Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Time We Mean It?

My gut feeling is that there won't be a spring election. That said, the Liberals are painting themselves into a corner where they really don't have much choice but to vote against the government in any upcoming confidence votes without looking rather Dion-esque.

After all, if you put the government "on probation" and then demand the Finance Minister be fired and say the government failled to meet their targets...well, that's straight Fs, which gets anyone on probation kicked out of school fairly fast.


Michael Ignatieff calls for the resignation of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

OTTAWA - Today in Question Period, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fire Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for his mismanagement of the government's finances and failure to get economic stimulus funding out the door.

"On the most pressing issue facing the nation - this recession - the Minister of Finance has failed. His projections are out the window again, leaving Canadians with the largest deficit in history - and no economic stimulus to show for it," said Mr. Ignatieff.

"Minister Flaherty had it wrong from the start. In September, the government said there wouldn't be a recession. In October, they promised no deficits. In November, they predicted a surplus. In January, they gave us a $34 billion deficit. Now we learn that the deficit has grown to $50 billion and climbing."

"This government can't get its numbers right, can't get stimulus out the door, and can't get the job done for Canadians. Canadians have lost confidence in the Minister of Finance. After four months of failure, will the Prime Minister fire his Minister of Finance?"

Mr. Ignatieff's call comes as the Harper government failed to meet its120-day target to get stimulus flowing - with no job creation, few construction projects underway, and a record $50 billion deficit compounded by Conservative mismanagement before the recession.

22 Comments:

  • Why is it painting themselves into a corner? Let the NDP and Bloc take the crap for supporting the gov. Why should an oppo party in a position to win a Minority support the gov.? Why not, like, oppose?

    Tory attacks have conditioned you to surrender.

    By Blogger bigcitylib, at 8:00 PM  

  • Bigcitylib is wrong. I agree that they have painted themselves into a corner and they have to vote against the government. Otherwise their 'probation' means nothing and the whole dion thing just goes on and on. If the NDP and Blog do decide to keep the government alive then the public cant blame the Liberals but I certainly wouldn't count on that happening.

    By Blogger kirbycairo, at 8:09 PM  

  • Iggy is a scary, scary man and the worse part is that there is a real chance he might actually win.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:11 PM  

  • BCL you mean, the Liberals should actually oppose instead of constantly supporting this government, or fleeing confidence votes by abstaining? Gee, how about that. :D

    I find it amusing that its only when the NDP and the Bloc want to avoid an election that the Liberals finally find a spine. How convenient. Only now when someone else is finally making it safe for the Liberals to actually oppose the government the Liberals finally crawl out their shell and the Liberal tough talk ensues.

    Typical.

    By Anonymous Michael Harkov, at 8:36 PM  

  • "I find it amusing that its only when the NDP and the Bloc want to avoid an election that the Liberals finally find a spine."

    Almost as amusing as Harper and his band of merry tough guys running around telling everyone how we don't need an election. Funny how Harper's spine disappears as soon as the Liberals have found theirs. Everything about them at the moment reeks of unsure footing, they just look like losers, or even worse Paul Martin in 2004.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 PM  

  • "I find it amusing that its only when the NDP and the Bloc want to avoid an election that the Liberals finally find a spine. How convenient."

    That's funny, because I find it amusing that now that their poll numbers are down and the LPC's are up, the NDP and the Bloc have suddenly discovered they should be trying to make Parliament work.

    How convenient.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 8:57 PM  

  • I find it amusing that even after all these years in politics people still act like they are surprised when political parties do what in their best interest.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM  

  • BCL - Well, yes, the Bloc or NDP could still prop up the gov. That wouldn't at all surprise me.

    All I mean to say is that the Libs are sounding like they will oppose. Whether or not that means an election isn't only up to the Libs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 10:26 PM  

  • I guess the question is, will one of the other parties blink? That's all it takes, and when you consider none of them want an election, the odds are pretty good that somebody finds a way to avoid. It was telling today, both networks seperately mentioned that the Liberals have decided it's time to just oppose this government, let everybody else react. I don't sense a lot of fear, so rather than backed into a corner, it might just be throwing some elbows.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 10:27 PM  

  • The best way for IFFY, errr IGGY to spend more of our borrowed money and fire the Finance Minister is to pull the plug on the Tories. IGGY = our own Dimmy Carter

    If he can't beat DION in the leadership, do we Libs think this guy will survive the wrath of Harper? Send him packing so we can have a real leadership race.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 PM  

  • Hi CG
    Damn the MSM
    I may be wrong but the Libs are suggesting EI changes that are limited / focused on changes to EI that are related to the state of the economy...not permanent benefits re 360 hours.
    What is wrong with EI eligibility rules that are focused on specific economic parameters?
    WTF is wrong when an opposition cannot enunciate exactly what it is trying to do?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:01 AM  

  • "I find it amusing that even after all these years in politics people still act like they are surprised when political parties do what in their best interest."

    I find it amusing when people confuse the term "amusing" for "surprised".

    OK - I'm done with this now. Carry on...

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:35 AM  

  • As for the topic at hand, I still think the LPC are in a win/win situation. Sure, it may not be in their best interests to have an election now, but at the same time the polls are going their way, and all the CPC money spent on ads will be limited to the cap.

    If they wait they have more time to fundraise and organize.

    Ignatieff can afford to oppose - and I expect him to do so. I will be very disappointed if he caves.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:37 AM  

  • Attagirl Gayle and fellow Liberal partisans.
    Doesn't matter that none of the stimulus will get out,
    the very stimulus the coaltion of losers were 6 months ago, willing to seize government over,
    or that it will cost $300M for an election,
    and this results in a prolonged recession, no no,
    it isn;t about Canadians,
    what really really matters is the Liberals stop looking like whimps.

    Canadians are not stupid.

    By Blogger wilson, at 1:22 AM  

  • Hi Wilson.

    Since very little of that stimulus has gone out, I am not sure what you are complaining about.

    One wonders if any of it will go out. Hmmm, maybe we need a change in government in order to get some action on this matter.

    I must admit, I find your concerns - coming as they do 8 months after Harper called an election no one wanted and no one needed, and a few months after Harper prorogued Parliament, thereby delaying any action during a critical time.

    Canadians have not been very smart over the past two elections or so, but they may be wising up.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:45 AM  

  • PS - no one wants an election right now. I am guessing Wilson missed that point. Perhaps it was too subtle for her?

    Hopefully Harper will wise up and learn to work with the other parties in order to avoid that uneccessary 300 million dollar election.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:47 AM  

  • I don't know what the hell Iggy is up to here. He's not blustering, he means it. Canadians do not want an election. But they're going to get one anyway, no question ND and Bloc will be onside. They don't have any choice. This election is obviously not about choices.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 AM  

  • I enjoy elections.

    The more elections, the better.

    So let's have at it.

    By Blogger Ben (The Tiger), at 9:12 AM  

  • Anon - I think the Liberal EI position is that they want extended benefits and national standards. That's a 5 word explanation that most people can understand.

    They'll need more meat on the platform than that to win, but it's a relatively simple position (given an issue as complicated as EI funding).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:19 AM  

  • And it's not like the Bloc or NDP are in disastrous situations electorally. With the Tories down in Quebec, Duceppe won't lose that many seats (and, let's be honest, he always finds a way to win more than expected). Layton could lose some seats, but if the NDP can become the balance of power in a Liberal minority, they'd be in a position to actually have some influence in government.

    Probably Harper will give a little, to the point where one of the parties (maybe even the Grits) can claim victory and "results for people / making parliament work / etc".

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:23 AM  

  • "And it's not like the Bloc or NDP are in disastrous situations electorally. With the Tories down in Quebec, Duceppe won't lose that many seats (and, let's be honest, he always finds a way to win more than expected). Layton could lose some seats, but if the NDP can become the balance of power in a Liberal minority, they'd be in a position to actually have some influence in government."

    He is running at a tie with the Liberals at 33% and is down 9 points - almost as much as the Conservatives. Plugging numbers into the UBC election stock market that would be a net loss of about 11 seats. However, that includes 5 pickups from the Tories, so that makes 16 Bloc MP's who have to be deathly afraid of their jobs come an election.

    The other thing is that Gilles Duceppe wants to lead the PQ. Ending on a sour note would blow his chances forever. He has about two years in which Marois could sink enough in the polls that there would be support for a coup. He has to hold off a disastrous election result for that length of time.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:26 PM  

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