Sunday, March 28, 2010

The most important speech since Moses on the Mount? Livebloging Michael's closing speech at Canada at 150

2:36 PM: And here it is, the most important speech ever (TM) as Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff takes to the stage to a loud standing-ovation to deliver his closing address. Noting the great web interactivity, he says we've changed Canadian politics and it will never be the same. Let's not exaggerate Mike, but it was really fantastic.

2:39 PM:As Michael speaks we've just been handed the press release drawing on his still in-progress address. SkimBoldming it while still trying to listen to his speech. He's committing on stage to a pan-Canadian learning plan, including early learning and childcare for every Canadian family that wants it. Also, closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attainment, and seriously tackling illiteracy. Also need to make higher education affordable for the average middle class Canadian family, so if you get the grades, you get to go. I've heard that line from Michael before. It's a good line, but I'm still waiting on the how.

2:43 PM: Talking about families now, believes families are the core of life. He’s concerned about the burden of elder care on families though, and says government needs to help families with that growing challenge. And need to balance the growing costs of elder care and chronic care. And he sees a strong federal role there around a national strategy of preventative care, saying it’s the only way we can deal with the rising costs of health care.

2:46 PM: He wants extended home care support from the federal government, including extended compassionate leave, saying 16 weeks isn’t enough. He talks about a woman who came in to talk to him because she was caring for her dying husband and needed more help – he delivers a good like when he says he doesn’t want to have to have conversations like that in Canada, he wants to help her and so do Canadians.

2:50 PM: “I’m proud of the time I’ve spent out in the world, and I want more Candians to have that opportunity,” says IgnBoldatieff. And I say finally, finally he takes that Conservative canard on directly and says, basically, bite me Steve.

2:54 PM: Shifting to the press release for some policy nuggets: A Pan-Canadian Learning Plan, Pension Reform. Energy Innovation, Deficit Reduction by getting to a deficit to GDP target of 1% within first two years of government, spending restraint through finding savings in partnership with public services and promising all platform promises will be priced within current budget framework without raising deficit, and a freeze of corporate tax rates at current levels.

2:59 PM: He's getting to the fiscal stuff now, promising while there's many things we want to do in 2017, loading our children with debt and deficits won't be something a Liberal government will do. No new spending unless we can clearly identify a source without increasing the deficit. We have to make prudent choices and make some room to realize some dreams.

Will also freeze corporate tax rates, he's now saying. It's Jeff talking for a bit now. The NDP will chortle, but one big difference. While in government, and in opposition, we lowered and supported lowering them down to current levels to encourage economic growth. It has worked, while the NDP opposed it every step of the way. With the current fiscal framework it makes sense to freeze them, but when this passes we'll go back to making sensible and mature economic choices while the Dippers go back to braying about corporate bogeymen.

3:07 PM: Says he's making these announcements because it needs to move people talk, because he respects these discussions here this weekend and now it's time for leadership, and he needs us with him.

3:17 PM: Web got unusable so updates slowed. Speech is over, more thoughts soon but up to the press conference now. Will be interesting to see how the media spins it, we'll get an early indication from their questions.

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Lindsay Stewart said...

jeff thanks again for all of your updates. after watching the tedious exercise of ignatieff prattling on and saying nearly nothing, there's no bold initiative, no clear vision and nothing that speaks to my notion of a direction for this nation. all of the compelling panels and speakers were for naught. my choice is made, i will not support the loiberal party. in fact i want them to collapse in on themselves, to be replaced by an actual forward thinking and progressive political option. that was a dismal and disappointing speech.

marie said...

Lindsay, it would seem that you had already made up your mind along with the Media before this conference even begain. Too much listening to the Mediaand nothing else.

CK said...

Yes, Jeff, thanks for the live blogging.

Lindsay, I think most of that room disagreed with you. be replaced by an actual forward thinking and progressive political option. that was a dismal and disappointing speech.

We have to be realistic. Canadians aren't just that left winged. Especially nowadays. Most of Canada considers themselves centrist (and to date, many of thos former liberal supporters have been led on Stevie's sharp right turn). The NDP will never ever govern for that very reaon; they's considered evul soshalists, haven't ya heard? (yes, centrists have learned that McCarthyism is alive and well).

Iggy ain't goin' anywhere until he loses a general election and unfortunately, that could well mean a Harpercon majority. And don't think it can't happen. Steve has a propensity for bouncing back and he has the corporate media in lockstep with him.

I would love a coalition, but i don't see that happening. I agree with Chantal Hebert that the liberals are probably thinking they can not only not gain any centrists headed right to Harpercon land, but actually lose what few centrists they may have supporting them if they go into a coalition.

I would like something much more progressive in an ideal world, but I am a realist too. The centrists are the majority and thus, attracting them becomes priority.

What it comes down to is either Harpercon or Iggy. Not voting has proven to favour Harpercon (incumbent) in the past.

I want Harper out of office and frankly. And that is my priority.

the below video is in French, but the language is simple enough and he speaks slowly. If you need translating help, please let me know. It's something, I think every Canadian should see.

Does anyone honestly think Iggy, or anyone else for that matter, would eliminate elections?

Lindsay Stewart said...

marie i form my opinions on what i see and on gut reactions to the people and policies. i really didn't expect much from this conference. i expected a circle jerk. i was quite pleasantly surprised to see some very engaged and engaging discussion. there were a lot of challenging ideas and issues put forward. ignatieff continued on his line of doing the least, taking the least risks and pandering to the invisible middle. i haven't read any of the conventional media, all i know of their reactions are second hand.

my thoughts are derived from watching the conference. iggy has been a total disappointment since he scammed his way into the leadership and nothing has occurred to alter my impression of him. after all of the thoughtful presentations over the last two days, his speech was limp and uninspired.

in terms of reality ck, the fabled middle is pretty well entrenched. harper has his share and the liberals are in a constant losing game of catch up. i honestly do think that canadians are a socially liberal nation, by and large. i'd love to see harper out of office but at what cost? the same policy with a little less jesus on it? i won't be surprised to see harper get his majority over iggy come the next election. ignatieff has become the liberal's bob stansfield a smart, dull guy that nobody wants as prime minister. we are stuck in the slightly lesser of evils zone and nothing will change anytime soon. i'm not the only one throwing up his hands.

ignatieff will get cut loose sooner or later. i think the damage would be less if he went now.