If you're going to defeat this government, you MUST get ahead of the curve on the economic file, you must be BOLD. Liberals are fearful, the recent Dion example seared in their minds, but this state has lead to a paralysis, which leads the party to nowhere. The primiary obstacle the Liberals face, people can't identify with their brand, we're wishy washy, we lack FORM. With that in mind, I have nothing but applause for this new thrust:
Michael Ignatieff is preparing to embark on apolitically risky "adult conversation" with Canadians about the painful measures necessary to eliminate the country's ballooning deficit including the possibility of tax hikes.
Senior party insiders told The Canadian Press that the Liberalleader is about to launch a blunt discussion of the realistic options available for staunching the flow of red ink. That includes tax increases, major spending cuts, remaining mired in deficit for years longer than anticipated, or some combination of the three.
Risk vs reward. I would much rather have some blunt talk, than simply ignoring the "elephant in the room". Any conversation must also include a CHALLENGE to the media conduit- you bitch about a lack of substance, then have the courtesy to intelligently discuss a credible and realistic assessment. Ignatieff will find allies within the economic community, the EXPERTS who know full well the current numbers don't add up and structural deficit is a reality. Ignatieff has wiggle room on the timing, because the future is still unclear- this means tax hikes aren't necessarily a certainty, but an option, say in 2 or 3 years if certain benchmarks aren't met or forecasts fall further.
If Liberals want to seize the economic file, then we must present ourselves as the one's ready to deal with this daunting circumstance. This circumstance precludes "take a pass" scenarios, that try to fluff over future realities for present gain. If the Liberals tuck in behind the Conservative shadow on the deficit, then we have no need for a serious debate, but this posture almost guarantees electoral defeat. ONLY, if the Liberals drive the debate do we stand a chance. Why would you volunatarily cede a central election issue with your own timidity? If one does "play it safe", how then do you plan to defeat this government, on what other file? The deficit and future economic prosperity is THE issue, any strategy which merely mirrors the government plays into their hands. There is no need to replace a government when the opposition is offering more of the same, when they have no credibility because they take a pass on BIG problems on the horizon.
I applaud Ignatieff, no matter the circumstance that's led to this epiphany. Let's have an adult conversation, and if we go down because we spoke the truth, then Canadians have themselves to blame, but we were honest participants in this discussion.
Oh nevermind, nothing to see here.
Maybe they'll self destruct, or maybe it isn't the spring anymore :)