I am curious if the caretaker in Stornoway residence is trying to get himself fired nowadays. Every time he has asked the public to take a closer look they are turned off with his tenure as leader. In June 2009 his four ultimatums was followed up with line in the sand ($ 3 billion stimulus). He than proceeded with a "your time is up" in the Fall of 2009. For most of 2010 his party and their merry men have been playing peekaboo during critical votes ensuring the Conservatives would have no reason to ask for a dissolution. Is Ignatieff weighing down the Liberals or is the brand damaged beyond repair?
In his Christmas address before leaving for his European vacation, he decided it was prudent to repeat the threats of voting against the budget and having the Separatists and the NDP carry the water for the Conservative agenda.
An interesting attempt to frame the ballot question for the upcoming campaign is to blame our PM and the Government of Canada for the Global recession and their actions for the last five years.
The five-year milestone has presented the Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff, with his latest electoral gambit — to ask middle class Canadian families whether they are better off after half a decade of the Harper government?
In fact, by almost every pocketbook metric, Canadian families are better off than they were five years ago – even if they don’t feel it.-National Post
The question being raised is now being answered by the punditry. It will be resolved at the ballot. A basic rule of thumb learned in critical thinking, public debate in is NEVER ask a question that you don't already know the answer to.
Ignatieff is no Ronald Reagan, but leaving that aside, his question needs context.
The fiscal framework is another story. Harper came to office in a time of plenty, of the fiscal dividend inherited from sound Liberal stewardship of the economy. So solid were the country's books that the Conservatives were able to pay down the federal debt, reduce taxes, increase spending by twice the growth rate of the economy, and run three consecutive surpluses.
And then came the Great Recession of 2008-09, the direct consequence of the financial crisis. How we've come through it is a Canadian success story, especially when compared with the U.S. and our other G7 partners. The current deficit for the year ending March 31 is $44 billion (not $56 billion as Ignatieff puts it; that was last year's number). That's three per cent of GDP, on its way to balance by 2015, while our federal debt is only 31 per cent of GDP, lowest in the G7. By contrast, the U.S. deficit of $1.4 trillion is 10 per cent of GDP and the U.S. federal debt will exceed 100 per cent of GDP by next year.When Stephen Harper came into government five years ago, inflation stood at 2.2 per cent, compared with 1.7 per cent today. Unemployment was 6.6 per cent in January 2006 and is 7.6 per cent today. Home mortgage rates were about six per cent then and are 5.6 per cent now. The economy was growing at 3.9 per cent then, and grew at three per cent in 2010. The employment rate in Canada was 62.7 per cent then and was 61.7 per cent in 2010. Interestingly, the U. S employment rate was also 62.7 per cent in 2005, but fell to 58.5 per cent in 2010. (These figures are provided by economist Jeremy Leonard of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.)- Montreal Gazette