Doing Better

Now this is a vastly improved formulation of the Liberals’ “We can do better” theme that was more fully articulated at Ignatieff’s press conference in Sudbury on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see if he can translate this into a passionate, compelling stump speech.

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47 Comments

Filed under 2009 Election, Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff

47 responses to “Doing Better

  1. anon

    Thanks for posting that – it’s a good press conference for Ignatieff and the Liberals.

  2. Navvy

    I realize that alot of posters here dislike Ignatieff, but you do have to admit, at the very least, it’s exciting to think of the tantrum Harper will throw on national tv when confronted with someone who has a real education and can speak english.

  3. sapphireandsteel

    Lol I still remember the trouble Harper had in the debate against Dion last time. Took a puff Duff to get him back into the lead after that.

  4. I saw parts of a press conference Harper had this morning. He seemed pretty nonchalant and dismissive about all the election rumours. His position was that if the opposition have good ideas to contribute, they should do so and the Conservatives would consider them. (Yeah, right. Good luck with that.)

    He reiterated the contention that Canada is faring better in the global recession than any other country due entirely to the stellar management of the Reform Conservative government, etc. etc.

    He also dismissed any possibility of any “backroom deals” with the NDP or Libs and brought up the specter of the coalition, suggesting that the Libs and NDP had some kind of a covert deal… (An assertion that Layton flatly denied in his subsequent presser).

  5. A “puff of Duff”… LOL

  6. sapphireandsteel

    I can’t wait for the caricatures of Ignatieff as Count Chocula with Layton as Boo Berry.

    In the meantime why not celebrate old times with this retro “Dion’s War on Everything” shirt available at the Conservative junk shop.

    http://bit.ly/mFCBA

  7. sapphireandsteel

    And the load of horseshit quote of the day goes to Diane Finley

    “”Mr. Ignatieff wants to trigger an election, which will negatively affect the jobless,” she said in Ottawa on Thursday. “He’s just in it for himself. We were trying to make progress.””

    It makes me wonder if there’s a bungee cord attached to the rock that she is throwing in front of her own house.

    Conservatives not in it for themselves, that should keep me laughing for weeks.

  8. Ti-Guy

    it’s exciting to think of the tantrum Harper will throw on national tv when confronted with someone who has a real education and can speak english.

    I don’t get this comment. Harper was confronted with three people with real educations who could all speak English and how did he behave? He bullshitted his way through, like he always does.

    The problem is not so much with how Harper is dealt with but with how his reactions appeal to a not-insignificant but still marginal proportion of the electorate: jerks.

    We can only hope (naively and in vain) that the pundits will not behave as they did last year by entering into a competition with each other after the debates (which are completely uninformative and which few people actually watch anyway) to see whose “analysis” of the debates gets to prevail.

  9. Ti-Guy

    And the load of horseshit quote of the day goes to Diane Finley

    That woman gives me the creeps.

  10. Gayle

    “His position was that if the opposition have good ideas to contribute, they should do so and the Conservatives would consider them.”

    The conservatives entered into negotiations over EI with the LPC this summer by first taking to the airwaves to lie about the LPC proposal, then by getting a false costing of that proposal.

    Hard to accept this bullshit from Harper now.

  11. Navvy

    I don’t think so Ti-Guy. Dion couldn’t speak english well enough for many Canadians, Duceppe wasn’t a real opponent, and May and Layton annoy a good portion of the population. It’s a whole different ball game with an Ignatieff in the mix.

  12. Harper always says that – he may listen, but he will not agree, compromise. He wants them to come to HIM like a servant being allowed to talk to the King…….he doesn’t go the them, the lowly folks.

    Harper, to me, looked a little rattled today saying that it is not a card game…..hello!!! Steve, you’ve done nothing but play chess and checkers with tactics and truth since day one.

  13. Ti-Guy

    I don’t think so Ti-Guy. Dion couldn’t speak english well enough for many Canadians, Duceppe wasn’t a real opponent, and May and Layton annoy a good portion of the population. It’s a whole different ball game with an Ignatieff in the mix.

    I think you’re speaking for yourself here. I understand Dion’s detractors never stopped commenting on the quality of his English, but in a culture that has become astonishingly inarticulate, I kind of found that a little hard to credit.

    But then, I speak French and was exposed to Dion unfiltered by simultaneous translation, so maybe I’m “biased.”

  14. Ti-Guy

    And to add:

    It’s a whole different ball game with an Ignatieff in the mix.

    You’ll be astonished at just how vicious Ignatieff’s detractors will be. Even in the past year, the way they’ve mischaracterised and interpreted in the most uncharitable way possible everything he’s said has been startling. Where that’s coming from baffles me.

  15. sapphireandsteel

    You want to start creating some rumours? I found Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney in my back alley with some firecrackers and a porn mag. Pass it on…

  16. Navvy

    Well, I’d suggest his detractors, and I’m fully aware how vicious they can be, aren’t representative of the general population outside of Calgary.

    Not at all, in fact you seem to be the one speaking of yourself alone. I don’t know how you can suggest that Dion’s fall had nothing to do with his ability to communicate in English. Remember Ti-Guy, perception is everything!

  17. Ti-Guy

    I don’t know how you can suggest that Dion’s fall had nothing to do with his ability to communicate in English.

    That never seemed to be an issue with Chrétien, and his English was God awful.

    Frankly, I think Dion was startled by the Harper attack campaign that snidely referred to his Frenchiness and maybe caused him to be too self-conscious (which is a weakness in leadership, no doubt about it). But I interpret that as the reaction of someone who understands the importance of communicative clarity, which is what we should all be supporting *if* we hope to battle this entirely worthless worship of perception.

    Did you know that Lester Pearson spoke with a slight lisp? Imagine how well that would go over these days.

  18. Navvy

    I did. It is terrifying to imagine how this country would have turned out if today’s communications technology had been around for the past 150 years.

  19. sapphireandsteel

    horse-drawn blackberries?

  20. Oh, come on, Ti… There was something charming about Chrétien’s mangled English.

    Dion… not so much.

  21. Ti-Guy

    It is terrifying to imagine how this country would have turned out if today’s communications technology had been around for the past 150 years.

    Well, you take the good with the bad, but when video (the worst medium for communicating even moderately complex ideas, which require focus and reflection to be imparted successfully), becomes everyone’s primary source of information, the situation is dire.

  22. Ti-Guy

    Oh, come on, Ti… There was something charming about Chrétien’s mangled English.

    That’s what I was alluding to earlier about Dion being self-conscious. Chrétien certainly wasn’t; he spoke English badly and proudly.

    Not everyone can do that.

    Still, that didn’t stop his detractors (the same old crowd) from calling him a cretin. Even Mulroney thought he was a rube.

    Perceptions. Bah!

  23. Hmm. I sort of have to admire Ti-Guy’s cynical view of the current situation.. at least he, from a different point of view from perhaps myself, isn’t deluded into thinking that Ignatieff’s going to be the Liberal savior..

    The result will, clearly, be a minority government of some sort. More of the same.

    The deeper problem is that image “is” the issue, and substance is just an accessory, like a tie pin.

  24. Ti-Guy

    Hmm. I sort of have to admire Ti-Guy’s cynical view of the current situation.. at least he, from a different point of view from perhaps myself, isn’t deluded into thinking that Ignatieff’s going to be the Liberal savior..

    Don’t dumb it down to make a partisan shot, Rob.

    I never thought the Liberals ever needed a saviour.

  25. Chretien was smart – he spoke simple English, short, to the point sentences and joked around.

  26. Chretien was very smart, because after many years of speech and voice work he could speak perfect English and French if he choose too. I heard him several times in business situations.

    But he never did that in front of political crowds or the media, because his political schtick was the honest hardworking rural blue-collar Quebecois boy made good. He was still that way at heart, even after his law degrees and years in parliament, but he knew that voters judge image, not substance, and that image meant he understood their hopes and fears and dreams.

    Dion also cared a lot about people, but his issues with speaking English meant he couldn’t make people believe that he cared. He was too proud to tell anyone about the deafness and because he was a PhD, no one would believe he wasn’t “smart enough” to speak well.

    Image is everything….to this day, anyone with a physical, learning, or speech disability is considered less intelligent and less viable in the job market or anywhere. Horrible….

  27. takedeadaim

    I’m kinda frustrated.

    Giving the Chretien/Campbell election a pass, there really hasn’t been an election about a real-honest-to-God ‘issue’ that required the Canadian electorate’s imput.

    Every election since has been about either the government picking advantageous timing for their benefit, or the opposition picking advantageous timing for theirs.

    I miss the days where there was something to discuss. As it stands now, the partisans just man their fox holes like loyal little soldiers and lob political insults and innuendo at each other until the dust settles…….

    I tend to vote Conservative but this government has broken its word too much, which is not what i expected when they originally defeated Martin.

    My alternative, unfortunately, is someone who “will no longer support this government” soley because he wants the big chair. This is no critical issue at play that wasn’t there before the federal budget or just before the summer break.

    Frustrating.

  28. CWTF

    The Montreal Gazette seems to sum this up nicely:
    NDP, Bloc might save us from Ignatieff’s folly

    THE GAZETTESEPTEMBER 3, 2009

    All spring and summer, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals fulminated that the Conservative government was being too cheap with Employment Insurance, refusing to authorize payouts for those who had worked only 360 hours. Stephen Harper had better yield on this issue, they warned, or we’ll force an election and the Canadian people will rise up in their wrath.

    But the Canadian people rolled over in their hammocks barely long enough to tell pollsters they were on vacation from their jobs – which most of them hold year-round – and not too fussed about EI. So the Liberals back-pedalled.

    Yet now they have gone ballistic over, apparently, no issue at all. They hope to topple Harper, Ignatieff now says, not over EI but because the government is … well … no good at anything.

    What kind of foolish game is this? Afraid to appear politically neutered like Stéphane Dion, Ignatieff has succumbed instead to testosterone poisoning.

    Getting the timing of an election right is an opposition leader’s most important tactical task when there’s a minority government. There is a tide in the affairs of politicians, yes, but at present only Ignatieff senses a swell that could lift him out of Stornoway and deposit him at 24 Sussex Drive. The best the Liberals can hope for, pollsters and anecdotal evidence agree, is to form a minority government. And if the economy improves while the Conservatives fling bales of stimulus money at voters, we could end up with a renewed status quo.

    It would be unfair to suggest that Ignatieff has grown bored with opposition and is eager to move up or go back to academia. But his sudden belligerence is hard to explain.

    Like almost all Canadians who aren’t Liberal MPs, we see little merit in a fall election.

    Conservatives suggest that political uncertainty might weaken the economic recovery. We’re not so sure, but we are sure that a fall election would change nothing, even if it brought us a Liberal minority. Ignatieff, like Harper, says he wants to reduce the deficit without raising taxes, a claim that insults voters’ intelligence. Ignatieff has provided almost no substantial policy proposals, and has no new money to spend.

    So Canadians must rely on common sense from the New Democrats or the Bloc Québécois, slim reeds indeed. Those parties could lose seats in a quick election, pollsters say, so maybe one of them will decide – purely as a matter of principle, of course – that there’s no point in an election. We sure hope so.

    © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

  29. Crimson Whimsy

    I think Ignatieff’s timing is right and his strategy is in place. Things are just starting to turn around but only 37% of the public think Harper deserves the credit. Layton looks like he’s staging a last-ditch effort to save the little people — standard NDP tactics but almost laughable because no one can really imagine Harper embracing Layton, least of all Harper as he quickly made clear. Layton, hence, looks like his backbone just dissolved when he eventually backs Ignatieff. Perfection for a Liberal, dare I dream it, majority government.

  30. Gayle

    Interesting contrast between Chretien’s view of protesters and Harper’s view.

  31. Tomm

    Harper has developed an extreme negative reaction with a significant portion of Canadians.

    Watching Ignatieff smirk through interviews using his $12 words gives me the impression that he will do the same thing for many Canadians. He has to be careful not to be too glib or pretentious. If he is, he runs the risk of losing significant momentum all on his own.

    People think they know Harper and even if they don’t like him, may end up voting Conservative if Ignatieff comes across as too urbane. It is especially an issue with rural and blue collar families.

    Harper’s press conference today is precisely his message. He has one. the LPC has yet to concoct theirs. Ignatieff’s messaging so far has been confused, muddled, and ultimately just puffs of smoke. (Health Care??? Poverty???)

    I’m pleased to see they aren’t going to raise taxes anyway.

  32. sapphireandsteel

    sure Tomm… always one with the objective opinion huh? Perhaps people will end up voting Liberal if Harper comes off to asshole. It’s especially and issue with urban and blue collar families (you dont speak for everyone asshole, get that straight).

  33. sapphireandsteel

    and Tomm, I’m as blue collar as they get. I worked in a factory for years to pay for my own school and never forgot that my father worked for years in the same factory to put food on the table. I don’t need some Conservative jerkwater like you speaking for blue collar Canadians. You definitely dont speak to the issues that my family or any of the people that I grew up with are concerned about. Where was your party when the factories were closing down? Why does your party adopt policies that harm the lower income blue collar families? Oh yeah… adhering to your free market policies that don’t help out the blue collar worker at all.

    Yeah I thought so… You know Alberta isn’t the only province with blue collar families…and maybe we don’t want to be spoken for…

  34. Tomm

    S&S,

    My Dad was so blue collar he didn’t even graduate from High School. He spent 6 years as a soldier from 39-45 and then worked his entire life in jobs that paid commission, not salary.

    He could not afford a family home and rented his entire life. So don’t give me this blue collar bullshit.

    If I have something in my life it sure the hell didn’t come because of pogie, privilege or entitlement.

    I get it, you think your entitled. Well you are not. In fact nobody is. We take care of those who can’t take care of themselves and the rest of us have to pull our weight.

    Politics is about empowering all of us to do so. We create a better country by working together, not by lounging together.

    If you think I don’t have something worth listening to than you are blowing off a large chunk of this nation as well.

    Read Barry Cooper’s latest book and educate yourself.

  35. Ti-Guy

    Is Tomm arrogant and conceited, or what? With that last comment, I felt like I was being pissed on from some great height.

    Jerk. Asshole.

  36. Tomm

    Ti,

    Next time read what I was responding to.

    The art of faking outrage has been perfected by the LPC and I can see it has shined up its supporters too.

    If you wish to “…being pissed on from some great height.”

    I say: KINKY!

  37. Ti-Guy

    Tomm:

    I’m tired of this petty class war people like you are waging. I’m from a lower middle-class family (I won’t say blue collar, because my parents weren’t employed doing manual labour); in fact, blue collar workers were better off than we were. My parents were never motivated by money and valued education however and so we all became educated and have done better.

    That came at a lot of cost, a lot of debt and a lot of hard work for benefits that paid off only much later in life (and, thanks to the liberal state, was also possible because artificial barriers to class mobility don’t exist). And yet, here you are, shitting all over people like me who think ideas matter more than things and who don’t think an issue that has to take more than 30 seconds to articulate is a sign of vain intellectualism and elitism.

    It’s dumb, it’s cretinous, it’s un-Canadian and it’s out of place in World where ideas *do* in fact matter.

    As well, the presumption that people like me somehow look down on other people doing honest, difficult work, especially when the market doesn’t do a particularly good job at establishing the value of such work (vide work traditionally done by women) is insulting.

  38. Tomm

    I’m not crapping on you Ti.

    We are discussing ideas. I happen to occassionally respond to personal attacks.

  39. Tomm

    Ti,

    One more thing. The biggest bone I have to pick with the religious left, is your holier than thou attitude.

    For example you said the following:

    “And yet, here you are, shitting all over people like me who think ideas matter more than things…”

    That is such a dismissal of IDEAS that you decide aren’t for your gang. I’ve seen this in many places and it is pure paternal arrogance. It is from the school of thought that thinks westerners are idiots. I can hear in teh background Marc Lalonde saying… ‘just let us handle the deep thinking and you go back to making money for us to play with’.

    It also explains how people with these sort of blinders have made such a mess out of the aboriginal communities in Canada. Terms like “best of intentions” have led to the worst possible results.

    I wasn’t kidding. Read some Canadian political science that you don’t agree with, like Barry Cooper, so you at least aren’t ignorant when thinking about Harper’s ideas, or when you pick fights with people whom you debate on blogs.

  40. counter-coulter

    Tomm

    One more thing. The biggest bone I have to pick with the religious left, is your holier than thou attitude.

    Word of the day for you Tomm: Projection

  41. Tomm

    You think I am subconsciously denying my own thoughts?

    In what context? I’m not even a Christian.

    By religious left, I mean those people that take their core views to zealot levels. The secular humanists that think others with Christian beliefs are mentally addled, unstable or child like. The social justice advocates in the United or Unitarian churches that preach the need for peace and empathy above the other 99% of the teachings.

    I’m talking about those people that, like Robespierre, see their own groups pre-eminence in making rational decisions for all other people.

  42. Ti-Guy

    It is from the school of thought that thinks westerners are idiots. I can hear in teh background Marc Lalonde saying…

    Maybe you are idiots, since you can’t distinguish between politicians and regular people.

    It’s never been my assumption that all Westerners are like Ralph Klein, Myron Thompson, Rob Anders, Gerry Ritz, Maurice Vellacott etc. Admittedly, I”m starting to wonder why I ever bothered extending the benefit of the doubt.

    As for your twaddle about self-righteousness…that is indeed projection. To compensate for one’s own insecurity.

  43. Tomm

    Ti,

    You are right again.

    I’ve started wondering why I bother debating political points. All it does is create confrontation and division. God knows where that could lead.

    I should probably just go to work, drink my victory gin and embrace the warmth that Big Brother loves me.

  44. Ti-Guy

    Tomm:

    I think you should a be little fairer in your declarations and maybe ask yourself more often how you know what you know. When talking to other people it’s important for them understand whether something’s just a personal opinion or something more generalisable, based on kind of evidence.

  45. Tomm

    Ti,

    Why is it that I have to do this and not others?

    We all weave our opinion with our knowledge together. Why are you singling me out?

    This discussion all started because I gave a warning about how Ignatieff often comes across to the great unwashed. And that he has to be careful with his body language, his expressions, and the words that he uses. S&S goes sideways and attacks the messenger and you end up asking me to separate opinion from fact in my posts.

    Have I just fallen down the rabbit hole?

    I don’t even look like Alice.

  46. Ti-Guy

    Why are you singling me out?

    I don’t know; maybe I think you’re teachable.

    You and I have a very different understanding of class. Yours is essentialist and exclusive whereas mine is adaptive and inclusive.

    I won’t even say your view is populist, because that’s just a scam by conservative elites to keep the rubes in their places.

  47. Tomm

    I don’t consider myself a populist either.

    With respect to class, I am hugely egalitarian. Is that what you meant?

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