Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ignatieff isn’t cutting it

Kelly McParland has an interesting take on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s recent performance in the house of Commons. He points out that a bright guy like Michael Ignatieff should be able to improve the level of performance in the House. McParland writes:

Unfortunately, instead of raising the bar on what Canadians can expect from their elected representatives, he’s gone native. Mr. Ignatieff is acting like a politician. Not a new-style, respectable politician. Just a politician. Like the rest of them.

I thought Mr. Ignatieff’s sneering performance yesterday when responding to questions on the recent Lisa Raitt dust-up was especially distasteful.

In his article at the National Post’s Full Comment Web site, Kelly McParland also takes issue with the chief Grit’s purloined policy on Employment Insurance (EI). He points out that Stephen Gordon, a professor of economics at l’Université Laval in Quebec City, writes of “the sheer pointlessness of reducing hours for EI eligibility,” and that Jack Mintz—Palmer Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary—mocks the Liberal position by writing that it might work “in Barney the Dinosaur’s world.”

With the government caught unprepared by an economic collapse, the deficit rising $16 billion overnight, jobless rates soaring, the biggest industry in populous Ontario surviving on life support, the best the Liberals can do is run neck-and-neck with a government led by a less than loveable leader.

– Kelly McParland

Here’s professor Mintz’s opening paragraph:

We know political silly season arrives when some of the worst ideas start getting serious attention. The latest is the Liberal proposal to reduce the qualification working period for Employment Insurance recipients to 360 hours before claiming 50 weeks of EI benefits (a recent extension by the Conservatives in the January 2009 budget).

He concludes with:

EI does need an overhaul but it should be carefully thought through. We should especially avoid mistakes made in earlier years that led to excessive access to the system.

Mind you, if the Liberals have the wrong angle on EI reform, they can hardly be blamed. After all, as Mr. McFarland tells us, “the Liberals lifted it outright from the New Democrats and tried to claim it as their own.” And when have the NDP ever been a source of sound economic policy?

Michael Ignatieff, other than for an increase in support among fickle Quebec voters, has not made much of an impression with Canadians. Ekos has the Grits and Tories are in a virtual tie at 33.5 per cent and 32.3 per cent respectively, and Stephen Harper leads Michael Ignatieff 30 per cent to 26 per cent as “best prime minister.”

I know that desperate party leaders will resort to desperate tactics, but stealing policies from the New Democrats?

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. Iggy has raised the Liberals popular support by 20%. He reduced Harper to 4th place in Quebec. If an election were hel today he has enough support to be PM and throw out Harper.

    I'd say he is doing very, very well.

  2. Anony,

    Really now. Dion, on his worst day had better numbers than this without the benefit of a recession.

    The honest observer wonders why the Liberals aren't much, much higher? It defies common political wisdom.

  3. Iggy is only liked in Quebec, in the ROC he is ten points or better behind Harper on every issue.
    The poll is flawed counting Quebec as one third plus of Canada.
    Iggy has no chance in the ROC and Duceppe is about to lay the smack down on the iffy one in Quebec..