I was as angry as anyone when Harper, aided and abetted by the GG, prorogued parliament last year. But, I thought, well at least it presented the new Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff, an invaluable opportunity to come up with a Liberal stimulus budget, a genuine alternative to place before the Canadian public when Parliament returned.
So what did the Leader (as so many of you chose to call him) make of this rare opportunity? Well he saw it as the perfect opportunity to finish his book about his mother's family. Just what Canada needed when we were facing a global economic meltdown that had the Harper regime totally off-balance and looking very wobbly.
When the schoolyard bell rang signalling the end of recess, the Leader came back empty-handed (except for the book of course). There being no passable alternative to Harper's utterly pathetic "throw a deck on the cottage" stimulus budget, the Leader had no choice but to support it, to make it his own too. And that was the birth of the "Pinata Budget".
Dismayed as I was with Harper, I was even more disappointed that the Liberal leader had blundered so badly in his neglect of the recession issue. Chantal Hebert makes the same point in today's TorStar:
Take the handling of the recession: It could be argued that it is hard to make enemies by doling out billions of public dollars. But producing an economic plan to which the Liberals could not come up with a comprehensive alternative really made a political difference this year.
Despite the recession, the economy never really emerged as a wedge issue this past year, even after the Liberals tired of supporting the government.
I don't raise this bit of recent history to flog Iggy again for screwing up a golden opportunity. I raise it because I don't want a repeat of Igsomnia on climate change. He can't blunder again. He can't let this one also slip through his fingers. Harper's like the schoolyard bully. You'll always be his bitch until you stand up and clock him straight between the eyes. If Iggy's prepared to just keep handing over the Liberals' lunch money, you need a new leader.