Liberal interim leader Michael Ignatieff was the first guest today on the debut edition of Power Play, hosted by Tom Clark, the successor to Mike Duffy Live. Topics of discussion included the budget, equalization, the Liberal Newfoundland MPs, himself, his goals, power, and the NY Times piece over the weekend.
Speaking of the budget, the Liberal amendment passed tonight. Here's a partial transcript of Ignatieff's scrum comments after the vote:
THE FEDERATION CALCULATES RESOURCE REVENUES. IT'S A TECHNICAL ISSUE, BUT ON THE 27th OF JANUARY, BOOM, OUT OF THE CLEAR, BLUE SKY, NEWFOUNDLAND WAS INFORMED THAT THERE WERE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES. INTO THE FEDERAL TRANSFERS THAT THEY WOULD RECEIVE, AND IT LOOKS LIKE, AND THIS WAS CONFIRMED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE TODAY THAT THAT'S ABOUT A BILLION DOLLARS OVER THREE YEARS. I SAID TO THE PRIME MINISTER, YOU CAN RUN A FEDERATION THIS WAY. UNILATERAL WITHOUT WARNING, CHANGES. IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BUDGET. IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AND IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO RUN A FEDERATION PROPERLY. I SAID WOULD YOU PUSH THE PAUSE BUTTON ON THOSE CHANGES? AND RETHINK HIS APPROACH TO GET GREATER NATIONAL UNITY IN A TIME OF CRISIS, AND HE SAID NO. SO THAT'S WHERE WE ARE.
Harper said no. Well, colour me surprised. Why would he say yes, exactly? Harper wants to stick it to Danny Williams for obvious and personal reasons, he has calculated we're not prepared to go to the mat over this, and he's not particularly inclined to help out out Newfoundland Liberal MPs. All that's left is to let our Newfoundland MPs vote as they wish, and hold it up as an example of how free and open of differing opinion and regional concerns the Liberal caucus is, vis a vis the Conservatives.
We continue to push for changes on equalization as part of our wider push around making parliament work and giving the Conservatives a chance to succeed or fail. And then if they don't correct this we roll in into out wider messaging when we do pull the plug on Harper, as a time and on issues of our own choosing. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers