According to a note that he just dashed off to the press gallery, the prime minister’s Associate Communication Director/Press Secretary would like us to remind all of you of the following quotes from Michael Ignatieff:
“I’m prepared to form a coalition government, and to lead that government and to provide Canada with the security and stability it needs.” (Ottawa Citizen, December 11, 2008)
“I told the caucus this morning very clearly I am prepared to vote non-confidence in this government and I am prepared to enter into a coalition with our partners if that is what the Governor General asks me to do,” Ignatieff said (Canadian Press, December 10, 2008)
They also sent out Pierre Poilievre to “respond” to Ignatieff, although it became almost immediately apparent that he wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to trash the parliamentary budget officer’s countercosting of the Liberal employment insurance proposal, or awkwardly attempt to change the subject when asked about Stephen Harper’s dalliances with the Bloc and the NDP back in the day when he was leading Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Not surprisingly, it didn’t seem to go well on either front, although maybe it picked up after the cameras had cut away.
Oh, and Ignatieff? Judging from the reaction that his latest musings on the possibility of a future coalition government is generating over at Colleague Wherry’s place, he’s managed to annoy at least a few of his own supporters by implicitly accepting, without any attempt at qualification, the Conservative definition of the term, while simultaneously stepping all over the message that his party was supposed to be getting out in the first place: that the Conservatives merrily fudged the numbers when they claimed that his EI proposal would cost $4 billion.
Really, so far, it’s been a banner day for political strategists on all sides.