Monday, June 15, 2009

Ignatieff Says...

This is the ball travelling directly to Harper's court as a result of Ignatieff's presser this morning.

While some are trying to portray Ignatieff's comments as unclear, the truth is that he laid out 4 points for Harper that he wants answers on. Those answers will determine his actions re' the vote on Friday.

1. Harper indicated that there would be changes to EI in the Fall. Ignatieff wants the details associated with those changes and an explanation as to why the Lib proposal is not feasible. In other words, the Con's will have to provide a fiscal argument, forcing some accountability.

2. The report provided no detail re'spending stimulus. He wants details.

3. Given that the Conservatives brought us to the brink of deficit long before the recession hit, Ignatieff is asking for a clear fiscal accounting. He wants to see a plan to get the country out of deficit.

4. The isotope crisis is a pressing one. The government has skirted (no pun intended) the issue thus far. Ignatieff wants a plan as to where Canada is going to get it's supply from.

Ignatieff has played this perfectly and it's now up to Harper. We'll hear his reply in QP apparently.

I imagine that Harper despises being put in this position. He's damned if complies and responsible for an election if he doesn't.

As a last note, Ignatieff did well to point out, on more than one occasion, just how uncooperative Harper and the government have been to date. No contact from the PM or his office since January? That's not a sign of a government willing to play with others. Nor is it a sign of a government concerned for the country. Highlighting that fact will shine the spotlight on Harper a little more brightly this afternoon.

BTW, for those who missed it...Ignatieff said that ALL MP's will be in the House and be required to vote on Friday.


kirbycairo said...

Yes, Cons are trying to spin this as dithering on Iggy's part. But I don't see it. Even though I am not a fan of Ignatieff, this was pretty straightforward - put Harper on the defensive and see if he will step up and if he will not the Liberals can try to blame an election on the Tories. I am not sure the strategy will be effective but it is a fairly sound strategy. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Iggy's a joke, all bluster no balls, Goodale and Coderre were trotted out yesterday to grease the skids for the retreat back down the hill.

Iggy, not a leader too.

Mark McLaughlin said...

The photo makes it look like the ball just got spiked into the net. That sums it up pretty well.

I don't see how this will change anything.

#1 Harper jsut has to outline an EI change. Doesn't mean he can't "adjust" it later. He won't agree to the ill informed 360 hour proposal.

#2 is easy enough to fudge, if he wanted to. the problem is that you don't pay contractors all the money at the start of the job. You pay upon completion. Not all the money is spend simply because all the projects aren't done. This is an easy one.

#3 Any 'plan' to get out of recession is still just based on a growth rate prediction. I'm pretty sure that has been done to some degree already. It might be optimistic, but this is easy to satisfy too.

#4 This is a stupid one. It's again just a question about when the reactor is likely to be back up and running. All the fear mongering of running out of isotopes is simply that. There is an inventory of this stuff, and the other reactors around the world should be able to make up some of the shortfall.

Man, I was hoping for something more juicy than this. Harper will probably answer what he can and tell Iggster to stuff it on the EI.

Still no election.

ridenrain said...

CTV Anchor: "What did you make of that Press conference Tom? What did you make of what Mr. Ignatieff had to say?"

Tom Clark: "I think that Michael Ignatieff took a big stick and he drew a line in the sand... and then he took that stick and erased parts of the line big enough that you could drive a Prime Ministerial limousine through Dan... I... ah, there's not gonna be an election outta this."

wilson said...

QP today:
EI reform for the fall:
Minister Finley said will be to keep the campaign promise that self employed can contribute and receive EI.

Isotopes questions were answered, again, with new committment today from Australia, 75% available, children first on the list because alternatives not available (like the one Alberta discovered and has been approved for use)

The report listed/costed 3000 projects,
how much more detail do you want?
McCallum wants Obama to run our stimulus program (that was a gaffe!)

The plan to get the country out of deficit is called an election platform,
let's see yours first!

'Liberals won't give Harper any ideas he can steal,
'Harper will wear this recession'

And Liberals are trying to say Harper has been the unco-operative leader?

Anonymous said...

KNB, wow harsh but true commentaries.... I don't even need to add to those...

KNB said...

Mark, not sure how but you managed to misinterpret every question and just as Harper did this afternoon, offered nothing at all.

KNB said...

ridenraid. Tom Clark is your definitive source for all things political? Wow

KNB said...

Are you dizzy yet wilson?

EI answer was no answer and certainly doesn't address the immediate need, nor provide immediate stimulus.

isotope question was what is the plan. We got an update. What is the long term plan.

The pathetic piece put out last week does NOT tell us how much has been spent. Obama comment wasn't a gaffe...he was commenting on transparency, not fiscal results.

|The plan is to get the country out of deficit? The question however is how? There is not plan.

KNB said...

cwtf, if that is the league that you now identify with, be my guest.

Anonymous said...

cwtf, if that is the league that you now identify with, be my guest.

I think Kady has it right again:
Anyway, Harper thinks if Ignatieff wants to avoid an election, he should vote for the main estimates on Friday. So – uh, yeah. Your move, Liberals!

Once again, he offers to talk to Ignatieff about all these issues over the summer — if, that is, the Liberals come up with something more than “vague” ideas.

And – that’s it, as it turns out. Short, and civil, at least, if not actually *sweet*. I guess the ball’s back in Ignatieff’s court now, huh? Anyone else getting dizzy, or is it just ITQ?

KNB said...

Once again, he offers to talk to Ignatieff about all these issues over the summer — if, that is, the Liberals come up with something more than “vague” ideas.

That's Harper's quote, not Kady's.

Did you listen to the man? My gawd, he started off with what was meant to be cute?, Ï thought Mr. Ignatieff was going to ask me some questions...

Ha,ha,ha, stop, you're killing me!


Look, if you're happier buying the pap being dealt by this PM than you are at actually changing the government, that's your right, but don't throw Harper's lines, not to mention his toadies back at me as proof that Ignatieff got it wrong.

He didn't.

Anonymous said...

Here this should make you happier KNB:

There's no word if Ignatieff is actively trying to prove he's just as lousy as Dion at articulating a coherent vision for the country, but he's doing a damn good job of it either way.

Dion's problem was that he had a vision; he just couldn't find the right words to sell it. Ignatieff has managed to flip things around; time after time, he articulately ties himself into knots trying to get around the fact that he has very little to say.

If you're going to threaten to bring the government down five months after you voted in favour of its economic plan, you'd better have a good reason for it. More to the point, you'd better be able to explain what it is that you'd do differently, and why what you want to do is so important that it merits a second election in a nine-month span.

So far, the only significant policy difference Ignatieff has been able to articulate is on the number of hours Canadians should have to work in order to qualify for employment insurance - hardly the biggest issue when it comes to the country's economic recovery.

On everything else, Ignatieff falls back on opposition complaints so vague and unconstructive that they sound like they're from the middle of a majority mandate, not the cusp of a campaign.

He accuses the Conservatives of lacking a plan to deal with the deficit, but presents no plan of his own. The same goes, more or less, for his complaint about the management of medical isotopes. His biggest gripe of late, about the speed with which stimulus dollars are going out, seems contrived to paper over the fact that his party endorsed the stimulus plan itself.

Five months ago, Ignatieff didn't want to chance an election because he knew his party wasn't ready for one. The Liberals have since made great strides on the organizational side. In terms of policies, and the manner in which those policies are communicated, there's much less evidence of progress.

Backing his party into an election he's neither prepared for nor able to justify to the public would certainly be gutsy. But the line between gutsy and foolhardy is a pretty thin one.

RuralSandi said...

Justify an election...hmmmm - in the fall Harper called one just because he couldn't play in the sand box - now there's justification for you.

Harper/Duceppe/Layton coalition brought the government down in 2005 at "Christmas time" - family time, people travelling to be with loved ones, snow, etc. - when there was going to be one at the end of March anyway.

Come to think of it, Harper's been the one involved in causing so many elections in the last few years.

Harper said he's willing to talk to Iggy over the summer - why wait? Iggy says he's ready to talk to Harper tomorrow.

KNB - I'm shocked, absolutely shocked that CWTF is on here again to attack you, Iggy and anyone else he can.

Anonymous said...

Please Rural. "The stupid" is starting to burn....

KNB said...

It's a higher level of discussion cwtf, but making me happy would be a stretch. It's a demand for policy up front...which is ridiculous.

No one does that and in this environment it would be suicide. Gawd, I can see the drool from here from the Con's twisting every point.

That said, my most recent post does look, though only on the surface, at motivation.

As time goes on, I hope I can find some quiet to reflect a bit. As it stands, I'm jotting things down in between other responsibilities and haven't had a chance to parse it all yet.

I wonder if you too could take the time to put your hatred of Ignatieff aside and actually listen to the man with unbiased ears?

It's funny you know. We both like Dion, yet you can't get past the most basic stuff that led to Ignatieff becoming leader. I'm pretty sure that Dion is past it and the last time I looked, he was standing and applauding Ignatieff.

Your either in it for the principle of the party, which Dion obviously still believes in, or your not.

KNB said...

Sandi, I know...I was surprised too!

ridenrain said...

Simply criticizing without constructive suggestions puts the Libs in the same camp as the NDP or Bloc though. I doubt that's what you folks want.
It would have been far better and more productive to actually have used the Vancouver convention to discuss things before the pot got to a boil. Heavens knows it would have helped with the drug sentencing bill.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Party needs major democratic reforms, the installation of Iggy is a resolute failure.

FredfromBC said...

Ignatieff can 'demand' all he wants. Prime Minister Harper will simply refuse his new demands as he has refused to implement the 360 hour EI demand. Ignatieff threatened several times to bring down the government over this issue, then wimped out when Stephen Harper called his bluff.

Nothing will change now; the Prime Minister has offered an olive branch (self-employed people being able to qualify for EI) when he could simply have allowed Igatieff to twist in the wind again and look like the spineless blusterer that he really is. Be smart, Liberals...take the deal and be happy that Harper let you off the hook once again.