One thing to keep in mind, the timing of these ads means that while the budget was being released, and Canadians were learning the details, the NDP were huddled in a corner, planning their attack, buying up ad time. That's exactly what Canadians were looking for from political parties, during this crucial time. In addition, when was the last time the NDP ran attack ads against the government, outside of an election?? Interesting, that.
Here's the deal, the NDP are the big losers yesterday, and I know this, not because of my reaction, but because of THEIR reaction, it speaks VOLUMES. The best part, it also demonstrates why a coalition with this bunch had the real prospect of turning into a nightmare for the Liberals, one hand around your shoulder, the other with a knife at our throat. Thanks, but no thanks.
Anyways, unless "bitterness" is the new winning buzzword in Canada, these ads are about as threatening as Wade Belak on a breakaway. Consider me amused, at best.
Below, a sampling of the tremendous backlash against Ignatieff and the Liberals for their pragmatic decision:
Winnipeg Free Press – Editorial, January 29, 2009
“In fact, Mr. Ignatieff not only passed the test, he came out of it looking as if his party not only saved the nation in this time of economic crisis, but that he had vaulted himself into the captain's chair without having to endure the tedium of actually navigating the ship of state through the shoals ahead.”
Benoît Aubin – Chroniqueur, Le Journal de Montréal, le 29 janvier 2009
« En se positionnant comme le professeur qui corrigera les devoirs du gouvernement aux trois mois, menaçant de lui coller un zéro et de déclencher des élections, M. Ignatieff s'est aussi octroyé une bonne mesure de ce que Robert Bourassa appelait «la seule chose qui compte vraiment en politique» : du temps, pour voir venir, et manœuvrer. »
« M. Ignatieff s'est sûrement valu un hochement de tête positif de la part de millions d'électeurs qui en avaient vraiment soupé du vaudeville qu'était devenu le parlement d'Ottawa - et qui apprécient la quasi-certitude offerte hier qu'il n'y aura pas. »
The Globe and Mail – Editorial, January 29, 2009
“Mr. Ignatieff made the correct decision yesterday in announcing that the Liberals will support the budget delivered on Tuesday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Flawed though it may be, it mostly embraces the approach the Liberals advocated - and its defeat would force the country into another prolonged period of political uncertainty that it can ill afford. Even to play a tactical game of chicken by demanding major amendments in return for the budget's passage could have forced the Liberals into a corner, creating a stand-off that Mr. Ignatieff was smart to avoid.”
Jean-Marc Salvet – Éditorialiste, Le Soleil, 29 janvier 2009
« Michael Ignatieff s'est-il écrasé devant Stephen Harper? Non. Il a agi de façon responsable. »
« Le PLC et la coalition ont déjà poussé le gouvernement dans ses derniers retranchements. Ils n'auraient pas obtenu plus. Ils l'ont forcé à bouger. Ils ont modifié son code génétique. C'est un exploit. »
The Brantford Expositor – Editorial, January 29, 2009
“Ignatieff's phrase that he is putting the Conservative government "on probation" shows a strength that has been absent from the Liberals for some time.”
Waterloo Region Record - Editorial
“In Ignatieff, the Liberals appear to have found someone whose intellectual skills and political smarts are the equal of Harper's. The matchup of these two should prove productive and interesting.”
Don Martin – Columnist, National Post, January 29, 2009
“Mr. Ignatieff has given the Liberals a sense of renewed vigour and a big bounce in the polls. With this budget-expediting move, he has proven himself a shrewd strategist on par with Mr. Harper's reputation, at least before his record was soured by that fall economic update fiasco.”
The Toronto Star – Editorial, January 29, 2009
“Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is right, therefore, not to rush to the barricades with the other two opposition parties to defeat this budget and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government with it. That would mean either putting the coalition in office (which, unfortunately, many parts of the country would see as illegitimate) or forcing yet another election (which would be the fourth in five years). ‘Canadians need that like a hole in the head,’ observes Ignatieff.”
The Ottawa Citizen – Editorial, January 29, 2009
“One hopes that both Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper will carry on with the grown-up work of getting Canada out of this recession, while ignoring Mr. Layton's petulant taunting from the sidelines.”
Hang in there Michael, just ride out the maelstorm and hope the nation's fury wanes. Fingers crossed.