11.22.2010 02:31 PM

You can’t make this stuff up, even if you wanted to

And if you don’t like our position today, we’ll have a new one next week!

November 22, 2010: “Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Monday he is now willing to support a vote in the House of Commons on the federal government’s plan to extend Canada’s mission in Afghanistan beyond 2011.”

November 12, 2010: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper said…at the end of the day, he and his cabinet will make the final call about a new training mission there.  And Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Bob Rae said he has no problem with that.”

UPDATE: And the game is afoot, as they say, thanks to Monsieur Duceppe. Wonder if it’ll be a whipped vote?

27 Comments

  1. Michael Reintjes says:

    Weird?….Don’t know what to make of this guy….when I go back and re-read this it appears much has changed in less than a year…
    http://warrenkinsella.com/top-ten/reasons-ignatieff-will-win/

    • Art Williams says:

      Warren can speak for himself but these are my thoughts. Michael Ignatieff appears to be a very smart and decent man, however, that doesn’t make someone a good politician. Like John Tory, he appears to lack the tactical and strategic thinking to be a successful politician. Chretien, Trudeau and, yes, Harper all had those cunning, cut-throat skills. Also, you have to wonder about some of the people that Ignatieff has chosen to be his closest advisors. None-the-less, I wish him well but I don’t like what I see. Mind you, the same can be said for the alternatives. Lord help us all.

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    I much more prefer the flip flops than the steel boots.

    I will give credit to Ignatieff for listening.

    Unfortunately, it is too late for a meaningful discussion on Afghanistan, since all the negative attention will be now directed at Ignatieff and the Liberals.

    On the otherhand, my cynical side, which was substantiated by last week’s events, is telling me this decision has a lot more to do with polling from a certain north of Toronto by-election than a true mea culpa.

    • DL says:

      Please explain how this latest flip-flop by Ignatieff will make any difference whatsoever in the byelection in Vaughan? If you are against the involvement in Afghanistan then you are even more likely to be mad at Iggy. If you support the involvement in Afghanistan – then you wonder why Iggy keeps sending out mixed signals etc… and EVERYONE is left wondering what he stands for at all.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        I didn’t mean to suggest (if that is what you read into my reply) that the flip flop would help in Vaughan. Vaughan is lost according to the Liberal canvassers I have spoken to. The only thing that can change the result is an incredible Hunter-size (see 2001 Beaches-St. Paul by-election) smear in the final days of the campaign.

        What my cynical side was suggesting is that the flip flop (which I will again say I prefer over a steel boot) was more to appease those MPs and other grassroots Liberals who will have their arrows out if the Liberal GTA fortress is forced to cede a wall next week.

        BTW, my opinion is that Canada has already sacrificed too much, both in deaths and wounded (recent report states over 3,000 wounded). The reality is, Canada has shed MORE BLOOD PER CAPITA in Afghanistan than any other NATO country (including the U.S.).

  3. Paul R Martin says:

    I just love some of the CAPTCHA Codes. This one has the letters PU. Simply amazing! Harper did not have to do anything to stir up this latest kerfuffle in opposition ranks.

  4. wilson says:

    That’s why we call him Iffy.

  5. Sean says:

    I hope the NDP / Bloc jump on this… Speed this moron’s departure…

  6. Namesake says:

    Well, it is a pretty sorry spectacle how this whole thing has proceeded…. alternating b/w being imperious & a waffler. But as I’ve said before, there’s ample lemonade material here:

    There is virtue in demonstrating a willingness to blink and retract when one’s demonstrably wrong (and has been informed of that by one’s team &/or disappointed supporters) …particularly when it’s done before the point of no return.

    It shows that he’s not a Mr. Dithers — he made up his mind, alright, but maybe not the right way — but nor is he an intransigent dictator: he IS willing to adopt a consensus view for the sake of his Party when it becomes apparent he was wrong, even if it makes him look personally weak.

    In contrast, in almost every case when there’s been blow-back, Harper just digs his heels in deeper, which not only puts egg on his face, as well (albeit one of a different, more sulfurous odor), but ends up costing us money &/or lives: as with losing the Camp Mirage base in the Emirates air rights brouhaha.

  7. Ray says:

    I’m with Mississauga Peter on this. I agree with you completely that the way the decision came about was deplorable. The actual decision isn’t the best, but I’m sure a reasonable case can and has been made in the last little while for their position. I’ll give Ignatieff the benefit of the doubt for being able to listen, albeit after some push back. Better late than never. In the end he still looks silly, but I’d rather someone who can reverse their stupidity rather than take us all down based on a stupid principle. And yes, I’m completely ignoring the more cynical possibilities.

  8. Art Williams says:

    Apparently, Ignatieff will agree to a vote but he won’t propose it. He looks weak by appearing to backtrack and half heartedly agree to a compromise. This is not what voters look for in a leader.

  9. nic coivert says:

    This is his character. Ignatieff has said he’s not a regular politician, and he’s not. I think it shows responsiveness, ya know, he may not agree with the majority within his party but when pressed to soften his position he does so, even while disagreeing. Isn’t that what people were asking for?

  10. billg says:

    Theres a bunch of polls that have Ignatief trailing Duceppe, Layton and Harper as best suited to be PM nic coivert, so, I’m guessing the answer to your last question is, no, that isnt what people are asking for. There are many Canadians who couldnt stand PE Trudeau, but, stood on a road for hours waiting for his funeral train to pass by to pay last respects. You dont always have to be right, but you do always have to be decisive.

    • nic coivert says:

      How is not blocking the bloc’s wish to introduce a vote on the Afghanistan mission on their Opposition day indecisiveness? Leadership is not about intransigence.

      Plus, it paints Duceppe in a kinder light than the Cons would like, maybe he’s not the pariah people thought he was. Maybe a coalition with these guys could work.

  11. Ted says:

    For a flop don’t you need a flip?

    I’ve been reading through old articles and I can’t find anywhere where Ignatieff said it must not go to a vote.

    I don’t see how being OK with Harper’s decision not to bring it to a vote and open to a vote is a flip flop. It may be indecisive but it’s not a flip flop.

  12. MississaugaPeter says:

    If Duceppe gets his vote next week (after the by-elections), Rae’s prediction for an “interesting week” would be off by just a week (although this week does feel a lot different politically than many of the weeks before it – and what I mean by that, is that WK is posting at blistering pace all of a sudden).

  13. Art Williams says:

    “UPDATE: And the game is afoot, as they say, thanks to Monsieur Duceppe. Wonder if it’ll be a whipped vote?”

    Perhaps but, when the bells ring, I suspect some Liberal MPs will get lost on their way to the Commons.

  14. orval says:

    Ignatieff is right. A vote on an opposition motion has no impact on the situation. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have already stated that a resolution to convert the combat mission into a training mission is not required to be passed by the House of Commons. Hence the Government’s commitment last weekend at the NATO summit in Lisbon, with the support of the Official Opposition.

    That being said, if the Liberals support the Bloc motion denouncing the Government’s decision, it is not only a vote of non-confidence in Ignatieff’s leadership, it is also the shameful end of the once-great Liberal Party of Canada that, under WL MacKenzie King’s leadership led our country through World War II to free Europe from fascism; and under Louis St Laurent’ leadership committed our nation’s forces to help the UN save South Korea from communist conquest; and under Jean Chretien’s leadership that committed our forces to the NATO effort to prevent genocide and mass murder in Kosovo; and under Paul Martin Jr’s leadership that committed our forces to Kandahar to fight in order to help save the Afghan people from the brutality of Taliban rule.

    I expect the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois to be the Taliban’s “useful idiots” (to quote Lenin’s description of the peace movement in the West). I expect however that the Liberal Party of Canada to stand for Canada, as they have done in our nation’s past. If they don’t, then they do not deserve the privilege of being Canada’s government ever again.

    • Namesake says:

      Give me a break. Are you still under the illusion that the current goal for staying there is to eliminate the Taliban? Then you better count the current U.S. Administration & its General Patreus and indeed all of NATO among the “useful idiots” willing to negotiate a poer sharing peace with them in order to withdraw, too, then — because that’s just what’s been happening…

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/world/asia/20afghan.html?_r=1&hp

      http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/10/20/nato-escorting-taliban-leaders-peace-talks/

      … even tho’ — d’oh — it turned out the person they were negotiating with only an imposter trying to line his own pocket (as so many of the factions the west has been dealing with over there are).

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23kabul.html?src=twrhp

      We’re NOT bringing a sustainable change for the good there, and the Taliban WILL be back, no matter how much military & police training we try to impart over the next few years. We should be funding humanitarian & development work in Afghanistan, not perpetuating its war industry.

      And if it’s the destruction of the Liberal party to be realistic about that and to object to a pointless, costly exercise which is probably being done more to bolster a flagging lame-duck American President’s position than for anything else: well, then, so be it.

      But I call “Bull!” on that whole hand-wringing “shameful end of the Party” conclusion of yours. If, after this vote, we say,

      “No, sorry, we’ve overruled the minority PM and are going to stick to our previous resolution; we’ve done our part in trying to make the place more stable through force, but we can see now that the only way forward is through a negotiated peace with the Taliban, and given the prodigious size of your existing forces, you certainly don’t need a new army trained on how to kill the Taliban to do that, so, we’re out of here…”

      …that would be something like Chretien saying, “No, I just don’t see it,” to Bush and and refusing to follow him into the Iraq war. Both our relationship with the US and the Liberal Party will survive. In fact, if it’s done right, the latter can even get stronger again, as it did after the Iraq decision, when people become proud of the Party for doing the right instead of the politically expedient thing.

  15. Student501 says:

    Well there goes another (quiet) back-room deal up in smoke.

    What a surprise, I am shocked, truly shocked…

  16. james Smith says:

    … so then the batting coach sez to the third base coach: “when we’re down a run LATE we need to to pull it to the opposite side”. The third base coach is over the top with this. “Are you cray!?” He yells from outside the dug-out. “You HAVE to keep it IN PLAY otherwise you don’t stand a chance”….

    Shrug, Yawn,
    Meh!

  17. Iris Mclean says:

    We haven’t had a functioning Official Opposition for five years. Why, at this late date, are everybody’s shorts in a knot?

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