Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wanna Meet?

Since yesterday it's been reported that Harper is extending an olive branch to Ignatieff and the Liberals. Actually, I guess it really began with his suggestion on Mansbridge's show when in an aggressive tone he said that he'd sit down with the new Liberal leader and, oh yeah, he felt the government had a 'right' to see what they would propose as a budget.
Since that interview I've watched any number of hosts and journalists suggest that Harper, likely chagrined by his own actions, now seems prepared to adopt a different tone. Sorry. Call me cynical, but I cannot see Harper, under any circumstances, not being Harper. He will not allow himself to be bested by anyone.
Seeing the article on Senate appointments was a bit of a surprise. Not because it was hypocritical, (that I've grown used to), but because it seemed to be guarding against the future. If he felt secure in his seat as PM wouldn't he just continue his pursuit of passing some form of legislation to bring in elections? If on the other hand he felt he may be out as PM, or facing another election, isn't it better to put Conservative Senators in place now, just in case?
Then tonight I see this:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Mr. Ignatieff two days ago, offering to discuss economic matters with him “any time,” according to a government official.
Same old line we've heard for a few days right? Not really.
An official in the Prime Minister's Office would not say when or whether the two men will meet. The official said the Liberals should submit specific proposals for what they want to see in the budget, to be delivered the day after the Jan. 26 resumption of Parliament.

“Our position is if you want to have input in the direction of the budget, you have to share that in advance of the budget,” said the official
In other words, 'we'll consider talking to you, but not until we know what you propose so we can make mincemeat out of it if we have to'.
Ignatieff has said he'd meet with the PM, but he also made it clear that before getting into any discussions of what a budget might contain, the Liberal party wanted to see real numbers. What was suggested in the Financial Update has been denounced by all and sundry, so it seems a reasonable request, no? Well, no, apparently not:
“Knowing the true state of the government's books is a precondition for devising an appropriate fiscal stimulus. We have to know where we are before we know what to do for the future,” Mr. McCallum said.

But a government official said the numbers released in this month's fiscal update are as real as they get, adding that they will change only when the government engages in further spending
So, it looks to me as if Harper has no intention of playing this straight. He's still playing his partisan games and will no doubt attempt to paint the Liberals as unwilling to participate in any discussion concerning the economic crisis and the future of this country. Wait for the 'the Liberals have no plan' line and I'm sure they will find a way to throw the coalition of socialists and separatists in there somewhere.
And you thought it would be quiet over the holidays? Something tells me that Harper's hubris won't be taking any time off.


sassy said...

And right on the money post KNB. (pun not intended) Western Grit also has some thoughts on this.

sassy said...

Another not And ;(
(see 11:47 PM)

Anonymous said...


Fear not.

MI knows a corner when he sees one
and he will not be backed into one by the likes of Steve and his crew.

MI will not be deluded by Steve's plan to wriggle off the hook protestation that "they made me do it"

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff knows what a corner looks like, and won't be backed into one? Apparently not. If Lloyd Robertson, of all people, can send Iggy into full evasion mode by asking as simple a question as "what would you need to see in the Conservative budget to be able to support it", he'd better get some intensive coaching...and fast.

The rapid eye blinking told me his mind was racing, trying frantically to keep dancing all around the question without actually touching it, while at the same time trying hard not to appear to be dodging it. He needs some serious media coaching if he's going to have any chance at all of going one-on-one with Harper in a debate situation...

Sir Francis said...

He needs some serious media coaching if he's going to have any chance at all of going one-on-one with Harper in a debate situation...

LOL! Stephen Harper is one of the worst debaters to ever crawl into the PMO. Gilles Duceppe makes mincemeat of him--in English--without breaking a sweat...

Karen said...

Thanks for the heads up on WesternGrit's post sassy.

Karen said...

Anon @ 1:27 like Sir Francis, your comment is laughable.

You may not like Ignatieff's style but media training is not something that he is need of.

He's quite comfortable being on the receiving end of interviews and, oh yeah, he was once a broadcaster on radio and television.

Did you see Harper on Mansbridge? Did you watch him during the debates?

RuralSandi said...

There's one think Harper hasn't got - charisma. Ignatieff can stir up anger, love, respect, hate, admiration like I haven't seen since Trudeau.

No, I'm not saying he's Trudeau - but Trudeau was one of the most attacked, contraversial, fascinating Canadian politicians in our history.

Ignatieff, even though he was out of Canada, has international experience and recognition that can only benefit Canada. I even read in a British newspaper and item saying Ignatieff is now the leader of the opposition in Canada - since when did Britain or any other country care about who was leader of the opposition in Canada.

Ignatieff's got connections most people aren't even aware of, including the Democratic party in the US.

Arrogant? Well, okay so is Harper.

Statesman like yes - is Harper?

RuralSandi said...


From Friday's Globe and Mail

December 11, 2008 at 10:36 PM EST

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is developing a stimulus plan for the Canadian economy with a close circle of advisers that includes Ontario's Minister of Finance, who is already dealing with the crisis head-on.

Dwight Duncan, who has long been a strong supporter of Mr. Ignatieff, is offering critical advice to the newly appointed Liberal Leader on industrial issues and the auto industry, a source said.

Mr. Ignatieff has also consulted Frank McKenna, deputy chairman of TD Bank Financial Group, and Don Drummond, a former senior Finance official and the TD's senior economist, as well as Liberal MPs John McCallum and Scott Brison.

He needs all the advice he can get, given that he has only a few weeks to deliver a clear Liberal plan to navigate the current crisis. On Jan. 27, Mr. Ignatieff will have to decide whether he supports or rejects the Conservative government's budget, which will contain its own stimulus package.

...and the article goes on.

You see, a smart guy doesn't pull ideas out of a hat - he deals with the experts.

Karen said...

Exactly Sandi. It occurs to me that we may finally be able to expose just how out of their depth the Con's have been since taking power.

Brison and McCallum (I think), are scheduled to meet with Flaherty on Monday. As is his custom, he is preceeding the meeting with a 'warning' that they'd better come prepared with their own stimulus package. It's absolutely idiotic how this government is treating this issue.

On another note, imo, Ignatieff is not arrogant. I met him briefly and while that in itself didn't provide enough exposure to make a determination, watching him listen to and respond to the group I was in told me that arrogance is not a descriptor that I would apply to the man. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Lookin at your blog for the first time. Why the fuck does every one of your posts includes a picture of Harper?


Karen said...

Not every one does actually, but if I'm writing about him or something he did, I tend to use his picture.

Bizarre? It seems to have been pretty common practice in mainstream print media for uh, ever!

No, bizarre is randomly going to a blog and slagging it's author for no apparent reason other than juvenile self gratification.