Monday, November 02, 2009

Pick a Hill to Die On, Iggy

I find it amusing, that when the opposition party is in opposition, that the media are constantly pressing us to lay out our wares - constantly 'put your big ideas in front of the public'. The reality is the government has been elected to govern and we will come out with a platform when Canadians are ready to make their choice because we're into a general election. Mr Ignatieff has been very forthright in speeches on foreign policy, on energy and the environment and on a range of areas, including most recently issues affecting women - the general principles of which he's following. Now, the big bold ideas that you want to see, the brilliant strokes that the media are looking for - why would we lay those out? Why would we telegraph those to a government that has, in its unbelievably cynical, partisan way, taken everything that's said, twisted it out of context, perverted the meaning, perverted the message? Why would we do that in advance when we haven't got a level playing field to lay those out?

- Alfred Apps, President of the Liberal Party on CTV's Question Period responding to a question by Craig Oliver about the lack of a Liberal Party platform
Flashback: Ignatieff wants campaign platform by June [2009]

Newly confirmed Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff wants his party to have a campaign platform ready for June, but says that doesn't mean he's looking for a spring election.

"I've told my people I want a platform in June," he said at a news conference Sunday.

"And don't derive electoral timetables from that," he added. "You asked me a question, I'm giving you an answer. I'm not playing games with you."
It's clear that the Liberal party has become gun-shy after Stephane Dion was trounced last year by the Cons over his carbon tax plan.

What Mr Apps fails to grasp is that the release of a Liberal party platform is a necessity if he wants the public to distinguish between his party, the Cons and the NDP. This isn't about what's good for the media or the Harper government. His reason for the party withholding its platform simply makes him - and Iggy - look weak - especially since Ignatieff had promised a platform by a June deadline that has long come and gone. And if he'd been paying attention, Apps would know that Ignatieff's speeches, which he seems to think provide the public with a clear view of his policies, are about as popular as his sagging poll numbers. (19%? Even Dick Cheney has better numbers than that).

Apps may find it "amusing" but I doubt he'll be laughing when the Liberals lose yet another election thanks to the party disarray that has ensued since Ignatieff was crowned.

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