Ignatieff starts filling in the blanks

Of the dozen questions the Liberal leader faced on Monday, only one was about a coalition

Perhaps the most interesting news out of Michael Ignatieff’s news conference this morning at Toronto’s Royal York hotel came, not from the candidate, but from his tormentors in the press gallery: of perhaps a dozen questions, only one was about the Liberal leader’s plans, or lack thereof, for an anti-Conservative coalition after the next election. (I didn’t ask any questions at today’s presser. I’ll have some later in the week when he starts rolling out policy.) So it looks like Ignatieff won’t have to spend the next month talking about the coalition and nothing else.

Also interesting were the hints about what the next week holds. Ignatieff is going to roll out a detailed, costed policy proposal every day, starting with something on “learning” tomorrow and ending with the release of a full platform within a week. Few details yet, except this: “Here’s the key thing about it: This electoral program of the Liberal Party of Canada will cost less – it will cost less than the Conservative program. And we will not raise taxes on ordinary Canadian families. And you know why? Because we’ve said no to corporate tax giveaways.”

Of course the Liberals are saying no to corporate tax cuts that were already introduced, in January of this year, from 18% to 16.5%. As former Liberal finance critic John McCallum told reporters while Ignatieff was crowd-surfing in Chinatown, that’s a tax increase. One question facing voters this week is whether the policies Ignatieff will roll out will be worth the tax increase that will help pay for them.

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