A selection of quotes from Michael Ignatieff in a series of media interviews this afternoon/evening, following the release of the Conservative Party's economic update today. I like the energy, and the fire.
“One step at a time. But I will tell you that I've got ice-water in my veins on this one. I'm utterly unintimidated and undeterred by this stuff and the caucus is in the same mood . . . . (Harper) has misread the mood if he thinks that the Liberal caucus is going to cave on this matter. No way. No way.''Media scrum outside the House of Commons chamber:
“We need to discuss the -- the government wants parliamentarians to be responsible about responding to this crisis to make sacrifices. We're prepared to consider all kinds of sacrifices. We understand the seriousness of the crisis but the measures they've introduced don't address the nature of the crisis. There is nothing in the auto sector. There is nothing on forestry. There is no stimulus I could go on. They've got to come back and give us something that addresses the crisis seriously and unites parliamentarians instead of dividing them.”
“Pay bargaining. Collective bargaining. Pay equity. Right to strike. All this stuff. Boom! New finance rules for political parties. This is not the way to govern on the edge of Niagara Falls. That's what we're saying. So go back and think about it again.”
“No one wants to play political chicken. I am thinking of the workers in the forestry sector, in the automobile sector. What they are crying out for is a government that doesn't play games with this, comes back to us and says, how can we make this work. And if they do that they'll have a very receptive and co-operative liberal party.”
“I can't assure you of anything. I will tell you about what i know about the mood of this party. We are tired of sitting down. Is that clear? Thank you."
On Mike Duffy Live:
“There's a deficit, although they're trying to hide it. There's an attack on pay equity, though they deny it. There's an attack on collective bargaining. And there's a crude partisan swipe at other political parties. And at a time when canadians want parliamentarians to work together, find common solutions, come together, it is the worse possible signal. And we can't support this, Mike.”Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
“At a time when Canadians are looking for us to work together, you don't divide. You seek to unite. The prime minister is playing divisive politics. He's gambling that we'll back down. We just think this does not help workers. It does not help people who are struggling with their pensions. We think this is just not good enough. There is no stimulus package there. There is nothing for the auto sector. There is nothing for forestry. And there are consistent -- there's a strain of partisan attack that we think is utterly unacceptable in a document like this which should be drawing us together. We can't support it.”
“We think they are actually concealing a deficit. They've got these ridiculous asset sales where they've already added in the money they're going to get from asset sales that haven't occurred. It's flimflamery, mike, and it won't wash. The most serious issue is there is no plan to get us out of what i think will prove to be a serious recession. They are underestimating the severity of the recession we're going into. They're making overoptimistic estimations of our economic situation and it comes back to a basic issue of confidence and trust. We can't trust this government to tell canadians the truth about the state of the economy or what they plan to do about it. And so the prime minister and mr. Flaherty have to go back, have a nice weekend together, have a chat and a think and come back to us with something that this parliament can work with."
“In our view, the stimulus that they put into the economy in '08 wasn't sufficient. We're going into a recession. The numbers are getting worse and worse by the day. Corporate tax revenue is plummeting. Our sense is that they're whistling past the grave yard here. They're not aware of what is about to happen to the Canadian economy. They can't tell Canadians the truth about it and therefore they can't plan adequately. We think the stimulus needs to be put in place now. If you compare what they're doing in Great Britain, this week, the British government put in a massive injection of stimulus. The Chinese government did so two or three weeks ago. I don't know what this government is waiting for. We want action. We want it now. And if we don't get it, the recession will be deeper, harder, and tougher for Canadians than it needs to be. And our job as an opposition is to stay that -- is to say that, stand up for Canadians and fight for them and we will.”
“In a word, no more sitting on our hands. You got me absolutely right, Mike.”