Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Even the Toronto Star Gets It - Ignatieff is Failing Canada

Columnist Thomas Walkom isn't mincing any words - Michael Ignatieff's Liberals are failing the country and those who elected them to become the official opposition. The proof, he says, is in the IgLibs' spineless refusal to oppose Harper's Bill C-9:

All three opposition parties say that to package so many disparate things in one bill is an outrageous abuse.

But the Liberals, desperate to avoid an election they believe they can’t yet win, are letting the bill move ahead anyway.

Most recently, the Liberals kept one of their MPs away from the Commons finance committee to make sure that Bill C-9 could get through that stage without their having to explicitly support it.

On Tuesday, Liberal MP and finance critic Bob Rae was on CBC Radio suggesting that the unelected Senate might be better positioned than the elected Commons to give Bill C-9 the scrutiny it deserves.

That’s an argument that doesn’t make sense (the unelected Senate is always loath to defeat a Commons money bill). But to be fair to Rae, it’s all he could say given the refusal of Liberal MPs to undertake the job they were elected to fill — that of official opposition.

The essential problem is that the Liberals don’t take the role of opposition seriously. Desperate for power, they are unwilling to do anything to spark an election until they are reasonably sure of winning it.

Yet given the current configuration of political forces in Canada — and their current leader — they cannot be certain of winning more seats than Harper’s Conservatives in the next election.
So they do nothing. They hem; they haw; they occasionally threaten. But in the end they back off, waiting for that elusive better chance.


That may be fine for them. But it’s not for us. The country didn’t elect 77 Liberal MPs so that they could sit on their hands waiting for the moment to regain power. We elected them — and the Bloc Québécois and the New Democrats — to rein in a minority Conservative government that most of us don’t trust.

There are a lot of Liberals who tolerate the Ignatieff malaise as a matter of loyalty. But, as Walkom points out, loyalty to whom? Does loyalty to their party always have to trump loyalty to their country?

I'll bet that many of the diehard Liberal faithful harbour a pretty good hunch that Ignatieff is never going to become prime minister, at least not without eating humble pie to court the support of the other opposition parties, just as they realize that the current leader of the opposition has done squat for this country. Coming in the wake of the failure he deposed, the inept and hapless leadership of the successor who was supposed to make everything right has to be an enormous and bitter disappointment.

These hard core Libs need to take stock of the situation before them. They need to accept that the brand alone isn't enough to get Canadian voters to restore their party to power. How many more times are they going to beat their heads on that wall?

Read Walkom's column here.

11 comments:

Fillibluster said...

Sadly it's true. I blogged on this today as well. I'm really disappointed in the Libs right now.

Liberal Justice said...

Ignatieff is the leader of our Party and responsible for making such decisions. These decisions are not easy to make and we will not always agree with him. However, he has the intelligence, wisdom and depth of understanding to make the appropriate decision. Moreover, as I have already mentioned, he is the leader and is responsible for making these decisions. Our job is to support him and oppose Harper. There is no place for disloyalty to Ignatieff, all that does is to serve Harper's interest. Shame.

The Mound of Sound said...

LJ, what do you mean "our job"? It's certainly not my job. Loyalty, if it has any meaning, is something that's earned. I gave him an opportunity to earn my loyalty and he proved himself wanting. There is "no place for disloyalty to Ignatieff"? Sure there is. It's the place he's working so furiously to avoid - the ballot box. You're entitled to be a party drone if you like, LJ, but it's pathetic of you to contend that anyone else must be. Get a life.

I'll put the interests of my country ahead of the LPC or its leader any day and, right now, I see Ignatieff putting his personal interests ahead of my country. That, to me, is inexcusable although it does appear to meet your dubious standards.

Liberal Justice said...

Well then you should put your head on straight because what's in the best interests of this country, I'm sure we can agree, is to rid ourselves of the dark Harper regime that currently oversees this great nation. But if you attack Ignatieff you are only helping Harper. Do you want to help Harper? I think not, but I could be wrong. But assuming that you do not then you owe your loyalty to Ignatieff because only with complete loyalty can we overthrow the Harper regime. The leadership race is over, that was the time to question his leadership.

LeDaro said...

Loyalty to who? Like MoS, I used to be a Liberal but Iggy is no leader. He is as big a Con as Harper or even worse. Although Harper has been disastrous for this country at least he knows how to play politics - dirty politics but politics nonetheless. Iggy does not know he is coming or going. Liberals need to shape up and get a real leader instead of a caucus appointee.

Troy Thomas said...

Uh, what leadership race? From how events unfolded, Ignatieff was appointed rather than elected as Liberal Party leader. He didn't earn his position, and since then has never done anything to earn anyone's trust, keeping the Liberals anchored to its base support, which changes day to day, not from any Liberal action or policy, but perhaps from mere changes in the weather.

Also, Ignatieff is not the Liberal Party. Criticizing him is hardly anymore injurious than Conservative propaganda. That he has to have sycophants defend him, rather than having any sort of record to back him up is probably more harmful than anything anyone could ever say about him.

Liberal Justice said...

Ugh! It's like hitting your head against a brick wall. Help Harper or help Ignatieff, those are the choices.

ck said...

Who's talking Hardcore libs? I'm talking not allowing a Harpercon majority...

I would support a chimpanzee to prevent a Harpercon majority from happening.

Liberal Justice: Given Harper is a PM Canada has never experienced before, theocratic and totalitarian, this should be a no brainer.

As for that bill, c-9; If the liberals voted that down with the numbers they have; Steve would have gotten his majority and c-9 would pass anyway.

Le Daro, how could Iggy possibly be anymore to the right than Steve? How is that possible? Steve reminds me more and more of General Augusto Pinochet.

Iggy isn't a socon. And remember, Liberals were the ones who legalized abortion, authored the Canada health act and legitimized gay marriage with a strong Catholic presence within the party. Have we forgotten that?

I don't see Charles McVety hanging around Iggy. I don't see Liberals recriminalizing abortion.

Remember, Steve always said that 'we would no longer recognize Canada' once he gets through with it. And Harpercon Gerry Ritz always said that once they get their majority: "All bets are off".

And like General Pinochet in Chile, don't bet on Harper ever calling an election:

See this video if you don't believe me. Look at the by election placard; Surely all can read enough French to understand that placard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-21tbbV3FQ

And no, it's no copy writing error. I wish it were! Typpical Steve taking advantage of vocal Timmy's crowd Canadians whining about a 5 minute trip to the polls.

James Curran said...

"The leadership race is over, that was the time to question his leadership"

Yes it ended in 2006 with Dion winning. But, the unloyal Ignatieff and friends did everything to fuck that leader and illegally and unconstitutionally circumvent a leadership race after the unceremonious dumping of a visionary the likes of whom we are unlikely to see anytime soon in Canadian politics.

And now you DEMAND loyalty of us??? Are you kidding me??

Iggy's minions have done NOTHING to mend the broken relic of a party of ours and are destroying riding associations across the country on a daily basis to fight a leadership review next June.

So get a grip LJ and start paying attention to the machinations within the party. You can't run a democracy as a leader if you can't lead a democracy within your own party.

LeDaro said...

James, right on. Dion was the last Liberal leader. We are waiting for the next. As far as some grannies telling us that we should follow Iggy blindly then it is their problem. Once they stop teaching kindergarten and start living in the real world then they will not lecture like that. However, when hitting brick wall use hardhat because further damage can be done to the already weak brain.

"Le Daro, how could Iggy possibly be anymore to the right than Steve? How is that possible? Steve reminds me more and more of General Augusto Pinochet." I never said Steve was Pierre Trudeau. Iggy supported Iraq War, Afghanistan war, Tar Sands and on and on. He is a twin of Steve.

All that Liberal legislation passed was not under Iggy. It was passed by real Liberals. Iggy is no Liberal and worse he is no politician.

The Mound of Sound said...

James, well put, thank you. Iggy has damaged the LPC first in the Dion coup and subsequently in his inept administration as party leader. That CK's even debating whether MI is to the right of SH is laughable. Does it matter beyond the fact that he's close alongside?

Politics is a blood sport. A leader has to produce results - or else. That's especially true when the leader has bumped off his predecessor in a way that leaves a lot of anger and resentment in its wake.

This character assured the party he was ready and able to lead the LPC back from the slump Dion was blamed for. More than a year later he was whining to the papers that his first year was a "learning experience", an apprenticeship. Well he didn't run to be apprentice leader although he has certainly been amateurish and indecisive since landing the job.

Iggy gutted the progressive heart of the LPC. On everything from Gaza to Athabasca to wanting to militarize Canadian foreign policy this guy has steered the party to the hard right. The results speak for themselves no matter what Liberal Justice of CK say in this guy's defence.

Like it or not, M.I. is the LPC's Stockwell Day. Ignatieff is highly accomplished in many areas but he's woefully deficient in political leadership skills.

Folks worry about Harper getting a majority without slavish support of Ignatieff. He doesn't need a majority when he's got an opposition leader always ready to deliver the additional votes to achieve his agenda.

I'm less concerned about a Harper majority than I am about the LPC languishing away into irrelevance under the current management. Do we have to be in this same hole a year from now, two years from now, before LK and CK realize that the voting public has passed judgment on Ignatieff and moved on?