Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time To Find Out If Iggy Has a Pair

Here we go again folks, Michael Ignatieff has left open the possibility that he may be willing to join in with Messieurs Layton and Duceppe in defeating the Harper government...but then again, he may not.

We're being told that the Liberal leader wants to take a couple days to read over the government's "report card" before rendering a decision as to whether or not he'll trigger an election. I don't believe that for a second.

What Ignatieff is going to decide over this weekend is whether or not he can fight and win an election if he joins with the NDP and Bloc on a confidence vote. Iggy is a long way from the halls of academia, he is now fully immersed in the bloody arena of leadership politics. The question before the leader of her majesty's official opposition is a difficult one. Were he back at Harvard he could write up an opinion piece and fire it off to Macleans or the New Yorker, but Stornoway isn't an Ivy League school.

Are the Liberals under Ignatieff ready for an election? Does this grandson of Russian aristocracy have what it takes to slug it out with Stephen Harper in the rough and tumble of an election campaign? Iggy knows his opponents, he knows the Conservatives under Harper will fight both mean and dirty. Will the professor reach down and find his cajones swelling at the prospect of battle? Or will they shrivel up as he finds yet another reason to prop up the Tories?

The first time Ignatieff faced this test I was sure he would back the Tories. That was back in February when he tepidly endorsed the budget, with the caveat that periodic updates be given. I sagely predicted back on February 9th that the finance minister's deficit projections would be, "a lot more if Flaherty's record of forecasting is any indication". Now just in advance of the government's update Flaherty has proven me correct, saying the deficit has ballooned from a forecast of 34 billion to over 50 billion.

I still think he's sugar coating it, which is really scary. Enron Jim blames the increased deficit on the fact that government revenues are down and expenditures have gone up. Really??? Who'd a thunk it??? So revenues decline in recessions??? Its a shame our Finance Minister doesn't read this blog, back on January 11th of this year I wrote:

Okay...enough tooting my own horn. The question now Mr. Ignatieff is do you send Canadians to the polls for a summer election, or not. Do you have the royal jelly or are you just an academic who prefers theory to real life?

The Tory script is easy enough to predict, they'll blame the Liberals and the other opposition parties of playing politics at a time when Canadians need stable government guiding us through these troubled times. The ads showing Michael referring to himself as an American will be played over and over, with the "he's just in it for himself" voice over repeated so often it will be drilled into our collective subconscious.

How do you fight that? Don't be defensive, go on the attack.

Can Canadians afford to have this government guiding the economy when their budget projections have best before dates that expire just after they're issued? Do we want senior government members depicting the travesty of cancer patients having treatment delayed as "sexy"? Are we in favour of seeing monies intended for wind generated electricity diverted to the tar sands?

Michael...Can I call you Mikey? Bite the bullet, dump this government now. If Stephen tries to categorize a summer election as a waste, point out that the October vote was even more of a futile exercise. The last parliament was functioning just fine and there was no need for Harper to break his promise of fixed election dates. When the Tories talk about all the money they're saving people doing home renovations, remind everyone how many billions were lost when the Conservatives broke their promise not to tax income trusts.

The balls are in your court Michael, now check the pair down there and take your shot.

Comments are welcomed and feel free to pass this along via email or through a social network like FaceBook, just click on the ‘Share’ icon below.

No comments: