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Ignatieff bets on fall election

by Archives September 8, 2009

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has announced his intention to pull the plug on Stephen Harper’s minority government. “The Liberal party cannot support this government any longer,” he told his party in Sudbury last week. “Mr. Harper, your time is up.”
If Ignatieff walks as tough as he talks, he will be bringing down the government as soon as possible – regardless of what they bring to the table.
Refusing to try to make the minority parliament work without even entertaining the possibility of negotiation is a risky position. Even the NDP and Bloc Quebecois have suggested that they would remain open to the possibility of supporting the government on a case-by-case basis.
Ignatieff’s decision seems poorly timed. After avoiding the spotlight all summer, he is now going to pull the trigger on an election just as the polls indicate that his popularity is slipping. If the recession continues to recede, his popularity could slip even further.
Forcing a fall election appears to be motivated by the desire for power rather than out of concern for Canadians. Going to the polls less than a year after the last election will not help Canadians who need jobs. Canadians want jobs, not another election.
In his time with the Liberal party, Ignatieff has proven to be an ineffectual leader. Perhaps he’s decided to take a hawkish approach so as not to be compared to his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, who idled for more than a year before bringing down the government.
The Liberal party hasn’t even told Canadians why they want to have an election this fall. Ignatieff has announced no radical departures from what the current government is doing. He is arguably the most conservative leader his party has had this generation, and many Liberal insiders don’t even know where their party stands on key issues under Ignatieff’s leadership,
According to the polls, an election right now would prove fruitless. The most likely result will be another minority parliament with a very similar seat distribution. There is no good reason to throw away millions of dollars, just to end up where we started.
The current streak of minority governments are no longer serving our country. What we need right now is some stability so that we no longer have to live fearing another election could be right around the corner.
Another election could come with a silver lining, however. It would be an opportunity to choose a much more stable future by electing a majority government. It is time for Canadians to come together and decide who they want to lead them through the next four years.

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