics which they cultivate by the ways in which they neglect and ignore their own promises. There is an indifference to their own promises which is astounding.

The Prime Minister of Canada lives in an eternal present when he cannot remember what he promised to Canadians the day before and cannot remember what he will promise the day after. Income trusts, “I can’t remember I ever made that promise”. Appointment of senators, “I can’t remember I ever promised to reform the institution”, and no tax increases.

This party has discovered when we look carefully they have a payroll tax hidden in the wings of $13 billion and they do not have the guts to stand up and tell Canadians that is what they are doing.

Nous méritons mieux. Nous méritons un gouvernement de compassion, de créativité, de collaboration, un gouvernement qui unit les Canadiens, qui ne les divise pas, un gouvernement qui invite les Québécois, les francophones de tout le pays au pouvoir, un gouvernement qui va gouverner au lieu de diviser les Canadiens avec des jeux partisans.

We are looking for a government that believes in telling Canadians the truth, a government that believes that growth does not just happen with a market miracle. It requires the focused strategic guidance of a compassionate and creative government.

We believe we are looking for a government that actually thinks it can be leaders, not followers, in the great drama, the great challenge of global climate change. We are looking for a government that believes in the compassion and creativity of Canadians and wants to stand with them, not against them, and build a great country together. We do not have this government now and we cannot pretend any longer that we do.

Therefore we will stand up in the House and we will support the Canadians who have been abandoned by the government. We will do our job even if it does not.


 

‘This is a serious step and we owe an explanation’

  1. Without a script. That is something the Conservatives can't seem to do, except for a few stellar ministers.
    Go Iggy!

    • Yes, it sure is an accomplishment to be able to regurgitate your standard list of talking points – most of them, at that, still pretty free of content deeper than us good, you bad – without a script.

    • Yes, it sure is an accomplishment to be able to regurgitate your standard list of talking points – most of them, at that, still pretty free of content deeper than we good, you bad – without a script.

    • Yes, it sure is an accomplishment to be able to regurgitate your standard list of talking points (most of them, at that, still pretty free of content) without a script. For his next inspiring feat of oratory, Ignatieff will reach even further into the bag of tricks, and – get ready for it – gesture emphatically.

      • Assuming you were the leader of the opposition and had lost faith in the government, what would you have said? What points would you have raised?

        • The rhetorical bar to meet remains Cromwell on dissolving the Rump Parliament, I think:

          “…It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

          “Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

          “Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd; your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings, and which by God's help and the strength He has given me, I now come to do.

          “I command ye, therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”

          A little fire and brimstone goes a long way. Longer than "When we look carefully, they have a hidden payroll tax," certainly.

        • The rhetorical bar to meet remains Cromwell on dissolving the Rump Parliament, I think:

          “…It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

          “Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

          “Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd; your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings, and which by God's help and the strength He has given me, I now come to do.

          “I command ye, therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”

          A little fire and brimstone goes a long way. Longer than "When we look carefully, we think they have a hidden payroll tax," certainly.

        • The rhetorical bar to meet remains Cromwell on dissolving the Rump Parliament, I think:

          “…It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

          “Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

          “Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd; your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings, and which by God's help and the strength He has given me, I now come to do.

          “I command ye, therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”

          A little fire and brimstone goes a long way. Longer than "When we look carefully, we think they have a hidden payroll tax," certainly.

        • The rhetorical bar to meet remains Cromwell on dissolving the Rump Parliament, I think:

          “…It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

          “Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

          “Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd; your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings, and which by God's help and the strength He has given me, I now come to do.

          “I command ye, therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”

          A little fire and brimstone goes a long way. Longer than "When we look carefully, we think they might have a hidden payroll tax," certainly.

          • And we know how that turned out.

            Such a cavalier way of treating roundheads.

          • While I heartily enjoyed your answer, personally I would not utter those words without a handy can of pepper spray as it would likely elicit a ferocious Baird attack!

          • What shame. Post of the week, and its not even appreciated.

  2. From the 'Top Ten Things Micheal-Ignatieff-of-5-Years-Ago Never Thought He Would Say':

    "I was at a soy bean field in Burlington"

    • We all thought we'd never say that. And yet here we all are…in a soy bean field in Burlington. Metaphorically-speaking that is…

  3. Yawn….

    The old prof. sure likes to hear his own voice.

  4. Translation:

    "The Liberal should be in charge……because…because, well, just because we said so."

    "Oh yeah……and we're not done stealing from Taxpayers yet"

    • What speech were you listening to?

  5. Jeesh – I got dizzy reading all the libspeak talking points all in one string – Iffy take a hint … focus your speechifying on something relevant – stand up in the sandbox and loudly proclaim – I don't like palying with you anymore and I am taking my toys and going home! – I bet if you did you might have actually got a vote or two from some undecideds as it is you lost more than you gained.

  6. Interesting that nobody has picked up on this…Don Martin claims that a "prominent" Liberal MP has told him that he/she is considering crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Michael+Ignatie

  7. Interesting that nobody has picked up on this…Don Martin claims that a "prominent" Liberal MP has told him that he/she is considering crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Michael Ignatie…

    Speculation on who it could be?

  8. Interesting that nobody has picked up on this…Don Martin claims that a "prominent" Liberal MP has told him that he/she is considering crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Michael+Ignatie

    Speculation on who it could be?

    • Honestly, I can't tell you how frequently we Hill rats hear floor-crossing rumours, including any number of breathless reports in the last few weeks that a DIpper was poised to go red. In this case, I suspect that I know exactly who it is to whom he is so coyly referring, since I heard the same one last night — but I'm not going to spoil anyone's fun by spilling, so have at it.

      • How often does a journalist hear said rumour from the mouth of the MP in question, as Martin claims he did?

        For what it's worth my guess would be Cotler.

        • You know, for some reason, people — especially C/conservatives — always guess Cotler. I'm not sure why, really — I mean, he'd definitely be a great catch, but why *him*, so consistently? berried, bien sur. From: IntenseDebate Notifications

          • My reasoning is simple. He is from Quebec, and Jewish, and the LPC seems to be losing the friendly relationship it used to have with Canadian Jews. His wife apparently quit the party over Ignatieff's Israel misstep. He has not been heard from in some time, which seems unbefitting an MP of his stature. Most "prominent" Liberal MPs that I can think of are on left side of the spectrum and would not be a good fit with the Conservatives, whereas Cotler seems to me to be more center-right. Add the current turmoil in Quebec, and he's the first name that leaps to mind.

          • But his views (and record) on justice issues make him an impossible fit in Harper's caucus.

          • Kady has her answer. It's always Cotler because it provides Conservatives with the opportunity to accuse…well, everyone actually…of being anti-semitic.

        • You know, for some reason, people — especially C/conservatives — always guess Cotler. I’m not sure why, really — I mean, he’d definitely be a great catch, but why *him*, so consistently?

      • Aw, c'mon, Kady…. can't you at least give us a clue? Pretty please?

        • Not Irwin Cotler, and not someone that I'd expect to see the Conservatives roll out the red carpet (blue carpet?). berried, bien sur. From: IntenseDebate Notifications

          • not someone that I'd expect to see the Conservatives roll out the red carpet (blue carpet?)

            Surely it's not Coderre?

          • I don't think anybody would keep a rumour like that under wraps

          • I agree – my tongue was planted firmly in cheek.

            I don't think the Conservatives would want Coderre, even if he tried to cross the floor.

          • "It's Coderre rushing through the middle! He's past the line of scrimmage! Blocks a tackle from Kenney, moves to his right! Leaps over the cornerback and keeps going! He's headed for the Conservative end-zone! He's … no wait, here comes Flaherty! That's a hard hit. He's down at the Conservative 5-yard line. And what's this? The Liberals aren't letting him into the huddle? They're all tackling him again, just for kicks! There are flags all over the field now, and quarterbacks Harper and Ignatieff are brawling on the sideline! What a game, folks, what a game! "

          • LOL.

          • Dammit, that's everybody else except Cotler. Some hint.

          • Is it Joe Comuzzi?

    • Scott Brison – cause he's jealous if Kennedy's press.

    • From Don Martin's piece: "The former Quebec lieutenant did more than mere subordination when he quit in a huff at being over-ruled in a Montreal riding nomination fight."

      Someone should explain to Don the difference between subordination and insubordination.

      • I chalked that up to a typo rather than an error (I wonder, does the print version have it right?), but yeah, that was funny.

      • Naw, he was referring to his phraseology

    • Michael Ignatieff, because he can win the majority Harper cannot?

      • Oh please please let it be Coderre.

    • The only solution is a rousing game of Guess Who!

      • Dion.

    • "Speculation on who it could be?"

      I think it would be good for Cons if Keith Martin returned to the fold.

  9. Ignatieff's "explanation" is largely a partisan rant and still doesn't explain why Canadians need to go back to the polls only eleven months since the last time.

    Indeed, this sounds like a Liberal version of the "neverendum" logic of our separatist friends. If you don't like the outcome of an election keep having another one until you get the result you want – at which time you call all future elections off.

    • Seriously, go to the library — a big building with lots of books — and read something about how Parliament works. This is about confidence in a minority government, not about if you have to spend 10 minutes driving to the nearest school to mark an X. If the government did not want to lose confidence and plunge you back into another election, then I guess it should have tried a little harder to manage the economy and work with the other parties. It's harper who wants the election, and who is engineering it. Your comments are rarely worth even one yen.

      • "a big building with lots of books" Oh my, I laughed so hard at this!

        Couldn't agree with you more!

      • My library has Internet access. Books, unless they are e-books, are so 20th century.

        • LOL

          I know eh? And I mean, only something like 95% of books ever published aren't available in e-book form. What could that 95% possibly cover that I can't get from the 5% I can get online!?!?!?

          Out of curiosity, while your library may have internet access, how many e-books have they purchased for their collections? 'Cause I think only about 5% of that 5% are actually available online for free. I think the libraries of U of T have the biggest e-book collections in the country, at around 670,000 titles, which is impressive. They do have about 10.7 million print books though.

        • unless they are e-books

          And how many of those have you read?

      • Is Harper also the one making Iggy look like a weak, flip-flopper, with no principles?
        He really must be quite the chess player making Ignatieff support the budget, only to vote against its implimentation.

        The next time you stop by your library you should check out the economics section, instead of always reading up on parliamentary procedure.
        It's right past the bong-making section.
        You can't miss it if you rub the red from your eyes.

        • Once I'm in the "bong-making section" (rolling red eyes here), why would I go anywhere else?

          Bongs are so Sixties — those who care about health have moved on to vapes.

          Anyway, thanks for the brush up on the Dewey Decimal System — bongs before economics.

          Could be a winning campaign slogan — Bongs before Economics!

        • Yes, because the economists did so well in their predictions recently. They obviously know what they're speaking of…

          ..oh wait.

      • No need to drive to the polls, they really aren't that far away, and a good walk might clear the head.

    • "at which time you call all future elections off. "

      I understand the best way to do that is to prorogue parliament.

    • "still doesn't explain why Canadians need to go back to the polls only eleven months since the last time."

      Two quick notes:

      1. It's a motion of confidence. It's the government's job to maintain confidence, not the job of the opposition to extend it as a matter of avoiding too frequent elections. It would be most undemocratic to have a government formed of a minority parliament govern with carte blanche, simply because the potential timing of an election is undesirable.

      2. Loss of confidence does not necessitate an election. If an election would truly harm the nation, and our financial recovery at this time, then the Prime Minister ought to recommend to the GG that the leader of the opposition be given an opportunity to form a government.

      It's a minority parliament folks, we need start getting comfortable with its realities.

      • Good idea – but Ignatieff has sworn not to form a government if he defeats Harper. Maybe Dion will need to supplant him as Liberal leader and revive the coaltion.

  10. Indeed. Once the voters have attained sufficient enlightenment to produce the self-evidently correct result, what would be the point in ever bringing it up again?

    • I'm not sure if you're arguing for, or against, TwoYen's argument!

      Are you saying you think Ignatieff is petulant and really would call of elections if ever elected, or that Harper's being petulant with his "we can't possibly have an election, that would ruin EVERYTHING" arguments?

      I can certainly see an argument that Ignatieff is being petulant, but guess what? Opposition leaders are allowed to be petulant. It's the government's obligation to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons, not the other way around. The Tories are the one's in charge, and it's THEIR obligation to justify that honour by maintaining the confidence of the people we sent to Ottawa to represent us.

      I constantly get the impression these days that people think that in a minority Parliament it's up to the opposition to figure out a way to work with the government and keep them in power. It's totally ridiculous.

      • Sometimes I wonder if what we're seeing is still the after effects of the Natural Governing Party thing. Even though there are four parties in government, three in opposition, almost everybody seems to think it's still the Liberals who are running the show. Maybe that's why Harper supporters are so pissy. Cognitively, they know they're in power, but it somehow it hasn't translated to their gut yet, which is where they mostly do their thinking. It must be frustrating.

  11. I thought it read pretty well. I wonder what sections will be shown on the news this evening?

  12. I'm finally getting the hang of this politics stuff. It isn't what you mean, it's what you say, and who you say it to.
    Who is Ignatieff's real audience here? It's his stump speech right? Surely the audience is Liberal and the undecided. He's repositioned the libs as the party that opposes this govt…it's all for liberal consumption really. It doesn't have to necessarily be true. It's just a proclaimation to the party and Harper's opponents that we oppose now. Problem is is it really smart? Recent polls have indicated that the public blames Iggy for not making parliament work at the moment. It's just strategy – right?

    • "It doesn't have to necessarily be true." – Gosh don't tell me Iggy's taken a page from the Flanagan book.

      • Not really. I was really commenting on the partisan nature of each party's appeal. Obviously there's some truth in what Ignatieff has to say – the gist lets say. But it's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Clearly all political leaders use misinformation and hyperbole in describing their opponents. The funny part is how we immediately jump to their respective defence as if only the utterances and positions of our guy/gal could possibly be true.

        • I'm amused that it's seen as somehow scandalous that the Official Opposition should oppose.

          They're the government in waiting — their position should always be, "let us govern, we can do better!"

          The Liberals seem finally to have figured that out.

    • I think it was Nik Nanos who said that 2 out of 3 Liberal voters don't want an election. So if Iggy is indeed preaching to the choir, he's singing off-key for most of them. I guess if the speech squeezes more donations, to "help us fight those nasty incompetent Cons, yadda yadda", then it's somewhat worth it.

      The danger of a backlash, if an election occurs in the near future, still hangs over Iggy's head. Such is the nature of politics–whatever you do, your Opponents will spin it agaiinst you.

  13. As to Irwin Cotler not being seen – he was posting on Facebook this very day.
    As for Iggy's speech – I think "starve-the-beast" will have legs that outlast "standing in soy bean fields".

  14. Well if there was any doubt about Rubicon crossage before, it's gone now.

  15. Hey, maybe it's Denis Coderre. Rumours……….I don't rely on them. I believe it when I see it. It may happen, it may not.

  16. The economy is in a rough state, just like every where else in the world, and it got there because the rich demand to get richer and have no problems getting there on the backs of the poor who are getting poorer.

    The question is, who do you trust? The party being run by someone who is on a power trip and took Canada to a peace keeping nation to one of war… the party who took a simple 5 million dollar gun registry program that ended up costing a billion dollars or more (hmmm, whos pockets got padded in that one?)… the party who says they speak for all Canadians and send out biased surverys every few weeks trying to get your opinions… the party with the ultimate goal of wanting to break up Canada…

    It's time to take the politics out of being a politician, and have people who represent the folks that elected them, rather than being forced to follow the party line. It's time for honesty in politicians. (OMG, is that even possible?)

  17. The only rumour about Coderre today is that he'll be thrown out of the party for breaking the rules. Marissal and Bellavance have published a piece titled "La grogne venait du Québec", stating that it was Quebec members of the national council of the LPC who had officially requested that Ignatieff address the Coderre issue. Further, LaPresse quotes from the contitution and rules of the party and that complaints have been lodged against Coderre.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canad

  18. Surely this would only be a "serious step" if there was even the slightest chance the motion would be pass. Since it is already doomed to fail (much to Mr. Ignatieff's relief one assumes) this is simply another press release for the Liberal party issued under the freindly auspices of Mr. Wherry. It is kind of him to give Mr. Ignatieff so much space, but I doubt that even he thinks this is "serious".

  19. I've got a feeling the content of this speech will prove useful to bludgeon the NDP with, whenever the next election is upon us, and was likely as much inspired by that as other reasons.

  20. I have to laugh – TwoYen, avr, dakota, Halifax – you've accused Michael I. of lacking substance or reciting talking points etc. You may not be convinced of Mr. Igantieff's arguments – but they are clear as day:

    1 – The Conservatives have mismanaged the stimulus – they haven't gotten the money out the door fast enough and when they do it favours Conservative ridings.

    2 – The Conservatives have not defended the health and safety of Canadians (flu, isotopes)

    3 – The Conservatives have not defended Canadians abroad – they've created two classes of Canadians.

    4 – The Conservatives have dropped the ball on Climate change – Canada should be an international leader but we aren't.

    5 – The Conservatives have allowed innovation and jobs to leave the country.

    One can disagree with the validity and merits of the arguments. But to decry this speech as lacking substance or clarity – please. The details are not all there to be sure – but this clearly forms the basis of an election platform and you can bet your ass that the Conservative war room is busy working on ways to refute and discredit these arguments.

    • Iggy didn't make sense, this speach doesn't have any impact because most canadians aren't looking for an election, and he doesn't, the man MICHAEL IGNATIEFF has no substance,at all!!!

  21. As an aside — the accusation of the day award goes to TwoYen who discribes the speech as a "largely a partisan rant."

    Do tell: have you ever heard a bipartisan ballad delivered from the opposition side of the house in Canadian history?

    • Is it not standard to use a bipartisan tone during a nonconfidence motion?

  22. I mainly decry this speech as lacking French. Is Michael Ignatieff serious? This will be the news in Quebec: Ignatieff delivers major speech to the House but includes only a few sentences oin French. That will hurt him a lot more than Coderre – Ignatieff could survive Coderre – but so little French in an important speech will rub French-speaking Canadians the wrong way. The Quebec media will fall on Ignatieff like a ton of brick. He's about to miss the good old days of the Coderre controversy.

    • Interesting point. Only three paragraphs out of 37 were delivered in French. A peculiar emphasis when interest is focused on the party in Quebec.

    • I'd cut him a bit of slack, in that he was speaking without a script.

    • Perhaps his primary intended audience had the area code of Nine-Oh-Five

  23. So he says. I suspect it was more of a case of his having a script – he just wasn't reading from it. It does emphasize that he is not fluently bilingual, however, if he can't extemporize in French as easily as he can in English. (not that I can either, but then I'm not seeking the job of PM).

  24. This is my favourite: "A year ago they were at the edge of deficit; by February, they were at a deficit of $32 billion; suddenly, four or five weeks later, it is at $50 billion; and at the end of the summer they announced the deficit was at $56 billion.

    Who in the House can actually believe this figure will not climb somewhere near $60 billion by Christmas? This is a terrible record of failure and someone must stand up in the House and call it what it is: abject failure on the public finance management of this country." Failure on a scale not seen since the Ontario government of McGuinty in 2009. How long is Ignatieff going to keep campaigning against the Liberal politician elected by the good people of 905?