Monday, June 15, 2009

(Video) Michael Ignatieff's press conference, and interview with Don Newman

Michael Ignatieff's statement during his press conference this morning. One thing I want to clear-up that some seem to be confused about. He made this clear in the Q&A, which I didn't include for time reasons. But it's not enough for the Conservatives to just report on these four areas: we have to like the answers. If we don't, he made clear he's fully prepared to vote against the estimates on Friday.



And here's Ignatieff's interview with Don Newman on CBC's Politics broadcast this evening.

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7 comments:

Barcs said...

Didn't you guys just have a convention to replace Dion??

Or did you just give him a makeover and dye his hair and get rid of the glasses and the like???

Next friday is the next ultimatum. Last friday it was today. a couple weeks before that it was last friday when the report came out. And boy it better be a good one or we might vote them evil tories out!!

Politics news lately has been all about iggy calling this minister incompetent, or that minister incompetent and demanding resignations (I have lost count...)

He has voted with the government more times than Dion ever even had a chance to. All the while shaking his fist. (He even voted to support one of the anti crime bills even tho it wasn't a confidence motion).... All the while shaking his fist that what is happening isn't good enough. And he even has a policy proposition now (but only 1). He wants to reduce the hours you need for EI across Canada to a measly 45 days. Work 2 months and collect pogey for the rest of the year.

He continually suggests that pretty soon there might be an election, ... no not yet, soon. And backs away telling us that "Canadians don't want an election" IE: he might not win.

Sound like anyone that may or may not have been replaced as party leader??

If in fact he is a new leader I think I need to rename him... Iggy-Dion maybe? No, someone as condescending as he comes off as without adding any ideas to his corrections must be larger than life and referred to as such. Perhaps naming him the one.... Yeah....

The! Iggy-Dion!

So friday when he spins that Harper had a meeting with him and took a right good scolding and is therefore going to do what iggy (demands...lol)... when is the next ultimatum day that he will set? How many more ministers that he calls incompetent will he suffer to avoid an election? how many more votes will he support the tories on? When will he act on his fist shaking over how poorly the finances are being managed??

When will the media figger out that the liberals never actually replaced Dion??

RayK said...

If Harper doesn't "give in"--i.e. change his policy--on any of the issues that Michael Ignatieff has highlighted and Michaell Ignatieff still accepts the answers anyway, can we then finally admit that Ignatieff has rolled over? Or does that just mean that he agrees with Harper to begin with?

A BCer in Toronto said...

You need a good editor, barcs. That could have been a third of its length.

If, if, if, rayk. If Harper sprouted a horn, could we admit he's a unicorn? Let's wait and see how it plays out, and then we can say what happened.

RayK said...

Question: "If Harper sprouted a horn, could we admit he's a unicorn?"

Answer: Yes-if it's two horns then he's the devil.

See, that was easy.

But seriously folks, here's why it's important to assess the status of Iggy's backing-downedness in real time:

Iggy's plan is obviously to take whatever symbolic concessions he can force out of Harper and claim victory. He wants to make it look as though he's won something, even if he has to prop up Harper for nothing. Thus we need to establish clear goal posts as to what constitutes "something" and challenge Ignatieff whenever he holds up a figleaf as a sign of progress.

A BCer in Toronto said...

here's why it's important to assess the status of Iggy's backing-downedness in real time

I reject your hypothesis. You haven't supported your argument that he actually is backing down, so I'm not inclined to accept your false premise and join you on a journey down hypothetical lane.

As I think I may have said before, Ignatieff's decision not to set clear public "demands" as to what would be acceptable answers can be viewed in two ways:

1. In his spirit of cooperative yada yada, he doesn't want to publicly rule anything out so as to leave the field untainted. He wants to consider the CPC's positions on their own merits, and then see if they're either acceptable or within negotiation range. It's a less confrontational tone to signal a genuine willingness to be cooperative.

2. He doesn't want a public yardstick so he can make it easier to declare a poor offer a victory.

Scenario one may be a tad innocent, but scenario two is definitely rather cynical.

In the end, I think public yardsticks will be unnecessary. Either way, public opinion will be the judge. If there is a deal, I think we wille ach be able to judge its merits on our own, without prior lines in the sand.

RayK said...

"You haven't supported your argument that he actually is backing down, so I'm not inclined to accept your false premise..."

For starters, I was just answering your "if, if, if" question about why we can't just wait for all this to play out: I believe Ignatieff is trying to pull a fast one here by laying the ground work for phony claim of victory and I believe that that possibility needs to be raised in advance so people judge his eventual claims of success with that possibility in mind.

As for why I actually believe Ignatieff is in the process of backing down, here goes...

There are three all inclusive and--pretty much--mutually exclusive explanations for what Michael Ignatieff wants to get from this situation: force an election, force concessions or save face.

Yesterday Ignatieff asked Stephen Harper four questions. Harper answered each of these four questions but gave Ignatieff no substantive policy concessions in any of these four areas. Ignatieff in turn responded by (a) downplaying the idea that he was giving Harper an ultimatum and (b) stating that he was encouraged by the progress made in Harper's answers.

Let's evaluate Ignatieff three possible motivations in this context.

If Ignatieff were trying to force an election, then Harper provided him with the perfect opportunity. Ignatieff could have easily painted Harper's complete rejection of his "demands" as a sign that Harper was completely unwilling to work with him. Clearly Ignatieff is not trying to force an election.

If Ignatieff was trying to force concessions, then it would make no sense at all for Ignatieff to claim "progress is being made" before Harper has made any concessions whatsoever. If Harper thinks he has already done enough--or almost enough--to placate Michael Ignatieff then he is unlike to go much further. If Ignatieff were looking to force serious concessions--serious enough that they wouldn't constitute backing down--why would he send Harper that message?

Finally, if Ignatieff is looking to save face, then his response to Harper's answers makes perfect sense. By downplaying the idea that he was giving Harper an ultimatum, Ignatieff moves the goal posts for an easier touchdown. By stating that he was encouraged by the progress made in Harper's answers, he builds the perception that he’s getting exactly what he was looking for.

As Ignatieff learned with the dumb but successful probation exercise, making it look like Harper has accepted his demands is half the battle in convincing the public--and particularly the media--that he has won real concessions. Whether those concessions are actually meaningful is a second order consideration in terms of making that case to the public.

Put another way, Ignatieff response to Harper has set the bar so low that Harper can’t avoid stepping over it--and there’s no reason to do that unless you’re more concerned with claiming victory than actual victory.

Now, do want to take a crack at the original question: "If Harper doesn't "give in"--i.e. change his policy--on any of the issues that Michael Ignatieff has highlighted and Michaell Ignatieff still accepts the answers anyway, can we then finally admit that Ignatieff has rolled over? Or does that just mean that he agrees with Harper to begin with?"

Barcs said...

I'm learning to be like a politician and ramble on endlessly about only a couple points. :)