Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"I Like The Smell"

A few thoughts on Ignatieff's press conference. You don't want to get carried away, but there is no question in my mind, a new era has begun in Canadian politics. What I heard was a leader, on every question, a blend of thoughtfulness, vision and firm, firm resolve.

A master stroke to put the onus completely on Harper- you started it, you get us out, or I'll take you down, the Liberal Party is not your life raft. Furthermore, to demand the government come clean on the deficit, "we don't believe the numbers", means that the Liberals will smoke out the government, they will wear THEIR deficit, no more Ontario's Jimbo. Above all, a sense that the Conservatives will be held to account, they will not dictate to the Liberals.

On the question of attack ads, Ignatieff's response was wonderful. Basically warning the Conservatives, that with a crisis in our midst, it would be a mistake to engage in partisan nonsense. The high road, if you choose different, expect the Liberals to identify to Canadians. Clever.

Speaking of the Liberal challenges, Ignatieff was frank but optimistic. I particularly liked his Quebec analysis, essentially telling reporters the Liberals are back, not cocky or presumptive, but a calm confidence. Ignatieff's most substantive answer revolved around the rural/urban divide, within that, a deep urning to connect with Western Canadians. Calling "the west" Canada's future, lavishing praise on the entrepreneurial spirit, it's a small step, but it came with a genuine respect which will be helpful. Again, nobody is getting carried away, but I sensed a desire to begin, a long view, with a goal. Respect.

On the coalition, clear and concise, we've made our view know, "walk down the hill" or all options are on the table. Harper has an opening, the Liberals will always act responsibily, but the government must regain the trust it squandered. In my view, the perfect position, the Liberals need not marry themselves to anything, keep ourselves nimble.

I must say, I feel like a weight has been lifted, the Liberals really do have a fresh opportunity. You can sense it in the media play, predictable sources aside, that Ignatieff has greater stature than Dion, the pundit class buys him as PM material. What comes of it, entirely impossible to predict, but nobody doubts that Ignatieff is a serious player. Further, with a caucus behind him, the pundit class will see a new air around the Liberal Party, and nobody should understate the importance of perception.

I think Ignatieff nailed it today, taken in totality. "I like the smell" too.


Dame said...

Yes i am on the same elated mindset I love everything I heard today from Iggy.
especially This part :
"I am prepared to form a coalition government, and to lead that government and provide Canada with the security and stability it needs," Ignatieff said in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon."

liberazzi said...

Bob Fife of all people is calling him a "game changer".

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff did well today definitely.

The only thing I don't like is he, and we, keep saying "Stephen Harper has lost the confidence of the House", well since when do you get to keep governing after you've lost the confidence of the House?

If we mean what we say why does he get a choice to continue to govern after he's lost the confidence?

I realize public perceptions in all would not be great if we took the NDP position and said "let's not even look at the budget", but if Harper's lost the confidence of the House why should he get another chance?

It just seems a bit contradictory is all.

CuzBen said...

Agreed. Beyond what he said, which was good, I was impressed with how he said it. Fair but firm, cool but with conviction.

He will appeal to many right-leaning liberals and lefty-conservatives who have been dying for a reason to ditch Harper, depending on what happens with the NDP coaltion.

I hope that will be enough to tilt the balance, but I think Ignatieff will need to make a couple image changes to appeal more to the average joe. Nothing drastic, just a touch less ivy league and a little more community college.

Anonymous said...

Let us all rejoin. The Saviour has arrived.
Yes we can!

Anonymous said...

The part that sucks is that if the Liberals back down now we can expect, probably, a good year and a half of smears against the new leader. Don't fool yourself, they're coming.

The only chance to bring this government down and take away their chance to swiftboat Iggy, is now.

The worry is that we will get into a cycle, like we did with Dion, where we are forced to bide time, meanwhile the dirtiest political slimeballs this country has ever seen will throw every piece of crap they have at us.

Things may seem hopeful now, but I don't trust the CPC. I prefer the option to vote down the next throne speech, (wiggle out of the "official" agreement with the Bloc), govern responsibly for a couple of years, let the CPC fall into a leadership void, then have an election and hopefully win a majority government.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the public is going to buy the rhetoric that Harper better fix the problem he started. He seems to be extending the olive branch and the public won't have the stomach to see it thrown back in his face.

Steve V said...


The only question here for the public- are you satisfied with this government's economic statement? If the answer is no, then it's quite acceptable to EXPECT the government to get it right. The Liberals aren't in power, they will react to what Harper presents, and everyone agrees, it had better be more than what we've seen to date.

sjw said...

Harper extending an olive branch? What a fucking joke. This PM has proven over and over again that he can't be trusted. Period. He is blinded by his partisanship and his loathing of the LPC is visceral. He doesn't deserve the respect of anybody in Parliament with the way he has behaved. Let him stew in the pile of shit that he himself produced.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that people who know Harper, understand that the olive branch is tied to a booby trap.

Anonymous said...

Sjw, nice language.. you don't sound "blinded" or "loathing" well done. I think if we want the public to take us seriously, we might want to take some more time thinking of better constructive comments than, "he can stew in the pile of shit he himself produced." Don't you think this is why people don't take us seriously anymore?

sjw said...

No, Frank, they don't take the LPC seriously anymore because they are too stupid to actually educate themselves beyond the droning foolishness that this nefarious neocon movement emanates. What? You never heard the word fuck before? Please..

Anonymous said...

sjw, you are symbolic of the problems in this party. Unite behind your leader. Work hard to help re-define the party. And stop with the ignorant b.s. Really, you are really not adding any value. All you are achieving is some form of mental masturbation.

Anonymous said...

Saw Ignatieff on Don Newman's Politics. He framed the issues well. I like the fact that he said the Libs have a meeting with Flaherty to ask to see the books. I don't think the Cons will let them see the books because they are in fact "cooked". We will have cover when the charges against a coalition government start flying.

sjw said...

And your "added value" contribution would be what, Frank? Offer council to trust and work in concert with an incompetent prime minister who is intent on destroying the party you purport to support? No, Frankie boy, it is you that is wallowing in some sort of "mental masturbation" if you believe the Liberals should just blindly accept an olive branch from a dangerous stooge such as Stephen Harper. I would venture YOU and others like you who are the symbolic element that has led to the many problems the LPC has made for itself over the last couple of years.

Steve V said...


I will note, two separate news organizations repeated Ignatieff's frame- Mr. Harper got us here, the responsibility to get us out is on him. Instead of just reacting to Harper, it's about time we're proactive and make narratives. Today, I just saw that in spades, let it seep in with Canadians :)

I will add, don't think Canadians just take the olive branch at face value, Harper is diminished, we should operate with that suspicion in mind.

RuralSandi said...

Big Frank - you not paying attention? Harper's phony interview extending the olive branch - all the while scumbage Finlay is sending out letters attacking him. The olives have rotted on Harper's olive tree.

Kirbycairo said...

They can, and will, attack Ignatieff. But I think this may be the case of a bully finally picking on the wrong guy. He is obiviously not only very bright, he appears to be a very good stategist and he's as cool as a cucumber. I am not a Liberal but I am glad to say that I think this guy can finally bring the Harper age of thuggery to an end.

sjw said...

Big Frank is a conservative troll trying to sell his manipulative wares. He doesn't think the public is going to buy the rhetoric that Harper better fix the problem he started? Bullshit. I truly believe that a good many Canadians are in some sort of deluded trance when it comes to the goings on in Ottawa of late, but ya can't fool all of the people all of the time indefinitely. There's going to be something thrown back in Harper's face alright and it will be the public, sick and tired of the Conservative cobby wobbles that have been nauseating their stomachs, doing the tossing. Can I get an Amen?

Anonymous said...

No, you can't get an amen. You can get a clue.

"they are too stupid to actually educate themselves"
If this is what you think about Canadians then please stay away from governance and politics. It is that kind of elitist attitude that gives Liberals a bad name and drives our working class toward the Cons.Stop being so immature.

burlivespipe said...

I want to hear more squeezing of Harper's integrity or lack thereof, for sending his minions out and about to feed the separatist fires both in Quebec and Alberta. It's clinically destructive to launch such attacks when you perfectly know the parliamentary system, have worked the parliamentary system, and were prepared to use the same levers that now are so 'undemocratic'. We have to point out that it is Harper who fails to respect the decision of Canadians in October, who has chosen to not work with the House but build bon fires around it in hopes to cause more havoc, move disfunctionalism, and manipulate some kind of faux majority. The man is beneath any prime minister we've ever elected -- and don't forget Mr. money-in-envelopes Mulroney was the father of the Bloc...

Steve V said...


If that's representative of "Canadians" than god help us all.

sjw said...

The "Can I get an Amen?" was the result of one too many Merlots with dinner, but I stand by what I said about most Canadians being too stupid to educate themselves as to the seriousness of what is taking place in our politics at the moment. If you and the rest of the working class can't fathom that seriousness, Joe, then I would suggest you yourself stay away from politics and sleepily relish your time with the Cons in governance. The time for playing nice is over.

Anonymous said...

Ok bud. You keep telling people how stupid they are and see how many friends you have at the end of the day.

Sure, the average Canadian doesn't fully understand the ins and outs of what's happening in Ottawa. But if you want the LPC to succeed, you better get off your high horse and learn to communicate with people.

I realize you probably don't work for the LPC communications team, at least I hope you don't, but that attitude that people are dumb and we educated Liberals will run your lives, a myth often spewed by the Cons, resonates with people.

Ignatieff, unlike you, gets this and talks to people instead of down to them.

"If you and the rest of the working class can't fathom that seriousness, Joe, then I would suggest you yourself stay away from politics"

Jesus, you're beyond elitist. I think there are still a couple monarchies in the world, please go live there.


"If that's representative of "Canadians" than god help us all."

I'm not sure what "that" refers to. My comments or sjw's?