Will Professor Ignatieff make us go to summer school?

At the moment, the Prime Minister and Michael Ignatieff are meeting to discuss infrastructure funding, possible changes to EI eligibility and, as we’re quite sure, engaging in rational discourse.

Last week, the government released its second report on the status of the Economic Action Plan and Ignatieff told reporters that it was too serious to grade the government, yet he stated that it had “failed” yet Canadians “don’t want an election right now”. What is the state of our system? A student fails the course but gets a pass because the parents have already planned the summer vacation? And to torture the metaphor a little more, I ask, is Michael Ignatieff really advocating that while failing Conservatives, he allow Canadians qualify for a fully paid sabbatical after six weeks of work? The 45 day work year, set to be defended by Liberals on an election trail near you, surely will not cause a stampede of voters to the ballot box. This really cannot be Ignatieff’s plan.

So what is really going on here? Flashback one year to the hapless Stephane Dion going into the summer, the Prime Minister’s neutered foe who rubber-stamped every piece of legislation by heading up the abstaining opposition. There is chatter around town that Michael Ignatieff is following Dion in his indecisiveness, however, this may instead represent an element of political narcissism for professor Ignatieff. The shovels are in the ground, the money is leaving the federal treasury to build infrastructure projects all over this country and Michael Ignatieff tells everyone to wait; Iggy has an important decision to make. To threaten to plunge the country into its fourth election in five years (with a $1.2 Billion tab) just so the media doesn’t frame him as the second coming of Stephane shows that he wants to know that his opinion – whatever he finds it to be – is relevant. As for his pensive pondering, he spent enough time in university seminars musing about the prolix and banal, yet as he transitions from the theoretical to applied, Dr. Ignatieff is showing that he is finding it difficult to both suck and blow.

In his press conference yesterday, Ignatieff used soft words such as “replace confrontation with cooperation”, “we cannot allow ourselves to act irresponsibly”, “if the government needs to sit a little longer, so be it” , “the Liberal party accepts the need for deficit spending in tough times”, “we want to make parliament work for all Canadians”, “I just want to give a sign to the Prime Minister that I’m a reasonable person. If he has employment proposals that he wants to bring forward, he needs a little more time, let’s not let the arbitrary deadline of Friday the be the all and end all. Let’s keep this serene and calm and business-like” Do these sound like bellicose words? So, why the drama Dr. Ignatieff?

He supported the Conservative budget earlier this year, he voted for the Conservative changes to EI. The Conservative government is spending billions of dollars in an effort to stimulate the economy. Why is this about him?

Michael Ignatieff knows that Canadians want him to allow Parliament to work, but he pauses to let us all know that it will only do so after he’s scowled at our exams.

Comments

comments

  • Cat

    Great post!
    I don't know about you but if we're getting tire of Mr. Ignatieff's ways, we can bet those grassroot Liberals who were supposed to have a say in a renewal and redefining of the LPOC can't be thrilled either.

    Who says Canadian politics are boring?

    Actually…boring sounds really nice right now.

  • http://darcymeyers.wordpress.com/ darcy

    Flashback one year ago this week…Dion releases GreenShift, after a year of propping up the government and being accused of not having any substantial policy to offer canadians as an alternative.

    How things change in a year, or not. Ignatieff is going to have to answer critics soon as to what vision he espouses and where he intends to take the country.

  • David

    A remarkably poor strategy even for the Libs. His strategists were like pitbulls insisting now is the time to pull the pin. Yet, they are clearly not ready to run a campaign. Lib MP's are not willing to face the electorate either.Iggy then chooses to waste QP by asking about some nonsense.He needs better advisors. It is totally bizarre. The professor needs a sabbatical.

  • batb

    Michael Ignatieff got a failing grade from the CBC's At Issue panel, Andrew Coyne, Allan Gregg, and Chantal Hebert, and what's even more surprising was Peter Mansbridge's barely camouflaged impatience with Iggy's non-answers to very specific questions.

    Professor Huff and Puff is altogether too me, myself, and I-centric. He couches everything according to his personal-reaction metre and hardly sounds like the leader of a political party. That he pretends that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his CPC government govern at his whim, at his behest, at his say-so, is monumental arrogance, delivered with a sickly, benevolent, smarmy half-smile.

    Rex Murphy has Count Iggula's number: “dramatic prince,” “eloquent vacillator, ” to name only two of Rex's zingers: http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/rex_murph

  • MaryT

    As someone who has experience in doing payroll and making all the required deductions, and filling out T4, and the T4A forms, and especially seening the figure on said T4, insurable earnings. That is a maximum amount premiums are paid on, regardless of income over that amount.
    And I have filled out numerous ROEs over the year.
    My request to you is, could you do an interview with someone from the EI office, to see what the weekly/bi-weekly payout would be for someone making about 15.00/hr for 360 hours. I doubt the payment would be very much. That is the figure we have to get out to the public, let them know that taking some job for 45 days or putting in partime hours to get 360 hrs (like Christmas season, or an election canada worker during an election) is not worth the effort. Think of the cost of getting to and from said job, child care, other job costs. The libs are hiding a lot of facts (if they know them) and someone has to set the public straight.
    It would also be great if some blogger linked to the govt rules re voting on estimates in June. Time is running out for Iggy to climb down the hill and try to put the blame for an election on the PM. Wont work. What party votes first on Friday, the party introducing a motion or how does it work.
    And if Layton believes any promise Iggy makes re a hidden coalition and his chance for a cabinet seat, can you trust him. Should he win a minority, all those lib mps will want their hands in the cookie jar, none left for the NDP.

  • MaryT

    Should Iggy win a smaller minority than PMSH has, will he accept he governs at the whim of the opposition leader.

  • Jen

    Personally, I think the CBC CTV are just frustated of the liberals; not because of the economy or E.I., ISOTOPES, ADSCAM etc. It is because the media made fools of themselves protecting the liberals and covering up the liberal mishaps, corruption etc. And for all that hard work, the left media want their money for pretending that they are journalists.

    CBC shouldn't be upset with IGNATIEFF, he was just trying to copy Paul Martin and how he PAUL, treated the media. we have seen and heard many good questions being asked but for many years the liberals knew how to respond by not responding or to direct just bounce around. Naturally, Ignatieff is doing the same.

    Wait a day or two, and CBC CTV will be back to their usual selves berating the prime minister for the sins committed by the LPOC.

  • MaryT

    Re EI and the waiting period. How many of you know the process to get EI.
    1. You need an R.O.E. from your employer and he has 2 wks to get it to you. A 2 copies of said R.O.E. goes to the headquarters in P.E.I., where it is opened and processed and decisions are made. There is must be fwded to the Rev Canada, again examined. You can't make a claim until the govt gets their copies. You can start one, but until it is verified, you wait. In some cases the EI officer will call the employer and ask about said employee, what was their job, why were they let go etc. Over the years I have answered those questions many times. There have been people scamming the system for years, and we all know it. After all the paper work has been done, your claim will be activated or denied. What did your boss for former workmates say about you?.
    The first change I would make is to have it mandatory that your R.O.E. be given when you are let go.
    Second would be to have centers across Canada instead of all going to P.E.I. first. (job creation from a former govt.)
    If your R.O.E. is hand written, as is the case in several small companies, with few employees, or seasonal work, it will be questioned. If you have to wait a long time, don't blame the govt, blame the staff in the EI offices, remember they are all union govt workers.
    Back when weeks worked, not hours worked, there were lots of small town businesses that hired someone for the maximum weeks, they quit, someone else worked a few weeks and eventually the first person was back on staff. That was during the NEP and these bosses tried to get everyone some money. I worked for one such business and did all those R.O.E.s.
    Has any sitting MP ever applied for EI, and does Iggy know the procedure.
    Remember, every claimant increased the deficit everyone (but me) is concerned about.

  • Omanator

    Unfortunately he already looks weak in Quebec. The Request is too convoluted for ordinary people to understand. So Quebecers now call him Professor Ignatief in the same way they call Prof Dion Prof. The way I see it. he is damned if does and damned of he does not. Will he come out of the last discussion with the PM looking good?
    I doubt it. Although all Liberals are already spinning. Only time will tell.

  • Jen

    Not to worry, the liberals know how to tackle the media answer the question but not necessary the proper answer;”Ididn't do it, or it is not our fault or the conservatives are to blame for what we liberals have done. etc……”
    the media as usual throughout the years manage to keep the liberals alive with daily attacks on the conservative party ndp and the bloc. hoping that canadians will eventually forget the liberal scandals.

    Let's take the E.I. for instance, remember the scandal. well, the media kept this topic at a low key, watching at the same time the liberals berate the prime minister for something the media knows very well was not the PM's fault.
    Can you imagine taking you to the polls for something I did wrong years ago. well, that is exactly what the liberals are doing.”CLEAN UP OUR MESS OR WE(LIBERALS WILL TAKE YOU TO THE POLLS.”
    Remember the infrastructure, well the liberals cut funding to it and guess who they are blaming for not attending to the Infrastructure. you guess it, PM. What do the CBC CTV have to say to that-ZERO.

  • Jen

    Not without the help from their media.
    PM, as usual will grace Ignatieff with a small deed to make IGNATIEFF feel good. That's who our PM is.

  • Omanator

    Maty T. Ignatieff is not only ignorant how EI works. he is equally ignorant how fast the Stimulus money could possible get out the door. If he and the Libs had their way they would immediately shovel the money into the various communities, and later act surprised that the money disappeared and nobody knows where it went. Sounds familiar? No matter which way he turns now,
    he shot off his mouth last night and now has to wear the hat, Quebecer have already given him.

  • Omanator

    Jen. By the look of the media tonight they are not seriously supporting Iggy. The only one who tried to put in a good word for the Libs. was the polster Peter D. He was laughed at.

  • http://www.garymauser.net/ Prof Gary

    Good points.

    But sabbatical does not appear to be in your spell checker.

  • http://www.garymauser.net/ Prof Gary

    Good points.

    But sabbatical does not appear to be in your spell checker.

  • http://www.garymauser.net/ Prof Gary

    Good points.

    But sabbatical does not appear to be in your spell checker.

  • MaryT

    I wonder if yesterdays acting by Iggy was not an attempt to get either the bloc or ndp to blink and vote with the govt. Don't think it worked. He really is between a rock and a hard place, and I bet Quebec will turn on him in a minute. Jeff Simpson writes the liberals are poised to make great gains in Que, with conservative support gone. Hey, that is only 10 seats out the the 77 he need for a majority, or 67 to beat the PMs minority number. Where are they going to come from, not the west, he already has the atlantic provinces, the bloc will keep their numbers. He already has Toronto tied up, so where will they come from, the ndp, but that is only 38 and he wont get all of them.
    I challenged someone last week to name names of conservatives who will be defeated, but he/she hasn't responded. And maybe after watching the antics of Goodale, Holland, Fry, Bennett, their voters might be embarassed to elect them again. And where is Bob Rae, has he been deported and gone into hiding. Will he show up for Friday's vote.

  • Liz J

    It's rather funny to watch Ralph Goodale trying to explain Iggy's maneuverings.

  • terry1

    While you all laugh and sneer you should pay attention to the next polls….Iggy will be up again simply because he is not Stevie H. and will appear to have forced him to open up the dialogue. The libs will spin this perfectly…..responsible opposition getting a minority to act like one and avoiding an election.

  • batb

    Yeah, Liz, it was really something to see Goodale become a purring pussy cat on Power Play this afternoon, after playing the role of fire-breathing dragon in QP in the HOC just a few hours earlier! He looked like the waifs in The Little Mermaid, mere shadows of their former selves.

    The LPC's in meltdown and their shills in the MSM are shi***** bricks. They just don't know what to do when the “natural ruling party of Canada,” their Sugar Daddy, totally tanks. It's never happened in over 40 years.

    Hey, guys, guess what? You're not in Kansas anymore.

    Deal with it.

  • batb

    What Kool-Aid is terry1 drinking? He appears to be a true believer.

    Poor guy.

  • terry1

    I also like stephen Colbert's take on Stevie Wonder as seen through the leenses of Warren Kinsella's blog

    <object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/tn5tGJqytwA&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/tn5tGJqytwA&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

    Or this one:
    <object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/57tboGPMtlk&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/57tboGPMtlk&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

  • terry1

    Bat B….you deal with it. Iggy has scared Harpercrite into serious dialogue by playing chicken with him. Harpercrite has blinked and is sitting down with the leader of the opposition exactly as that leader demanded. Give your head a shake.

    It also does not matter wha they agree or don't agree on. The fact that will remain with the public is Iggy forcing Harpercrite to sit down and negotiate.

  • MaryT

    krt, get your facts straight. Paul Martin called the 2004 election, when he had a majority of seats. So liberals wear that election cost and the embarassment of going from majority to minority to defeat. And he still had two years to go in his mandate so talk about a wasted call. We would have been voting in 2006 anyway, if Martin's ego had not got in the way, so can't count that cost against the PM.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Firefox is usually my spell checker!

  • ktr

    1.2 billion? Why would you attack your own leader?
    Seems to me that each election costs about $300 million, so you figured 4 elections times $300 million =1.2billion. But, umm, you forgot a little fact. just a small one, and not to nit pick, but…
    Election 2004 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2006 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2008 – Prime Minister who told the governor general he wanted an election and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Nice try Taylor

  • ktr

    1.2 billion? Why would you attack your own leader?
    Seems to me that each election costs about $300 million, so you figured 4 elections times $300 million =1.2billion. But, umm, you forgot a little fact. just a small one, and not to nit pick, but…
    Election 2004 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2006 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2008 – Prime Minister who told the governor general he wanted an election and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Nice try Taylor

  • ktr

    1.2 billion? Why would you attack your own leader?
    Seems to me that each election costs about $300 million, so you figured 4 elections times $300 million =1.2billion. But, umm, you forgot a little fact. just a small one, and not to nit pick, but…
    Election 2004 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2006 – Leader of the Opposition who led the non-confidence vote and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Election 2008 – Prime Minister who told the governor general he wanted an election and is responsible for the price of the election – Stephen Harper
    Nice try Taylor

  • terry1

    BatB….and I think you have been drinking holy water from the religious right fountain.

  • Liz J

    John McCallum admitted on CTV the Liberals do not have a plan. Was he lying or did the truth just happen to slip out accidentally? It has to be one or the other.

    Watching the other gunslinger in the Not OK Liberal Coral, the master of verbosity, squirming, bobbing and weaving, Ralphie Goodale, is a spectacle all it's own. He really can't come up with anything concrete to tell the public as to what his leader, I-Me-Me-I intends to do or what his plan is because after opposing he has nothing to offer that any sane leader would accept.

    I-Me-Me-I looked relieved in a sheepish sort of way, after visiting the PM. Wonder if the Professor decided to give his student, the PM of Canada a passing grade? After all, the Prof would hate to cancel a trip abroad to flog his latest book, disappoint all his fans in Britain, to hit the stumps in his country of opportunity to sell a plan he doesn't have.

    Things sort of got reversed, the probation officer was smiling like the brat coming out of the Principal's office, relieved he wasn't kicked out of school.

    Word from Quebec is not good for I-Me-Me-I, they are beginning to see him as a weak leader, much the same evolution as Dion. The Liberals need to realize they cannot have a leader with backroom boys pulling the strings. Most leadership aspirants have a vision long before they offer themselves up to serve their country. The present leader of the Liberals would not be here had he not been recruited. The whole series of events prove it. His rapid rise to the Leader of the Opposition with little experience in politics should be cause for concern.

    I'd say the professor needs to go to summer school.

  • terry1

    LIZ J…where's the so called word from Quebec? How about some references please?

    The rest of your stuff is fantasy land. Why not focus on the fact Harpercrite has backed down in the face of intelligent opposition?

    why not focus on the fac the is very desperate,even more so than Iggy, to avoid an election. He reads polls and knows he is toast right now. What he doesn't yet realize is tha tthe polls haven't yet treated him in the manner he deserves which is around 22% and that is where the Cons are heading by fall. The master illusionist, the original Mr. Nasty thinks he can turn the ship around by then but he's also just now realizing its crewed by a ship of fools.

  • Liz J

    Speaking of fantasy, read your own comment. When you've finished that tune in to Quebec news.

  • terry1

    Liz J hysterical………more bluff from you.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Terry – how, exactly, is Mr Ignatieff forcing Mr Harper to negotiate, and on what specifically?

    I thought one had to actually take positions and have views in order to have a negotiation.

    Ignatieff is just talking out of both sides of his mouth, as you are

  • Liz J

    To be correct, we can't say the Professor cum probation officer doesn't have a vision, he has a vision for himself sitting on the throne as leader. The problem is he can't have a clear, true vision for a country he hasn't lived in for several decades. He's been too far removed from the people and what has evolved while he was not living here.

    No vision=no plan, hardly the stuff of great leaders.

  • Jen

    Forget about Terry Liz, let's get on with discussion. Terry supports the liberals' corruption….etc….., So far, we have not heard him speak against it far less to demand in the liberal blogs that he wants his money back which the liberals stole from him and us.

    Liz, I didn't realize that Terry was exempt(excluded) from being stolen by the liberals; if this was the case and that all liberal voters were excused from being stolen-I can understand why he is reacting this way.

  • Jen

    they are not seriously supporting Iggy.
    Omanator not at the moment- the media is just furious that they are not going to get the break they want after months of pretending. You see, the media is proving to us that their main job is to speak in suppor of the liberals only. You me our country our troops well, are, just fill ins. Watch them closely.
    It is sickening to watch them at the way they support a party that is known for their corruption-the worse in canadian history.
    They are drooling over a party that stole from us all.

    If CANADA had a REAL NATIONAL TELEVISION NEWS with highly respectable decent reporters, take my word for it, NON OF THOSE LIBERALS WILL EVER SEE PARLIAMENT-especially not after these reporters are 'done' with them.
    In the meantime, the blogs are the NEW NEWS CENTER where, also live discussion is constantly ongoing.

    No Canadian National TELEVISION CENTER can match us anymore; we are the TOPS. AND THE LEFT MEDIA are at our feet.
    Whose fault is it- THEIRS.

  • Gabby in QC

    Yippee!
    School's out …
    No more bells, no more gobbledegook,
    no more opposition's dirty looks!

    The teacher has allowed the class to be dismissed without severe punishment, despite the class's obtreperous behaviour during the school year.
    But the class has to study EI according to the teacher's guidelines (self-employed opting into EI).

    The teacher has once again shown he can discipline all those unruly children.

  • Helen

    Have you noticed the resemblance?
    Ignatieff looks just like the Grinch in “How the Grinch stole Christmas”.
    The Grinch standing on top of the snowy mountain looking menacingly down on Whoville….Oh that nasty smile…can’t get it out of my mind.
    To all Canadians…we are “Whoville”…watch out!

  • Helen

    Have you noticed the resemblance?
    Ignatieff looks just like the Grinch in “How the Grinch stole Christmas”.
    The Grinch standing on top of the snowy mountain looking menacingly down on Whoville….Oh that nasty smile…can’t get it out of my mind.
    To all Canadians…we are “Whoville”…watch out!

  • Helen

    Have you noticed the resemblance?
    Ignatieff looks just like the Grinch in “How the Grinch stole Christmas”.
    The Grinch standing on top of the snowy mountain looking menacingly down on Whoville….Oh that nasty smile…can’t get it out of my mind.
    To all Canadians…we are “Whoville”…watch out!

  • Liz J

    Jen, it's really amazing how PM Harper handled the Probation Officer, basically handed him his ass on a platter, showed him where the bear went potty in the buckwheat. There's no mistaking that strained grimace he has in the picture featured on the front page of today's Ottawa Sun.

    We'll have to forgive poor Terry and his party, they're in shock at the turn of events, Dion revisited.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Yes – Ignatieff’s history background is really going to help Harper make decisions relating to the economy.

    I guess all he has is the teacher act and the help of the MSM (love the picture on the Globe / Star sites of Ignatieff keeping a watchful eye on the PM – looks like they are all in synch with the report card storyline)

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Yes – Ignatieff’s history background is really going to help Harper make decisions relating to the economy.

    I guess all he has is the teacher act and the help of the MSM (love the picture on the Globe / Star sites of Ignatieff keeping a watchful eye on the PM – looks like they are all in synch with the report card storyline)

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Yes – Ignatieff’s history background is really going to help Harper make decisions relating to the economy.

    I guess all he has is the teacher act and the help of the MSM (love the picture on the Globe / Star sites of Ignatieff keeping a watchful eye on the PM – looks like they are all in synch with the report card storyline)

  • Omanator

    Jem, You are right. I have had my personal problem with the media for many years.
    Frankly it is a national disgrace. They obviously have never thought that they had a responsibility to the public at large to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. They always have to spin it.
    Last night that could nothing with Iggy, because he was way out to lunch.

  • Omanator

    Mary T. I have a sneaky suspicion that there is a great divide in the Liberal Party. They will give Iggy enough rope to hang himself. Then watch Rae and the others come out of the woodwork.

  • Omanator

    Terry1. keep your delusions. PMSH is the only statesman in the house. He was gracious enough to let Iggnatieff keep his face. However Quebecers have already decided who Iggy is and I don't think it wears very well for the Libs. But keep on spinning. You are only deluding yourself.

  • Omanator

    Gabby I hope you are right that school is out. But only on Friday will we see if the Libs are really voting with the Government. I suspect that a lot of them will either not be there or vote against the Government. As I said, I sense a divide in the LPC.

  • Gabby in QC

    You're right, some Liberals could decide to renege and vote against the budget estimates.

    I hope everyone keeps a level head, keeps to promises made, and keeps an accurate count.