I have gone to all kinds of job interviews in my lifetime, and the truth is I've nailed some and I've blown some.
There were times when I waltzed in, overconfident and ill-prepared. At other times, I was punching above my weight and couldn't convince a turtle to hire me.
I'm thinking about Michael Ignatieff's talks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week and I cannot help but conclude: Iggy just blew the job interview.
He waltzed in, acting confident and ready to take on Harper. But he forgot one little detail that somehow I'll never forget: Harper allegedly likes to see fear in the eyes of a person he's interviewing.
Clearly, he saw fear in Ignatieff's eyes because he managed to convince the Liberal leader that almost 400,000 unemployed Canadians could wait yet another four months to receive a study about what our federal government can do to help them.
Having nailed at least one job interview, I am gainfully employed and on a personal level I can afford to wait out the summer for our government's answer.
But if I were unemployed, shut out of an Employment Insurance (EI) system that is failing more Canadians now than in every recession that came before us, I could not afford to wait through a leisurely summer -- because I would be starving.
Yes, starving is what happens when you lose your job in a global recession and your government says, Gee, I need a little time to think this through.
In fact, by the time the coalition Liberal-Conservative government receives its study, it will be September 28 -- about one year after Canada fell into the worst recession it has experienced since the Great Depression.
Green shoots, bean sprouts. If you lost your job in this recession, you are hurting like no other generation of Canadians has hurt since the Dirty Thirties. And you're hurting quietly while millions of Canadians plan their backyard barbecues and deck renovations so they can get the tax cut their federal government promised them back in the dead of winter.
So here's the thing: Ignatieff's Liberals don't have much money and Canadians really aren't in the mood for another federal election that could give birth to another uninspiring minority government. Who could blame the guy for buying time?
Actually, I can. But the blame doesn't stop there.
Are we willing to sit by and let two political parties play cat and mouse over Canada's unemployed over a leisurely summer?
Will this be the first generation of Canadians to say, "I've got a job, who cares about the others?"
We get the government we expect, folks.
We also get the Canada we expect.
Personally, I expect better, from our political job seekers and from my fellow citizens.
It's barbecue season. Let's get grilling.
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