Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ignatieff and the Stupidity of it All
As I explained yesterday what bothers me the most about Michael Ignatieff's decision to support Stephen Harper's deeply flawed budget is its sickening moral failure.
His decision to abandon his so-called Liberal principles, and not even call for changes to the budget's most reactionary elements.
Ignatieff understands what's wrong with the budget. Yesterday, he detailed some of its main defects – its failure to address the fact that most jobless people don't qualify for employment insurance, its refusal to deal with child care, the strings attached to its infrastructure spending proposals, its gratuitous attack on the principle of paying men and women equally for work of equal value.
Then, having listed the budget's flaws, he said his party would support it anyway.
So millions of unemployed Canadians could be condemned to lives of poverty and misery.
Where the government needs to compromise most is in the area of employment insurance. All employees pay into this fund. But only 42 per cent of the jobless qualify for benefits. In bad times, this discrepancy promises disaster.
When he could have forced a compromise out of Harper's desperate Cons.
Had Ignatieff's Liberals cared enough, they almost certainly could have forced the government to back down here. But clearly they did not.
That's bad and unforgivable enough. But what also offends me is the stupidity of it all.
Last December, the proposed coalition promised to pump much-needed money into infrastructure projects, such as housing, roads and public transit. It also vowed to improve social benefits and provide help to troubled industries.
The program was so good that Harper stole many of the ideas and put them into Tuesday's budget.
By forming a coalition, Ignatieff would signal he is ready to govern.
By refusing, he ends up being outmanoeuvred politically by Harper, who in a year or two will claim credit for what will then be an improving Canadian economy.
So let's sum up this brilliant strategy that cost the Coalition its life.
If the budget is a total failure, and millions of Canadians are condemned to poverty and suffering, they will then turn to Ignatieff and his ConLibs to save them. Because he allowed this tainted budget to pass.
Hello? What? Really?
And if the budget somehow magically works, Stephen Harper gets all the credit, and gets to rule forever.
Wow that's BRILLIANT. Eh?
The Coalition really was the best and most Canadian solution to the enormous and frightening economic crisis our country faces.
I hate attacking Liberals...so many of them are my friends. Everybody knows that I believe in uniting the left into a common front so we can drive the foul Cons from power FOREVER.
I also suspect that Ignatieff will live to regret his moment of moral cowardice.... his moment of idiocy. And it will be his worst punishment.
But right now all I know is that he murdered my beautiful Coalition for NOTHING.
And I will never forgive him...