The leader of the Liberal Party Michael Ignatieff, not surprisingly, finds nothing of value in the Conservative Party of Canada’s election platform. He pretends the numbers don’t add because the platform differs a bit from the recent Conservative budget. To top it off, Mr. Ignatieff suggests the Tories will fund their agenda by cutting healthcare, despite the assurance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper that healthcare transfers to the provinces will not be cut.
Speaking on CBC’s cable news channel this morning, Mr. Ignatieff accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his finance minister, Jim Flaherty, of incompetent fiscal juggling, and claimed the Conservative’s new platform contains a budgetary hole so big that it would require a “slash and burn” of government services.
Well, of course, he would know since it was Mr. Ignatieff’s party that in the 1990s slashed and burned healthcare transfer payments to the provinces and left it up to premiers like Ontario’s Mike Harris to manage their way out of the funding crisis the federal cuts triggered.
I’ve read the Conservative platform and find it reasonable and generally conservative in its approach, continuing the same steady-management philosophy that has successfully guided us through the worst economic times since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Here’s the way I see it. With PM Stephen Harper, one knows what to expect. But when considering the Liberal alternative, one wonders which Liberals will turn up. Will we get the deficit slayers of the 1990s or the tax-and-spend, big deficit creators of the Trudeau era? Remember those Liberals with their double-digit inflation and interest rates through the roof?
Given the presence of former NDP provincial premiers Ujjal Dosanjh (British Columbia) and Bob Rae (Ontario) in senior policy-influencing positions with the Liberal Party, I’m guessing we’d get a Liberal government far closer to Trudeau’s than to Chrétien-Martin’s. We’ve already seen signs that support my view: consider the anti-business, pro-socialist policies of the Liberal platform.
During today’s press conference, Mr. Ignatieff said he’d lived the Canadian life, responding to a question about him having spent part of his childhood and most of his adult years living outside Canada. He just doesn’t get it. Of course many Canadians are born abroad and, of course, many Canadians work outside Canada, but can that really be considered the Canadian life?
I would suggest that the typical and traditional Canadian life is one spent primarily in the country. And, I believe, most Canadians resent being told a life spent primarily outside the country is somehow superior to or typical of their own. This is nonsense. And it’s more so when a Canadian who has lived almost all his adult life outside Canada suddenly returns and almost immediately runs for leadership of the Liberal party with expectation he’ll become our prime minister. He just doesn’t get it!
Finally, I was amused at Mr. Ignatieff’s vain attempt to set low expectations for his appearance in the coming televised leaders’ debates. He is “nervous” and will be walking into the debate with “apprehension,” he told reporters. How coy, especially considering his many hours as a television interviewer? The fellow has no shame at all.