By Jane Tabor, Globe and Mail, January 17, 2011
The Tory attack ads show Mr. Ignatieff , mostly in black and white, looking rather sinister as a deep-voiced narrator suggests he will do anything for power – including entering into a “reckless coalition” with the separatist Bloc Québécois.
If there is one thing, NOT in the Liberal playbook for the upcoming campaign, let's hope it is not more of the crude, rude, insulting character assassination ads that the Harper Conservatives are running on Ignatieff.
There are so many policy issues, and operational issues, that are like cherries waiting to be picked, left over from five years of Harper government.
His constant reiteration of "the economy is the best in the developed world" as what one has to assume, he would like his legacy to read, while appearing on CBC's The National tonight, left this viewer wondering if he has been sleepwalking through the last five years.
Harper did not create the five chartered banks, whose fiscal responsibility is more of the foundation for Canada's performance in the economic crisis. To claim credit for our fiscal recovery is smoke and mirrors.
We have a much larger debt and deficit than before Harper entered the PMO, and his government still intends to spend billions on prisons, on fighter jets and has squandered billions on the G8-G20 meetings for political theatre, and hopefully (in their mind) their own political good fortune, while failing to deliver a seat on the Security Council at the United Nations.
While acknowledgiong that the Bloc Quebecois's intrenched power in Quebec "makes it very difficult for anyone to form a majority government," he nevertheless continues to link the concept of a coalition to that party, as if it is the only variety of a coalition that is worth talking about. In the CBC interview, he did make one distinction between the previously proposed Canadian coalition and the current coalition in Great Britain...it was the party who 'won' the election that formed the coalition in Great Britain, not the parties who lost the election.
The Liberal's question for voters, tried many times in the past, sounds like this:"Are you better off after five years of Harper government?" ....and of course, the rhetorical answer is a resounding "No!"
However, a few "eye candy" ads, and such questions, without detailed and compelling national policy proposals, will not move the voters in Mr. Ignatieff's direction. On the day of the death of Senator Keith Davey, the Rainmaker, who made politics "fun" for Pierre Trudeau (according to Jim Coutts), Mr. Ignatieff would do well to take a page from Mr. Davey's book, and make his job and the near future a little more pleasant, considerably less professorial, and a lot more imaginatively challenging for all Canadians.
Let's all hope he succeeds in painting a canvas of hope, challenge, and responsible inspiration!