Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Having obviously recognized that Canadians aren't about to buy the argument that a summer of committee meetings with Pierre Poilievre makes for a substantial achievement, the Libs are apparently test-driving another excuse for their continued capitulation to the Harper Cons. But while this one from Warren Kinsella tries to sound positive on the surface, it may be even less plausible than the rest of the Libs' rationalizations for rolling over:
(W)hen Harper's Reformatories whipped up a crisis at the end of last year, my leader had lots of people—including some in the Liberal Party—urging him to push Harper out and lead a coalition government. Ignatieff certainly could have done that.

But that just isn't how Ignatieff wanted to win. On reflection, he and other Liberals determined that wasn't what Canadians wanted, either. We Liberals want to win, for sure—but we want (sic) win the right way.

Right now, the Liberal Party is either ahead or highly competitive in the opinion polls. We've got a great team and we are ready for an election. And, once again, Ignatieff heard from a lot of people—including Liberals—who wanted to defeat the government at the end of June, and have an election just a few months after the last one.

Once again, Ignatieff and Liberals thought about that. And Ignatieff decided, once again, that wasn't how he wanted to win.
Now, it's ridiculous enough for the Libs to be putting on a holier-than-thou front - particularly about election brinksmanship given that the only substantive demand they've ever made of the Cons is for a constant stream of confidence votes. But consider for a moment what message they're actually sending with quotes like these.

The Libs don't seem to dispute that the Cons' policies are both falling short of meeting the needs of a recession-wracked country, and burying Canada's future under a mountain of debt. And at the most extreme, the Libs have sent the message that Canadians will be starving over the course of the summer due to the negligence of the Harper government.

Faced with that starting point, one would expect the reaction to be one of outrage - combined with a desire to get back on the right track as soon as possible. Which could include either demanding real change from the government now in power, or seeking to persuade Canadians that they can do better.

But the Libs' line is that they can't be expected to pursue either of those possibilities. Instead, they're more concerned with winning by some nebulous "right way" than with actually improving the lives of Canadians. And if the Cons manage to do more harm even while the majority of Parliament claims to disapprove of their policies because the Libs are too busy pondering exactly which path to power they think will best serve their own egos...well, that's just tough luck.

Of course, it's highly doubtful that Kinsella or anybody else actually believes this latest bit of rhetoric any more than the Libs' previously-abandoned posturing. But the fact that the Libs think for a second that Canada could be more concerned with the Libs' sense of self-righteousness than with its own problems would seem to send a strong signal that the arrogance and sense of entitlement which got the Libs booted from office in the first place have returned with a vengeance. And that should offer reason for voters whose priorities are focused more on real-life outcomes than the Libs' place in the history books to turn their support elsewhere.

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