A while back, one of my commenters asked me why I had such a low opinion of Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal party “leader” here in Canada. The events of the last few weeks have demonstrated why my opinion of Ignatieff as “useless limpdick” is precisely correct.
Some background for non-Canadians. Things here right now are not exactly peachy, much like in the rest of the world. (We’re better off to an extent because our banks weren’t allowed under Canadian law to take the Debt-Gambling Plunge of Death ™ that the rest of the world’s banks so eagerly performed. Interestingly, the reason for this is because under Paul Martin, the then-government-leading Liberal party decided it was a bad idea, despite intense lobbying from the banks and the Tories – including Stephen Harper – to remove those restrictive laws. Why nobody mentions this any more is something I do not quite understand.)
Long story short: the Harper government claims that their stimulus spending is very successful. This is despite most of the stimulus spending actually having been used for capital investment or job creation or, you know, actual stimulus type things. That in turn is because the Harper Tories are frankly pretty shit at their jobs. Now, one of the ways government can spend money very efficiently to create immediate economic stimulus is to boost employment insurance benefits.1 Ignatieff wanted the government to boost EI payments, because the unemployed turn right around and spend the money and it makes the economy go wham. Harper did not want to boost EI payments, because then the government would be giving money to jobless people, and that makes Tories cry.
When Harper said this, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe immediately said they’d vote no-confidence in the government again, because they hate the Tories like poison anyway and this was just another opportunity to make that point. Ignatieff, however, decided to play chicken with Stephen Harper and say “I want W, X, Y and Z or I will topple your government.” This was moronic, because there is absolutely nothing that Harper likes better than getting to have an election and blame other people for it. Ignatieff was essentially promising to give Stephen Harper what he loved best – or else!
Now this in and of itself would be questionable, but the bigger problem is that Ignatieff decided to play chicken without having the balls to go all the way with it. Because what happened? Stephen Harper said “no,” and Ignatieff caved. Caving is what Ignatieff does. He’s been doing it ever since he became the party leader. Partly he’s been doing it because his support within the party comes from the big Bay Street wing of the party that has whatever money the Liberals still have left, and they want things handled a Certain Way. But mostly he’s been doing it because he is, as previously stated, a useless limpdick who wants to be seen as “reasonable.” So he had a Big Secret Meeting with Harper, and came out and said that the Liberals would support the Tories.
Understand: ten days ago, the Liberals were steamrollering the Tories in Ontario and Quebec polls. (Which, for the Liberals, are really the only ones that matter; if they pick up seats it’s going to be in central Canada, not in the East or West.) Now they’re back to dead even when the country really doesn’t like Harper that much. And why is this?
It’s because Michael Ignatieff is a useless limpdick. Nobody wants to vote for a chickenshit, and Michael Ignatieff is the worst kind of political chickenshit. Stephen Harper isn’t, regardless of whatever other faults he may have. That’s why he survives.
Top comment: Looking at the comments, I can’t help but notice that even Canada’s failures will forever be looked upon as cheap imitations of U.S. failures. — Benman
- Here in Canada, we have “employment insurance” and welfare. The former is essentially something you pay into every month, and then if you lose your job you get some money for a while in place of a paycheque. The latter is classic welfare. What is being discussed here is employment insurance. [↩]