Ignatieff: A Paper Tiger

Paper-Tiger2

As usual, Paul Wells hit the nail on the head the other day with what’s sure to be a prescient (if rather obvious) forecast of a mercifully election-free summer:

I now believe the opposition parties will not get their act together to vote the government down until after it delivers its next full budget. Of course that’s the worst possible time from the opposition’s point of view, because a budget is a chance to spend $200 billion: it’s the moment of maximum strength for any government.

But there’s always a reason not to make a decision. Was it 10 days ago the opposition parties, led by the Liberals, were demanding the finance minister be fired because he’d dug a $50 billion deficit? Stephen Harper ignored them. They did nothing in response…

Indeed. Harper has once again cleverly managed to gain a reprieve for himself and his party that also benefits everyone by sparing us all from the dreary horror and needless expense of yet another completely pointless election. Not that there aren’t a number of reasonably legitimate reasons to force one, of course — stubbornly disturbing grievances that are more than sufficient in the minds of some to “revoke this government’s probation.” But there’s an inconvenient problem with pulling the rug out from Harper at the moment, as made clear by Chantel Hébert this morning (emphasis added):

the notion that the thrust of a Liberal government would be dramatically different from that of the Conservatives is hard to sustain with facts. Moreover, given that the ship of state cannot be turned around overnight, the time it would take a new government to change tack might actually outrun the recession.

Polls show that the Liberals could eke out a victory in a summer vote, although it would hardly be a sure thing. But at the end of the day, the real question Ignatieff has to wrestle with is what, if anything, he has to offer that could possibly justify a second election in less than a year.

I’d go even further and suggest that until such time as Ignatieff can find some way of surmounting this awkwardly formidable stumbling block of distancing himself from the Conservatives, it’s difficult to imagine that the Liberals will be sending Canadians to the polls before sometime next year. Which brings us rather neatly back to Mr. Wells’ column:

Wow, does Michael Ignatieff ever talk a lot when he has nothing to say.

Sad but true. I look forward to the day when the Liberal leader has something positive to say, something that’s actually motivating or inspirational to communicate, rather than just faking outrage and endlessly sniping at the government of the day with empty bluster and hollow rhetoric…

And lest you think that’s a baseless charge, let me offer up this shining example of his fact-free rhetoric:

“My vision of the future of Canada is that we must urgently find other markets than that of America.”

Well, that’s certainly an astonishingly brilliant and innovative concept, isn’t it? Or at least it might be if it didn’t simply reflect government policy of the last thirty years while completely ignoring that in actuality (for better or worse) the Conservatives have been conducting business as usual by generously backstopping the EDC and assiduously hammering away at free trade pacts with various countries in the Caribbean and other nations throughout Central and South America in addition to rapidly moving to strengthen our ties with Asia and crafting a much stronger economic link to the European Union.

So what else is Mr. Ignatieff offering as part of his “vision for the future of Canada”? Anyone? Anyone? …Buehler?

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68 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff

68 responses to “Ignatieff: A Paper Tiger

  1. Tomm

    RT,

    Great post.

    I don’t see any substantive differences being painted by Ignatieff. And if he can’t differentiate his party (except by logo) then, what is he selling Canadians?

    It needs to be more than Harper and his minions are bad, and Ignatieff and his team are good.

  2. I still say Harper’s next campaign motto should be “Vote for the REAL Stephen Harper”

  3. Ti-Guy

    And if he can’t differentiate his party (except by logo) then, what is he selling Canadians?

    Well, he can’t possibly suggest that Liberal voters are not nearly as credulous, non-critical and conformist as Conservatives are, can he? That would be impolitic.

    It’s a point I’ve tried to make before, but it falls on deaf ears, for reasons I don’t understand. When the Liberals are in power, their most serious critics (ie. the ones who tell them things they are likely to listen to, as opposed to ranting loonies in the Opposition) are Liberals themselves.

    For me, it’s never really been about the parties; it’s been about the supporters. Liberals argue and disagree with each other all the time. Conservatives don’t (when they do vanishingly infrequently, they are vilified, shunned and ostracised). And that means that the people they choose to represent them will do whatever they want, because they know their own supporters won’t call them on it (and will even go full tilt fabricating any rationalisation, no matter how lunatic to defend them) and they can dismiss everyone else as partisan whiners.

    As for grand ideas…feh. Life is making it up as you go along, and I doubt, even as little as a year and a half ago, there was any awareness among the economic and political elite that Canada’s inability to establish a greater diversity of trading partners would land it shortly in a crisis. In fact, I think we were hearing mostly the same old refrain; that Canada’s natural market *is* the US (the wealthiest market in the World, don’t ya know) and that it makes little sense to distract ourselves elsewhere.

  4. Tomm

    Ti,

    You said:

    “Well, he can’t possibly suggest that Liberal voters are not nearly as credulous, non-critical and conformist as Conservatives are, can he?…”

    So, you are suggesting that the LPC message is not what they will do with/to/for Canada, and admit that policy pathways are similar; but that the people doing it are just nicer, more real people that will behave better, have more internal/creative discussions,and be more approachable?

    That’s the pitch?

    Doesn’t that strike you as a little arrogant?

  5. Phillip Huggan

    If that’s what Ignatieff wants to prioritize you could redirect non-natural-gas fossil fuel subsidies to gold mines assuming a weaker USD leads to increased demand. India is the economy most resilient to date to USA consumer crash, so maybe giving the Mint or some Canadian metals industry players an arm devoted to India jewellery demand is good.
    The real call is for the creation of a metals OPEC with the added investor capitalization durings booms used in busts to buy up materials science players that will eventually cannibalize metals demand. The NNI in Edmonton is a natural hedge against lower-metals-footprint advances.

    Let’s cut the crap, they are both good public speakers (neither has a speech disability) so Canadians are confused now and use that emotion to frame a sudden realization of how identical their platforms are. The real election issue should be that our taxes are too low now, and will be even worse when 2010s health care costs puts us a trillion more ($80B annually plus debt interest) in the hole, enough to bankrupt any non-reserve currency. The real issue should be about raising GST, a carbon tax, higher top corporate tax rates and lower small business taxes….
    There isn’t enough latent homosexual attraction to masculine public speakers in this land to run on such an honest platform. Rich Canadians would obliterate Iggy.

  6. Navvy

    “So, you are suggesting that the LPC message is not what they will do with/to/for Canada, and admit that policy pathways are similar; but that the people doing it are just nicer, more real people that will behave better, have more internal/creative discussions,and be more approachable?”

    Frankly it doesn’t matter how similar the policy is (although I would disagree with Red et al. about just how similar an Iggy government would be). In this case, I’d rather have bad policy done well then what the CPC is currently doing. They are making their bad policy infinitely worse out of sheer stupidity. For the life of me, I cannot think of a dimmer caucus in the history of this country. The only bright one is Raitt and she has been brought down by an overpaid 26 year old.

    See Sir Francis’ last two posts. The problem with this government is not just that they fuck up, it’s that they have brought fucking up to a level never before seen.

  7. Ti-Guy

    So, you are suggesting that the LPC message is not what they will do with/to/for Canada…

    I’m just saying “the best laid plans of mice and men…” etc. etc.

    and admit that policy pathways are similar…

    Not all all. Conservatives are ideological and have a rump of social conservatives who are illiberal and anti-democratic. That’s not compatible with liberalism or Liberalism. Anyway, those are not issues of policy per se, but provides a good indication of how a party will behave once in power.

    but that the people doing it are just nicer, more real people that will behave better, have more internal/creative discussions, and be more approachable?

    More or less (I don’t know what you mean by being more approachable; Liberals don’t tolerate screeching, raging wingnuts and never will). And you’re being deceitful if you try to pretend otherwise.

    Doesn’t that strike you as a little arrogant?

    No, it strikes *you* as arrogant. I really can’t help you with that.

  8. Ti-Guy

    I’ll add…it’s amazing how little in the comment Tomm actually understood. He just decided it was “arrogant” and decided to pretend to dialogue in order to express that rather tiresome charge.

    I know I can be arrogant (quite often, it’s unavoidable), Tomm, but I’m not a liar, I’m not classist and I’m not manipulative or deceitful. If arrogance is the worse human failing you can think of, then you need to re-examine your value system.

  9. “I’d go even further and suggest that until such time as Ignatieff can find some way of surmounting this awkwardly formidable stumbling block of distancing himself from the Conservatives”

    No doubt, I think Hébert was making that point around this time last year… urging Dion about a Carbon tax or something like that.

    “Wow, does Michael Ignatieff ever talk a lot when he has nothing to say.”

    I thought that was the genius of M. Ignatieff?

    Anyways…
    It’s there Michael, behind you, written on the wall!

    (Good to see you back RT)

  10. Pingback: Iggy ‘On Probation’ with his own caucus - Blue Like You -

  11. Tomm

    Ti,

    My point was not a preamble to using the term “arrogant”.

    It was exactly what it was. You suggested that the LPC just tell Canadian’s they are nicer, easier to deal with, and are more reasonable and use that as a main reason for capturing a citizen’s vote.

    I commented that this was arrogant, and I think it is. I was suggesting that if you thought about it, you might too. If you don’t, that’s fine. We don’t need to agree. It was a comment.

    Speaking of comments, you said:

    “…Liberals don’t tolerate screeching, raging wingnuts …”

    Please explain Hedy Fry?

    She held several portfolios in Liberal governments, including those after making screeching, raging, wingnutty comments about her inside knowledge about white supremacy and racism in Prince George, BC. She is still a Liberal MP and has so much respect within the party that she ran for its leadership.

  12. sapphireandsteel

    Tomm,

    Please explain Dean Del Mastro, Gary Goodyear, Stockwell Day, Jason Kenney, Bob Dechert, Rod Bruinnooge, Tom Likuwski and Gerry Ritz? Don’t worry about Polievre, he’s just an asshole.

    There’s some nutbar homework for ya.

  13. sapphireandsteel

    I could go one but the current Conservative Party looks like a bag of mixed nuts upon further examination.

  14. Phillip Huggan

    I understand the inertia in giving Chrysler $5B every few years indefinitely, but the Canada-USA auto trade agreements were cut in the 1950s when America had a middle class, pre Chicago School. They are cannibalizing for instance, Honda palliative medical robotics technology (these plants can be drawn, they’d love freedom from import tarriffs). Focussing on small cars is good but a decade or two too late (I’d guess after hundreds of billions of North American subsidies over next decade, we’d brake even with Tata only to have India subsequently out subsidize us). You need a super-banker car that flies and a dent-proof bumper that smashes the skulls of poor people, to play this game.
    A leading makers of low footprint concrete forms is Cgy’s Fab-Form Industries. U of M’s Mark West invented a curved concrete architecture construction process. The problem is he can’t raise a marketing budget (I assume) until the world’s architects become trained in using the new technology. Chysler’s $5B to these players would establish Canada as a global leader in building Asia sustainably.
    Or Liberals could run on a “Heart Disease is sexy” platform.

  15. Tomm

    S&S,

    “…a bag of mixed nuts…”.

    They kind of are. There are some (esp. social conservatives) that got into politics as a way of expressing themselves.

    It’s not for everybody. Just like those some people might consider wingnuts elected from other parties. Each party has its own brand of “mixed nuts”.

    I brought up Hedy in response to a specific statement that failed to acknowledge that each party has their own yahoos’.

  16. Ti-Guy

    You suggested that the LPC just tell Canadian’s they are nicer, easier to deal with, and are more reasonable and use that as a main reason for capturing a citizen’s vote.

    I’m not suggesting that at all. Can you imagine what the Conservatards would do with that? Arrogance! *Shriiiiek!*

    However, the fact that you are allowed at every single Liberal/non-Conservative blog to say whatever the hell you want whereas Conservative blogs moderate, ban and delete willy-nilly should tell you something, no?

    Please explain Hedy Fry?

    What sapphireandsteel said.

  17. Navvy — Frankly it doesn’t matter how similar the policy is (although I would disagree with Red et al. about just how similar an Iggy government would be).

    I’d be interested to know of an example of where the Liberals disagree with the Conservatives on a significant matter of federal policy…

    In this case, I’d rather have bad policy done well then what the CPC is currently doing.

    A fair enough point, and one that should be expanded on if indeed it’s a valid argument.

  18. Ti-Guy

    I brought up Hedy in response to a specific statement that failed to acknowledge that each party has their own yahoos’.

    No you didn’t. You attempted to establish a false equivalence. *tsk tsk* So deceitful.

  19. Phillip Huggan

    “However, the fact that you are allowed at every single Liberal/non-Conservative blog to say whatever the hell you want whereas Conservative blogs moderate, ban and delete willy-nilly should tell you something, no?”

    Ummm, no.

  20. Phillip — You are certainly full of many curious notions. Metals OPEC, curved concrete architecture, etc. Unfortunately, “thinking outside the box” isn’t usually a feature of mainstream politics. 😉

  21. CWTF

    I wonder how long until the coterie of Liberal bloggers will call you a Con troll Red?

    I’ve made similar points to KNB and others only to be labelled a Conservative.

    To me, this just shows that the majority of Liberal bloggers are easily interchangeable with Connies in their partisanship and stupidity.

    Liberal fans really have to be hair-splitting to find any noticeable difference between Iggy and Harper when it comes to policies….

    However, the fact that you are allowed at every single Liberal/non-Conservative blog to say whatever the hell you want whereas Conservative blogs moderate, ban and delete willy-nilly should tell you something, no?
    Actually Ti-Guy, I can give you a list where my post are summary deleted…. (Mostly for the bigger Iggy fluffers)

  22. Tomm

    Ti,

    Why does it always seem that you are in “attack mode”?

    Relax. My attempt to interpret your comment is to understand it. If I have it wrong, than clarify it.

    I happen to think that the LPC, to be successful, would need to distinguish itself in a fundamental and policy way from the CPC and then to sell that difference to Canadian’s.

    The campaign scheme that includes the pitch that you just need to vote for our party and we’ll find a place for you, is likely badly flawed. The Alberta PCs actually tried that, and it backfired on them. They lost some seats and credibility.

    In regards to being deceitful. It was you that brought up:

    “…Liberals don’t tolerate screeching, raging wingnuts and never will). And you’re being deceitful if you try to pretend otherwise.”

    That line is just wrong. All I did was point it out. If you didn’t like my example, oh well.

    If Iggy wants my vote, he needs to do more than rail away at the government, that just doesn’t work for me. He actually has to tell me what he proposes to do that is DIFFERENT. Otherwise, he just seems deceitful and grasping.

  23. Jim

    Good post, Red, spot-on really.

    Nice to see you back. Hope things are going well.

    TiGuy said:
    “However, the fact that you are allowed at every single Liberal/non-Conservative blog to say whatever the hell you want whereas Conservative blogs moderate, ban and delete willy-nilly should tell you something, no?”

    This is not true at all. Kantsellit never posts my comments, nor does that lumpish oaf who claims to be from BC but now resides in T.O.

    I am sure there are others, but those two come readily to mind.

  24. Ti-Guy

    I happen to think that the LPC, to be successful, would need to distinguish itself in a fundamental and policy way from the CPC and then to sell that difference to Canadian’s.

    They tried that already. Canadians prefer to be lied to. I don’t care anymore…I’m just voting for the Party likely to win, screw up the least, lie to us less or less egregiously and whose supporters are likely to hold the government accountable. I said as much earlier.

  25. My, how you elevate yourselves irrationally, while employing the old tar and brush method. Liberals are so very good at heart. Awight…

    Ok, who am I to disturb your academia based fantasies?

    Not to pick on Ti Guy specifically, but I had time to take in this comment.

    Ti Guy said;

    “For me, it’s never really been about the parties; it’s been about the supporters. Liberals argue and disagree with each other all the time. Conservatives don’t (when they do vanishingly infrequently, they are vilified, shunned and ostracised).”

    Reality check old fella, Liberals do the same thing. Take my word for it, k?

    Also, Liberals are just as prone to feasting on patronage as any Conservative entity, more so actually, given the percentages of years in power. My apologies for not wishing to assign a specific designation to the presumably Conservative movement, as they keep changing the names so as give the impression of being “new, and improved”.

    But;

    The reality is really quite simple. The new age, new and improved, large or little C, Conservatives have learned a great deal about the Liberal playbook, and the Liberals under Ignatieff, and his predecessor haven’t figured out an effective counter strategy. Thus, they appear to be exactly what they are. They same fu*king thing.

    Time, and patience will of course return them to power. It’s merely a matter of playing the odds, isn’t it? When they once again resume their rightful place; and adorn themselves accordingly, there will be spoils for the faithful. Of course.

    I could offer an opinion on how they could differentiate themselves, but that would be as fruitful as pissing into the wind. They are the greatest of minds, afterall.

    One last thing. How do you teach a snake to have a conscience?

    Ya’ll have a great day.

  26. Navvy

    Red said,
    “I’d be interested to know of an example of where the Liberals disagree with the Conservatives on a significant matter of federal policy… ”

    There can’t be any example, we’re talking about a hypothetical government. Even if I could pick through the Liberal policy platform (ahem) for a major difference, it would mean squat all coming from an opposition party. My statement is based on my opinion that Ignatieff is more capable than Harper, and the Liberal caucus more intelligent than the gang of howler monkeys currently in power.

    I suppose this point speaks more to Hebert’s opinion in your post (“the thrust of a Liberal government”), but even if Canadians were presented with a groundbreaking policy platform, since when do ideas matter in Canadian elections? No matter the Liberal platform, the CPC line of attack will be the exact same, expect to hear alot about taxes and Iggy’s time abroad.

    You may be in favour of the devil you know, but I don’t see how it could get any worse.

  27. Phillip Huggan

    …a problem I found last election was there is nearly no NDP blogging presence (I think Woman at mile O was the only active non-registration blog I found). I don’t speak French and the Green Party needs you to register…

    There was one Conservative and one Liberal who volunteered time to organize their blogospheres.

  28. Ti – re “Conservative blogs moderate, ban and delete willy-nilly should tell you something, no?”

    Ti – be a little honest, you are a fairly regular poster in my blog and I’ve never edited, moderated, banned or deleted anyone, except some psychotic racist on one occasion.. and as far as I’m aware, I still stand as being banned on WK’s site.. for reasons which still mystify me (I dared to point out that his rants against Levant and Steyn were fundamentally inconsistent with Ignatieff’s book, “Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry”.. that’s it, no profanity, no attack on his mother or his children. Just that. And he banned me. For blogging too good..)

    And R/T, your blog is right on.. and in response to your acknolwedgement, I’ll concede as well that the difficulty is bi-lateral. I think that there are a lot of supporters of each side of the Commons who are a little confused regarding where their party is going.

    Maybe in some respects that is a good thing. When two supposedly intelligent men are not at great distance in terms of what to do about a certain problem, perhaps that suggests the solution they’ve come up with is closer to a correct solution than a “partisan” solution.

    I’m not completely sold on that idea, but I guess in a perfect world, the government in power takes the good ideas from the opposition and at the end of the day, you end up with a someone homogeneous policy that is difficult to assail..

    More likely, however, the governement and the opposition are not so much finding sensible shared policy goals which makes it difficult to distinguish them, but they are finding where the lowest common denominator is of the electorate, and they’re both playing to that..

    Can you say Bill C-15?

  29. Phillip Huggan

    Jesus…Iggy says platform will be out sometime in June, which this weekend’s delay suggests July. You can win any argument about why Bossy is a better Hall of Famer than Tavares. I’d comment about Dion’s policies but no one cares: a score to Harper is Dion’s fiscal rates are to the right of 2008 Harper’s (despite MSM rhetoric of Dion being leftyish Liberal ever).

  30. Ti-Guy

    Comrade One:

    “Reality check old fella, Liberals do the same thing. Take my word for it, k?”

    Why on Earth would I do that? I’m not a credulous ninny. Who are you, exactly?

  31. [Harper’s been]… rapidly moving to strengthen our ties with Asia and crafting a much stronger economic link to the European Union.

    Actually, our overtures to Asia have been timid, and the EU free-trade talks have stalled and are now apparently moribund. Last I heard, EU negotiators were ready to walk away (frustrated by the inability of the feds and the provinces to speak with one voice).

    So, no, Harper hasn’t materially thickened our international trading networks. The problem is, government can only help make that happen; it cannot force it to happen.

    Proximity to the States has given Canada one of the laziest, most spoilt and risk-averse private sectors in the world. Why go to all the trouble of getting up and making three bucks by crossing the street when you can make two bucks just by sitting on your fat ass?

  32. Navvy — There can’t be any example, we’re talking about a hypothetical government. Even if I could pick through the Liberal policy platform (ahem) for a major difference, it would mean squat all coming from an opposition party.

    Yes and no. While it’s obviously something of a hypothetical question, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that one should expect the opposition party to be, in addition to simply opposing or gainsaying the government, advancing a coherent set of alternative positions. We “progressives” take great merriment in the GOP’s bumbling misadventures in the political wilderness at the moment seemingly oblivious to the fact that much the same could have been said of the Liberals for the past several years. What do they stand for? What “vision” or ideas are they putting forward? Beats the heck out of me. Apparently, they’re not telling…

    My statement is based on my opinion that Ignatieff is more capable than Harper, and the Liberal caucus more intelligent than the gang of howler monkeys currently in power.

    That’s a matter of opinion. You could be correct, but there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ignatieff is “more capable than Harper” — this too is nothing but hypothetical speculation. Ditto for the “gang of howler monkeys” that allegedly populate the front benches of the government.

  33. Ti-Guy

    My statement is based on my opinion that Ignatieff is more capable than Harper, and the Liberal caucus more intelligent than the gang of howler monkeys currently in power.

    I can’t see much evidence on the part of the Conservatives to challenge that robustly. And they’re the ones in power so really, the onus is on them.

    I could very well be wrong on this, but I’m going with a certain degree of faith that Ignatieff’s leadership style (which I’m suspecting is more collegial than autocratic) will be more appropriate for a caucus of capable parliamentarians.

    In any case, I’m fed up with this gang of nodding heads, boors, fratboys and titsy ditzes surrounding The One True Leader. It’s gotten us absolutely nowhere.

  34. jarrid

    I think Ignatieff will pull the plug next week, contrary to what Paul Wells and the media consensus say. The Liberal establishment and backroomers want to go now and Iggy relies on them heavily, unlike Dion.

    Whether he pulls off an election victory is whole other matter but I think he will go for it.

  35. I have conservative friends who say they would consider voting for Iggy (except the don’t have any real beef with what Harper’s doing).

    This is an “Iggy” problem, but also a problem for the Liberal brand.

    In the Chretien regime, the Liberals could avoid staking out real ideological territory because the conservatives had imploded.

    With the NDP (and the Bloc in Que.) firmly staking out the left/progressive principles, where are the Liberals to go.

    Biff’s call: over the next decade, watch for the rise of the NDP, and the decline of the Liberals as the party of the left.

  36. Ti-Guy

    Kill them both now, before they nest, mate and lay eggs…

  37. “Red Tory has an interesting post up wherein he opines that Iggy doesn’t appear to offer any tangible alternative to what the Harper government is doing.

    I agree. But this isn’t just a problem for Iggy, its a problem for the Liberals and it’s one that won’t go away any time soon. It is also a problem that existed for well over a decade but was masked in the Chretien era by the fractured right.”

    The rest is at my site.

  38. Navvy

    We “progressives” take great merriment in the GOP’s bumbling misadventures in the political wilderness at the moment seemingly oblivious to the fact that much the same could have been said of the Liberals for the past several years.

    Bah, I take great merriment at Palin, Limbaugh and Romney. To suggest the Liberals, who, as of this week, are at least marginally ahead in the polls, and never gave up a majority to the cons, with a GOP that has been decimated for a generation is a bit much Red.

    That’s a matter of opinion. You could be correct, but there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ignatieff is “more capable than Harper” — this too is nothing but hypothetical speculation. Ditto for the “gang of howler monkeys” that allegedly populate the front benches of the government.

    Well yeah, politics always is a matter of opinion. You base political opinions on the facts available to you. Ignatieff received degrees from three of the best schools on the planet, Harper is an almost-economist from a fourth rate university. Ignatieff has authored a range of thoughtful books on interesting subjects, Harper is trying to get past “Hockey is…” in his forthcoming classic. Sure, education isn’t everything, but some is better than none.

    As for the caucus, no, I have no proof that the CPC members are actually howler monkeys. All I have is a pretty strong feeling that Rae, Brison, Cotler, Garneau, Dion, Dryden, LeBlanc, Goodale, Kennedy, and Martin would do a better job than Flaherty, Baird, Ambrose, Anders, Kenney, Bernier, Day, Gallant, Galipeau, Hill, Kent and MacKay. Ultimately, without having a platform, and not believing them when they are there, I think the best measure of a potential government is it’s bench strength. Your opinion might be that the latter names are just as intelligent as the former and I have no IQ test results to convince you otherwise, but I’ll stick with my gut on this one.

    I’m sure you’re not impressed with any of this subjective stuff, but these are the things political opinions are made of. On a more general level, I’m not comfortable with a government that hates government. I’m also 99% positive that the Liberals wouldn’t continue the CPC’s current efforts to destroy the CBC and wouldn’t repeat something as brain crushingly stupid as cutting the GST.

  39. “GOP that has been decimated for a generation”

    Newsflash: Obama won with 53% of the vote. Not 90%. Not 80%. Not even 70%.

    Barely over half, with the other (almost) half voting Republican. After two successive terms with an unpopular Republican president and a stodgy old challenger.

    The mainstream liberal press would have folks believe Obama won with virtual unanimity.

    Hardly.

  40. Phillip Huggan

    Tough to tell what the underlying Right average is in Canada with the “merger” (I fail to see PC element), but in Canada it is maybe 30% and USA 50%. The difference is in Canada that extra 20% poor votes NDP (ya I know more than 3 Parties here but is a comparison) whereas in the USA they have been tricked permanently it seems, into voting Republican.

  41. Ti-Guy

    GOP that has been decimated for a generation

    At least. It took a 30 years to bring the Reagan generation to full-blown hysteria, which is now at level of insanity not seen in population of a Western democracy since pre-WW2. It’ll take that long before they all die out or are rehabilitated.

  42. Navvy — I don’t really want to quibble because I suspect we’re not actually that far apart here in our thinking, but I do have to take issue with some of your contentions. So bear with me…

    To suggest the Liberals, who, as of this week, are at least marginally ahead in the polls, and never gave up a majority to the cons, with a GOP that has been decimated for a generation is a bit much Red.

    Decimated for a generation? The GOP was trounced in the 2006 mid-terms and soundly defeated in the last election cycle. Prior to that they held all levers of government and controlled Congress from the mid 90s.

    But no, the comparison between the Republicans and the Liberals isn’t a perfect fit other than to the extent they are both parties that have been banished to the proverbial “penalty box” and as such are struggling with being out of power and grasping a bit to find ways of legitimizing themselves.

  43. Navvy

    You’re right, we aren’t far apart. I just feel that Iggy is getting a rough ride from alot of folks for his realpolitik. Did people honestly expect him to take a stand against “getting tough on crime”? I’m no blind Ingnatieff cheerleader, I simply feel that we have a chance at a pretty impressive individual that only comes along once in awhile. From the top down, this government just screams mediocrity and it has to be on its last legs.

  44. CWTF

    I simply feel that we have a chance at a pretty impressive individual that only comes along once in awhile.
    Yawn….
    He’s just another politician in an expensive suit…
    Realpolitik? or just another word for win at any cost… now that’s impressive….

  45. Can’t keep coming back today because I am running errands, but in terms of differences off the top of my head?

    The Liberals believe in science and trust scientists when making policy. The Tories don’t which is why they have messed up the isotope crisis so completely.

    The Liberals will not sell AECL. The Tories will. This will decimate and destroy research in this country. Scientists hate this because it means we will fall far behind.

    The Tories are also currently very centrally run in the PMO due to their lack of talent on the front bench.

    The Liberals have a great front bench and Iggy will run it similarly to Chretien with a devolved management style. Meaning you get more ideas and more feedback and it works better.

    The Liberals care about the Status of Women and the Tories don’t.

    The Liberals want to implement a real child care system and the Tories just hand out $100 cheques, not enough to do shit.

    Ok, gotta go buy groceries. I’m sure there is more, but I leave it up to you to find……

  46. Oh and the Arts policy and CBC.

  47. CWTF

    Aurelia, some okay points but….

    The Liberals believe in science and trust scientists when making policy. The Tories don’t which is why they have messed up the isotope crisis so completely.
    It’s hard to speculate who the Liberals would place to head certain departments…
    But Dhalla was/is a chiropractor…
    The isotope mess up seems to steam from ideology not science.

    The Tories are also currently very centrally run in the PMO due to their lack of talent on the front bench.
    The Liberals have more? Iggy named Volpe to his shadow cabinet – give us a break…


    The Liberals have a great front bench and Iggy will run it similarly to Chretien with a devolved management style. Meaning you get more ideas and more feedback and it works better.

    That’s speculation. And, if you look, Iggy has centralized the party message….


    The Liberals want to implement a real child care system and the Tories just hand out $100 cheques, not enough to do shit.

    Partly true. Martin could/should have implemented child care – he waited too long.

  48. Ti Guy said;

    “I’m not a credulous ninny.”

    I don’t recall suggesting you were. I do recall your being more petulant than your years should allow.

    Who am I you ask? Who are you exactly, and what have you done for your country?

    Actually neither you or I are the focus of this posting. I thought it was the lack of leadership seen under the new Liberal Csar. After the overthrow of the Bolshevik segment of the Liberal Party, weren’t there those whose expectations ran high based on a resurgence of true Liberal values? Whatever that is.

    The crux of it is that the new Csar is no more open than Mr. Harper. He is certainly no more gifted and in my opinion, the only thing he and his supporters have on their side is the weight of natural occurrence. That being that voters will eventually do what they do and replace one lot of same old with another.

    Besides the clandestine rise of this Csar, his continuous contradictory statements and absence of moral fortitude should provide a substantial extension in political gridlock for some time to come. IMHO

  49. CWTF

    The crux of it is that the new Csar is no more open than Mr. Harper. He is certainly no more gifted and in my opinion, the only thing he and his supporters have on their side is the weight of natural occurrence.
    That sounds about right.
    A block of moldy cheese at the head of the Liberals would likely be polling the same numbers as Iggy…

  50. EM

    Did anyone mention the “e” word?
    The (quite possibly) howling monkeys have no empathy for anyone not in their base.

  51. Ti-Guy

    Actually neither you or I are the focus of this posting. I thought it was the lack of leadership seen under the new Liberal Csar.

    I’m really not impressed with discussions about leadership these days. Most people don’t know what it means, are easily persuaded by leadership personae confected by legions of communications and image consultants, believe leadership is nothing but a function of how tough and/or brutal the leader is with respect to his/her opponent, have not thought long enough about the fact that different functions require different styles of leadership and finally, have not decided what kind of leadership they personally prefer. That’s understandable, given the widespread failure of leadership all over North America in the last few years, but it is regardless rather meaningless.

    I mentionned earlier what I suspect or hope with respect to Ignatieff’s leadership and that’s all I really have to say about that. The rest is pointless speculation.

    If it would make you feel better (which I doubt, since you’re a bilious anti-Liberal) if Ignatieff came out with a five-point plan (à la Harper) as a demonstration of leadership, I’m not going to prevent you from indulging in that fantasy. But if you bothered to think about the last decade, it quite often doesn’t matter what the plan is if it can’t accommodate the uncertainty that characterise the times we live in or depends on the mediocrity of most administrators, functionaries and bureaucrats these days to carry out.

  52. “The Liberals want to implement a real child care system and the Tories just hand out $100 cheques, not enough to do shit.”

    – all those who believe that, in this period of deficit, or any period, we should be paying for child care for people making over $100,000.00 per year, raise their hands.

    – all those who trust that the government will not, in any manner, “teach” your children things that you might find questionable, raise their hands.

    This social-engineering bullshit is the reason I stopped voting liberal two decades ago, and until they stop with this crap, I, and I’m sure many like me, will not consider voting for them again.

    “national daycare” will be another gun control debacle, it will cost us billions, and do nothing of value at the end of the day.

    Listen. If you want to fund 100% of daycare for single parents earning under $40,000.00 per year, I’m all for it.. but the idea that we NEED to have the government raising our children is not only stupid, it’s fundamentally frightening in a truly Orwellian “1984” sort of way.

    But I’m sure your preference would be to have a few kids, and then have someone else pick up the tab and look after them, so you can “find yourself”.

    Yeah.

  53. Ti-Guy

    This social-engineering bullshit is the reason I stopped voting liberal two decades ago, and until they stop with this crap, I, and I’m sure many like me, will not consider voting for them again.

    Exactly how were you socially-engineered? Is this about ParticipAction and Katimavik again? Or the metric system?

    I’ve read a lot of bitching in this discussion; what I’ve not read is one single expression of what people want for Canada.

  54. sapphireandsteel

    Maybe he was traumatized by Hal and Joanne with threats of bodybreak…

  55. Ti-Guy

    Maybe he was traumatized by Hal and Joanne with threats of bodybreak…

    Weren’t we all. How dare the government socially-engineer us into accepting interracial couples on the teevee before we ready to face the trauma?

    Nothing in Canada could’ve ever compare to the private sector social-engineering public service announcements the Americans are bombarded with. Compare the American “My anti-drug is…” campaign with the Canadian “Don’t drive high, you moron…” equivalent.

  56. Phillip Huggan

    (raises hand as enthusiatically as a 4 year old seeking to gain approval of peers with knowledge).

    Quebec study says 40% of costs recouped in 1st year: federal tax revenue from working parents (didn’t go on vacation). With daycare there would’ve been less inflation in AB during boom.

    Studies mixed to date (average to very high ROI); if daycare were proven high ROI, Rob, would you be for social engineering?

    Defining prisoners costing $70000/yr as not social engineering and daycare costing much less as Orwellian is stupid.
    I don’t think daycare is forced, I think the concept is it is forced from tax revenue.

    Rob have you read the existing studies about daycare to date? (no) Have Conservative MPs who’ve already made up their minds about this issue read? If it is literacy that is the problem, there is a social engineering programme I can suggest that would teach ABCs…

    “The Liberals have more? Iggy named Volpe to his shadow cabinet – give us a break…”

    That-a izz-a spicey meat-a ballll. But at least Volpe will halt the Italian-Canadian rampant racism that overwhelms our penal system (daycare could help). I think daycare on Reserves is one of the easiest ways to create jobs (and probably not hard to go from daycare skills to nursing aide) and socially engineer a productive workforce among our growth demographic (same for USA’s Mexicans and Europe’s Muslim/African population).
    The Conservative prison “plan” is social engineering, and expensive. Conservatives socially engineer Marijuana users in prison and poor Canadians homeless and/or deadend jobs. When Conservatives attempt a physical activity they get injured, so maybe for the best, not because it is right or efficient, but because rich Conservatives are delicate flowers.

  57. CWTF

    @Phillip Huggan
    Yes the Quebec daycare plan is, overall, a sucess – too bad Martin waited so long to try and implement one for Canada. Of course the Connies would not understand prevention – there is more money to be made in prison and being able to scream at the horrors of society works with their base.

    Don’t delude yourself, there are many business interests behind the Liberals….

  58. Phillip Huggan

    …and who calls an election with a majority?! The younger male siblings of 1st-born males are more likely to be homosexual. Maybe because older guys take their dates or beat the testosterone out of them I dunnp. But the same dynamic is at play with Liberal political instincts post-Chretien. It is like Chretien had such good political instincts he stole the souls from all subsequent Liberals.

  59. Tomm

    Very entertaining.

    “I think daycare on Reserves …”

    Now that’s an idea whose time has come!

    Rob,

    “- all those who believe that, in this period of deficit, or any period, we should be paying for child care for people making over $100,000.00 per year, raise their hands. ”

    I think I saw a couple hands rise, maybe we can trade those guys to Iceland for some fermented fish…

  60. Phillip Huggan

    The real reason is probably social pressure to be man of the house. I don’t even know why I feel the need to apologize for my comments given: “Atlantic culture of dependancy”, “Taliban Jack”, “don’t invest in Ontario”, “cancer is sexy”, “Green Shift will Great Depression Canada”….
    Small-c Conservatives don’t wish Harper wasn’t interventionist, they wish Northern Europe hadn’t proven communism works, so cocoon to Fox News inside suburban sprawl houses.

  61. CWTF

    “- all those who believe that, in this period of deficit, or any period, we should be paying for child care for people making over $100,000.00 per year, raise their hands. ”
    I’ll raise my hand because I don’t see why daycare should somehow be discriminatory – ain’t that a tenet of connies? Choice….

    Maybe you should read about how it works in Quebec. And yes, we still have full-price daycare if you want.

    The cost of daycare, is tax deductible…. Obviously those less well off get a bigger break…

  62. “Exactly how were you socially-engineered?”

    rob’s a moderate, so he must be speaking truth to power….

    KEvron

  63. sapphireandsteel

    “I think I saw a couple hands rise, maybe we can trade those guys to Iceland for some fermented fish…”

    We could trade you to pay for the shipping. Probably the best deal we could get.

  64. “- all those who believe that, in this period of deficit, or any period, we should be paying for child care for people making over $100,000.00 per year, raise their hands. ”

    Raises hand!!! Mee!!

    After all, we subsidize wealthy oil companies who are making money hand over fist in the Tar Sands. We subsidize highly profitable banks. In fact, I think the Tories happened to have been at the helm when all that happened.

    And yes, our family makes well over $100k, like lots over. But no matter how much we make, there is no daycare to be found right now. Bribery, lying, cheating, stealing….no daycare spot, doesn’t matter how much you make or are willing to pay for one.

    And I also think that those who make over $100K should pay more taxes. Heck, here’s a radical idea, why don’t we make our tax brackets level out higher? Why are people making $250K paying less tax as a per cent of income than people who make less than that? The GST cut was manna from heaven for them. It also encouraged spending and discouraged investment, which is one of the worst things you can do to an economy long term.

    (Note: another difference between Tories and Liberals. We actually like to listen to economists. You know, real ones.)

    Here’s another idea, let’s start actually taxing the truly rich, the really high income earners. Cause we don’t. And if we did that, then maybe we could afford lots of things.

  65. Bookmarking now cheers, emailing this to my mates now.

  66. Thank you for another essential article. Do you need many drafts to make a post?

  67. Thank you for utilizing free time to post “Ignatieff:
    A Paper Tiger | Red Tory v.3.0.3”. Thank you again ,Hilario

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