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 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...


Anonymous said...

That about covers it.

The Mound of Sound said...

A core of Libs who believe in our party's ideals, its values, share your views.

Beijing York said...

For such a great intellectual, he really isn't too smart on the strategy front.

Oemissions said...

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest,and in the joy of a new beginning,we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back
when brown can stick around
when yellow will be mellow when the red man can get ahead ,man and
when white will embrace what is right.
That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."
(from Rev. Lowery. Inauguration Day)
Amen, Simon!

Canadian Hegemon said...

While I agree with your sentiments and personally would have loved to see the coalition come to reality. The truth is most Canadian voters are still unaware of how incompetent and destructive the Hareprcons are.

Now, they have to wear this budget. This should expose more of their ineptitude to the voters and hopefully we will be able to remove them completely from power within the year.

Simon said...

Hi know I'm not kidding when I say I hate attacking other progresssives. And I realize that everyone isn't as left as I am. But I simply can't understand how any party that calls itself progressive can ignore the most vulnerable at a time like this. It's disheartening...

Simon said...

Hi Mound of Sound...yes I've noticed :) And good for you. I'm backing you all the way..

Simon said...

Hi Beijing...I'm prepared to give Iggy a break to show what he can do, and prove that he isn't a distant neoliberal anymore. But I must say I'm extremely unimpressed by his first real chance to do that. He has Harper where he wanted him and could have forced him to improve the heartless EI system at the very least.
If the level of suffering reaches the level I fear it may reach he's going to have some explaining to do...

Simon said...

Hi Oemissions...I LOVE that old man. His humanity shines out like a beacon to me. It was the absolute BEST speech of the whole inauguration... :)

Simon said...

Hi Canadian Hegemon...yes you're right I should cheer myself up by thinking of Harper's balloon slowly losing air....ssssssssss...
Overthrowing him now might deprive me of the pleasure of seeing him grilled on the BBQ of history...before tossing him into the garbage can... :)