6.16.2009

ignatieff: dion with eyebrows?

Yesterday morning, Allan and I watched Michael Ignatieff's press conference, and we thought we were headed for an election. At long last, a chance to get rid of this endless, anti-democratic, anti-human Conservative minority government.

I read the "I don't want an election," as a rhetorical device. "I don't want to do this, but the actions and attitude of the Prime Minister leave me no choice...". Just as when Ignatieff announced, "We hate this budget, it's the worst, it stinks, but...", the real message is in the "but".

We didn't watch Harper's reply, and we didn't watch question period.

Then next time we turned on the TV, the election threat had cooled. On The National, the "At Issue" panel said Ignatieff looked weaker as the day wore on. Today's Globe and Mail says Ignatieff was mollified with a few vague, minor promises from Harper, undoubtedly worth no more than the hot air on which they floated out of the Prime Minister's lying mouth.

Polls show Canadians don't want an election. But as a friend said last night, when do Canadians want an election? How does "never" sound? There's no evidence that the Liberals would be punished at the polls for triggering an election. The Conservatives sure weren't punished last time.

The Liberals aren't ready? If they're not ready now, what the $%^&?! are they waiting for?

If Ignatieff doesn't pull the trigger this Friday, he looks as weak as his jellyfish predecessor. The Liberals should be more worried about that than the wealth of their campaign fundraising or Canadians complaining about another election. Michael Ignatieff should be worried about becoming Dion Deux.

9 comments:

M@ said...

I said it with Dion and I'm saying it now: far better for the Liberals to lose an election well than to continue to support Stephen Harper and his Clown College Cabinet.

In this climate, too, the Liberals' base is energized while the CPC base is not (thanks in great part to the record-breaking deficit). Add to that a surge in the 905 area and Quebec for the Liberals, and it sounds like ideal conditions for a Liberal minority win.

L-girl said...

I couldn't agree more, and I don't know why the Liberals don't understand this.

I am still hoping, perhaps foolishly, that the pundits are wrong and it's not too late for Ignatieff to pull the trigger.

M@ said...

I'm hoping for that, too. It's possible that Ignatieff is playing a game where he is reluctantly calling an election. "Gosh darn it, I wanted to get parliament to work, I gave Harper some very simple demands for information and whaddaya know, he just won't tell us where he's spending your fifty bills, so I have no choice. This is for your sake, Canada."

That's what I'm hoping he's playing at, anyhow. I've learned the hard way not to hope for too much from the Liberals though.

M@ said...

By the way, a thought occurs -- if Ignatieff is willing to vote against the government on Friday, what's stopping Harper from proroguing and waiting till September, when the climate might be more receptive to the CPC?

Until last December, this was an unthinkable question; now, thanks to Harper and Michaelle Jean, it's a perfectly legitimate thing to ask. Which is a sad thing for our democracy. What possible basis would Jean have for refusing the request this time, if she granted it last time?

bgk said...

I hope that Ignatieff pulls the trigger, and a Liberal Minority government comes into play.

That being said, nothing I read on CBC makes me feel very "hopeful".

L-girl said...

"Gosh darn it, I wanted to get parliament to work, I gave Harper some very simple demands for information and whaddaya know, he just won't tell us where he's spending your fifty bills, so I have no choice. This is for your sake, Canada."

Up until last night, I was sure that was the game Ignatieff was playing.

Still hoping, but as you and bgk say...

"What possible basis would Jean have for refusing the request this time, if she granted it last time?"

It is a legitimate question, but I am reasonably certain Jean would not grant a second prorogation. Her basis for refusal - not that she needs any, since she needed no justification to grant it the first time - would be the fact that he's already had that shot, and still lost the confidence of the HoC.

Scott M. said...

Her decision would be a lot easier this time... the government has a number of supply days they must have in a sitting, and have been saving them up for the end of the sitting, thereby denying the opposition the ability to vote confidence in the government.

In the fall, there had been a successful confidence vote about a week before "The Madness".

M@ said...

The "successful confidence vote" last fall is a pretty convenient CPC talking point but it doesn't wash. The vote was for the throne speech, which nearly always passes, and the throne speech is supposed to lay out the government's legislative agenda, which it didn't. If Harper was trying to "make parliament work", he would have let parliament vote on his policies by either putting them in the throne speech or allowing parliament to vote instead of proroguing.

Of course, if he hadn't needlessly called an election against his own law, none of that would have happened. But that's why Harper is considered a Master Strategist, apparently.

L-girl said...

It's sickening to have a Master Strategist as Prime Minister, rather than a person concerned with honest, compassionate and democratic governance.