Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Told You So

When Governor General Michaelle Jean granted Stephen Harper's wish and prorogued parliament, I wrote that the opposition parties absolutely had to take advantage of the opportunity to sit down and work out an alternative budget so they could have something to present to the Canadian public, something with clear vision, something assuring, should the government fall when it returned.

Now you would have thought the guy who stood next in line to the throne, Michael Ignatieff, wouldn't have to be told that. You would have thought the guy who wants Canadians to believe he has what it takes to govern would have sat down and hammered out a Liberal plan to respond to the country's economic emergency.

So what did we get? Nothing, at least nothing from Michael Ignatieff.

We got a deeply flawed, ill-conceived and ineffectual recovery budget crafted by a pack of clowns who, just four months back, were predicting five years of budget surpluses. Oh yeah, we also got a guy who, by virtue of living in Stornoway if nothing else, is supposed to be an opposition leader who came to the party with empty hands and had no choice but to say "me too."

If there was ever a chance to lower the boom on Stephen Harper, this was it. It's a sad day for the Liberal Party that this moment slipped through our fingers.

7 comments:

Dylan said...

I disagree with your post. There's too much long-term thinking that needs to be done.

The GG killed the coalition when she allowed Harper to prorogue parliament. It was a sign that the coalition would NEVER be given the chance to govern in the new year.

There is no LPC-CPC coalition. There's probationary support for a government that will not achieve it's goals and WILL be defeated and will NOT return as the next government later this year. Expect an election to be called in June, if not the end of March.

Beijing York said...

Either Canadians are schizophrenic or the LPC brain trust is out to lunch. How can so many Canadians be totally engaged with Obama "change" and still support Harper as a best bet?

Harper's twisting of the truth would have started to sound shrill and desperate had the parties supportive of a coalition stuck to their guns. Changing LPC leadership was a deliberate torpedo to an effective coalition. Ignatieff borrowed Harper's sword to plunge it into Dion's back one last time.

The coalition could have kept working through the prorogue on an economic revival and security plan and used that time to engage Canadians through town halls and public consultations. Yes their coffers are thin but some grass roots efforts would have gained them positive attention, especially since Harper was providing absolutely nothing for the media to report on (up until the recent campaign of official "leaks").

Learning how to battle the Harper slime machine would have proved an invaluable lesson.

Although an impossible scenario, it would have been spectacular to see the coalition partners invite Duceppe to be the interim PM.

Mentarch said...

MoS: hear, hear!

BY: "The coalition could have kept working through the prorogue on an economic revival and security plan and used that time to engage Canadians through town halls and public consultations. Yes their coffers are thin but some grass roots efforts would have gained them positive attention, especially since Harper was providing absolutely nothing for the media to report on (up until the recent campaign of official "leaks")."

Exactly - this was a crucial window of opportunity utterly wasted ... because of the LPC's and NDP's self-interested, narrow outlook.

Which leaves us all Canadians where, exactly?

(sigh)

The Mound of Sound said...

I guess it leaves a lot of Canadians crossing their fingers and left to rely on blind hope that the "stimulus" budget will work and that they won't wind up paying it off for a decade for little or nothing gained.

Harper has positioned the government of Canada as the borrower of money to be doled out for others to decide how to spend.

Neither Harper nor Ignatieff put their minds to ways the federal government could create infrastructure programmes, new money programmes which will create much needed assets that would return dividends for decades to come.

If either of these Clown Stooges had bothered to read any of the researched literature, such as the Brookings Institute report on infrastructure spending, they would have understood that tossing out money isn't enough. You have to get it right. But they couldn't care less so, instead they'll be getting the deficit-strapped taxpayers at best a minimal return on their infrastructure dollars.

That goes beyond incompetence but you can't expect much more when the two rivals are both more interested on their political positions than on the plight of Canada.

Pathetic, the two of them.

penlan said...

No Lib counter-budget? Why the answer is easy. Iggy used the prorogue to finish his new book dontcha know. Much more important than what is right & good for Canadians.

That "supposed" leash he's attached to Harper? It goes 2 ways. And Iggy will get yanked to the ground & dragged through the mud & dust. Useless!

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes Penlan. I visited Iggy's site over the Christmas holiday to see what breakthroughs he was making on the stimulus front. I too was astonished to see him report that, with the nation in crisis and the Libs so badly in need of a meaningful policy, Iggy was busy thrashing out his latest book. It gave me one of those "F__k Me" moments.

penlan said...

MoS,

What this shows me that Iggy had no intention of confronting Harper & that he already planned, in advance, without even seeing it, to support the Budget. What other conclusion can a person draw from that. Book was more important than the well-being of the people who are suffering.