Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ignatieff’s descent into socialism?

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has recently been elbowing the New Democrats out of the way so he can attack the Harper government’s pro-business agenda. A bit rich coming from the leader of a party which, untilLiberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says his party will not be the 'guarantors' of the future of the Conservative government. recently, championed the need for corporate tax cuts.

Yesterday, Ignatieff used Question Period in the House of Commons to imply to Canadians that any government that cuts corporate taxes is somehow “lining up behind banks and insurance companies” and is thereby precluded from being on the side of “middle class Canadian families”—as if the two things are mutually exclusive. His question in the House was:

“When will the Prime Minister stop lining up behind banks and insurance companies and start lining up behind middle class Canadian families who need security in retirement?”

Even more unseemly is the eagerness with which the chief Grit is embracing NDP policy positions. Jack Layton has barely enough time to articulate a social position before Ignatieff snatches it away and calls it his own. Has the former professor moved so far to the left since he was a teacher at Harvard, or has the influential socialist wing of his party taken full control of policy? I’m inclined to believe the latter.

I cannot think of a single pro-business policy position to come from the Liberals in several months. All they ever seem to want to tell us about is their plan to increase corporate taxes so they can enrich pensions, implement national daycare and increase funding for homecare. Almost all of which, by the way, are provincial, not federal, responsibilities.

Ignatieff has even borrowed Jack Layton’s euphemism for the term “spending.” Like Layton and other socialists, Ignatieff uses the term “investment” when he’s talking about government “spending” on social programs. With “investments,” one expects direct returns and the original expenditure remains intact as some form of asset that will produce returns on into the future. While one might expect good things to come from prudent government “spending” on social programs, the expenditures, once made, are gone and have to be re-spent year after year.

Perhaps as a prelude to a coalition with the New Democrats, the federal Liberals are synchronizing their policies. [smile]


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. As signed coalition partners why not share each other's policies plans media gossip and what have you.

    If or when one coalition partner is in deep stress unable to form a policy or idea of his own, other parners are there to help which in this case you see Ignatieff borrowing NDP ideas for his own..

  2. Some of us found truths in his speeches in 2005.

    Criticism of Liberalism and the success of American exceptionalism in defeating communism.

    Today we have a shell faking left, it is insincere and the public polling numbers reflect the party and his leadership are at sub 30%.

    Ignatieff and the Liberals risk becoming a fringe party like the NDP with 40 seats.

    The NDP may allow the budget to pass and have the Liberal convention pass judgment on Iggy in Ottawa this summer.

    Angelo Perischilli talked about 25% being breaking point for the Liberals.

    Donolo revisiting the fake left campaign against Manning-Day won't work.

    Canadians are afraid and interested in diverting tax dollars to new spending.

  3. Banks I understand. Why stand with solvent banks if your a socialist. But insurance companies? What did they do? Does he think people watch as much American news as he does?

  4. I think there are two reasons that Ignatieff is tacking left.
    One is that he has to crowd the NDP out of the picture because they have the most easily poachable votes.
    Two is that his caucus is a rump of leftist Liberals based in urban areas and they are driving the Liberal party agenda behind the scenes. That tells me the leader is more afraid of his caucus than his caucus is afraid of him.
    An example of this was his decision to allow his Newfoundland MP's to vote against the party on a whipped vote.
    I don't think Ignatieff has a hold on his party the way that Harper does.

  5. I think what we saw in the '90s was an aberration brought about by a fiscal crisis. Iggy is a Trudeaupian. I think what we are seeing is simply a Liberal party returning to its Trudeaupian roots of social justice. The only difference between the Liberals and the NDP is how that social justice is realized so it's not surprising that they would have a lot in common.

    Anyway, that's how I see it at the moment.