Summer election or not: Part 2

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Benjamin

KenS wrote:

Michael Ignatieff at a Drive-Thru Window:

"My stomach is sending a very direct signal to my brain. While I have serious doubts about the nutritional value of quote-unquote fast food, I am craving a Double Original Cheeseburger. What's that? Lettuce? Tomatoes? Pickles? Onions? You have presented me with an urgent platform of garnish options. I shall return Friday with my final decision."

 

Michael Ignatieff Changes his Outgoing Voicemail Message:

"I'm sorry I missed your call. Unless you don't want me to be sorry, in which case, I'm glad I missed your call. As a pragmatist, your call was probably a waste of my time. This is not to say that I don't have time for you or, for that matter, any other Canadian who wants to waste my time. Have a nice day."

">http://www.thestar.com/news/columnist/article/651332

This was absolute gold, and made my morning, so thanks for passing it on.  +1 to Ken on this day.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Debater wrote:

And why do you always view it as a good thing if there is trouble for the Liberals?  Afterall, that simply increases the likelihood of Stephen Harper being in power for longer.

In any event, I'm not really a big fan of Ignatieff - I just view him as the best tool with which to get rid of Stephen Harper.  But I agree that he risks ending this session looking weak and indecisive compared to Harper after his performance this week.

Why, Debater?  Because I do not see Ignatieff as being ANY different from Harper, nor the Liberals (particularly in their current incarnation) as any different from the Conservatives ... with the one notable exception that at least Harper is more decisive.  Getting rid of him and replacing him with Ignatieff would be NO better, a position that has now been fully vindicated by the Liberal voting record over the last few weeks (on C-15, the NDP's other EI bill, etc., etc.).

If I believed otherwise, I'd be a Liberal.  Thankfully I gave up that delusion 30 years ago.

ETA: I guess, on the bright side, at least we did not wind up in a coaltion with "Michael Indecisieff" as Prime Minister (term courtesy of a commenter on the hilarious story Ken S linked to above from the Toronto Star).  We can at least thank M.I. for that.

I understand what you are saying - you believe that Harper and Ignatieff are the same and I guess that's where you're coming from.

But as we learned in the 2000 U.S. Election when people claimed there was no difference between Gore and Bush, there is almost always a difference between parties and leaders.  It is intellectually lazy, not to mention factually inaccurate, to state that 2 parties are the same.  There are always differences.

By the way, not all the press are being negative about Ignatieff this week.  Jim Travers actually says in today's piece that it is a win-win for Ignatieff whatever he decides:

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/651364

Bookish Agrarian

Nice try, but under Iggy there is no effective differences.  There used to be a difference between the Conservatives and one wing of the Liberal party on social policy, but that seems to be pretty much off the table these days.

Gee Jim Travers cheering for the Liberals - who would have thunk it.

KenS

The crash is fast when expectations are raised so very much- especially when the worm is turing on a pompous prig like Iggy. Took Dion FAR longer to become the target of outright ridicule.

I'm not at all counting Iggy out at this point, but there is no doubt he is in the beginning of a rapid free fall from the glibbly inflated expectations of him.

The next shoe to fall is the closely entwined and even more inflated expectations within and about the organization of the Liberal Party of Canada- fueled by very disengenuous spin fobbed off on the faithful, and helping fuel the hyperventilated image of the recovery of the Liberal party when the spin is uncritically absorbed by the media.

First on the list of that spin is Iggy the Saviour himself. Compared to the other elements of internal sipn that one is at least pretty transperent- now at least. [Except for the hopeless bathwater junkies, the Liberal blogs seem to have largely already gone quiet on the subject of the leader's performance and expectations thereof.]

Then there is the structural reform of the LPC: which the inner circle readily admits is a prerequisite to catching up with anybody in fundraising [let alone pie in the sky bathwater sharing about catching up with the Cons]; and itself a prequisite to more effective campaigning, as well as the money.

Team Iggy, lead by Rocco Rossi himself [see the Twitter linked above] trumpets the steps in the adminstrative streamlining alternately as well underway or [virtually] accomplished. In fact, they've made almost no progress, and seem to be counting on a tailwind of good news to ride roughshod over elements of the LPC blocking the streamlining of an administrative structure that is very expensive and makes impossible the fundraising improvements.

On that score at least, I think the legions of insiders are aware that the organizational streamliniung has got nowhere so far.

But there is another piece of spin that may be the next big shoe to drop: the dubious claim that the LPC has cleared ALL its debt. The real answer will be known in 2 weeks or so. All the indications are that they have not done so, that they have only cleared the new debt added from the last campaign. I was a lot inclined to believe them myself, reasoning that the hugely disengenuous claims would come home to roost when the truth came out. But on a wave of good news they assumed they would get through June and July, that could be waved off with explanations no one pays attention to.

But if the news turns out not to be good, and the media and even Liberals themselves have a growing feeling they have been sold a bill of goods, thats a different context.

Another shoe ready to fall- albeit not for months- is the unsustainability of the fundraising spurt that has allowed the LPC to operate in the black for the first time in quite a while. With a $1100 donation limit, there is a definite bottom to the barrel of folks willing to fork over money to watch Iggy flap his gums. A bottom even if he was still lionized, let alone if he is not. That spurt had to be replaced by development of a non-existant LPC capability to bring in the donations of $50 to a $500. That takes time under the best of circumstances... and they have not even begun yet. The stalled organizational streamlining plays a big part in that. When/if they clear that obstacle, they have others to clear. ....by which time, it remains to be seen if anyone will want to come to the party.

Slumberjack

I hope they don't call a summer election.  Besides, I normally avoid three ring circuses during the warmer months.  They're hot, sweaty, and the smell of animal dung becomes even more intense.

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

I understand what you are saying - you believe that Harper and Ignatieff are the same and I guess that's where you're coming from.

But as we learned in the 2000 U.S. Election when people claimed there was no difference between Gore and Bush, there is almost always a difference between parties and leaders.  It is intellectually lazy, not to mention factually inaccurate, to state that 2 parties are the same.  There are always differences.

Well they are *essentially* the same, then.  And Iggy's no Al Gore.

I'm not intellectually lazy, Debater, I just have a broader view of the political spectrum than you do.  In a narrow view of the acceptable choices, I suppose you can find differences between any two things.  From a wider perspective, one tends to notice the similarities a lot more.  Folks to my left would lump in the NDP with the other two for that matter, but as a social democrat I'm comfortable where I am.

KenS

The chances of an election now are very slim. It would pretty much have to be a chain of unintended consequences.

The only question was whether or not out of the possibility of an election, something was extracted from Harper- at the very least some kind of 'soft' political gain, if not something more immediately concrete.

Team Iggy's sole obsession with posturing made sure that passed by with nothing- not even a little blow on Harper.

Slumberjack

Iggy doesn't want to force an election on the public during the summer doldrums.  He will ask for and begrudgingly gnaw upon any scrap Harper is willing to toss his way and proclaim it as an extraction obtained solely through his 'resolute' determination, which will suffice for the time being.

ottawaobserver

I didn't notice Greg Weston's column until just now.  Here's the relevant portion:

Quote:

As the Commons headed into its final week before the scheduled (and long overdue) summer break, Ignatieff held a press conference to set out the Liberal party's four conditions for not voting the country into a mid-summer's nightmare election.

For the first 15 minutes, Ignatieff spoke from a written text about what his party and fellow MPs were expecting from the Harper government.

But as soon as Ignatieff left his prepared text and went to questions from reporters, the political situation at hand was suddenly all about him.

By our rough count, in less than 20 minutes of answering reporters, Ignatieff used one word over 100 times -- "I."

For example, one of the Liberal demands on the Harper government to avoid an election vote at the end of this week are some enriched proposals for employment insurance (EI).

"I have said that I'm looking for co-operation," Ignatieff said.

"I will judge the proposals that I'm calling for ... I require that he (the PM) come forward with proposals now, not in the fall ... I am pragmatic. I am prepared to make compromises."

Ignatieff was asked about leaving Harper an easy way out of a summer election.

Again, there was no mention of his caucus, nor even the existence of other Liberals on the planet.

"I know Canadians aren't crazy about an election, especially eight months after the last one ... I accept the results of that election, and I'm just trying to work with government.

"I voted for the (January) budget even though I had some questions about it because I thought it was better for Canadians than the opposite. So that's why I did it."

And so it went for the entire press conference.

As it happens, Ignatieff's proposed changes to EI have caused divisions within his own caucus and party, just as there is among Canadian voters.

No surprise there -- the Liberals are proposing to change EI to provide a full year of payments to anyone who works a minimum 360 hours -- what the Conservatives accurately call a 45-day working year.

Asked if the Liberals would bend to a compromise from the Conservatives, Iggy said he would consider proposals from Harper, and "I will determine whether he's helping out the unemployed."

One of the Conservatives' latest attack ads aimed at Ignatieff claims the Liberal leader is in national politics for himself: "It's not about you; it's just about him."

While there seems to have been mixed reaction to the ads among average Canadian voters, Liberal MPs must be wondering if the Conservatives have a point.

This follows on Don Martin's blogpost of the other week where he counted the number of times Ignatieff said "I" in a scrum:

Quote:

There's something singularly irritating about the Liberal party leader. Whenever he opens his mouth, out comes 'I' after 'I'. If not 'I', he's full of talk about 'me' or 'my'. It's often harder to find a party-friendly 'we' in his statements than a "Wii" electronic game in Future Shop.

Consider the typical statement delivered by Michael Ignatieff on Monday as he held court with reporters, preening and pretending he holds the fate of this parliament in his hands. This conveniently overlooks the minority math that requires both the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois to bring down the Conservative government, but "I, Michael" doesn't let that enter the equation.

{here he inserts the transcript of the scrum}

This scrum exchange clocks in at 168 words. There are 16 references to himself and only four references to 'we' as in his party. In other words, almost 10 per cent of the word count are devoted to Iggy referring to Iggy.  Gosh. No self-absorbed attitude here at all.

*I* think the Liberals may have a problem brewing here.

Politics101

Lets go down memory lane shall we - when the Paul Martin minority government was been threatened with defeat a certain leader of the NDP by the name of Jack Layton meets with the Prime Minister because he wants the minority to work and Canadians don't want an election and presents the Martin government with some proposals to stave off defeat - the first round of such talks produces some compromises and an election is averted.

So we fast forward four or five years to another minority government teetering on the brink of defeat and the leader of an opposition party meets with the Prime Minister to try and avoid an election because he wants to try and make minority government work and Canadians by about 78% don't want an election during the summer and this is being panned as a power grab etc.

 

KenS

Slumberjack wrote:
Iggy will ask for and begrudgingly gnaw upon any scrap Harper is willing to toss his way and proclaim it as an extraction obtained solely through his 'resolute' determination, which will suffice for the time being.

And he has managed to go from the media fawning on him to virtually no one outside Liberal circles is likely to beleive even a bit in said narrative. And since he has staked everything on staying away from anything but the vaguest prescriptions, in preference for 'he's the one'... then he is now left with...

ottawaobserver

Politics101 wrote:

Lets go down memory lane shall we - when the Paul Martin minority government was been threatened with defeat a certain leader of the NDP by the name of Jack Layton meets with the Prime Minister because he wants the minority to work and Canadians don't want an election and presents the Martin government with some proposals to stave off defeat - the first round of such talks produces some compromises and an election is averted.

So we fast forward four or five years to another minority government teetering on the brink of defeat and the leader of an opposition party meets with the Prime Minister to try and avoid an election because he wants to try and make minority government work and Canadians by about 78% don't want an election during the summer and this is being panned as a power grab etc.

 

Jack Layton got quite a bit out of Martin in that meeting.  Let's see what Iggy gets, because last time he supported the budget in return for NOTHING.  His negotiating skills do not exactly have his opponents quaking in their boots.

KenS

Slumberjack wrote:
Iggy doesn't want to force an election on the public during the summer doldrums. 

The point isn't just whether or not we have an election. If we're not going to have an election, then something should be got out of the Harper government. And Iggy has now utterly failed on two opportunities.

Slumberjack

That's because Iggy's an utter failure as a political leader.  But then the only thing Jack will get out of it is more assistance towards that perpetual smug look he's been working on, as he stands back with his hands on his hips tut tuting about what strange bedfellows the other two make, and that we'd never catch him stooping to the same sort of closed door shenigans and crass power politics.

ottawaobserver

Looks like Ignatieff is going to get another joint blue-ribbon panel on EI (note the colour of the ribbon) to work over the summer to recommend changes for the fall, according to CTV News.

Debater

Yeah I just saw the news report myself a little while ago.  It sounds like Ignatieff is getting some positive press tonight compared to last night.  Bob Fife said that it looks like Ignatieff will be able to save face and show that he has been able to demonstrate that as leader of the Official Opposition he was able to get the PM to negotiate with him.  Fife said it makes both Harper and Ignatieff look good.

Fidel

Liberals love working with Tories and vice versa. Theyre interchangeable.

The real and effective political opposition in Ottawa has been the CCF-NDP for a long time.

Debater

KenS wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:
Iggy doesn't want to force an election on the public during the summer doldrums. 

The point isn't just whether or not we have an election. If we're not going to have an election, then something should be got out of the Harper government. And Iggy has now utterly failed on two opportunities.

In your opinion.  It depends upon what Ignatieff's endgame is.  Ignatieff will ultimately be judged as a success or failure based on his ability to win the next election.  If Ignatieff is able to bring Harper down over the next year and win the next election, all of these other events will be forgotten.  You tend to analyze whether the Liberals are successful based on whether or not they are able to get "x"or "y" out of Harper because that appears to be your negotiating strategy.

What is also important is how a leader has raised the party in the polls and in fundraising and then ultimately that leader's ability to become a strong leader and win the next election.  Ignatieff has made significant improvements in that regard.  The final chapter has yet to be written though.

mybabble

How about a fall election?

Fidel

mybabble wrote:

How about a fall election?

Sounds good to me. In this way, the Harpers will preserve their phony minority government with Liberal Party support even longer than the Liberals have already made possible. Happy day!!

Stockholm

In the end, what was 71 straight Liberal votes to prop up Harper will become 72 votes and this will be a mantra that can be used against Iggy again and again and again and again.

KenS

Debater wrote:
 Ignatieff will ultimately be judged as a success or failure based on his ability to win the next election.  If Ignatieff is able to bring Harper down over the next year and win the next election, all of these other events will be forgotten.  You tend to analyze whether the Liberals are successful based on whether or not they are able to get "x"or "y" out of Harper because that appears to be your negotiating strategy.

What is also important is how a leader has raised the party in the polls and in fundraising and then ultimately that leader's ability to become a strong leader and win the next election.  Ignatieff has made significant improvements in that regard.  The final chapter has yet to be written though.

Thats what its all about in the Liberal universe- getting back to power. That you have to get to power to get much of anything done is a truism. But how you get there also matters very much in what you ultimately get done.

And thats just the general rule. What you do along the way also has considerable impact, not at all just short term. And this has been even more true during Harpers term.

The Liberals bullshit around waiting for the perfect oppoertunity- for them. Dion did it haplessly. Now Iggy does it while rattling sabers and puffing... a show already rapidly degenerating to farce. We've had 3 and a half years of this already, and we look to be in for at least another year before the Liberals decide the time is right.

Meanwhile, because of the pass the Liberals give him, Harper is able to drive the agenda as much as anyone with a majority government. As well as all the obvious and overt stuff he has done and has qued up, he has pretty well completed the neocon project of hobbling the fiscal powers of government long beyond the time he will be gone. And we know the Liberals will never challenge that when they finaly do return to power.

And none of this was inevitable simply because the Liberals are perpetually not ready for an election. Lame and shameful as that is in it's own right, they could still both dodge elections and get something done and at least slow Harper down if they were not continuously solely preocuupied with doing as much positioning for the "long game" and doing as much huffing and puffing as they can get away with at the moment.

Debater wrote:
It sounds like Ignatieff is getting some positive press tonight compared to last night.  Bob Fife said that it looks like Ignatieff will be able to save face and show that he has been able to demonstrate that as leader of the Official Opposition he was able to get the PM to negotiate with him.  Fife said it makes both Harper and Ignatieff look good.

Save face, get the PM to negotiate with him.

Some results maybe? Pshaw.

Not to mention that at most Iggy is negotiating for scraps that in the short term make him not look like a buffoon. Harper will be keeping control of who looks good and in command... which is what will matter come an election.

Iggy is in a sham holding pattern where he gets way too easily outmanouvered every step of the way. The only way it is going to work out for him and the Liberals is if there is the kind of unexpected and unmitigated economic pain that would be Harper's downfall no matter what he does. In other words, Iggy will win if the circumstances are such that anyone- even Dion- could have won simply by default.

If Iggy and the Liberals are not handed it by default- if what we get is 'only' difficult economic recovery... then thanks to the Liberals making it easy for him, Harper will continue to control the narrative, and get his way.

KenS

Adam Radwanski wrote:
You could practically see Ignatieff patting himself on the head yesterday for navigating his way to a position that allows him to give the appearance of being prepared to bring down the government (which he may not actually want to do) over relatively minor policy disputes (which he may not actually feel all that strongly about) while feigning regret that the Prime Minister has put him in this difficult position (even though he seems to be quite happy to be there). This is what he came back to Canada for?

He may be better than Harper at playing the game, and that may put him in the Prime Minister's Office before too long. But he's squandering the opportunity to make it more than a game - to make it something relevant to Canadians who've never set foot within Hy's and don't plan their summers around the prospect of an election. If anything, he's turning more of them off by adding to noise that they find increasingly indecipherable.

Perhaps Ignatieff would be better in government than in opposition - someone able to use the trappings of power to rise above the fray. But the gusto with which he's jumped into that fray makes it somewhat doubtful. And in any event, one can only guess how many more Canadians will have tuned out by then.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/radwanski/

 

John Baird commending Ignatieff: 

John Baird wrote:
The Transport Minister replied, almost affectionately: "Mr. Speaker, I will not engage in such harsh language when it comes to my leader of the opposition. My leader of the opposition is right now working with my Prime Minister to do the right thing for Canadians, to make things happen, to create jobs so we have just a little more hope and a little more opportunity in this country."

 

 

Don Martin wrote:
Which leader can claim the greatest margin of victory will have to wait for the official [Iggy and Steve] announcement.

But the one certain consequence of this bogus election standoff would be the end of the Michael Ignatieff honeymoon.

The rookie Liberal leader went from condemning the government on multiple fronts, preening himself as a portrait of moral rectitude willing to defend his party's virtue on the campaign trail if those Conservative evildoers didn't play nicer with the unemployed, to a leader who was knocked back on his heels.

That whirling sound you could hear on Parliament Hill within hours of his ultimatum list was Ignatieff backpedalling away from his own rhetoric by doing a decent impression of Stéphane Dion eloquently trying to explain his vague answer to a public that couldn't decipher the election question.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Ignatieff+Harper+election+dance+hurts+Grit+leader/1703509/story.html

 

Gazette editorial:

Quote:
Many Canadians never liked Stephen Harper. Others have been disappointed by him. So people across the country are eager to like Michael Ignatieff. But the new Liberal leader is not making it easy.

With his grandstanding about forcing a summer election, Ignatieff has put himself in a bad light, and keeps making it worse. For a week now he has been indulging in sheer brinksmanship, threatening to force a federal election. Face-to-face talks between him and Harper were continuing yesterday, as the clock ticked down to the end of the parliamentary session.

So what does Ignatieff want? For a while he demanded that the work-time minimum for Employment Insurance eligibility be slashed to 360 hours. But Monday he appeared to back away from that.

By setting amorphous and moving targets for Harper, Ignatieff merely makes himself look like a blustering blowhard - an effect made worse by the Liberal leader's persistent use of the first-person singular. I'll decide. The government has to convince me. I am pragmatic. I'll make up my mind. I need answers.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/todays-paper/Grandstanding+leadership/1703298/story.html

 

Thomas Walkom wrote:
It's hard to take the federal Liberals seriously. They claim they want to hold Prime Minister Stephen Harper to account. But they don't. They criticize the Conservative government endlessly. But when the crunch comes, they support it.

They say they'd handle the recession differently. But they rarely say how. And when points of difference do emerge - such as the handling of employment insurance - they invariably backtrack.

For the Liberals, the time is never right. They come up with endless excuses for never forcing an election on the minority Harper government: They don't have enough money; they don't have enough candidates; their leader is too new; the polls are inauspicious; the weather is too warm; the weather is too cold

In the spring, they say wait until fall. In the fall, they say wait until spring.

.....

His four-point ultimatum, delivered to the Harper government on Monday, is silly.

....

The real question is what Ignatieff would do if he were prime minister?

Finally, the Liberal leader wants a single national standard for employment insurance. A week ago, this was a real point of difference between the Liberals and Conservatives. The Liberals argued that anyone who works 360 hours within a year should qualify for EI.

But now even that level of detail has been blurred. On Monday, Ignatieff said he merely wanted a single but unspecified employment insurance standard. Yesterday, he suggested that Harper's idea of letting the self-employed collect pogey might satisfy him.

For Liberal satraps, all of this might be a clever way for their new leader to extricate himself from an election the party desperately wants to avoid. Outside of Ottawa, however, the rest of us are left scratching our heads and asking: Who are these ludicrous Liberals? And what exactly is it that they want?

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/651773

 

 

Tim Powers wrote:
Ironically Ignatieff now needs the PM's help to get out of this mess he has created. We'll see how that unfolds over the afternoon. Sometimes you can win without beating the life out of your opponent.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/silver-powers/whose-line-is-it-anyway/article1184180/

The highlighted reference is to Harper. In other words, he'll give Iggy what he needs to come out of this not looking foolish, because nothing has changed about him being able to dominate both the agenda and how it looks.

KenS

mybabble wrote:
How about a fall election?

I don't see any reason why, as far at least as Harper and the "official opposition" go, we won't get exactly what we have now.

Unless Iggy is handed polling numbers that mean he can coast to victory. If that ever happens, there is virtually no chance things will change that much by Fall.

KenS

The "blue ribbon" panel on recommendations for EI changes is such a scam.

Much will be made of how the Liberals get to nominate half the members.

But the report will still be a negotiated one. It will already be ver watered down, then Harper gets to do what he wants anyway, and on the PR front will only have to tweak away with explanations why that wasn't the right thing to do.

Both Iggy and Harper get what they want.

Except Iggy's "achievemnet" is a fig leaf, while Harper gets not only to control the legislative agenda, but even keeps a free hand for controlling the public narrative.

Even under a majority government- let alone this is [on paper at least] a monority government- the opposition cannot control legislation, but should at least be able to compete equally for the public narrative. But the Master of Huff and Puff even lets Harper appropriate all of that.

Stockholm

Given that it was the Liberals who drastically cut EI in the first place - i can only assume that any Liberals appointed to review EI will recommend that the system Paul Martin brought it is perfect and that the status quo should continue!

nussy

CBC just reportd that Harper and Ignatif reached a deal to settle their differences and avoid a summer election. 

ocsi

nussy wrote:

CBC just reportd that Harper and Ignatif reached a deal to settle their differences and avoid a summer election. 

Yes, and I like the way CBC puts it.  They will study EI reform!  How nice.  I wonder if either one of them will have to write a test.

 

remind remind's picture

And again I go back to my statement of long ago now, that this was all smoke and mirrors to get EI reform alright, where there is a flat rate higher than the current bottom threshhold. And which will actualy penalize ALL Canadian workers, as the threshhold rates are falling everywhere during this recession/depression, can't have everyone being able to collect after 420 hours. And wow, there is a whole 60 hr difference between 360 hrs to collect and the current low of 420. So Harpers bathering about he could not support 360 hrs as a threshold is absolute nonsense, what is 1 and 1/2 weeks more in reality? It is all about raising the threshhold and nothing more.

Quote:
On Monday, Ignatieff said he merely wanted a single but unspecified employment insurance standard

 

 

ocsi

remind wrote:

And again I go back to my statement of long ago now, that this was all smoke and mirrors to get EI reform alright, where there is a flat rate higher than the current bottom threshhold. And which will actualy penalize ALL Canadian workers, as the threshhold rates are falling everywhere during this recession/depression, can't have everyone being able to collect after 420 hours. And wow, there is a whole 60 hr difference between 360 hrs to collect and the current low of 420. So Harpers bathering about he could not support 360 hrs as a threshold is absolute nonsense, what is 1 and 1/2 weeks more in reality? It is all about raising the threshhold and nothing more.

Quote:
On Monday, Ignatieff said he merely wanted a single but unspecified employment insurance standard

 

 

Perhaps Harper thinks Canadians will be fooled by thinking he's 420 friendly.  Cool

KenS

Debater wrote:
What is also important is how a leader has raised the party in the polls and in fundraising and then ultimately that leader's ability to become a strong leader and win the next election.  Ignatieff has made significant improvements in that regard. 

This is a secondary point. The primary point being that it is all about the Liberal party, and the Liberal party is all, only, and entirely about vacuous and toothless positioning. Positioning for some ever backward moving later no less.

That said the very llimited nature of what Iggy and the Liberals have done in the polls and with fundraising, is part of the problem.

Polls. The Liberals have climbed out of the basement to be in a competitive tie with the Cons. That isn't good enough. They aren't going to be willing to pull the plug until it is clear they will have a decisive victory. After Harper's negatives catching up with him, and the Liberals shedding the albatross of Dion, they went back up rapidly.  ...And have been parked sense. And that was when the media was fawning over Iggy. Maybe he can slide past the current crap [and the next anticlimax in September], but move substantially up wards?  .... At best, that remains very much to be seen.

Finances and Fundraising. There is a very small recovery here, and a whole lot of fog generation that implies more than that, plus some substantial outright fibbing.

The fundraising is another case of recovery out of the basement. Now they've apparently at least got to the point that they don't have a perpetual ongoing operating deficit. But they've done even that limited recovery entirely on the back on the backs of unsustainable maximum donations from people coming to listen to Iggy flap his gums. Now that the max is $1100 there just isn't enough of that money to chase... and soon if not already the liberals will have hit the bottom of that barrel for 2009.

The LPC cheerleders like Rocco Rossi know and sy that fundraising will only catch up with ANY party- let alone the Cons- when the Liberlas trim their bloated administrative structure and boot up the small donations capability they alone among the parties have never had. They've made absolutely zero progress on either yet- and when they finally do, it takes at least many months to see the results from that.

And for the outright fibbing. On big whopper is claiming they paid off all their debt a month ago. The truth on that becomes public record soon. Guess they expected it would be a little fact only a few political junkies would notice when washed with all the good political news right now that the bathwater drinkers already thought they had in the bank.

remind remind's picture

 

ocsi wrote:
Perhaps Harper thinks Canadians will be fooled by thinking he's 420 friendly.  Cool

So does Iggy only he started at 360, but they both want a flat threshhold of about 540-560.

A decrease of 60 hrs is peanuts, when the threshhold is 420 anyway, and most areas are moving to that  420 threshhold scale anyway and out of the top 700hr threshhold. And that is the problem, as it is a decrease of 280 hours. So they will look at spliiting this decrease in half  and make the threshhold 540-560, while increasing the threshhold for other areas of higher unemployment from 420 to 540 or 560.  But in reality the government coffers would be the winners, so they could keep on giving money to big business and banks, instead of allowing people to access their EI contributions.

ocsi

remind wrote:

 

ocsi wrote:
Perhaps Harper thinks Canadians will be fooled by thinking he's 420 friendly.  Cool

So does Iggy only he started at 360, but they both want a flat threshhold of about 540-560.

A decrease of 60 hrs is peanuts, when the threshhold is 420 anyway, and most areas are moving to that  420 threshhold scale anyway and out of the top 700hr threshhold. And that is the problem, as it is a decrease of 280 hours. So they will look at spliiting this decrease in half  and make the threshhold 540-560, while increasing the threshhold for other areas of higher unemployment from 420 to 540 or 560.  But in reality the government coffers would be the winners, so they could keep on giving money to big business and banks, instead of allowing people to access their EI contributions.

I'm sorry, remind.  I was attempting to make a joke about being 420 friendly.

As for your points, I agree.

remind remind's picture

OMG, I so did not get that and should have! :D

Bookish Agrarian

Going to study EI reform. AhHaHA  What's to study-  reform the damn thing.  Real reform of course, not some fake thing from the group that caused the problems and a group that claimed at the time they didn't go far enough.

 

My prediction has been the fall of 2010 all along.  I still think I am on track.

nussy

EI reform? The wait staff in the parliamentary restaurant are laid off during the summer. The person living in Ottawa is not elegable to collect insurance. The person living in Gatineau can collect. Is that what they will spend the summer thinking about?

Debater

KenS wrote:

Debater wrote:
It sounds like Ignatieff is getting some positive press tonight compared to last night.  Bob Fife said that it looks like Ignatieff will be able to save face and show that he has been able to demonstrate that as leader of the Official Opposition he was able to get the PM to negotiate with him.  Fife said it makes both Harper and Ignatieff look good.

Save face, get the PM to negotiate with him.

Some results maybe? Pshaw.

Not to mention that at most Iggy is negotiating for scraps that in the short term make him not look like a buffoon. Harper will be keeping control of who looks good and in command... which is what will matter come an election.

Iggy is in a sham holding pattern where he gets way too easily outmanouvered every step of the way. The only way it is going to work out for him and the Liberals is if there is the kind of unexpected and unmitigated economic pain that would be Harper's downfall no matter what he does. In other words, Iggy will win if the circumstances are such that anyone- even Dion- could have won simply by default.

If Iggy and the Liberals are not handed it by default- if what we get is 'only' difficult economic recovery... then thanks to the Liberals making it easy for him, Harper will continue to control the narrative, and get his way.

Well, Ignatieff's negotiating skills certainly weren't ideal this week in my opinion, but he appears to be getting a lot more positive coverage today than he did on Monday.  Robert Fife said on CTV's Power Play earlier that he thinks Ignatieff is the winner out of this, while Craig Oliver said both Harper and Ignatieff are winners.  It's largely a matter of interpretation and perception.  What will matter is what happens in the Fall.

Fife thinks the Liberals will use the Sept 30 opposition day to vote against the Government and put themselves in a strong position.  I agree with you though that if the Liberals continually hold up the Government they will look weak and indecisive.

In the meantime, there is a danger for the NDP of being viewed as not relevant to the negotiations.  It is Harper and Ignatieff that people are talking about - not Layton.  Layton didn't even appear to be in the House today from what I can tell and Harper called the NDP irrelevant in response to a question from Libby Davies.

Btw, you seem to have a lot invested in this subject Ken.  I noticed above that you have posted reams of responses about this and you also spend a lot of time focusing on Liberal fundraising figures.

Stockholm

Layton's daughter is giving birth to a baby today - I think that's a good reason not to be in the house.

If the NDP was "relevant to the negotiations" it would be in the context of agreeing to prop up Harper in exchange for NOTHING. I'd rather be irrelevant. I suppose you cold say that Switzerland was "irrelevant" to the outcome of WW2 - If I were Poland or France, I think I'd just as soon be Switzerland.

The important thing is that once again, we have been given the spectacle of the Conservative/Liberal coalition government in action. Its hard to imagine Ignatieff setling for a smaller crumb than he got - I mean seriously after all that huffing and puffing - we get a "royal commission on EI" that will take forever to make recommendations that will probably go no where - especially since the Liberals are the architects of all that is wrong with EI in the first place. The NDP forced Martin to invest 5 billion in progressive policies. All Iggy gets is a toothless panel that will do nothing.

BTW: If both Iggy and Harpoon are "winners" then they are also both "losers" since it is a bit of a zero-sum game.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper was bullish in his press conference today - telling us that the Opposition parties have to accept that the Conservatives are the government, and that his party will always be more prepared than any other party in Parliament for another election. One of Newman's pundits said today that Harper will continue to use the word "coalition" to describe the Opposition because it serves his purpose in scaring the electorate and rallying them against the evil hordes (alright, those last few words are mine). That same pundit said the Cons and Libs are effectively now in a coalition with this new deal.

Cueball Cueball's picture

No new elections! Thanks!

Fidel

It's the democracy gap in this frozen Puerto Rico. Join the New Democrat opposition http://www.NewDemocratOpposition.ca

 

 

 

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

Well, Ignatieff's negotiating skills certainly weren't ideal this week in my opinion, but he appears to be getting a lot more positive coverage today than he did on Monday.  Robert Fife said on CTV's Power Play earlier that he thinks Ignatieff is the winner out of this, while Craig Oliver said both Harper and Ignatieff are winners.  It's largely a matter of interpretation and perception.  What will matter is what happens in the Fall.

Fife thinks the Liberals will use the Sept 30 opposition day to vote against the Government and put themselves in a strong position. I agree with you though that if the Liberals continually hold up the Government they will look weak and indecisive.

In the meantime, there is a danger for the NDP of being viewed as not relevant to the negotiations.  It is Harper and Ignatieff that people are talking about - not Layton.  Layton didn't even appear to be in the House today from what I can tell and Harper called the NDP irrelevant in response to a question from Libby Davies.

If the NDP was so irrelevant, then why did Ralph Goodale so defensively spend most of the next panel crapping on them?  I disagree with Bob Fife; I think the NDP looked at Ignatieff's performance on Monday, and decided that they can take him on just fine.  If he thinks he's winning back northern Ontario seats (or southwestern Ontario ones for that matter) with blue ribbons instead of EI changes, he is in for a very big surprise come the fall.

That blue ribbon is going to tie Michael Ignatieff to Stephen Harper, and make it impossible for him to distinguish himself from Harper later on in the seats he has to win back next election.  If you think NDPers are shaking in their boots on this, don't worry ... we're biding our time and see the way forward very clearly now; we'll stick to our knitting and stick to what's really important to Canadians in the Great Recession.  Ignatieff has given us our best argument yet against strategic voting, and in favour of sending folks with a bit of backbone and nerve to Ottawa.

Meantime I guess you guys should start figuring out how you're going to feed all those children that are going to die from starvation this summer, according to Denis Coderre, with blue ribbons.  Pathetic. 

KenS

Debater wrote:
Btw, you seem to have a lot invested in this subject Ken.  I noticed above that you have posted reams of responses about this and you also spend a lot of time focusing on Liberal fundraising figures.

Meaning what?

As far as numbers of comments on the positioning and shape of the Liberal party, I have a lot, but no more than you.

As to my investment poring over Liberal financial figures- its but a fraction of what the LPC invests in cooking up good news announcements. No other party bothers with good news financial announcements. I have an unusual set of backgrounds that makes it feasible for me to cut through the BS. The Liberal Party is much inclined to get a free ride from reporters as it is, and on top of that I don't know of a single reporter who has the background to be able to pull out what I am able to do. [And doesn't take me that long.]

And for the record, before you were aroung I put much more time into trying to bring into full light the Cons "in and out" scam from the 2006 election. I got in touch with and helped a couple reporters make sense of it before any of them had yet figured out what it was about.

Anybody can criticise or defend the Liberal Party on the basis of what we can all see. I think my particular focus on the LPC's claims about its finances fills a unique and pretty empty niche in citizen blogging.

While we are at it, what drives your own investment in these discussions about the Liberal party?

KenS

A couple Liberal bloggers. More criticism now that the deal is more visible. These weren't the only critical ones, but I'm sure the bulk are either supportive or much less critical.

 

Quote:

Hey kids, just look at the fabulous prizes Michael Ignatieff won playing Let's Make a Deal with Steven "Monty" Harper.

Behind Door #2? A "blue ribbon panel"... Whoa! That's sure going to be a relief for all the folks that have been deemed ineligible for employment insurance, isn't it? Maybe they can use the resulting white paper as heating fuel this winter.

Behind Door #3? A brand new... (no, it's not a car) report card!!! Complete with a bonus "opposition day" in the fall. Yowza! Another opportunity whereby the Liberals can threaten to bring down the government or at least get several days worth of media coverage pretending that they're really, really serious this time and not just messing around.

Good thing he didn't pick the summertime election behind Door #1...

Update: The official spin - "Getting results for Canadians!"

http://redtory.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/big-deal/

 

Quote:

Once more to heel

Harper cut Ignatieff off at the knees with a few rather insulting 'concessions', and now the Liberals will support the Harper report card even though it is full of half-truths, misleading definitions, and vagueness.

It is time for Ignatieff to fire his advisors and get new ones; perhaps some who actually have some political sense, an appreciation of what politics is about, who know what framing means, and who are prepared to fight battles rather than recommend retreats.

Harper made Ignatieff look foolish and in turn the Liberal Party looks foolish. 

http://puzzledcat.blogspot.com/2009/06/once-more-to-heel.html

 

 

 

Rob8305

So........, what's the real story here??:

Why is Michael Ignatieff so very terrified of having an election?  He must think that he'd lose in a horrendous fashion.

This Liberal opposition is a joke.  Were they this rudderless from 1984-1993 during the Mulroney/Campbell years?

ottawaobserver

Ah, the internecine Chretien-Turner war years ... how I miss them!

KenS

Lets see.

We have 2 leaders who have consummated undifferentiating themselves.

One of them is Prime Minister, gets to make the decisions of what moves forward, and keeps all the levers for successfully presenting and spinning the finished package.

The other one reserves the option to step back and huff and puff about the inadequacies of said finished package... said huffing and puffing been so productive for him so far.

Hmmm...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Maybe Iggy has seen the upcoming Conservative attack ads and has decided to retreat.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Maybe Iggy has seen the upcoming Conservative attack ads and has decided to retreat.

remind remind's picture

I think personal comments about ken's interest  in what the Liberal Party is doing financially are way off base frankly!

They are much more interesting and informative than idle speculation and personal opinion commentary. They have substance and are an extremely important and worthwhile endeavour and I question why anyone would take exception to his exposing what their actual figures are.

 

Nusssy you said:

Quote:
The person living in Ottawa is not elegable to collect insurance. The person living in Gatineau can collect.

By the time Iggy and Harper are done neither will be able to!

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