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Ignatieff blasts Harper's deficit ‘games'

Globe and Mail Update

Liberal Leader accuses PM of being an economic fumbler and says he will demand more than passing grade from next week's budget before deciding whether to support it ...Read the full article

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  1. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Five tough questions from Iggy, then grading? Well seems like we are all back in lecture hall. How about a sixth question - join the NDP and Bloc and watch your Liberal brand turn to wet T-Paper. Really I think Iggy does need to shape the future of Canada framed with an NDP cabinet...it will be a lsting impression and whoa don't worry about your children's debt Iggy - you'll be long gone after that.
  2. D. Patrick from Gonzoville, Canada writes: The line from the LPC here to now has been that the govt was not taking the downturn seriously enough and that more stimulation via deficit spending was required. Now that it is here, the deficit is unacceptably high. Whither intellectual consistency? The role of an opposition leader, it is true, is to be obtuse though Mr Ignatief, whom I otherwise admire, abuses the priviledge.
  3. Bruce Boy from Canada writes: Sorry Iggy - Obama you are not!

    Wow you are ready to lead - would that be with the overwhelming support that your 70 some odd seat caucus was able to muster in the last election!

    Who's playing games - really?

    If you aren't a gamesman - go to the polls and let us decide!
  4. Jack O'Wight from Canada writes:

    Ignatieff couldn't lead a trained pony around the inside of a fenced-in pasture!

    He should also hire staff that can write English correctly before sending mis-spelled e-mails!

    Politician and intellectual? Pshaw!
  5. Stan L from Canada writes: D. Patrick from Gonzoville, Canada writes: The line from the LPC here to now has been that the govt was not taking the downturn seriously enough and that more stimulation via deficit spending was requiredNow that it is here, the deficit is unacceptably high. Whither intellectual consistency?

    To be fair, that's not all they said.....additionally, they never said spend like drunken sailors, they never said throw money everywhere and anywhere....so really trying to turn this into a dammed if they do dammed if they don't scenario really doens't play here.
  6. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: To be fair Iggy shouls ask his 5 tough questions, followed by another five from Jack, and book-end it with 5 from Gilles. Then and only then should he be satisfied that his cabal is satisfied and that they might last a year together on these tough questions, together so to speak!
  7. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: I have a question.

    The most recent Ekos poll tells us that 50 of Canadians would support the coalition and only 43 percent would support the Conservatives given the chance to choose. Why then is CBC still telling us that Canadians are repulsed by the idea of coalition?

    Whether or not the opposition give the revised budget a passing grade the public showed be aware that the coalition and Ignatieff have more support behind them than Canadians have been told.

    Even before Christmas the Angus Reid told us that Layton was seen as the most trustworthy and honest, as caring about the things most people believe in and by no small margin. Harper was seen as the least trusted and honest and as caring the least, but nobody has mentioned this.

    I look forward to reading Mr. Ignatieff's new book, and hope that it is very, very, very, very good. (-: I understand he won awards including a governor generals award for non fiction, so at the very least it should be an interesting read.

    I am overjoyed and thankful about President Obama for many reasons. Both his books were inspiring on a personal level and impressed me with his wisdom, honesty and fair mindedness.

    With our prime ministers recent shenanigans we need all the symbols of hope we can get.
  8. Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: Mr Ignatieff has thrown down the gauntlet. These 'leaks' are another form of games playing on the part of the government. The budget should have been presented on the 27th. We all, voters and opposition, would then have had a chance to digest it. The Opposition could have analyzed the merits of the budget in terms of it addressed its objectives. So yet again Mr Harper has managed to inflame the tensions between him and the opposition parties. Does he truly never learn? Or is simply that his DNA predisposes him to act this way?
  9. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: 'I do not seek office at any price.'

    Sorry Iggy, but under all that nobility and just like the rest of them you're just another politician.
  10. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: Mr Ignatieff has thrown down the gauntlet. These 'leaks' are another form of games playing on the part of the government.

    Leaks? Were you out of the Country the last three weeks when all were talking about stimulating/ kick starting the Economy? Here's a secret Canada was going to spend our tax dollars! OMG that's a leak, here's another leak Obama is about to settle on Trillions in Deficit spending - wow who'd have anticipated that - or go have a partisan leak of your own...
  11. Darwinian Survivor from Lips flapping.....still, Canada writes: Not that I trust either party or leader for that matter but at what point do we collectively agree that all of them are playing games. They all justify their game as the game to save Canada and if you really want to impress me, bring a Canadian solution to the table and not Obama ver2.0.

    Stop the BS posturing that all parties are guilty of and impress me by finding a way to work this out because until then...we just have a class of kindergarten kids crying and moaning over who's crap stinks less....

    Signed,
    Not enough Advil in the cabinet for this round of dirty diapers
  12. D. Patrick from Gonzoville, Canada writes: Stan L. wrote: They never said spend like drunken sailors.

    Granted. But there is political gamesmanship involved here re who has the best stimulus package and economic stewardship credibility. Iggy's game is to criticise whatever package that emerges as inadequate, but not enough to justify the coalition--which he clearly (and sensibly) does not want--or an election. So I would fully expect him to blast whatever emerges. It is the role of the opposition, even if it is not attractive or intellecutally honest.

    The problem with the all party consultation on the stimulus programme is that ea player has their own agenda and pet projects but none wish to take responsibility for the overall programme and the deficit. At the same time every interest group and industry in the country is lined up to demand their share of the stimulus and the govt, on the ropes and pushed in different direction by the opposition parties who all publicly state they wish to bring it down if the budget does not include everything they want, is not in much position to resist. This is not the way for Canada to get a qualitiavely good outcome re finding the 'right' stimulus.
  13. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: One of the failings of the CPC in my view has been to do the right things but not market their successes effectively.

    Allowing the good budget news to leak out before all of the rhetoric swamps the message next week is the correct thing to do, as distasteful as I find it to be.

    Otherwise, the opposition parties will seek out the parts that they do not like, spin the message as they did about the so-called art 'cuts' or Flaherty's supposed 'Ontario is the last place to invest', and people will become confused, frustrated and angry.

    Easy to emerge as a leader from that kind of fray.

    Leaks were a tactic that the LPC used repeatedly when in power and similar to the IPCC strategy for releasing their report last year.

    Is it right? No. Does everyone do it? Oh yeah.
  14. Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: 'Mr. Ignatieff upbraided the Conservatives and Mr. Harper for spending and cutting taxes rashly, completely misjudging the economic crisis heading toward Canada during the fall election and predicting a surplus when in fact the federal government is heading deep into deficit.'

    Just let those words about the folly of the PM sink in! Just think back 2-3 months ago and recall the foolish words he voiced about the economy, jobs, deficits, surpluses, etc etc. The folly of his first budget attempt. And then he had to run behind the skits of the GG. Where has the PM been for the past 5 weeks. Has he met wit the media? Has he attempted to communicate with Canadians to keep them abreast of his governments efforts in meeting the challenges that we all need to meet? No. He has gone into hibernation. On the other hand Mr Ignatieff is meeting with the media ,speaking at various functions and events to get his message out to canadians. He has communicated that he is ready to Lead. And if the government fails on a non-confidence vote, then Mr Ignatieff will have an opportunity to provide Canada with strong leadership. 50% of the voters are in favour of such action.

    PS Very good post by J. Pohl
  15. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: 'The Opposition could have analyzed the merits of the budget in terms of it addressed its objectives'.

    Fairly and objectively I presume?

    Get real.
  16. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: By doing this, Iggy is 'playing the game'
    and Lord, are we all tired of the game. from every party
    And another thing. The next politician to say 'we've talked to Canadians' or 'we speak for Canadians' or 'the average Canadian'
    Stop. Please, just stop.
    No MP in Ottawa has any idea what it's like to be an average Canadian. They don't live paycheque to paycheque. They don't hit the bar Friday night. They don't have to drive three hours to see a doctor.
    They work, but it's different work then most of the rest of the country.
    So when I hear these people say they speak for 'average Canadians', I just about go batty.
    They have no idea what it's like to be average. They usually only hear from activitsts and people interested in politics, because the average Canadian probably couldn't tell you who the four main party leaders are
  17. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, you ask 'Does he truly never learn? Or is simply that his DNA predisposes him to act this way? ' I would think that it is the former and not the latter, and in order to learn one would have to actually give value to what others think and pay attention to them. How each of us see the world around us, our perception and perspectives are uniquely ours. Seeing from another persons perspective is truly almost impossibly difficult. We can commiserate, we can try to see if from others perspectives, can understand their point of view from our perspective and maybe we can to a certain extent if we have enough in common. To truly do so we would need their particular frame of reference, their experiences etc. We cannot think from a different point of view. It is not necessarily by choice that some are compassionate and not, that some can walk past the poor and not even see them and others are deeply saddened by the same sight. PM Harper appears to not have adequate mechanisms in his rational mind to factor in views contrary to his own. Perhaps he has come to believe we all see everything from one perspective and so others if others do not feel as he did then there is either something wrong with them or they are are just being mean (in that they could actually disagree with him). We are all subject to 'blinders' in some area, maybe his is really big in this one. He may think, as I believe many do that, 'well it's obvious to me...surely it is obvious to everyone else'. Dang, if it were just that simple...
  18. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: D. Patrick from Gonzoville, Canada - thank you. Unlike other posters you seem to have a firm and mature grip on reality.

    After all, it's politics and anyone wanting to do what is 'right' would probably find themselves on the opposition benches.

    Harper is trying for a balance as he must.
  19. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: ... On the other hand Mr Ignatieff is meeting with the media

    Partisan! if you had any reading skills, this paper pointed out last week on the missing Iggy. His excuse was he was finishing another novel. Stop spreading falsehoods Moe and te the truth - Iggy has been gone and silenced for weeks. Or just check your back issues of the G&M if you need reference...
  20. joe schmitt from Canada writes: Is this continued rhetoric even news worthy anymore? Enough!
  21. Darwinian Survivor from Lips flapping.....still, Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: I have a question.

    The most recent Ekos poll tells us that 50 of Canadians would support the coalition and only 43 percent would support the Conservatives given the chance to choose. Why then is CBC still telling us that Canadians are repulsed by the idea of coalition?
    ________________________________________________

    Your comments are valid and I respect your opinion, but the funny thing about statistics is that they tell us anything we want them to.....'This just in....A new report has come out that the average American has one testicle and one breast.....Story at 11pm' Do the math, it's 100% correct with a statistical variance of /- 2%.

    What was the sampling size? How where the questions phrased? What was the question?.... I avoid basing any opinion on what my peers think or a statistic that was drummed up for headlines. At least this way I'm never wrong about my opinion...with a statistical variance of /- 50%.

    Cheers.
  22. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: a lot, and a lot; mostly Pendantric but a lot without saying anything....
  23. Russell Barth from Nepean, Canada writes: kick the bum out. coalition now!
  24. john deere from Canada writes: Harper has gone from blaming the previous Liberal government to now (and not him but a government official) proclaiming that Ottawa will have a deficit and by doing so implying that this has nothing to do with it and preserving the immaculate one's prognostications. Now that is both spin and gamesmanship.

    Say yes to Iggy and no Piggy. Easy as pie.
  25. J Canucklehead from Disband the UN, Canada writes: Iggy is setting the stage for ultimately voting for the budget. Perhaps he'll throw in some blah blah blah justification after the vote. There'll be lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth on the G&M.

    Anyone who thinks that Iggy is going to tarnish the Liberal brand in this Coalition nonsense is delusion. Events over the next few days will bear this out.
  26. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Humble apologies Alan I meant to say Pendatry ...do rant on - I'm sure your editorial staff are pulling at hairs to shorten your musings...
  27. prospector from blackfly country from Canada writes: From the article:

    The Liberal Leader slipped Obamaesque phrases into his talk – “We can act,” “We can choose,” “I know we can,” “We can get there together”
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry Iggy but your american is showing.

    Obama you're not.
  28. Stephen Graham from Kitchener, Canada writes: The Liberal leader accusing the Conservatives of economic mismanagement? Did he miss the part about the $64 billion outflow with no corresponding inflow? Give me a break.
  29. D. Patrick from Gonzoville, Canada writes: John Melnick. Thanks, agreed. This forum most often tends to generate into partisan name calling.

    What concerns me is that in crafting this massive stimulus, we are not buying into just one budget, even just one bad budget, but a multi-year deficit financed spending binge. $64bn in new public debt!. We don't know how long or how deep this recession will be, no one does, or can. I'd be very interested to make sure there is provision to turn off the spend when it is apparent that it is working or that recovery is underway. The bank of Canada projects growth, strong growth by next year. Fine, if we have one year of recession, moderated by stimulus, that is preferable to throwing out the budget rules and ending up with a huge amount of hastily crafted public spending of poor quality and a deficit situation that lingers for years. Some automatic (fiscal) stabilisers, some balance and moderation please.

    The one thing the govt did do that I liked was back in the Fall the update included provision to cut recurrent spending even as they were prepared to loosen the capital spending. The opposition parties beat them up over it, re cutting spending in a recession, but what they were trying to do is make sure the underlying recurrent spend discipline was not lost while we move headlong into the deficit financing spiral.
  30. Narsultan Tulakaby from Canada writes: Asking Harper to act like an adult is a tall order. Asking him to put aside his petty mean spirited partisanship is impossibly tall.

    Maybe Iggy is just another politician, but he can't help but be a better one than Harper.

    12 billion dollar surplus to 35 billion dollar deficit in one fell swoop.
  31. Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: I have a huge bias against Harper. In my opinion he has failed us. he had his chance and he failed canadians in many ways. I don't want him as our PM going forth. I would feel very much more confident with Ignatieff at the helm... And I would prefer that we went to the polls to decide this sometime late this year or next year.... but if the coalition votes harper out .. so be it. The sum of the team that could be drawn up would be better than the bunch of MPs available to Harper. After all, by his own admission he only hired people who 'had fear in their eyes', these are not the kind of people we need to lead us in these times.
  32. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Narsultan Tulakaby from Canada writes: I'll ask again this week before you go for a Pint. Roger is that you?
  33. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Maurice Nulens from Infinity One, Canada writes: I have a huge bias against Harper. In my opinion he has failed us. he had his chance and he failed canadians in many ways. I don't want him as our PM going forth. I would feel very much more confident with Ignatieff at the helm... And I would prefer that we went to the polls to decide this sometime late this year or next year.... but if the coalition votes harper out .. so be it. The sum of the team that could be drawn up would be better than the bunch of MPs available to Harper. After all, by his own admission he only hired people who 'had fear in their eyes', these are not the kind of people we need to lead us in these times.
    Posted 23/01/09 at 5:06 PM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ====================================

    You are quite correct the team from the combined coalition parties would outshine the COns offerings by many parsecs.

    I would also also add sooner rather than later is better still ...........
  34. Narsultan Tulakaby from Canada writes: It's not Roger but I am going for at least one pint!
  35. Steve Hennessey from Whitby, Canada writes: Ignatieff states 'I am ready to lead. I do not seek office at any price. But I am ready.'

    I would like Michael to clarify how he is ready, this is from a guy who has no background in leadership of any sort. He has been given positions in his life through backroom dealings and now he is trying to become Prime Minister not through earning by way of an election, but through some shadey backroom deal with the NDP and the Bloc.

    He was wisked into his riding without ever running for that seat against other qualified Liberals, later he strong-armed the powers of the Liberal party to stop a challenge from Bob Rae. He couldn't even beat Stephane Dion in a duel when chosen by Liberal party members. Now he is trying to get a shot at the top job in the country by a little used option at the federal level where Governor General decides who leads the country and not Canadians.

    Michael is playing the biggest games of all.
  36. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Narsultan Tulakaby from Canada writes: It's not Roger but I am going for at least one pint!

    Fair enough - make sure it's happy hour pricing, I'd go with a good bitter!
  37. john tran from Canada writes: Can one trust prof iggy to write the exam questions in a subject that he is not teaching? Has he done a budget before? Does he know how to read a budget? As a lecturer, all he had to prepare are lecture notes. Has he lead staff of more than 2 TA? lecturing a classroom of 50 students is not the same as leading a nation of more than 30 millions!! Iggy sounds like a Mail clerk wanting to be CEO of a company with 30 millions shareholders!!

    Sorry Iggy, you get a -F grade
  38. Garth Staples from PE, Canada writes: I'll huff and I'll puff ----until I run out of oxygen
  39. all good from Svalbard and Jan Mayen Isl writes: No budget will pass :Not enough for this or that .100 billion dolars will be spent on elections for the next 10 years( 1 at every 3 months).Our politicians will be to busy talking about themself to even notice the real problems.
  40. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Support the coalition, Iggy.

    I double dog dare you.
  41. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: As you have commented from your perspective and see things how you see them, fair enough.


    I was explaining why I think people have mistaken assumptions to explain PM Harper's actions. They tend to view him as deliberately vindictive or nasty. He may very well be, however there are other viable reasons he does not see what others think he should.
  42. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: It's always nice to hear from leader of the Toronto Liberal Party. I guess he can always go back to work in the USA if things don't work ouy?
  43. Peter Wojnar from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    >>He also criticized Mr. Harper's government for releasing figures Thursday projecting a $64-billion deficit over the next two years – saying it was an irresponsible thing to do that won't help the country.

    Sorry Iggy, but this $64 billion deficit is on your head as well as the head of the Librano party.

    It was you Iggy who blackmailed the Conservatives into this deficit so I will hold YOU accountable when the next election comes around.

    Harper talked about this number because it is every Canadians right to know asap. It is our money after all.
  44. ogi pogi from Canada writes: As if Iggy is not playing a political game....what a hypocrite!
  45. T Boyle from Canada writes: I agree with a number of the posters here that the Liberals will not, for a whole host of reasons, defeat the budget coming later this month. So what's with all the huffing and puffing? Is this not itself gamesmanship? We can be reasonably sure that even if the Liberals secretly wrote the budget themselves (and by appearances it would seem they did) they would still scream bloody murder about it and insist that the government is leading us to hell in a hand cart. Gamesmanship perhaps, but if Harper displays a brutal forehand Iggy's response is with a wicked backhand - let the games begin.
  46. Carl C. from Saint-Lambert, Canada writes: I much prefer Ignatieff than an incompetent fool like Harper.. its time for a change in Canada.
  47. Patricia C. from Toronto, Canada writes: Ok Clarabele, so you're ready to lead? Don't forget you need Jack and Gilles to make that happen.
  48. john tran from Canada writes: Remember, Iggy that the next budget will be made IN CANADA, FOR THE CANADIANS AND BY CANADIANS. DO you have the stomach for it or do you want American solutions to Canadian economy?
  49. John Brown from Maritimes, Canada writes: Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: By doing this, Iggy is 'playing the game'
    and Lord, are we all tired of the game. from every party
    And another thing. The next politician to say 'we've talked to Canadians' or 'we speak for Canadians' or 'the average Canadian'
    Stop. Please, just stop.
    No MP in Ottawa has any idea what it's like to be an average Canadian. They don't live paycheque to paycheque. They don't hit the bar Friday night. They don't have to drive three hours to see a doctor.
    They work, but it's different work then most of the rest of the country.
    So when I hear these people say they speak for 'average Canadians', I just about go batty.
    They have no idea what it's like to be average. They usually only hear from activitsts and people interested in politics, because the average Canadian probably couldn't tell you who the four main party leaders are. Sometimes I find your rants a little obnoxious but this time you have hit the nail on the head. These over payed over rated leaders of the political masses have absolutely no idea what the average Canadian has to endure!
  50. campbell atkinson from victoria bc, Canada writes: I see those NDP who know their party could never win by itself continue to try to get in via the backdoor with a coalition. They are becoming desparate as Ignatieff is creating a liberal revival. Should he tell how hee would clause by clause tell how he would rate an unpublished budget-- get real.
  51. Wily 905 from Toronto, Canada writes: Why would Canadians want an American Bush clone like Iggy?
  52. Right Winger from Canada writes: A few questions to all the anti-Harperites here. If this budget is so bad like I keep hearing, why are there no Premiers piping up about it? Even Dalton is keeping his mouth shut. Could it be he likes what he heard? Could it be that this budget would be beneficial to Ontario? Or could it be that he's waiting to see the entire document before he decides if it's good or not?
    It seems to me that Harper did his homework and consulted with the provinces and business leaders while drafting this budget.
    So far the only ones I hear slamming this is the 3 goofballs and the lib sheep.
    We need to keep in mind that this budget isn't out yet, just a few snippets. As much as I'm anti-lib, I still waited for them to do something before I made my judgment. Luckily the libs supplied lots of fodder for criticism. And yes, Harper deserves his share of criticism, too. But a lot of the comments here are just plain wrong and unfair.
  53. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: Are the Liberals still going to have a leadership race in Vancouver in March? Or has the Toronto Liberal party decided they cannot trust the Liberals in the rest of Canada to vote the way Toronto Liberals tell them?
  54. diane marie from Canada writes: John Melnick is correct (I hope that's not too psychological, John ;-)). The CPC has been floating trial balloons and gradually leaking information with a view to managing expectations, a strategy that all parties have used. Whether it will work or not will depend on the entire budget as a package. Some posters seem woefully ignorant about our parliamentary system. Mr. Harper can't impose a budget on anyone because he does not enjoy a majority - therefore, he has to, as John Melnick says, try to achieve a balance. In reality, though, this government did not begin from a position of fiscal conservatism - indeed, almost the opposite.

    Mr. Ignatieff is doing exactly what he's supposed to do, which is to hold the government to account, make suggestions, and offer an alternative government. It's too bad that some posters don't understand this - it is on the Government of Canada website, after all - but Mr. Harper's minority situation means that he isn't a democratically elected dictator. Perhaps he's finally realized it, but we ought not hold our breaths on that one. Mr. Harper finds himself in a situation of his own making, therefore he is not a victim except of his own hubris.
  55. diane marie from Canada writes: Right Winger:-- The budget is to be tabled on Tuesday.

    Peter Wojnar:-- B.S. The government was in deficit or very close to being so at the time of the election. You can't pin that one on Mr. Ignatieff or the Liberals.

    Patricia C.:-- Mr. Harper has needed the other three parties to govern, too. Not only that but in September, 2004, he, Mr. Duceppe, and Mr. Layton wrote to the G-G suggesting that they were prepared to form a government should Mr. Martin's fall.

    Anyone but Ignatieff:-- Mr. Ignatieff was acclaimed. Liberals are not complaining. You're worried that your man can't handle the competition.
  56. Mach Machiavelli from Lethbridge, Canada writes: Firewall Harper blew it (again). He is most deceitful.

    Good bye good riddance Firewall Harper!
  57. andersm 00 from Kamloops BC, Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff, I'm sure you have people review these comments to gauge the national mood. Please be careful of your Americanisms and attempts to copycat Obama. We Canadians are very particular about our identity. We're a little cautious about your 'brewed in the USA' outlooks and imitating their president's speech patterns will only add to it. Stand on your own and try to be more like the Canadians you want to lead, eh?
  58. North Star from Canada writes: The numbers change everyday, upward, from Harper's government: from $100 million surplus to a mutli-billion dollar deficit - nice legacy Harper.
  59. Stan L from Canada writes: Oh my ....now it comes.....American Iggy, Russian Iggy and so on and so forth.....Funny that his ideas seem hard to argue with, but it appears very easy to go after him on selective bits of an imagined biography.....funny how that works.
  60. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Right Winger from Canada writes: A few questions to all the anti-Harperites here. If this budget is so bad like I keep hearing, why are there no Premiers piping up about it? Even Dalton is keeping his mouth shut. Could it be he likes what he heard? Could it be that this budget would be beneficial to Ontario? Or could it be that he's waiting to see the entire document before he decides if it's good or not?
    It seems to me that Harper did his homework and consulted with the provinces and business leaders while drafting this budget.
    So far the only ones I hear slamming this is the 3 goofballs and the lib sheep.
    We need to keep in mind that this budget isn't out yet, just a few snippets. As much as I'm anti-lib, I still waited for them to do something before I made my judgment. Luckily the libs supplied lots of fodder for criticism. And yes, Harper deserves his share of criticism, too. But a lot of the comments here are just plain wrong and unfair.

    Wow what a way to cut to the point! Let's all wait then throw tomatoes at what we can't stand!!! Good post...
  61. diane marie from Canada writes: Right Winger:-- Mr. Ignatieff does not require a formal coalition. He can request that the G-G call on him to form a government. He would need the support of the other two parties, just as Mr. Harper recognized that HE would in 2004, when he asked the NDP and BQ leaders to join with him in signing the letter to the G-G. The ONLY difference between then and now is that in the case of the most recent coalition, Canadians were told by way of a press conference what the quid pro quo arrangements were. In Mr. Harper's case, what he undoubtedly agreed to was kept from the Canadian people. In back rooms.
  62. Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: Why do I suspect that next week's budget will be more about keeping Mr Harper in office, than it will be about helping the Country get through the downturn? And yes, I would say the same thing if it were a Prime Minister Ignatieff (or Layton, or....). Having lived my life responsibily, I remain appalled at the notion of 'Charge it!', be it personal finance or government finance - as too many people and governments have done. I also suspect that any so-called stimulus package will be more an excuse to spend wantonly on pork-barrel issues than at actually assisting Canadians, other than to ensure our wallets are made all the more permanently lighter with increased debt charges than anything else. It is not a reassurance (by any means) to watch this government cling to power, and listen to an imbecilic idiot wearing the token hat of 'Minister of Finance' crow a few short weeks ago about continued surpluses and balanced budgets to now cry about massive deficits for 'only a few years'. Consumers, business people, everyone is looking for confidence - something this current government (and entire crop of politicians) sorely seem unable to give or have.
  63. diane marie from Canada writes: Building an Ark:-- The budget is not going to be tabled until Tuesday. Did you get that? Note that the leaks about what the budget might contain are predicated by the word 'expect' in its various tenses. Read the article again and note how many times that word 'expect' is used instead of 'will'.
  64. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: speaking of a legacy ....any of you dreamers that still think the GG will ok the coalition of porkers should give your heads a shake you really think this woman will want the tag of the GG that caused the country to go into a constitutional meltdown to go along with a financial meltdown?? I'm sure she has some other thing she will want to be remembered by.
  65. mrs dobson from Canada writes: I think Iggy is ticked, that the budget was leaked, because he wanted to show/feign such righteous indignation, and say we have a severe deficit.Would the three amigos make up their minds.If not, call the election and lets give Harer a majority.I do not agree with Harper all the time, but the 'I want to be leader of this country Iggy'- even though I don't really like it here, is giving me the willies! I thought after Dion they may have chosen a good leader, this guy is an impostor!
  66. diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Wrong, Peter. The Fictional Update in November suggested that the government would enjoy a surplus, however the Parliamentary Budget Office noted that that would be possible only if the government sold government assets for $2 billion (the proposed assets weren't even listed) AND found $1 or 2 billion in departmental savings - Mr. Flaherty didn't suggest how those would be achieved. In other words, there was a deficit behind the smoke and mirrors.
  67. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Right Winger:-- Mr. Ignatieff does not require a formal coalition. He can request that the G-G call on him to form a government.

    DM respectfully you have given all of us over the last 5 weeks all the protocol required in our Government. It must boil your bottom that the Premiers may be on-side with this budget, and that if Iggy wants to pull the plug - he needs to poney up with the NDP brand. Something that the Liberals truly need at this stage of their re-build, Layton as a side kick with a new Liberal Leader, my mind boggles at the optics - but as many have mused let it happen, let's see how far down the free fall Iggy wants to hold on to the Dippers - now there's a great snapshot for the New Liberal Brand!
  68. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: CanWest is reporting that Harper's budget will contain permanent tax cuts. Depending on what these look like, I think it is looking more and more likely that Harper's Reign of Error will soon be coming to an end.
  69. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Building an Ark:-- The budget is not going to be tabled until Tuesday. Did you get that?

    No I don't get that, or your point at all, are you stating that this is a leak about deficits, wow the train left that station weeks ago...???
  70. diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Wrong, Peter. The Fictional Update in November suggested that the government would enjoy a surplus, however the Parliamentary Budget Office noted that that would be possible only if the government sold government assets for $2 billion (the proposed assets weren't even listed) AND found more than $2 billion in departmental savings - Mr. Flaherty didn't suggest how those would be achieved. In other words, there was a deficit behind the smoke and mirrors.

    Mimi Williams:-- If that is so, that's the poison pill everyone expected that Mr. Harper could not risk inserting. The PBO stated that only temporary and targeted tax-cuts would keep Canada from structural deficit. If this is so, Mr. Harper is gambling that Canadians won't understand. His base certainly doesn't and they believe themselves to be fiscal conservatives (except when politics gets in the way).
  71. diane marie from Canada writes: I apologize for the double post, in part.
  72. Derek live..... from the center of the universe from Canada writes: The Liberal Leader slipped Obamaesque phrases into his talk – “We can act,” “We can choose,” “I know we can,” “We can get there together” – and he told his audience: “The inauguration of President Obama shows us how one man putting himself at the head of millions can restore trust and restore faith in the political process. We in Canada must do the same.” man when are we going to stop seeing the polical leaders from the libs and the dippers stop trying to hop on the obama train....it will be funny to see them struggle to
    disembark when the Obama shines starts to fade due to the difficult economic conditions in the US...
  73. diane marie from Canada writes: The difference between my posts of 6:25 and 6:35 is that I verified the second number ($2 billion). Some posters would be wise to read the PBO reports.
  74. john s from Canada writes: Jim Flaherty should resign or be fired. From optimistic budjet statement two months ago to huge deficits. The government needs a new finance minister or a new calculator.
  75. diane marie from Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff, at least, cited his inspiration; Mr. Harper plagiarized his speeches from John Howard and elsewhere.
  76. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Diane Marie, this is the poison pill (very aptly put, BTW) that he couldn't risk. I've been sitting here puzzling over this since I read the article half an hour ago. It's almost as though he is inviting the opposition to defeat this budget. I'm not sure why he would do that, though. I cannot imagine the Governor General granting his request to dissolve parliament if loses the confidence of the House, given that he convinced her to shut it down seven weeks ago so he could avoid a confidence vote.

    Though we will likely never know what went on at Rideau Hall for those many hours back in December, I'm fairly certain the Governor General made it perfectly clear to Harper that he if failed to regain the confidence of the House after the proroguement, she would be inviting the Opposition Leader to form a government.

    Next week should be very interesting, indeed.
  77. Stan L from Canada writes: Derek live..... from the center of the universe from Canada writes: The Liberal Leader slipped Obamaesque phrases into his talk – &8220;We can act,&8221; &8220;We can choose,&8221; &8220;I know we can,&8221; &8220;We can get there together&8221; &8211; and he told his audience: .........man when are we going to stop seeing the polical leaders from the libs and the dippers stop trying to hop on the obama train....it will be funny to see them struggle to
    disembark when the Obama shines starts to fade due to the difficult economic conditions in the US...

    Derek, it is not the Liberals who called his comments Obamaesque, it is the publication that did so, Mr. Igantieff is a great writer all by himself, .....that the writer chose to use these words to characterize a portion of his speech is out of his control....what is the Conservative fascination withe creating the mythical links or non-links to Obama....fascinating stuff.
  78. MENTOR SUNTZUA from Canada writes: Did any of those who follow Harper's US-style neo-cons, better known as the guys who caused the economic mess we're all in, take the trouble to look at the EKOS poll which Jennifer Pohl pointed out early in this blog? Wipe off the froth, calm down, and then take a minute to understand that a majority of Canadians are comfortable with a coalition. I know: your little grey cells are overtaxed but try, try, try even if it hurts. Who knows? You may actually understand one Canadian day that compromise, not ideology/dogma (i.e. Harper shock-doctrine capitalism economics), is the name of the game.
  79. diane marie from Canada writes: Mimi Williams:-- If this is so, Mr. Harper is prepared to put the country into a structural deficit in order to present the Liberals as being against permanent personal tax cuts. Incredibly cynical.
  80. David M. from Kelowna, Canada writes: I think that Mr. Obama has raised the bar for politicians on both sides of the border and I consider America lucky to have him at the helm. I had hoped that Mr. Ignatieff would distinguish himself by showing that he not only has the royal jelly but can be more than just another grasping politician looking for the next sound bite. He is increasingly looking like he can only whine and be negative. What we need is someone who can rise above. It looks to me like he is not the one.
  81. Ken Ashton from Peachland, BC, Canada writes: Harper.
    Call him what you will, a despot, a dictator or just a plain old narcissist.
    One thing is certain, he has us all by the short a curlies at the moment. What ever he is, unless you are into masochism or just plain stupid, you could hand him his marching orders soon after parliament shows up for work this coming Monday. There is one catch though, you will have to make the effort to get to the polling booth, to show him that you are serious, when that opportunity next arises.
    Not many people can agree to take a job, then turn around and say to the employer, ''By the way, I won't be starting for the next two or three months, but I demand to get my full pay in the meantime'' and expect to get away with it.
  82. Mad Canuck from Calgary, Canada writes: Am I the only one getting tired of King Mike's threats and rants??
  83. diane marie from Canada writes: David M.:-- Where's the whining and negativity? You've got to be kidding, David. We've had three years of Mr. Harper's negativity and now his supporters are whining that he's a victim (not the chessmeister that they used to brag about).
  84. Peter Wojnar from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    >>David M. from Kelowna, Canada writes: I think that Mr. Obama has raised the bar for politicians on both sides of the border and I consider America lucky to have him at the helm.

    How has he raised the bar? By continually talking in vague generalities?

    'We must create more jobs in America.'

    Sure, great. Who would argue with that? Question is, what specific policies are you going to implement to make that a reality?
  85. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: Mad Canusk - You might be getting tired of 'King Mike's threats and rants', but I find it instructive that no one is laughing at them.
  86. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: So Mr. Ignatieff thinks PM Harper is an 'economic fumbler'. This from a man who wanted to impose a Carbon tax during a recession.

    As much as I wish Mr. Ignatieff would vote down the gov't, but alas it is now painfully obvious that all his postering over the last 2 months was just disingenuous rhetoric.

    Opposition if necessary, but not necessarily an Opposition.
  87. by jove from Canada writes:

    Iggy is still play the coalition game.

    Just another typical politician.
  88. diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Building an Ark suggests that I'm giving too many lessons on parliamentary democracy. I feel compelled to when presented with the ignorance of our system that I see on these boards. Peter, the Official Opposition does not have to present its policies. We are not in an election campaign. You are not choosing between Mr. Harper's platform and that of the Liberals. Mr. Harper is prime minister. He's supposed to be presenting HIS budget, which is a confidence matter. Mr. Harper could not earn a majority, so he has to present a budget that will satisfy the opposition parties sufficient that he will retain the House's confidence. I know that you find this tough to accept, but Mr. Harper didn't earn a majority when faced with a very weak Liberal leader. Who's fault is that?
  89. Stan L from Canada writes: John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: So Mr. Ignatieff thinks PM Harper is an 'economic fumbler'. This from a man who wanted to impose a Carbon tax during a recession.

    As much as I wish Mr. Ignatieff would vote down the gov't, but alas it is now painfully obvious that all his postering over the last 2 months was just disingenuous rhetoric.

    Why is it painfully obvious...? Ignatieff has said from the time he took over as leader that he would vote for or against the budget based on it's merits when it's presented, he would work with Harper and engage the people,,,,,he did so and nothing seems to have changed. He commented early on that he wouldn't stand for any poltical game playing and in his opinion this leakage that the Conservatives seem to have sprung consitutes game playing.....so he's called them on it....no surprise there, he said he would.....what is disingenuous about anything he has said?
  90. diane marie from Canada writes: I think that it's time for posters who haven't already seen this video to watch it. Poster Compos Mentis (West) provided it some days back. This is Mr. Harper 'playing coalition games' then and now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-4htheexU
  91. ralph mercer from Canada writes: any body who would get in bed with a separatist is a separatist.. are you a separatist IGGY?

    we know DION was and so is bob ray because he is an NDP and they will say and do any thing to get power
  92. ralph mercer from Canada writes: HAIL HARPER!

    HAIL HARPER!!

    HAIL HARPER!!!
  93. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Building an Ark suggests that I'm giving too many lessons on parliamentary democracy. I feel compelled to when presented with the ignorance of our system that I see on these boards.

    Thanks DM Mea Cuplpa as well. Many people - many posts, I should be be the last to cast a pebble in this regard. Now I need to move to a nice J Lohr Cab Sauv. before our Government spends me into eternity...
  94. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: I don't believe the public or the media have heard much from that blue-ribbon committee struck by Mr. Flaherty to advise him on the budget. I wonder if the committee members will speak out before Tuesday?
  95. Don Adams, the Centrist Conservative from Canada writes: Poor Iggy...caught between a rock and a hard place. He's getting the budget he asked for, but doesn't want the Canadian public (read Voters) to have enough time to think about the budget before he and his Libs have to vote on it. Makes it MUCH harder on him ..... just no way he could now vote it down! :-)

    Oh, sure, we have the Diane Maries's and Stan L's yakking away here, but, sorry guys, Harper outsmarted your guy...again! :-)
  96. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: That would be Culpa - on me - as usual have a great weekend folks got to plug my vehicle in ...
  97. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada- so is Iggy going to vote for or against the budget? Is he going to make it 44 times for the Libbies?
  98. ralph mercer from Canada writes: 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. to 1

    the LiBERALS will vote for the budget.....

    HAIL HARPER!!!!
  99. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The $1.95 coalition.
    You get what you pay for.
  100. G L from Canada writes: Is this the same Mr Ignatieff who was one of the architect of Green Carbon tax? Is this the same Mr Ignatieff and his party were and are advocating for a 30 Billion Dollar stimulus package? and a fight against poverty and a 5 Billion Dollar Kelowna Accord Package? Is this the same MR Ignatieff who not too long ago was advocating for tax cuts? and finally is this this the same Mr Ignatieff who just yesterday told Canadians, and with a straight face. Guantanamo was a mistake? Is this the same Ignatieff who told a NY Times reporter that he favoured torture assassination and the indefinite detention of those suspected of terrorism activities in guess where folks? Yup he said it and he believed then and now. Oh Iggy! Your a liberal? In your dreams maybe.
  101. Stan L from Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The $1.95 coalition.
    You get what you pay for.

    Perhaps....what does 3 billion dollars to buy votes in Quebec get you? Given Harper's comments about Quebec do you think he should have gotten a refund clause with that cash?
  102. Neddy Seagoon from Oh, Canada writes: I hope the budget is good.
    I hope there are not any poison pills (aka update nuggets)
    I hope Mr. Layton stops being the leader of my party.
    I hope all the buffoons will get to work.

    What's that saying? Hope in one hand...
  103. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Stan L from Canada writes: Why his he being disingenuous you ask? Firstly, Mr. Ignatieff has no intention of voting down the gov't. As much as you would like to think his Coalition threats are genuine, they are not. The LPT know that trying to install a coalition is a gamble, and if the GG doesn't go for it then the LPT are in an election they can't afford. Also, the LPT would have to fight an election framed around the poll question 'Do you want a LPT-NDP Coalition propped up by the Bloc?' It may sell in Quebec, but I doubt any place else in Canada. Secondly, Mr. Igantieff speaks as if the leaking of the deficit number was a detriment to the economy. While he was giving his speach today, the TSX was rallying to a nice gain. It seems the stock market didn't see things the same way as Mr. Ignatieff. Finally, Mr. Ignatieff is going around complaining that PM Harper was wrong about the severity of the recession. Far enough, but it is also far to say that alot of countries and politicians were caught off-guard. If I recall correctly, it was Mr. Ignatieff who was campaigning 3 months ago on the benefits of imposing a Carbon Tax. Since we all know that tax hikes and recessions are a bad mix, I would suggest that the LPT was not aware of how close the recession was either.
  104. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Stan L from Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The $1.95 coalition.
    You get what you pay for.

    Perhaps....what does 3 billion dollars to buy votes in Quebec get you? Given Harper's comments about Quebec do you think he should have gotten a refund clause with that cash?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    lol...Canada getting money FROM Quebec. Good Luck...lol...
  105. reason passion from Canada writes: A $64 billion deficit over the next two years...Conservative supporters and their 'economist' leader are already feeling the mortal weight of that around their aching necks. Oh they'll point to the other parties and cry, 'They made us do it, those leftist liberal socialist separatists'. And what other explanation could there offer? After all, just two months ago, the self-proclaimed 'fiscally responsible' minority Conservatives had us right on track for a surplus in 2009. Remember? Regardless, they're now destined to wear this time of economic blight, both for their proposed deficits to come, and for their lack of foresight, their wasteful political posturing, and their flailing and faltering economic 'management' over the past three years.
  106. Fuzzy Bare from Canada writes: Just be patient with Mr Ignateiff, until he becomes comfortable at being the Leader of the Official Opposition. Given his lack of leadership skills and political inexperience, the man needs time to adjust to the role. Dion was an experienced politician compared to Ignateiff, although their career skills were similiar. It is not fair to Mr Ignateiff to expect him to take over the party leadership without some stumbles.
  107. Reader of the Globe from Connected, Canada writes: Wasn't the Coalition of the Damned also proposing to spend 30B in stimulus?

    Weren't they also demanding about 3% of GDP be spent for stimulus?

    Maybe the difference now is that it's not necessarily their friends and party insiders who aren't first in line.

    The Liberals once again this time with Iggy at the helm are showing themselves to be opportunists who complain about everything but offer NOTHING.

    This 5 question thing is also extremely disingenious.
  108. Neddy Seagoon from Oh, Canada writes: Just be patient with Mr Ignateiff, until he becomes comfortable at being the Leader of the Official Opposition. Given his lack of leadership skills and political inexperience, the man needs time to adjust to the role. Dion was an experienced politician compared to Ignateiff, although their career skills were similiar. It is not fair to Mr Ignateiff to expect him to take over the party leadership without some stumbles.

    ________________________________________________________

    I couldn't agree more. I think we need to see what Mr. Ignatieff is made of just as we need to see what the budget is made of, before we write either of them off.
  109. Bah No from Canada writes: Hopefully these ladies will end their handbag fight and get around to running the country. Instead they're wasting our money playing these games.

    They should be careful, the peasants are revolting.
  110. Neddy Seagoon from Oh, Canada writes: Sorry, the post I quoted above was written by Fuzzy Bare.
  111. Joe Canadian from Japan, Canada writes: 'Sorry Iggy, but under all that nobility and just like the rest of them you're just another politician. '

    I believe you're confused. Under that politician is a historian. And you know what they say about history...
  112. reason passion from Canada writes: Conservative supporters betray their fear of the Liberals led by Ignatieff with every attack on the man. Their party is likewise shrinking from its formerly pugilistic and partisan self. Never have the brainiacs in the Conservative 'war room' ever created such insipid attack ads as those currently running - you know, the one with the two Alberta roses shaking with dread at the thought of the continued existence of the Coalition. Oh yeah, and they've done a 180 on the economy, and are now running down Deficit Alley faster than you can say 'moderate surplus in '09'. And who do they have to thank for all of their growing misfortune? Step forward Stephen Harper!
  113. Jake Smith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: The West gets always gets screwed by eastern vote buying politicians. We have nothing in common with Easterners. We need to separate from Canada.
  114. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Iggy claims Harper misjudged the coming recession and didn't announce enough spending. In fact Harper didn't want to jump into deficit or massive spending in the first place as do the LPC in thier spend your way out approach. Now Iggy and crew claim there is too much spending in the wrong areas and it was the initial tax reductions that flattened the surpluses. I see no plan fromthe LPC that would be any different except to hide behind children, the poor and future generations to explain thier position. Also I like the way they have been leaking the news. It takes the wind out of the opposition sails when Canadians are able to decide what they like or not and thus public opinion will crush the coalition and force the LPC to take a stand.
  115. reason passion from Canada writes: Malcontent self-proclaimed western separatists like Jake Smith from Saskatoon should start a bona fide separatist party - like the Bloc Quebecois or the Reform Party, which was the original Bloc Westerniste. Were they to do that, the current Conservative Party would likely lose half of its members and popular support. The only question is, would Stephen Harper lead the new party?
  116. Im a Liberal and I will do anything to be in Power from Canada writes: Jake Smith from Saskatoon, Canada writes

    Im from the east jake,,can I please come live with the smart people of the country,i promise to be a loyal westerner ,sincerley yours,,,,and Im not kidding,I would leave this part of canada at the drop of a pin,,,,,
  117. Ray Stevenson from Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff all politicians play games. What you should be doing is telling the truth. You have not run a business and do not realize that enterperners not government will get us out of this recession. Our economy needs to change what will look like is yet to be determined. People need to research possible new careers and then retrain,keeping in mind that they will probably have to retrain again to meet the needs of the economy.

    You keep discussing the miss management of the economy. Would the liberals again cut funding to the military and add the 2% back on the Gst? I believe that pass funding cuts to the military have put lives at risk in Afghanistan.
  118. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Iggy staes he is ready to lead. Why? He hasn't won the leadership of the LPC by a real election process. He hasn't won a Federal election as leader. He was appointed to run in his riding against the wishes of many constituents. The only thing going is he is getting older and soon too old to run the country. Time to retire and let LeBlanc in. The LPC state he is best to work with Obama. Why. Because he's a Liberal. Iggy is long on rhetoric and short on ideas and vision.
  119. George Scott from Canada writes: Allan Beveridge was suggesting how valuable it would be if we could see situations from another's perspective. On Jan 25th., 1759 a poet was born who expressed the same the same thought . I have anglified the language for the way Rabbie Burns spoke would probably not be readily uderstood by many.

    'O would some power the gift give us
    To see ourselves as others see us
    It would from many a blunder free us
    and foolish notion.'

    Perhaps too much to hope for especially in some of the the more partisan posting.
  120. reason passion from Canada writes: Ignatieff was elected by the constituents of his riding, just like Stephen Harper was elected by the constituents of his riding. No one else cast votes for either of them. Igantieff was uncontested as the Liberal candidate in his riding. Stephen Harper has enjoyed that same distinction for a number of elections in his riding. A majority of sitting Conservative MPs were acclaimed in their ridings in the lead-up to the last election. For Conservative supporters to claim Ignatieff is somehow unelected and unworthy is but further evidence of their fear of the Liberals under his leadership.
  121. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff forgets the recent past when Goodale was finance minister. He predicted a 1.5 -2.8 Billion surplus for 2007-2008 which is very close to Flaherty. He also predicted a slow down in growth as a possible looming recession. These were done to allow for massive spending if they were elected. Somewhere in the 25-30 billion extra government spending. They were not going to give tax breaks and in fact were going to add new enviro taxes to evrything carbon created. Harper kept his promise of reducing the burden on ALL Canadians not just the select few.
  122. muriel z from Canada writes: Typical Harper manoeuvre, there should be absolutely 'no' budget leaks, but he has his lackeys releasing feelers of benign stuff, that may or may not be in the budget, and will slip in the zingers on the 27th.

    A leopard doesn't change his spots and Harper can't. He's just a nasty man.

    Money for retraining? Now there's an idea!! we have retraining programs.

    Not much to retrain for, when companies are cutting back or going out of business.

    Sure will be helpful, for older workers though, unemployed because of the cut backs, but too young to be eligible for a pension, and probably too old for future employers, if and when business picks up.
  123. diane marie from Canada writes: reason passion:-- Half of the pro-CPC posters above complain that Mr. Ignatieff has been speaking. Others complain about what he has said. More offer petty complaints and juvenile insults. There's no pleasing them, because what they REALLY want is for no one to speak except Mr. Harper. They dream of a nation of compliant listeners and ballots with one box (the CPC candidate). Unfortunately, we live in a democracy where debate is neither illegal nor vibrant enough. That is why they are afraid for their man, who despite all advantages still can't seal the deal.
  124. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: A leopard doesn't change his spots and Harper can't. He's just a nasty man.

    I see so you favour leaders that are warm and fuzzy like Iggy. Unfortunatly power changes everything and I want a leader to be tough and resilient capable of weathering the hard times as well as the easy. Iggy has no new policies except 'trust me' and 'I'm ready to lead' I want to see what Harper can do in the next session and then if Iggy has the gonads then lets have an election not the LPC fuzzy and warm selection process.
  125. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert in and around:-- Long time, no see, Robert. Mr. Harper hasn't reduced the burden, he's just deferred it.
  126. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert Peregrinations:-- Mr. Ignatieff is not required to divulge his policies in advance of an election campaign. Mr. Harper is required to divulge his in the form of a budget and, by that means, earn the confidence of the House. That is because he is a prime minister in a minority government.
  127. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I applaud the change in tone from the LPC.I would like to see a Liberal leader speak about what they will do. Not complain after the fact and then rehash history. The recession and downturn caught both off guard. Instead of working with the government they went for broke and a coalition. If Iggy is ready to lead then lets hear it. Still more complaining and musing on recent history.

    I don't like a leader who talks about 'trust us' policies and 'squandered surpluses' Chretien was a tough leader who stood in the good and bad times. He slayed the deficit on the backs of the middleclass and so Iggy walks down this same road with talk of the poor, children and future generations. This has been the rally cry for decades and yet we seem to be no better off dealing with debt and deficit reduction.

    I am waiting for a true leader from the LPC to come forward so I can park my vote again with the left but first they need to build trust through action not rhetoric.
  128. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Why would Ignatieff not divulge some of his policies. Is he playing politics with his message. Does he feel that only with himself at the helm that we will then see his course of action. I get tired of the political gamesmanship and wonder when our government leaders will actually work toward the common good.
  129. G L from Canada writes: Diane Marie from Canada says Petty complaints.PETTY Madam? In a NY Times Interview he unabashadly told the interviewer I agree that torturing terrorists is okay. I think we should assassinate terrorists leaders. I agree that we should hold those accused of terrorist activities should be held definitely at the Quantonimo base. These political beliefs are Petty? Do you support the Liberal or NDP parties? If so are these Liberal and Socialist values and beliefs that you agree with? I think not madam. Petty indeed. Again I ask when did this miraculous conversion to Liberalism take place surely not while he was residing in the US.
  130. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: And was it not Paul MArtin who started the precident of revealing budget information beforehand. Its alright for a Liberal but not a conservative. Only because Ignatieff climbed on that wagon.
  131. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert Peregrinations:-- I guess you didn't mind it when Mr. Harper spent two years complaining about Liberals and rehashing the past. The recession may have caught people off guard, but Mr. Harper said in October that if there were going to be a recession it would already have happened. Then, instead of getting serious about matters, Mr. Harper decided to try to destroy his opposition. But you think that they ought to have not noticed that and offered their help?

    Do you recall that Mr. Harper promised transparency, honesty, and accountability? Does that qualify as a 'trust us' promise? Where's the deliverables on that? At the expense of asking yet another question, how can you expect 'action' from the Liberals when the Conservatives are holding (minority) power?
  132. diane marie from Canada writes: G L:-- Oh, so now we're raising the torture issue? What about this government's lying about the torture that was happening under its watch? Do you remember that Mr. O'Connor was less than forthcoming with the HOC about what was going on in Afghanistan? Forget words. Action is what counts. That's what Robert says.
  133. Peter Wojnar from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    >>diane marie from Canada writes: He's supposed to be presenting HIS budget, which is a confidence matter. Mr. Harper could not earn a majority, so he has to present a budget that will satisfy the opposition parties sufficient that he will retain the House's confidence.

    Agreed.

    Harper had to compromise on the budget with the Libranos. And the Libranos are the ones responsible for demanding $64 billion in deficit spending over the next two years be included in the budget for so-called 'infrastructure programs'.

    This deficit is entirely on the heads of Iggy and the Libranos.
  134. james west from Canada writes: g l - ignatieff said, in the nytimes that torture is ok? do you have the date on that. i'd be very interested in reading it.
    thanks.
  135. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Greetings Peregrinatious one:-- I guess you didn't mind it when Mr. Harper spent two years complaining about Liberals and rehashing the past.

    Actually I did mind. I cheapened the HOC debates and did nothing but stall legislation and the work that MPs are sent to do. It makes for good press but bad public opinion. The rancour of the HOC took a considerable nosedive in end of the Chretien years and into the Martin ones. Yes he promised many things as did 3 consecutive red books before him.

    I have to wonder though if a majority would have enabled him as it did past LPC governments instead the Minority hobbled progress and committees slowed the debate and made a mockery of the legislative process. Do we really benefit from bringing Mulroney or Chretien for that matter in for further cross examining and ridicule. What a waste of time and money. I don't believe he is the anti-christ nor do expect perfection.
  136. diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Well, if what you say is true, Mr. Harper (being a man of principle) should present the budget he thinks is the right one (not that Fiscal Update B.S.), and then let 'the chips fall where they may' - to quote the usual refrain directed at Mr. Ignatieff. He can then go to the G-G and ask for another prorogue. Or, he could ask G-G for an election. Recent polls suggest that Canadians are about equally divided as to whether they want another election or the opposition to govern.

    The posters who are now fussing about torture are the SAME posters who, when the Afghanistan detainee torture stories came up, complained that the Liberals were being soft-on-terror and that all was fair in love and war. Indeed, as I recall, Mr. Harper said that the Liberals supported terrorists.
  137. Brett Williams from Canada writes: 'Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: speaking of a legacy ....any of you dreamers that still think the GG will ok the coalition of porkers should give your heads a shake you really think this woman will want the tag of the GG that caused the country to go into a constitutional meltdown to go along with a financial meltdown?? I'm sure she has some other thing she will want to be remembered by. '

    SHE DOESN'T GET TO DECIDE BASED ON WHAT IMAGE SHE WANTS. Conservatives just don't get that. There are rules, learn that. She only gets to decide based the constitution and precedence. It doesn't matter what she thinks. It doesn't matter what polls say. It doesn't matter what parties are involved. What is so hard to understand about that???
  138. Paul Byer from Canada writes: Diane Marie

    You wouldn't answer my questions last night but perhaps tonight you might.

    Let's look at it logically if that is possible. Iggy will be supporting our elected government for the 44th time next week. Not the 1st time, the 44th as he was deputy leader of the opposition in the last government so his support was of the utmost importance. Now that means to me that he believes in what he is doing and he did have a great deal to do with Harper having the longest minority in Canadian history. You can argue that he was just following the bosses orders the other 43 times but what about this one? Now that Iggy believes that the Harper government deserves to be supported, what do you Liberal supporters think? Dump Iggy or believe in what he believes, that this is the right government to lead Canada in it's economic crisis? We don't need comments from the 17%ers as it is totally moot and clouds the issue. Jack is only looking for marriages and he never gets to consummate any of them. We need to hear from the second favorite party of Canada who has the ability to dump or support our elected government.

    Can you answer?
  139. Paul Dieter from Canada writes:
    Stick a fork in'em...the CONs are done.
  140. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I would have preferred Harper stuck with the fiscal update and then retune the budget as needed. It is amazing how many business out there are looking for Government help. If the business community is in such shambles then maybe they need to look at firing a few top executives along the way.

    To expect the government to react immediatly is a fallacy given no government has been able to for decades. Yet the business leaders who should have had a notion that something was about to burst didn't. Now its up to the tax payers to bail them out. I like the idea of tax breaks for the poor and the middle class. Extending EI only if the fund can withstand it. Cancel the IT restraints and increase the TFSA to 10,000 from the now 5000. Reduce business taxes on investment, manpower and inovation and the provinces should harmonize as Ontario is suggesting.

    I don't like the idea of handing money over to business that should have seen it coming. Merge, cutback, re-invest and so on and fire the top executive and start with a new buch that can steer them on a safer course.
  141. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Brett Williams from Canada

    The GG is an unelected rep of the crown. She can never interfere in the day today goverance of the country. After an election has been decided the GG appoints the PM who is the leader of the party with the most votes. After that appointment she acts on the advice of the PM. Not on her own accord not on the advice of the opposition, Only on the advice of the PM. If she totally disagrees with the advice she can direct an election to be called. The PM remains PM until he is replaced in an election. In a Non confidence vote the government must then either resign or ask the governor general to dissolve Parliament and call an election.
    He remains PM until replaced in an election. If he resigns he remains PM until replaced. At no time can she lead the government and or at no time can Canada be left ungoverned. The PM does not need her consent, she either agrees or not.
  142. bob adamson from Victoria, Canada writes: The problem for Mr Ignatieff is that the tougher and more specific he talks now, the more compromised he will look in ultimately voting for budget acceptance despite the fact that the budget and the actions of the Conservative Cabinet associated with the budget introduction fall short of the standards Ignatieff has specified. This was the trap that Dion fell into many times over the past three years. The NDP and Bloc, by taking a hard line and then voting against the budget join the Conservatives in highlingting the luckless position intrinsic to a Leader of the Opposition in a multi-party minority Pariament in a country that does not want an election. If the Conservatives present a budget that arguably meets the Liberal's stated criteria (one the Liberals can support and take credit for) or if the Conservatives clearly present a budget that is both unpopular and does not meet those stated criteria (one that the Liberals can vote against and either take power at the head of the Liberal/NDP coalition or campaign against during an election blamed on the Conservatives), then Ignatieff can count himself lucky indeed. Unfortunately for him, the budget will probably fall short of his stated standards but not sufficiently so to justify in the public mind defeat of the Conservative Government. A very difficult spot for the new Liberal Leader.
  143. diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- I think that Mr. Ignatieff will weigh several things. One will be the readiness of the LPC to fight an election. The LPC is ready to govern in a minority situation, of that I have little doubt. BUT, if Mr. Harper's government falls, there is no knowing what the G-G would decide. The LPC is in a much better position to campaign, but a little more time would be to advantage. Why not let Mr. Harper wear what he's gotten himself into with three years of vote-buying?

    Mr. Ignatieff will weigh the cost of passing the budget if it has some objectionable content with the other costs, such as another $300 million for an election, and the public distraction. Mr. Ignatieff can't wear too much complaint about delay after Mr. Harper's frittering around these past four months, during which he called an election for no purpose other than to try to beat the bad news that he knew was coming but wouldn't admit to. Recall that Mr. Flaherty said (October 7th) that the CPC wasn't seeking a mandate so that it could take 30 days to decide how to proceed. We're at about 100 days now and we still don't know if the government knows. Do we?

    I disagree with you about the 17%-ers. We do not have an official two-party system, so those voters are entitled to representation and respect. You might like to extend some to them given that Mr. Harper has gladly accepted their support these past years.
  144. General ledger from Winnipeg, Canada writes: I didn't know that we had so many Conservative Rush Limbaugh's in Canada criticizing Iggy in the above comments. Do they not understand that Obama has in effect created a coalition in order to get things moving. And despite Obamas sincerity, some Republicans are still fighting a rear guard battle. Harper has lost the confidence of the Canadian people. Parliament should have been presented with a budget but Harper prefers to continue playing mind games despite the fact that he is in a minority position. What is the matter with this guy? Kik the bums out and lets have an election even though it would be held in winter and costly.
  145. Paul Byer from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Brett Williams from Canada The GG is an unelected rep of the crown. She can never interfere in the day today goverance of the country. After an election has been decided the GG appoints the PM who is the leader of the party with the most votes. After that appointment she acts on the advice of the PM. Not on her own accord not on the advice of the opposition, Only on the advice of the PM. If she totally disagrees with the advice she can direct an election to be called. The PM remains PM until he is replaced in an election. In a Non confidence vote the government must then either resign or ask the governor general to dissolve Parliament and call an election. He remains PM until replaced in an election. If he resigns he remains PM until replaced. At no time can she lead the government and or at no time can Canada be left ungoverned. The PM does not need her consent, she either agrees or not. ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Well put. The only thing I would add to this is that the GG has never gone against the elected PM's advice with the exception of in 1926 when Lord Byng refused to dissolve Parliament on the advice of King. The problem was that the issues were still being debated in Parliament and Byng insisted that there was not a precedent to follow. Even then it led to an international incident and resulted in the British Parliament promising never to interfere in a Dominion's politics again. Interesting enough, when Byng refused King's request, he resigned and Byng asked the opposition to form a coalition which they did and King took down the Coalition government within a week. King then won the election with a majority. I am sure Iggy is fully aware of history and does not want it repeated.
  146. Peter Wojnar from Hamilton, Canada writes: >>diane marie from Canada writes: Peter Wojnar:-- Well, if what you say is true, Mr. Harper (being a man of principle) should present the budget he thinks is the right one (not that Fiscal Update B.S.), and then let 'the chips fall where they may' It doesn't matter what Harper does, Librano supporters will *always* change their tune and complain. If Harper says he doesn't want big spending and big deficits in the budget then Librano supporters say he's not doing anything to combat the global economic slowdown. If Harper let's the Libranos help craft the budget and they add big spending plans to the tune of a $64 billion deficit over two years, then Librano supporters say that Harper is fiscally irresponsible. If Harper doesn't work with the opposition then Librano supporters say he is being a bully. If Harper works with the opposition then Librano supporters say he is weak by allowing himself to be dictated to by the opposition. If Harper doesn't want an election Librano supporters say it should be the people's right to decide. If Harper let's the government fall then Libranos say Harper's wasting another $400 million on an unnecessary election. There's no winning with Libranos.
  147. james west from Canada writes: paul byer, wilma guywin - excellent posts re gov. gen. and pm. many do not seem to want to take the time to understand the governor general's role in our parliament.

    i may not agree with your 'politics' but it's a pleasure to read your brief disquisition on the gg and pm.
  148. earl pearl from Canada writes: Ignatieff is the big bad wolf. Huffs and puffs and threatens to bring The House down.

    Imagine his surprise if Harper actually lets him go to the polls.

    That would be an Oops Moment.

    The man should try to become relevant before threatening .
  149. diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer and Wilma Guywin:-- You are both wrong. The situation isn't the way you would like it to be, but the way it really is. Mr. Harper just fought an election and got another minority. He asked for a prorogue despite his government's sitting only a matter of days. He did this to avoid a looming confidence vote. Pundits suspect that Her Excellency did not just rubber stamp his request but attached conditions. This is undoubtedly why the meeting lasted two hours. If Mr. Harper loses the confidence of the House, he must resign. The G-G can then decide whether to grant his request for an election OR to ask the opposition if it wishes to form a government. Considering that Mr. Harper just had his election AND a prorogue, how much more rope do you think the G-G will pay out? He takes a risk.
  150. Paul Byer from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- I think that Mr. Ignatieff will weigh several things. One will be the readiness of the LPC to fight an election. The LPC is ready to govern in a minority situation, of that I have little doubt. BUT, if Mr. Harper's government falls, there is no knowing what the G-G would decide. The LPC is in a much better position to campaign, but a little more time would be to advantage. Why not let Mr. Harper wear what he's gotten himself into with three years of vote-buying? Mr. Ignatieff will weigh the cost of passing the budget if it has some objectionable content with the other costs, such as another $300 million for an election, and the public distraction. Mr. Ignatieff can't wear too much complaint about delay after Mr. Harper's frittering around these past four months, during which he called an election for no purpose other than to try to beat the bad news that he knew was coming but wouldn't admit to. Recall that Mr. Flaherty said (October 7th) that the CPC wasn't seeking a mandate so that it could take 30 days to decide how to proceed. We're at about 100 days now and we still don't know if the government knows. Do we? I disagree with you about the 17%-ers. We do not have an official two-party system, so those voters are entitled to representation and respect. You might like to extend some to them given that Mr. Harper has gladly accepted their support these past years. ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Again, like Iggy, Diane Marie, you talk in circles and don't answer the questions. Like last night when I asked you about his parachuted entrance into Canada after being absent for 50 years and where Iggy may have held his secret back room dealings, you talked in circles about how he lost the leadership once and then won it the second time. No answers. .....................There aren't any are there?
  151. james west from Canada writes: diane marie - sorry. the gg does not ask the opposition if it can form a government. she must comply with the pm's request.
    i believe your understanding of this pertains to the british parliament, not the canadian parliament.
  152. jck from ontario from Canada writes: Jan 27 th is fast approaching . Mr Ignatieff either pulls the plug or supports Harper I think he is in a no win situation and he knows it . Let the games begin
  153. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: If Mr. Ignatieff does support the budget he can still distance himself by claiming the country doesn't want an election. We just want a hole in our heads. He can also claim partial victory by explaining that the work of the opposition has been done by reversing Mr. Harper's fiscal update. He can then go on to say that a LPC minority would never let this happen and that Majority LPC would be the best for this country given past fiscal performance.
  154. henk gal from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes, 'Do you recall that Mr. Harper promised transparency, honesty, and accountability?'
    I for one believe that Harper kept is transparency promise. It is very transparent that Harper cannot be trusted; it's easy for everyone to see!
  155. Paul Byer from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer and Wilma Guywin:-- You are both wrong. The situation isn't the way you would like it to be, but the way it really is. Mr. Harper just fought an election and got another minority. He asked for a prorogue despite his government's sitting only a matter of days. He did this to avoid a looming confidence vote. Pundits suspect that Her Excellency did not just rubber stamp his request but attached conditions. This is undoubtedly why the meeting lasted two hours. If Mr. Harper loses the confidence of the House, he must resign. The G-G can then decide whether to grant his request for an election OR to ask the opposition if it wishes to form a government. Considering that Mr. Harper just had his election AND a prorogue, how much more rope do you think the G-G will pay out? He takes a risk. ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''If Mr. Harper loses the confidence of the House, he must resign.'' Perhaps I can assist you Diane Marie in the actual procedure. Typically, when parliament votes no confidence, or where it fails to vote confidence, a government must respond in one of two ways:[ The Prime Minister has two choices. Both being his own. resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution and request a general election The GG will always do what the elected PM advises. Perhaps you can give an example to the contrary. The GG is an unelected icon of the presiding government and like the Queen of England will never interfere in the due process of the elected government. The 2 hours was as a courtesy for the press as to show neither support nor non support. It was a pleasant chat with tea and crumpets and I am sure that Steve asked her to tone down her expenses and discussed her trip to her homeland. And the answers to my questions?
  156. james west from Canada writes: ignatieff is behaving like he's the leader of the opposition, which he is. i don't think he's dedicated to committing political suicide. he must show his reasons for not fully endorsing the budget.
    politics is a constant game. i don't believe harper is going to come through this with much glory. harper has a heart, but its only function is pumping blood.
  157. Paul Stewart from Toronto, Canada writes: You need to hear his whole presentation to make a comment. This man is a clear thinker and well thought out. He is calling Harper's game what it is - a game. A foolish one. Do we want a fool leading this country? Leading us?

    Not me. I am looking forward to a new Liberal government.... Its coming soon...... And it will be a government for all Canadians, not the Westerners, or the Easterners or the Quebecois. Not anti Toronto or anti Quebec. Just plain Canadian interested in the greater good.... Brilliant..... It can't get here fast enough for me...
  158. Paul Byer from Canada writes: Iggy has a quandary. He either jumps off the cliff and takes down the government leading to an election that he knows Harper will win with a majority or he jumps off a building by voting for Harper for the 44th time.

    Either way, he loses. He will jump off the building because he feels it is the least fall and he has the parachute that Harper has offered him, a peek at the budget last week so that Iggy can gracefully accept it. However, knowing how Harper led the coalition to the slaughter, I figure that parachute is actually a knapsack cleverly disguised.

    Like Jack, Iggy will be wondering for a long time about what went wrong. But that will be another book, likely written outside of Canada.
  159. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Not me. I am looking forward to a new Liberal government....

    Not me. I am not looking for a divisive LPC government of the past 2 decades. I would like to see a new direction of fiscal responsibility and restraint. One that tells the truth about surplus's and taxation. Not bracket creep and massive spending all the while balancing the books on EI surplus monies. Can they get out of the way of business by reducing business taxes and buraucracy and red tape. How about reforming the equalization formula or increasing enviromental issues without crippling resource based industries. Or maybe opening the books on foundations, patronage and boondoggles. That would be worth voting for. Iggy has a long way to go in transparency before I vote LPC again. As an Easterner turned Westerner he needs more than a white hat to convince the ROC. At least he ahs made a good start. Hopefully power grabbing won't turn him into a Jekyl/Hyde
  160. Paul Byer from Canada writes: Paul Stewart from Toronto, Canada writes: You need to hear his whole presentation to make a comment. This man is a clear thinker and well thought out. He is calling Harper's game what it is - a game. A foolish one. Do we want a fool leading this country? Leading us? Not me. I am looking forward to a new Liberal government.... Its coming soon...... And it will be a government for all Canadians, not the Westerners, or the Easterners or the Quebecois. Not anti Toronto or anti Quebec. Just plain Canadian interested in the greater good.... Brilliant..... It can't get here fast enough for me ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Then perhaps you can answer the question that Diane Marie finds herself so tongue tied in. Let's look at it logically if that is possible. Iggy will be supporting our elected government for the 44th time next week. Not the 1st time, the 44th as he was deputy leader of the opposition in the last government so his support was of the utmost importance. Now that means to me that he believes in what he is doing and he did have a great deal to do with Harper having the longest minority in Canadian history. You can argue that he was just following the bosses orders the other 43 times but what about this one? Now that Iggy believes that the Harper government deserves to be supported, what do you Liberal supporters think? Dump Iggy or believe in what he believes, that this is the right government to lead Canada in it's economic crisis? We don't need comments from the 17%ers as it is totally moot and clouds the issue. Jack is only looking for marriages and he never gets to consummate any of them. We need to hear from the second favorite party of Canada who has the ability to dump or support our elected government. Your answer? But not in circles please.
  161. diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- You accuse me of talking in circles? You're thinking in circles. Mr. Harper has one choice and one choice only and that is to resign his government. Perhaps you thought that I meant that HE has to resign. Obviously, he does not, but perhaps conservatives will soon be ready to receive his resignation.

    Neither of us knows what the G-G discussed with Mr. Harper, which brings me to james west's post. There is the 1925 precedent, James. I agree that it is probably more likely that the G-G will send us to the polls, but we really don't know. Keep in mind that Mr. Harper thought, a mere four years ago, that the G-G should do precisely what you say she will not do, and that is to ask the Official Opposition to form the government, with the support of the other opposition parties. Mr. Harper made that request in a letter to our then G-G, Mrs. Clarkson - in September, 2004.
  162. Paul Byer from Canada writes: But Diane Marie

    I have posted my questions to you very explicitly and you keep skirting them.

    No answer?
  163. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Ignatieff will wait for the final budget to be released and then make his move. It will be, he will state, a good start. He will trot out the poor, children and future generations and the impact it will have on them and hope the wind blows against Harper. He will then attempt to wrap himself in the flag and proclaim past Liberal triumphs over economic hardships. Chretien reversed years of Mulroney deficits and so can he. Paul Martin will come out against it and then disappear like always. McCallum will ramble on and no one will take notice. Brison will huff and puff yet he is a traitor and thus no one will take him seriously. Iggy will look for the master stroke of support versus condemnation and wait for the polls. If it flops Harper will lose on his own merits. If it succeeds then the waiting game continues for another day. Committee revamps, senate approval and time will tell.
  164. diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- I did answer your question, Paul. I voiced my opinion, which is that if there is nothing in the budget that is reprehensible, Mr. Ignatieff should let Mr. Harper wear his fiscal history for a little while. I am not party to the budget documents, nor are you, therefore any discussion about what Mr. Ignatieff can or will do is pure speculation. Mr. Ignatieff will not be dumped, but I suspect that Mr. Harper had better plan his graceful exit else he will be.
  165. Paul Byer from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- You accuse me of talking in circles? You're thinking in circles. Mr. Harper has one choice and one choice only and that is to resign his government. Perhaps you thought that I meant that HE has to resign. Obviously, he does not, but perhaps conservatives will soon be ready to receive his resignation.

    Neither of us knows what the G-G discussed with Mr. Harper, which brings me to james west's post. There is the 1925 precedent, James.

    '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    As I posted, that was 1926 Diane Marie. Very interesting. You should read up on it and then you will realize that the GG will always do what the PM advises (the wording is not requests or asks but advises)

    An eye opener for those who dream of a coalition. The GG will aways do what the PM advises which is only fair in a democratic country.

    The GG is unelected and an icon representing the good will of the elected government as is the Queen who will also never interfere in the British Parliament.
  166. Paul Byer from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- I did answer your question, Paul. I voiced my opinion, which is that if there is nothing in the budget that is reprehensible, Mr. Ignatieff should let Mr. Harper wear his fiscal history for a little while. I am not party to the budget documents, nor are you, therefore any discussion about what Mr. Ignatieff can or will do is pure speculation. Mr. Ignatieff will not be dumped, but I suspect that Mr. Harper had better plan his graceful exit else he will be.

    '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    Then you agree with Mr. Iggy in that case, that the Harper government deserves supporting? You support Iggy in that decision?
  167. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert Peregrinations:-- Furthermore, there is committee work to be done on the budget before final reading. The only people who consider Mr. Brison to be a traitor are c/Conservatives. If I were a gay person, I wouldn't hang out with Stockwell Day et al, either. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment. BTW, you may have missed the CBC's campaign program in which representatives from each party took questions from the studio audience and were then rated by their responses. Mr. Brison cleaned Mr. Flaherty's clock.
  168. diane marie from Canada writes: Paul Byer:-- Mr. Harper dreamed of a coalition. See this video in which he discusses his dream then and his recent volte-face - hypocrisy, whatever you wish to call it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-4htheexU
  169. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Why should Harper resign ? Did he create the global economic downturn? No. Is he responsible for bad business accumen by investors and financial institutions causing financial losses. No. He was right about Canada being in good shape and able to ride out the storm and that we are the envy of the world for being able to do it. I think those who should resign are those leaders calling for a coalition which would be reckless and irresponsible given the current fiscal nightmare and would cause more damage than they have already done by playing games with budgetary overspending. I still liked the fiscal update and the balanced approach of watching the downturn and then acting cautiously. Not this throwing of money around because the opposition didn't want thier fund eliminated.
  170. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Mr. Brison is a seasoned pro to be sure. I still remember his uncanny ability to stonewall debate over the IT scandal, floor crossing, RCMP/Arar mess and so on. It is a shame the conservatives lost him as he is a polished and intelligent represenative. Regardless of sexual orientation which you so blandly brought up for no reason other than to continue to enliven stereotyping of cons as homophobic.

    There are still many clocks to be cleaned on both sides yet. I try to saty away from the leftrocentric ramblings of the propogandist CBC. I prefer raw debate to scripted interrogations weighted for right wing bashers and petty grandstanding ruminations of the opposition hecklers.

    Harper has revealed his position for the budget. It is now for the opposition to get on it and begin the debate. Early or late stop the games and get on with the rebuttal. Canadians need to know all sides so the polls can be taken and the politicians move with the national interest and mood.
  171. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: It would seem that the opposition has been out manouvered on this budget issue as Mr. Harper beats them to the punch. The daily news is flooded with these announcements as they come daily in bits and pieces. Also the various ministers are also making announcements of the impact on thier ministries and thus the CPC is looking more and more in control all the time. Canadians seek strength from the government and Harper is letting his ministers take some of the glory or heat which ever way you want to look at it. In the next few days we will see what is in store for the budget while the opposition names shadow cabinets and complains about protocol. They had better get in on the support or withdrawl very soon or they will be lost in the dust.
  172. Don Adams, the Centrist Conservative from Canada writes: DM....... the sky is really a lovely shade of rose in your world, isn't it?

    But, what areyou going to do when the sky turns blue? :-)

    Cry a lot, I guess :-)
  173. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Must be past bedtime for the Eastern posters. :-)
    gtg ttfn and all that stuff.
    peregrinations DM
  174. Luke Morrow from Canada writes: “james west from Canada writes: diane marie - sorry. the gg does not ask the opposition if it can form a government. she must comply with the pm's request”

    James some constitutional experts disagree with your assumption,

    Constitutional experts across Canada advise Governor General to call on the opposition”

    OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Academic constitutional experts are
    publicly advising the Governor General to call on the leader of the opposition to attempt to form a government if the Conservatives are defeated on a non-confidence vote.
    The advice appears in an open letter signed by thirty-five law professors and political scientists from universities across Canada following a December poll that revealed widespread confusion among Canadians about the basic rules of Canada's constitutional system.
  175. john locke from st kitts, Canada writes: Its time for iggy to make up his mind harper is putting forward a lib budget without all the extra taxes if he don't like it vote it down in the house not in the papers or on tv if the libs are the cause of another election, the country will have to wait 6 more weeks for an election & another 6 weeks after that for another budget thets 12 weeks without any help for the economy .... & a lost of 20%of lib & ndp seats 7 the bloc having a good ahot at being the opp which may not be a bad thing,, at least we know where they stand
  176. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: I agree with your assessment. BTW, you may have missed the CBC's campaign program in which representatives from each party took questions from the studio audience and were then rated by their responses. Mr. Brison cleaned Mr. Flaherty's clock----------------------- DM it was a TORONTO Crown where the majority of the crowd were not only of Mr Brison's sexual orientation, but also his political orientation. Did you expect them to favor Flaherty, a truely hated man in the Liberal enclaves of Toronto the good. Brison is bright and articulate but reminds me of a Barracuda or a Doberman- not a nice man, and very devious.
  177. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Paul Stewart from Toronto, Canada writes:Not me. I am looking forward to a new Liberal government.... Its coming soon...... And it will be a government for all Canadians, not the Westerners, or the Easterners or the Quebecois. Not anti Toronto or anti Quebec. Just plain Canadian interested in the greater good------------------------- You have never lived in Western Canada have you. In the history of this country we have never had a Liberal government that has been a governmet for western Canada. The list of reasons why the west, and a great deal of Ontario doesn't vote Liberals seems to escape you Toronto centric voters. Harpers has done more to treat all parts of the country equal than any other PM. Those that are used to favortism don't like it.
  178. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Although the Opposition parties are there to oppose, I had this Utopian hope that somehow, during this crisis of unprecedented proportions (paraphrase on their words), they would have found a way to approach Harper and together all would somehow serve the country.

    That would be the sign of a true diplomat. Ignatieff stating that it's Harper's job to come up with a good budget, not his was disappointing to me personally. Had he signaled a willingness to cooperate and sent out some strong signals complete with numbers of what he would like to see, his ability as a statesman would have been established.

    This recession does not call for politics as usual any more than a world war would.
  179. diane marie from Canada writes: John Melnick:-- It IS Mr. Harper's job to come up with a budget. John, Mr. Harper wanted to be PM, is PM, and should accept the responsibilities of the job. Mr. Ignatieff has not stymied the budget process. Speaking of that, have we had any indication that Mr. Harper's December 18th economic advisory panel (Jack Mintz and ten or eleven other business leaders) have consulted and reported?
  180. diane marie from Canada writes: Don Adams is up for another bathroom break and feels the need to 'weigh' in.
  181. Luke Morrow from Canada writes: John Melnick from High River AB, Canada, Please tell me how the opposition can forward a budget if Flaherty won’t hand over the fiscal numbers that are honest and accurate. Even the Budget Parliament Officer who was appointed by Harper can’t get the real numbers from Flaherty.

    As you may recall Flaherty in Nov projected $100 million surplus for this year. The Budget Officer is now saying the deficit will be at least $13 billion even before the stimulus package.

    Just two months ago, the Tories flatly dismissed that deficit spending was imminent and championed their conservative fiscal policies.
  182. J Kay from Canada writes: james west: Diane Marie is most definitely correct. The GG does NOT simply follow the wishes of the PM, regardless of what the past 75 years of convention might imply.

    The GG has entrusted with her, the reserve powers of the monarch and those powers include the power to dismiss a sitting Prime Minister, to allow a coalition to form government or to call an election. She can as well technically refuse to give Royal Assent to any bill. It is a power that has not been exercised for a considerable time but that DOES NOT nullify the powers inherent in the position. ONLY a constitutional amendment can revoke or limit the reserve powers.

    As Diane noted we do have precedent in Canada, for exactly this issue. Moreover Canada is a parliamentary democracy in the Westminster style and tradition and thus the precedents of other such system applies to us and can be used for guidance. Just such an even occurred in 1975 in Australia, with their own Constitutional crisis, wherein the legal and constitutional experts there reviewed the precedents in other Westminster systems, including Canada's to provide guidance to the then GG John Kerr. The Kerr-Whitlam crisis, referred to as the Dismissal, involved the GG dismissing a sitting PM who had a majority government in the house but whose senate refused to pass a spending bill.

    Moreover your incorrect that Canada's system is either independent or meaningfully different from the British system. Referring to the 'Women as Persons Case', at the time the highest court of appeal in Canada was NOT in Canada, it was the Privy Council of the House of Lords in England, which superseded the Supreme Court of Canada that had held women were not persons in the eyes of the law in accordance with the BNA Act. This case occurred in 1929.

    Other examples of the royal prerogative being used are 1937, 1961, where royal asset was refused and in Mulroney's government where ERII was consulted to increase senate seats.
  183. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Luke Morrow from Canada

    I hear what you are saying about the mechanics of actually crafting a true budget but I do not want to debate this because I have learned to be skeptical about what I hear and read about Flaherty since a lot of it is subject to partisan spin both ways. Therefore on that front I am actually quite confused and feel I just have to leave it to the politicos to work it out.

    What I am trying to get across is that with or without the real numbers there is nothing stopping the LPC from suggesting where to spend money and how much they think should be spent - either as hard numbers or as a proportion of some existing expenditure.

    From what I can see nobody knows how much money is exactly the right amount. More germane is where it will be spent and the nuances of the stimulus. The five points test that Ignatieff has proposed is still too vague to work with in my opinion.

    If they want to be a governing party this is a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the public that they have the insight / instincts to detect the core issues and propose concrete solutions. Instead I just keep getting this message that 'it's not my job' while they continue to snipe at the governing party (oppose).

    A parallel example to what I'm trying to get across lies in the Clarity Act. Dion gets the credit for it but Harper first made the constructive proposal in the form of a private member's bill for a clear referendum question and the idea grew in Dion's hands. That differs from what Harper could have done by sitting on the sidelines and saying 'you nearly lost the country so fix it and it's not my job'.

    ...................... Part 2
  184. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Part 2

    For my two cents Ignatieff (Brison etc) should be seen as being as helpful as possible to reinforce to Canadians that these are difficult times and that the LPC feels their pain. This will make their passing of the budget seem like a selfless act for the public good.

    Then, if the numbers are as messed up as some say they are and / or the CPC turn out to be abysmal money managers in the face of events yet to unfold, the LPC would stand a good chance of winning the next election by connecting this to their past rep as the best stewards of the economy.

    Does it risk the future of the country? Maybe. But nobody can see the future clearly and quite frankly I don't believe that any one party has all of the answers. Even if all parties collaborated somehow, I'm not sure that they would be able to steer us out of this mess with minimum pain to all so to me there's no change in risk.

    It's just that this is a teachable moment in Canadian politics whereby the LPC could demonstrate the prescience that they claim to have and help the nation and themselves in the process.

    Obama seems to be the hero of the moment so ask yourself this - what do you think he would do in Ignatieff's shoes?
  185. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: John Melnick: And as his reward for crafting the Clarity Act and taking considerable heat for it, Mr. Dion gets the label of notaleader. Your points are really good overall but I don't think I am up to explaining why I say that. So, I will unfortunately go negatively after one point, namely your observation that:

    ''This recession does not call for politics as usual any more than a world war would.''

    My response to that would be the cliche-ridden (nod to Rex Murphy) 'once bitten, twice shy.'
  186. Junk Sound from Richmond, B.C., Canada writes: Listen! Mr. Ignatieff. Don't spend 'MY Tax $$$' & 'MY Employment Insurance Benefit'..........'NOW'!!!
  187. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Although the Opposition parties are there to oppose, I had this Utopian hope that somehow, during this crisis of unprecedented proportions (paraphrase on their words), they would have found a way to approach Harper and together all would somehow serve the country. That would be the sign of a true diplomat. Ignatieff stating that it's Harper's job to come up with a good budget, not his was disappointing to me personally. Had he signalled a willingness to cooperate and sent out some strong signals complete with numbers of what he would like to see, his ability as a statesman would have been established. This recession does not call for politics as usual any more than a world war would. ____ Mr. Melnick, surely you jest! Mr. Harper gave a speech on election night about forging a more collegial atmosphere in Parliament. At the first opportunity, with the Economic Update, Harper & the Cons attempted to gut the finances of the opposition parties, suspend public sector workers' right to strike, curtail the ability to pursue pay equity claims, etc. None of these initiatives had been mentioned in the election. None would realize any tangible savings. The Economic Update did not acknowledge any looming economic crisis and boasted a surplus, contrary to what the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported. When the opposition tried to talk about this during the election and following, they were ridiculed. Both the Liberals and the NDP have met with Flaherty this past month but, gee, where would we be now if Harper didn't play his games in November and then duck behind proroguement in December? 2 months ahead of the curve, that's where. Approach Harper? Get real. Read Jane Taber's piece in the G&M today about the way the Conservatives treated Brison & McCallum. True diplomacy? The Conservatives didn't even have the decency to arrange a promised follow-up meeting with the Liberals. Some things never change.
  188. Neil Alexander from Oakville, Canada writes: Why would anyone trust what the new liberal leader & party has to say, when he supports bringing terrorist's into Canada and integrating them into Canadian Society. Next I'm sure he will want to help fund these same people with your hard earned tax dollars.
  189. Mickey Hickey from Toronto, Canada writes: Conservatives have long sought moral justification for selfishness and greed. Tomorrow we will see Harper/Flaherty trying to spin tax cuts as benefiting the poor and unemployed. With apologies to John Kenneth Galbraith.
  190. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Luke Morrow from Canada writes: “james west from Canada writes: diane marie - sorry. the gg does not ask the opposition if it can form a government. she must comply with the pm's request”

    James some constitutional experts disagree with your assumption,

    Constitutional experts across Canada advise Governor General to call on the opposition”

    OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Academic constitutional experts are
    publicly advising the Governor General to call on the leader of the opposition to attempt to form a government if the Conservatives are defeated on a non-confidence vote.

    The advice appears in an open letter signed by thirty-five law professors and political scientists from universities across Canada following a December poll that revealed widespread confusion among Canadians about the basic rules of Canada's constitutional system.

    The letter and the names of the 35 signatories can be found here:

    www.constitutionacts.blogspot.com

    It’s a good read and I suggest all have a look.

    I find it odd that I can find no story reporting this anywhere in the mainstream media. So much for the media/left conspiracy, eh?
  191. bob adamson from Victoria, Canada writes: The hard part begins tomorrow for Mr Ignatieff. Since becoming Liberal leader he has been able to talk tough to the Conservative Government (if the Conservatives don't act more respectfully and also come up with a viable economic program, then the proposed Liberal/NDP coalition government should proceed) while at the same time reasure the right wing of the Liberal Party and others who don't want the Conservatives to fall at this time (if the budget is OK, the Liberals will support it). By the end of the upcoming week, the Liberals will have to choose between these two positions. This is the nasty spot that Dion so often found himself in over the past three years. If the Liberals support the budget, especially if that budget contains measures that Ignatieff has spoken against over the past weeks, he will look weak; especially after the previous tough talk. If the Liberals oppose the budget, the right wing of his party will be very critical participants in the Coalition and the public may be hard to rally. Ignatieff can only hope that the budget tabled on Tuesday is either very good or very bad in the eyes of his Party and the general public. This, at least, would give him cover to clearly support or oppose respectively the continuation of the Conservative Government at this time. A middling sort of budget, on the other hand, places Ignatieff and the Liberals in the same position as under Dion over the years Harper has held office.
  192. reason passion from Canada writes: An insightful comment by bob adamson. The current politics might equally suggest, however, that it is the Conservative minority that is in a lose-lose situation, rather than Mr. Igantieff's Liberals.
  193. North Star from Canada writes: Harper called for Goodale's resignation during a leak in the previous government yet Harper sends his own ministers forth to provide leaks in public speeches. Why bother with the budget printer lock-up - forcing the printing plant staff to stay in the plant overnight while Harper's ministers travel the country giving away the details.

    Harper cannot be trusted.
  194. North Star from Canada writes: Neil Alexander from Oakville, Canada writes: Why would anyone trust what the new liberal leader & party has to say, when he supports bringing terrorist's into Canada and integrating them into Canadian Society. Next I'm sure he will want to help fund these same people with your hard earned tax dollars.

    -------

    Omar Khadr has not been convicted of being a terrorist and is therefore not one until such time but that doesn't stop Harper supporters from ignoring the rule of law and abandoning fair, due process.
  195. North Star from Canada writes: Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary: Harper has revealed his position for the budget. It is now for the opposition to get on it and begin the debate.

    ----------------------------

    Harper revealed the budget before being tabled in the House - can't debate until the official budget is fully released otherwise debate is meaningless. Debate starts Tuesday, which is also when the budget details were first supposed to be released - Harper called for Goodale's resignation during a previous government leak and now Harper's own ministers are fanning out presenting budget details in public speeches.

    Harper cannot be trusted.
  196. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: john tran from Canada writes: Can one trust prof iggy to write the exam questions in a subject that he is not teaching? Has he done a budget before? Does he know how to read a budget? As a lecturer, all he had to prepare are lecture notes. Has he lead staff of more than 2 TA? lecturing a classroom of 50 students is not the same as leading a nation of more than 30 millions!! Iggy sounds like a Mail clerk wanting to be CEO of a company with 30 millions shareholders!!

    Sorry Iggy, you get a -F grade

    _______________________________________________________

    Sorry I think the only Mail clerk in Canadian Politics is Steven Harper.
    I also feel Ignatieff is much more qualified to table or understand a budget then an ambulance Chasing personal injury lawyer like Flaherty. If he does not understand something he only has to turn to Economics PHD and former head of the RBC John McCallum, Former Finance minister Ralph Goodale, or Scott Brison who all have strong backgrounds in Economics.
  197. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: G L from Canada writes: Is this the same Mr Ignatieff who was one of the architect of Green Carbon tax? Is this the same Mr Ignatieff and his party were and are advocating for a 30 Billion Dollar stimulus package? and a fight against poverty and a 5 Billion Dollar Kelowna Accord Package? _______________________________________________________ 1) Yes he was one of the supporters not sure if he was one of the architects of the Carbon tax. Exxon and many scientists feel a Carbon tax is the correct way to go and anyone who actually takes the time to read what was in The Green Shift would realize it was a very good plan for both the canadian people and for the Environment. 2) Yes the stimulus package for our manufacturing and forestry sectors are very important. Over 1,000,000 jobs are tied to the 2 areas so the government needs to get in there and make sure the industries do not die. Canada does not survive on Alberta's oil alone. 3) The Kelowna Accords were needed 3 years ago and are drastically needed now. Aboriginal communities are living in abject poverty, in Hovels, dieing of pneumonia, diptheria, and other diseases that are easy to cure. The 5 billion would have given new Housing, Better education and health care, and most importantly new water treatment plants to provide clean drinking water and keep raw sewage from the lakes and rivers surrounding most reservations. Do you think any of these things are not necessary? If so you are not a true caring Canadian.
  198. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff forgets the recent past when Goodale was finance minister. He predicted a 1.5 -2.8 Billion surplus for 2007-2008 which is very close to Flaherty. He also predicted a slow down in growth as a possible looming recession. These were done to allow for massive spending if they were elected. Somewhere in the 25-30 billion extra government spending. They were not going to give tax breaks and in fact were going to add new enviro taxes to evrything carbon created. Harper kept his promise of reducing the burden on ALL Canadians not just the select few.

    _______________________________________________________

    Yes Mr Goodale did say that.It was said when the liberals were in power and if we had stayed the course Canada would be in much better financial shape than the mess we find ourselves in under Flaherty, Harper, and the other Conservative hacks who think the are economists.

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