Thursday, September 17, 2009

Iggy's Off the Hook

I think Michael Ignatieff ought to send a lovely gift basket to Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe for the wonderful things they've done for the Liberal leader.

First of all, they've shown that all that bluster and indignation about the Libs propping up Harper was so much B.S. How many times did we listen to that sanctimonious bald-headed twerp demand Iggy stand up to Harper - until he did - sending Jack diving headlong into the deepend of the hypocrisy pool.

Most importantly, however, is they've taken Iggy off the hook. He can't trigger an election which is probably much better for the LPC than for the CPC. Here's why. No election means Harper isn't going to be able to duck Copenhagen in December.

Between now and December, Harper is going to have to formulate Canada's policy on slashing greenhouse gas emissions. If he does nothing meaningful, Canada will be seen as a pariah at the climate change summit. If he does come up with an effective, carbon-emissions programme, he's going to have to address the Athabasca Tar Sands problem. That, for Steve, is a no-win proposition. He knows it and that's why he's been ducking it since he came to power.

There's not much middle ground on this one, not enough anyway. Steve can't fall back on CCS (carbon capture & sequestration) any longer. The Oil Patch has been 'calling wolf' on that for much too long for it to be a credible dodge now. Even if it could be made to work, it would take decades to implement and it wouldn't be economically viable to Big Oil. That means the cost of CCS would have to be shifted to the Canadian taxpayer and how do you think that would be greeted?

Iggy has shown himself to be a really amateurish politician but the gods have given him this one, perhaps last chance to fix Harper in a totally vulnerable position. The rest of the world - including the European Union, the scientific community, the medical community, the United Nations, even China and India - will be going full-bore on climate change in the runup to Copenhagen. Harper is going to come out with some gossamer policy and Iggy, if he has any guts, will be able to poke holes right through it.

Let's put it this way. There are a lot more Canadians worried about climate change and global warming than those worried about how much bitumen can be processed in Athabasca. Iggy ignores that at his peril.


Anonymous said...

Ignatieff ought to be calling Mr. Harper on his planned visit to Copenhagen but we know that Ignatieff is in Harper's back pocket when it comes to climate. I've already written a letter asking what it is he Harper plans on presenting to this summit. No reply.....I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

This is interesting......"Why I Despise Michael Ignatieff by Eugene Forsey". A. Morris

The Mound of Sound said...

Every Canadian leader (BQ exempted) has soiled themselves trying to duck this issue. Dion made it all appear suicidal when, in fact, it was the way Dion bungled the issue not the issue itself that was its undoing.

I don't understand how the current Liberal regime thinks it is serving the country and the Canadian people with its craven approach to Tar Sander appeasement. Too bad Iggy has teetered and tottered on so many issues that he's going to look positively juvenile if he comes back to reality on carbon emissions. He's got so much political baggage, all of it of his own and his advisors' making.

When Iggy was looking for political gurus he shouldn't have stopped at the shallow end of the pool.

Oemissions said...

This is a timely and excellent post. Sound from the Mound.
I agree with all you have said in your post.
But your comment: I'm not sure about Dion and your take on him.
He brought to the Libs many "environmentalists." Was it him or the Lib caucass? (plus his pronunciation)

Toronto Staging Professionals said...

I'm sure Mr. Harper will summon all his help and pull this one off but Iggy will always be there to undermine his every step. That's pretty much the natural order here between these two men. It'll never change...

Take care, Ella

The Mound of Sound said...

OEM - Dion definitely bungled the carbon tax issue. What he was proposing was a truly fundamental realignment of the way government interacts with the Canadian public and the business community. It was the sort of project hopelessly vulnerable to distortion by one's opponents, ill-suited to anchor an opposition party's election platform.

You have to carefully lay the foundation for something as bold as the Green Shift. It takes a lot of costly and time consuming public awareness efforts - hardly the sort of thing suited to a cash-strapped political party. It's a chore of the magnitude suited to only a secure government with the resources that only a government can access.

The Green Shift policy was uncloaked well before Dion was prepared to unveil it, leaving it defenceless to attack by his opponents, notably Harper and Layton. By the time Dion was ready he was already on the defensive and the debate had been framed by his critics. Harper was able to turn the election into a referendum on carbon taxes. Dion had handed him that opportunity on a platter.

That's why I maintain Dion bungled the most important legislative initiative Canada has seen in decades. That Ignatieff continues to cower behind the Green Shift's failure merely illustrates what a third-rate leader he is, just when Canada and the LPC need so much better.

Ella, what a depressing thought. Hard to dispute but a real downer.

Anonymous said...

As Eugene Forsey has coined, Harper is pyromanic and Iggnatief is a matchstick girl. A. Morris