For several years, the Liberal party’s war room, caucus and its leaders have tried anything and everything they could to discredit PM Stephen Harper. But now they squeal “foul” at the PM’s threat to release videotapes of opposition leader Michael Ignatieff in an attempt to discredit him.
Recent so-called attack ads by the Tories were met in Liberal quarters with much whining and bombast, and not a little fear that they were taking the shine off the Grits’ newly minted leader, Michael Ignatieff. An enjoyable spectacle for anyone who remembered the barrage of negative advertising that the Grits used to stave off imminent electoral collapse during the 2006 federal election campaign.
Fortunately, the Liberals’ negative television ads did not have the desired effect, although the baseless claim that PM Harper’s Tories were bankrolled by rightwing U.S. operatives and that he was a George W. Bush clone with a U.S. “hidden” agenda did stick with many of the less sophisticated.
Those ads were not as effective as planned simply because they were not based on fact; the current Tory ads are.
In Michael Ignatieff we see a man not unlike the hapless former prime minister, Paul Martin, whose qualifications as PM proved more hypothetical than real. Ignatieff prefers that we continue to give him the free ride he got to the leadership of his party.
“The public finances of our country are in freefall and he’s [Stephen Harper] wasting time with tapes of me? It’s a joke,” Ignatieff blustered yesterday, desperate to drum up something to save face for his lack of effective use of his position as leader of the official opposition. As with Paul Martin’s ad campaigns, his charge is not based on fact.
- Retail sales are on the rise for a third straight month in March.
- Signs of improvement can be seen in consumer confidence levels and in credit markets.
- Equity and currency markets have rallied in recent weeks.
- The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index is up by about 30 percent from its March lows.
- The Canadian dollar has risen nearly 17 per cent against the greenback over the comparable period.
- Most economists and pundits are telling us that there are positive signs in the economy and that it is set to improve later in this year and into 2010.
Just a week ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) endorsed the government’s economic action plan when it had this to say:
Canada’s strong policy framework and proactive response has put it in a better position to deal with the global financial crisis than most countries… .”
Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page—no friend of Harper’s government—offered nothing like Ignatieff’s doom and gloom in the interview Mr. Page had earlier in the week with Steve Paikin of TVO’s The Agenda.
Only the Grits and their creatures are claiming that the “public finances of our country are in freefall.”
Ignatieff’s bleating is a lot of bluster, misinformation and empty threats. Each day leaves him sounding more like a less strident Stéphane Dion.