“We have a new coalition now on Parliament Hill: It's a coalition between Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff,” said the NDP leader, who dismissed the Liberal amendment as “a fig leaf.”
“Today we have learned that you can't trust Mr. Ignatieff to oppose Mr. Harper. If you oppose Mr. Harper and you want a new government, I urge you to support the NDP.”
And this is why I don't vote NDP anymore. Seriously. Just stop talking, Jack.
Duceppe at least had a coherent - and far more entertaining - criticism of the proposed Liberal amendment:
Today, Mr. Duceppe ridiculed the Liberal proposition, saying the timeline ensures the Conservatives will remain in power until at least the next budget. Mr. Duceppe predicted Mr. Ignatieff will respond to a report in June by saying Canadians want an election during summer like “a hole in the head,” mocking a recent line from the Liberal leader. Mr. Duceppe predicted the Liberals will use the same line again in December to argue there's no appetite for an election over Christmas.
And I agree.
Instead, the Liberals should be insisting on the amendments I suggested yesterday (removing the E.I. wait time and removing the requirement for matching provincial and municipal funds for infrastructure spending). And in fact, a lot of people thought that they were preparing to do just that.
So why didn't they? It's just a guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ignatieff proposed just such a thing to Layton last night and was told in no uncertain terms that the NDP would not support anything short of a defeat of the government. Without their support, and given that the Conservatives would resist strongly even minor changes to the wording of their budget, such amendments could never pass. So we are left with a lukewarm and toothless amendment that gives the appearance of accountability but really changes nothing.