Ignatieff takes over as Liberal leader

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Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

If this was Rex's considered opinion on Saturday, he must have been bowled over on Sunday, during Cross Country Check-up. There was incredible hostility towards Harper while I was listening, and virtually no one spewing canned Con talking-points.

madmax

Hedy and Dosanjh

Quote:

Hedy Fry, the Vancouver Centre Liberal MP, said a "good stimulus package" in the budget could be supported.

 

 Cracks appeared in the federal coalition yesterday as B.C. Liberal MPs said they might support Stephen Harper's budget when Parliament resumes........

 

"If the budget is appropriate, I'm willing to consider it. We can't be unreasonable. Canadians expect us to be reasonable." Dosanjh said. 

Gnote

Quote:
"If the budget is appropriate, I'm willing to consider it. We can't be unreasonable. Canadians expect us to be reasonable." Dosanjh said. 

Canadians also expected Harper to be reasonable - theoretically, anyway.  How did that work out for us?

aka Mycroft

So far today:

Dion resigns (again), LeBlanc drops out and endorses Ignatieff, Kennedy endorses Rae (3 years too late), Iggy declares himself a candidate for "interim" leader, Rae refuses to drop out saying he doesn't think coronations are healthy and calls for a OMOV process to be held in January because democracy is good. 

Gnote

The coalition is effed.

Mojoroad1

Keystone cops. Watching Liberals is like watching the WWF (or whatever it's called now). That aside, I have to say Rae is right.

Ratbert

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
If this was Rex's considered opinion on Saturday, he must have been bowled over on Sunday, during Cross Country Check-up. There was incredible hostility towards Harper while I was listening, and virtually no one spewing canned Con talking-points.

 

Quote:

Read the Bible for its wisdom: "He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it." Politicians should tattoo that onto their skulls.

Stephen Harper duggeth himself one vast pit, all by his shovel-wielding lonesome, when he set out to chop the public financing of his rivals. And promptly went in head first.

It was naked hardball politics. He was out to nail the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois. That triggered the mess that's roiling the country. He came within a Rideau Hall cucumber sandwich of losing power. Napoleon one day, General Custer the next.

It was his mean and near unfathomable inability to resist taking a cheap shot that brought down the whole monsoon shower of partisan hysteria and grandstanding that's electrified every Tim Hortons and Starbucks from St. John's to Victoria.

Mr. Murphy's opening remarks are spot on. There is genuine hostility from across the political spectrum toward PM Harper. This latest partisan stunt shows not only that he is incapable of governing in the best interests of Canadians but that he holds Canadians' concerns in contempt.

 

madmax

Mojoroad1 wrote:
Keystone cops. Watching Liberals is like watching the WWF (or whatever it's called now).

The LPC are incapable of getting their act together. Everything they do is a patchwork solution.  I don't know how anyone can have confidence in the Liberals.

The Keystone cops are funny. The Liberals are supposed to be "Our naturally Governing Party".  I don't think so.

Any party that couldn't successfully exploit the recent catastrophy of the Harper Government, is incapable of becoming the next government, let alone lead a coalition.

The LPC are on their way to becoming the Eternal "B" team, no matter who is at the helm.

JeffWells

NDP Leader Jack Layton issued a statement, saying he is looking
forward to working with the next leader of the "Liberal-New Democrat
coalition" on proposals for the economy.

"Mr. Dion and the entire Liberal caucus have shown courage and
leadership by putting aside political differences with New Democrats to
forge a majority coalition," Mr. Layton said. "They have made a
commitment to the coalition to get the economy on the right track for
Canadian families."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081208.wPOLliberals...

Jack continues to play it very smartly. All the praise he heaps now on his erstwhile coalition partners must make them wince. And since I don't believe Ignatieff has the slightest intention of making good Dion's word - and I can't imagine Layton believes he does either - I'm now looking forward to the inevitable and appropriate blasts of indignation. When Canadians were looking for leadership, Mr Harper and Mr Ignatieff cared more about their own jobs than yours! That kinda stuff.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just dropping by to see how the software is working, and saw this thread.

 Regardless of whether Iggy becomes the next Liberal leader or not, if the Budget is defeated at the end of January, I seriously doubt the G-G will hand over power to the Coalition under any circumstances - thus Iggy (or Rae) will never be PM. There will be an election, instead, and Harper will be very close to a majority next time.

JKR

Boom Boom wrote:

There will be an election, instead, and Harper will be very close to a majority next time.

 

Harper has discredited himself so much over the last week, especially in Quebec. I can't see him winning a majority now. Especially since he won't have Dion to kick around anymore. At least Ignatieff can communicate to the public.

V. Jara

Warning: rambling rant to follow, 

I think Iggy will get the interim leadership. I think Iggy is also going to play cute on whether he supports the coalition or not. He will try to position himself as the moderate interlocutor between a coalition government and a reprieve for the Tories. The Liberals under Ignatieff will temporarily strive to be the party again of the "mushy middle." As suggested earlier in this thread, Iggy will try to use the coalition as a bargaining chip primarily between Harper and Layton. I think he even has the audacity to try and renegotiate the coalition's terms with the NDP to try and make it more favourable to the Liberals. THe NDP should say "no, once signed a deal is a deal."

As for whether the coalition is dead or not. I think it is still alive and well. Ignatieff is the kind of ambitious prick that has always wanted the PM-ship delivered to him on a golden platter. If he can become PM without ever having to face the electorate, either in his party or the Liberal party, he will do it. He will do it, because he knows (based on his 2006 face plant and other "brick walls" hit in his professional career) that the risks of actually following a democratic process for him are quite large. He yearns for the unearned opportunity to go down in Canadian history books as PM Iggy and the illusory prestige of becoming prime minister of a G8 country.

For most of Ignatieff's life, "I'm Canadian" has been a pick-up line. Now expect him gush about his love for this country.

As for his ideology, it is remarkably similar to the other candidates. Apart from them, he is dumb/arrogant enough to be on the record for getting away from the Liberal party "sacred cows" of health care, etc. (Classic, ivy-league, write some more books, papers, and get invited to conferences phony controversy bullshit). He is also dumb/arrogant enough to be on the record for supporting Torture Lite(TM*) as director of Harvards "Human Rights" centre- one of many "sycophant to power" and "apologist for the status quo" moments in his intellectual career.

 He wants to be PM, make no mistake about that. His preference will be for no election to take place, make no mistake about that. The question is, whether or not he and his backers are satisfied that the Liberal Party walks into power sufficiently in control to make up for any "little" risks like the NDP gaining legitimacy, etc. Also, expect Michael Ignatieff to step up his (Provence aristocrat *snigger*) courting of Quebec- which incidentally can be a good profile raiser for Mulcair, as the more rooted Anglo.

 All in all with the Liberal party, "le plus ca change, le plus ca reste le meme." Harper's in a pickle.

 The last bit of Liberal motivation for a coalition, yes I know they're broke, has to be the polls. If the polls are saying Tory majority, don't expect them to suddenly become sensitive to the idea of bailing out Harper. They bail out Harper in January and Harper can call an election in May. No one will come running to the Liberals aid when they cry wolf then. The only way the Liberals get to take away the keys from power drunk Harper, is if they move into 24 Sussex Drive.

Michelle
coeus

JKR wrote:
Harper has discredited himself so much over the last week, especially in Quebec. I can't see him winning a majority now. Especially since he won't have Dion to kick around anymore. At least Ignatieff can communicate to the public.

I know.. it's frightening, isn't it. That those with a realistic chance of becoming PM is either Harper or Mr. "lesser of two evils" Ignatieff. 

 

Slumberjack

The Complex Missions of Michael Ignatieff

It's no surprise that he has a different speech for different occasions and audiences.  Earlier in this thread, there was mention of a hole being dug by the liberals into which they would fall headlong.  In fact, it is the partisan supporters of the NDP who will push their party into the abyss, out of a self-important desire for some scrap of ephemeral influence, like an introverted wallflower, mesmerized by the hypnotizing effects of the disco ball.  A man like Ignatieff, vilified on this board in the past as an enemy to everything the left stands for, and rightfully so, has now become an acceptable dance partner as the night wears on.

munroe

Iggy Iraq, great.....

Unionist

coeus wrote:
I know.. it's frightening, isn't it. That those with a realistic chance of becoming PM is either Harper or Mr. "lesser of two evils" Ignatieff.

Right on about the "evil" part. Hope you're correct about the "lesser" part...

Ratbert

Some great political theatre ahead as two very smart, capable individuals ( who are not that far apart, ideologically) manoevre for the support of the key to power - the political center.

It's Me D

Yeah, there's nothing better than watching two people who don't have your interests in mind fight to see who will have the chance to screw you over; wheee!

Doug

Yes, XBox please! Laughing

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Shhh!

You're talking about our beloved Koalition Kaptain!

Remember: Harper is the bad guy, not Iggy!

Perhaps you were hoping I had stopped using an annoying tag line. You were wrong; you're reading it now. Why not email a moderator to demand that signature/tag lines be abolished forthwith?

It's Me D

I've never been a fan of tag lines Spector but yours gets me every time, and its growing on me... I think its having the opposite of its intended effect.

Wink

How is the campaign going btw? I thought I recalled Michelle being opposed to those things from the get-go and yet, here they are.

JKR

Slumberjack wrote:

  A man like Ignatieff, vilified on this board in the past as an enemy to everything the left stands for, and rightfully so, has now become an acceptable dance partner as the night wears on.

Ignatieff's stand concerning human rights has been twisted for political reasons. People should consider his own words before passing judgement.

Who Are Americans To Think That Freedom Is Theirs To Spread ?
New York Times Magazine
by Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff wrote:

And then there are the prisoners, the hooded man with the wires hanging from his body, the universal icon of the gap between the ideals of American freedom and the sordid -- and criminal -- realities of American detention and interrogation practice. The fetid example of these abuses makes American talk of democracy sound hollow. It will not be possible to encourage the rule of law in Egypt if America is sending Hosni Mubarak shackled prisoners to torture. It will be impossible to secure democratic change in Morocco or Afghanistan or anywhere else if Muslims believe that American guards desecrated the Koran. The failure to convict anybody higher than a sergeant for these crimes leaves many Americans and a lot of the world wondering whether Jefferson's vision of America hasn't degenerated into an ideology of self-congratulation, whose function is no longer to inspire but to lie.

...

Americans have difficulty understanding that there are many different forms that this yearning can take, Islamic democracy among them. Democracy may be a universal value, but democracies differ -- mightily -- on ultimate questions. One reason the American promotion of democracy conjures up so little support from other democrats is that American democracy, once a model to emulate, has become an exception to avoid.

Consider America's neighbor to the north. Canadians look south and ask themselves why access to health care remains a privilege of income in the United States and not a right of citizenship. They like hunting and shooting, but can't understand why anyone would regard a right to bear arms as a constitutional right. They can't understand why the American love of limited government does not extend to a ban on the government's ultimate power -- capital punishment. The Canadian government seems poised to extend full marriage rights to gays.

I think Ignatieff is a strong advocate for human rights. That's why he was chosen to be the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.

thorin_bane

M hasn't been winning much lately even his anti-coalition stance...oh I only posted this so everyone could look at my tagline. Actually I gave some content in my post unlike some. :P

______________________________________________________________________________________
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
Noam Chomsky

Fidel

Ignatieff to Harper: Change or fall

 

Quote:

“Stephen Harper’s government is not providing Canada with the leadership or stability it needs ... he’s offered no hope, no solutions, no plan for our country,” he told a news conference.

“Where Mr. Harper has failed, we can succeed.”

Ignatieff accused Harper of being “spiteful” and “divisive,” and said he must change his ways.

It looks like Iggy is willing to cut Harper some slack. Conservatives never change. Change is a terrifying experience for political conservatives

thorin_bane

Fidel Just watched Poltitics, forget about it. Iggy has said he will side with harper.  That is about waht I got from the messaging.______________________________________________________________________________________
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
Noam Chomsky

Fidel

I hear ya. Like two peas of the same pod.

derrick derrick's picture

An in-depth portrait of Ignatieff from the Globe & Mail a couple of years ago is worth a read. On throwing his little brother under the bus: 

 

"Writing in Old Boys, however, he acknowledges that UCC also encouraged him to be an authoritarian prig. And nothing illustrates his youthful ego — and what could lie beneath the surface — quite like the way he treated his younger brother.

 

Andrew followed him to UCC in 1962. A self-described "fat little prick," he was absent his brother's talents. He was not an athlete, not adept at writing and public speaking, not competitive. While Michael was "God," and "everybody bowed and scraped when he passed," Andrew became known as "fatty," "piggy," "slob," "spaz," "big ass" — and "Iggy," a nickname he loathed.

 

He, too, contributed to Old Boys — it's the last public comment he has made about his brother.

 

"Before I started at age 12," he writes, "our parents sat down with my older brother and me. They said, 'Michael, you're the big brother, and Andrew is going to UCC for the first time. It's the first time he has ever been away. You have to understand you have to be good to him.'

 

"Michael was very sweet and he told me how wonderful UCC would be. Then we went to my Aunt Helen's house and again he was very sweet. My Aunt Helen [Ignatieff, the boys' in loco parentis in Canada] again impressed on him the importance of him looking out for me. Then we went to the school and he introduced me to all the masters in the prep.

 

"The next morning he said, 'How are things going? Did you sleep well?' I said, 'Yes, I slept well.' He said, 'How was the food?' I said. 'It was gross.' He said, 'Do you want to go for a walk?'

 

"We went for a walk, and he said, 'I want to make one thing absolutely clear to you. When we're at Aunt Helen's house or Aunt Charity's house [Charity Grant, their mother's sister], you can say whatever you want to me. But if you ever see me on the school grounds, you're not to talk to me. You're not to recognize that I'm your brother. You don't exist as far as I'm concerned. Do I make myself clear?'"

 

 

 

 

 

derrick derrick's picture

And here's an interview with Linda McQuaig in which she savages Ignatieff's support for war etc: 

"That quote [in Holding the Bully's Coat] from Ignatieff, where he talks about torture [being defensible] as long as it's done by a patriotic American, now that's an interesting quote. That one hasn't gotten the play that some of the others [have]. That one was from an interview he did with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. That is an incredible statement of the notion of American exceptionalism, the idea that America should be excepted from being bound by international law. And for Ignatieff to come out and endorse that in the way he did is just phenomenal. I find it striking, because he doesn't talk like that in Canada. You don't hear him talk like that so much in Parliament.... And yet if you actually look at some of the things he's said, he's actually an extraordinary neoconservative. He's up there with guys like Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and some of those people in terms of the extremism of his position. And yet this guy's a prominent politician in Canada....

"I mean imagine somebody in the U.S., a politician, spending 40 years outside the country and then thinking that they could just sort of sweep in and run for president. I mean the arrogance of it is just mind-boggling. And yet he came very close."

 

 

 

Fidel

derrick wrote:

"We went for a walk, and he said, 'I want to make one thing absolutely clear to you. When we're at Aunt Helen's house or Aunt Charity's house [Charity Grant, their mother's sister], you can say whatever you want to me. But if you ever see me on the school grounds, you're not to talk to me. You're not to recognize that I'm your brother. You don't exist as far as I'm concerned. Do I make myself clear?'"

Sounds like Iggy is Doug Niedermeyer from Animal House. " You're all worthless and weak! Now drop and give me twenty!"

Slumberjack

JKR wrote:
Ignatieff's stand concerning human rights has been twisted for political reasons. People should consider his own words before passing judgement....I think Ignatieff is a strong advocate for human rights.

Is he now.  His words are contained in various publications, one of them being a book he wrote called "THE LESSER EVIL: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror," reviewed here:  The Lesser Evil

People should indeed consider his own words, especially those in favour of a coalition with this party.  There are more than a few here, hypocrites actually, who still support this concept, knowing full well that Ignatieff held these views, and that he was a strong contender for the Liberal leadership, and thus leader of the coalition.  It will be difficult to take them seriously going forward when they speak here on progressive issues, rights, dignity, etc.

coeus

Unionist wrote:
Right on about the "evil" part. Hope you're correct about the "lesser" part...

I'm not  suggesting that Iggy is a lesser evil. I call him "Mr. Lesser of two evils" because it is this argument he used to justify war, torture, etc.

'The Lesser Evils'

Hoodeet

The right is using the usual scare tactic against the centrists, to
draw them toward the right, namely that by aligning with the NDP
they'll be pushed to the left.

 It's more likely, in my opinion, that Jack L., in his blind drive for power,could be dragged rightward with the NDP. 

It is shocking to realize that Iggy tailors his discourse to his audiences, and the public needs to know more.

 

 

 

enemy_of_capital

I will have a polemic about this later.

For now let me say that this is great new from the standpoint of the Trotskyist Propagandist, a white russian now leads the second capitalist party. (sarcasm this is bad news ofcourse but the sylogisms and analogies are flooding the gates of my brain now.)

gram swaraj

The Complex Missions of Michael Ignatieff

Quote:
he
provides conservative arguments to the liberal audience and liberal
alibis to the conservatives....Ignatieff chooses to applaud a government that goes to war in defiance
of the Security Council, that actively promotes the failure of the
United Nations, that refuses to sign international treaties, that opts
out of international justice and that ignores human rights in prisons

____________________________________________________________
http://www.gandhiserve.org/information/questions_and_answers/faq7/faq7.html

Rob8305

I was positively blown away by Mr. Ignatteff's press conference this afternoon.  He exuded confidence, poise, and rational thinking.  He very firmly stood up to the lunatic PM that we have right now.  Harper is on notice that the free ride is over.

 Harper could yet win the war but he has a foe in Ignatieff who is very strong indeed.

V. Jara

Ignatieff is all hat, no cattle.

 He can reverse or reinvent himself at the first whiff of greater "prestige." Take anything he says seriously, at your own risk.

To take some liberties with what Stockholm said earlier, at least the Liberals now have a saleman to match the sliminess of their brand.

Stockholm

"He very firmly stood up to the lunatic PM that we have right now.  Harper is on notice that the free ride is over."

So what if after raising expectations that he will stand up to Harper, Iggy buckles and loses his nerve and votes for Harper's budget and gives him a de facto free ride for the next year or two?  Can he live that down?

Parkdale High Park

I actually think he WILL vote down the budget and that the coalition's chances of success have never been greater.

 

1. The media narrative on Iggy is on what a great compromiser he is, relative to Harper. Chantal Hebert, for instance, sounded trumpets that the Liberals have learned to unite as a party... uhhh... no, Bob Rae has got to be pissed - the Liberals didn't unite, they just let the elite run the party moreso. Why is that narrative important? Blame. If the budget gets voted down Ignatieff needs to be able to blame Harper for not compromising.

2. Iggy has indicated that he will "neither agree nor disagree to meet with Harper". That sounds like a disagreement to meeting with Harper. His line "I will vote for the budget if it is good for the economy" is interesting, because it suggests he has no specific terms on the budget. In practice, he will let Harper do whatever he wants on the budget,  and try to figure out what the polls say. If they are good, he takes power, if not, he votes for the budget.

3. Under Dion the coalition would not have had the ability to keep its members in line. Wilfert was basically Dion's only caucus supporter - Iggy would never have made Dion PM. Now that Iggy is in charge though, he has a strong incentive to keep his attack dogs in line.

4. The Liberals are broke, and being in power is a great boon for fundraising. Moreover, the opportunity to run a deficit without blame is great payola for any leader. They get to create funds and programs and such all with their names on it.

Before, there is almost no way the coalition would have gone through given prorogation, with an interim leader or Dion. Now, there is a chance. Iggy can use his media honeymoon to get the benefit of the doubt on a takedown for Harper.

Now if you think he will govern as a progressive, or that Jack Layton will take him down - given how much of Layton's credibility is locked up in this deal - you don't know Jack.  

 

JKR

The PR battle over the budget will determine a lot here. If the Coalition parties can convince Canadians the budget is a dud then one way or another the Harper Conservatives will be out of power either by the establishment of a Coalition or an election, dependinh on what form of execution the GG decides upon.

Stockholm

I actually agree for the most part with Parkdale-High Park. I'm actually startingt to think that ther coalition has a BETTER chance of surviving and taking power now than it did last week.

Ignatieff is a permanent Liberal leader and he is getting a honeymoon from the media. He is cleverly saying that he will vote down the budget unless Harper does good things for the economy. That is setting the bar awfully high. Does anyone see Ignatieff pronouncing that Harper has brought in a budget that is "good" for the Canadian economy?? Hardly a good way to make your first splash as opposition leader.

Fidel

You could be right. Canadians' faith in their electoral democracy and the Liberal Party is at an all time low. A coalition with the NDP and Bloc and being seen and heard to do progressive things for 18-30 months might do wonders for their overall popularity. Every capitalist and politician knows that to reap financial windfall they have to invest time, money, and work beforehand. And the Liberals need to take some risks and begin to appear to address ordinary people's concerns. These particular Liberals may not owe as many political favours as we might expect. I think big money was really counting on the Harpers to come through for them in the crunch.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I generally agree with Parkdale High Park also.  I thought that Ignatief was making it incredibly tough for Harper.  Asked for details on demands he refused.  He reititerated that any budget also needs to include rebuilding of trust, which is something very subjective.  Finally, he did throw down one line in the sand, asking Harper to 'walk down the hill'.  I don't know how to interpret this, except to say that Harper has to admit error.

If it was simply economic concepts I could see Harper somehow working through the minefield, but I cannot see Harper stepping up and taking the blame.

As for the coalition, Ignatief said that he believed that the coalition deal was final and not open to amendments.

JeffWells

I said in an earlier thread that Ignatieff would present a greater challenge to the NDP than Rae because he would be a more credible opponent for Harper, and I'm more persuaded of that after his assured performance yesterday. Policy is not going to matter very much to the Anybody But Harper voter. Even without Ignatieff making a credible outreach to progressives he is still going to appear awfully attractive after Harper, and with the menace of a Conservative majority now evident to all I expect a shitstorm of hold-your-nose-for-Iggy "strategic voting" the likes of which we've never seen.

It's Me D

JeffWells wrote:
Even without Ignatieff making a credible outreach to progressives he is still going to appear awfully attractive after Harper, and with the menace of a Conservative majority now evident to all I expect a shitstorm of hold-your-nose-for-Iggy "strategic voting" the likes of which we've never seen.

If you're right it would seem the NDP's choice to back a coalition with the Libs instead of going up against them in an immediate election is a smart move.

josh

Parkdale High Park wrote:

I actually think he WILL vote down the budget and that the coalition's chances of success have never been greater.

 

1. The media narrative on Iggy is on what a great compromiser he is, relative to Harper. Chantal Hebert, for instance, sounded trumpets that the Liberals have learned to unite as a party... uhhh... no, Bob Rae has got to be pissed - the Liberals didn't unite, they just let the elite run the party moreso. Why is that narrative important? Blame. If the budget gets voted down Ignatieff needs to be able to blame Harper for not compromising.

2. Iggy has indicated that he will "neither agree nor disagree to meet with Harper". That sounds like a disagreement to meeting with Harper. His line "I will vote for the budget if it is good for the economy" is interesting, because it suggests he has no specific terms on the budget. In practice, he will let Harper do whatever he wants on the budget,  and try to figure out what the polls say. If they are good, he takes power, if not, he votes for the budget.

3. Under Dion the coalition would not have had the ability to keep its members in line. Wilfert was basically Dion's only caucus supporter - Iggy would never have made Dion PM. Now that Iggy is in charge though, he has a strong incentive to keep his attack dogs in line.

4. The Liberals are broke, and being in power is a great boon for fundraising. Moreover, the opportunity to run a deficit without blame is great payola for any leader. They get to create funds and programs and such all with their names on it.

Before, there is almost no way the coalition would have gone through given prorogation, with an interim leader or Dion. Now, there is a chance. Iggy can use his media honeymoon to get the benefit of the doubt on a takedown for Harper.

 

 

All perfectly reasonable points, but it won't happen.  Iggy would rather take his chances and face an election with his party short on funds than take power in an alliance with the NDP and the Bloc.

 

JeffWells

It's Me D wrote:

If you're right it would seem the NDP's choice to back a coalition with the Libs instead of going up against them in an immediate election is a smart move.

 

I think so. Layton's been very smart about playing the hand he's dealt. If Iggy supports Harper's budget, as I think likely, that gives the NDP a good early chance to negatively define his leadership to progressive swing voters.

An election may not be as early as many people think. The Liberals are still hurting for money, and will probably seize the talk-tough-but-accomodate ground, which will appear much more credible under Iggy than it ever did under Dion. And as favourable as the polls must appear to Harper, I think he must realize he'd be punished for forcing another needless election upon the country so soon after the last.

Now Ignatieff's in place, I don't think there'll be an election before 2010.

madmax

What is wrong with the LPC.  Why is Ignatieff the best they can do?  Surely, you can't expect this person to be accepted by Canadians. I am drawing a conclusion that the LPC is becoming a party that nobody cares about. Especially those on the inside. Dion, Ignatieff and Rae provided the weakest list ever seen to contend for the Liberal Leadership. The LPC has no bright lights. 

I see an easy ride for Harper.

 

KenS

josh wrote:

Iggy would rather take his chances and face an election with his party short on funds ....

This seems to be an article of faith with you.

They aren't just 'short of funds' or hurting for money.

They could borrow really deeply to run one election, like they just did. But they simply cannot do that again in the really near term. Even if they would be willing to bet the fram by borrowing enough for another spending limit election, they won't get the credit.

If the NDP needed to go into another election right now they would also need to borrow most of the money. But they are a reasonable credit risk. The Liberals are borrowing money just to run normal operations- let alone an election. I'm sure there are high rollers who would still guarantee their loans- but then they would be REALLY behind the 8 ball with Elections Canada.

So they aren't going to be able to immediately reload and run a full spending limit campaign. Period. And this is people who are already in serious orginazational dissaray, who then have to decide which 50% of a campaign they can survive without.

The Bish

Ignatieff appears to be playing up the Liberals as the fiscally responsible party, in an attempt to draw votes away from the Conservatives.  I think the fact that he spent so much of the press conference focussing on the fact that the Conservatives were being dishonest about the state of the economy and the deficit is a big part of that.  It seems that what Ignatieff really wants is not for Harper to tackle the economic crisis, but for Harper to admit that his party cooked the books and that Canada is actually in pretty bad fiscal shape.  It's an interesting tactic, because he's basically challenging Harper to drop his ego.  We'll see where it goes, but it wasn't the tactic I was expecting from Ignatieff.

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