I really don’t see how the Liberals, and Ignatieff, come out looking good on this either way. You’re the opposition, guys. How long does it take to decide to oppose the government? What happened to Mr. “I have ice water in my veins”? Mr. “We are tired of sitting down”? Or as he told Mike Duffy: “In a word, no more sitting on our hands. You got me absolutely right, Mike.”
The question for the Liberal party should not be, “can we support this or that measure or piece of legislation?” That’s the question the two non-serious parties, the Bloc and the NDP, get to ask themselves, because their entire raison d’etre in parliament is to barter their small amount of support for whatever influence they can. But the Liberals, and only the Liberals, are the government in waiting. The minute Ignatieff became the official leader, he should have made it crystal clear that he thought he should be the prime minister, that he wanted Harper’s job, and that as far as the Liberal party is concerned, there should be an election as soon as possible, as a sort of re-do of the Fall Fiasco.
That would at least have given the party a strong, confident, and principled basis for their behaviour in parliament. The rest of the Commons, as well as the Canadian people, would have had a clear understanding of where the party was coming from. If the other parties decided to keep supporting the Tories, well, that’s their prerogative. And if there is an election, so much the better for the Libs.
Honestly, I don’t kow where the Liberal party keeps finding these beta-males to put in charge. It’s bad enough that Ignatieff keeps getting what is clearly awful strategic advice. What’s worse is that he keeps taking it.
UPDATE: Le Devoir is reporting that Ignatieff has decided to spend his summer at his villa in Provence, despite Chretien apparently advising him to bring the government down:
L’ancien chef libéral, Jean Chrétien, conseillait aussi à Michael Ignatieff de déclencher les hostilités dès maintenant. De passage au Nouveau-Brunswick samedi, M. Chrétien a dit que le pays avait besoin d’un nouveau gouvernement. «Je pense qu’à ce moment-ci, le Canada serait mieux avec un gouvernement différent. Alors, si le peuple a la chance de se prononcer, que le peuple se prononce», a-t-il dit, alors qu’il participait à un événement partisan en compagnie du député Dominic Leblanc.