Ignatieff makes it clear he does not want to defeat the Conservatives but is adopting a face saving measure that will allow the Conservatives to make some minor changes and then Ignatieff can claim that he is responsible for them. However, Harper could call Ignatieff's bluff by making few, none, or obviously trivial changes and then Ignatieff will look foolish if he supports the government. Of course he will look foolish to some extent anyway. We are about to see Dion II or new ways to prop up a minority government. The fact that Layton and the Bloc are so confidently opposing the government shows that they expect the Liberals to cave.
Decision day for Ignatieff
Michael Ignatieff is deciding whether to bring down the minority Conservative government.
This is from the Star.
Will handling of economy by Tories end in election call?
Jun 15, 2009 04:30 AM Les Whittington Joanna Smith Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA–Federal Liberals expect party leader Michael Ignatieff to steer clear of an absolute commitment to bring down Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government when he gives his verdict today on the Conservatives' handling of the economic crisis.
But there is speculation that Ignatieff will threaten to defeat the Conservative minority later this week unless Harper agrees to improve the government's response to the recession, possibly by immediately moving to enrich employment insurance (EI) payments or speed up infrastructure payments.
The Liberal caucus is meeting at 10 a.m. today and Ignatieff will announce his decision publicly an hour later.
"I don't think Canadians want an election. I don't think I want an election," Ignatieff told CBC-TV yesterday. "But I have to do my job. And my job is to hold the government accountable."
Ignatieff spent the weekend studying the 234-page "report card" released Thursday on how the government is responding to the recession.
By demanding periodic report cards from Harper on the government's attempts to help Canada return to economic growth, the Liberals have put themselves in a tough corner.
Ignatieff's party has derided the latest Tory report card as inadequate and misleading. The Liberals say the government is not moving quickly enough to dispense billions of dollars in infrastructure spending to bolster the economy. And they say the EI program is failing jobless Canadians.
Under those circumstances, Liberals worry about political damage from continuing to prop up the minority government. Doing so repeatedly to avoid an election badly undercut the credibility of the Liberals' previous leader, Stéphane Dion.
But the alternative is not appealing, either. Forcing a summer election over the Conservatives' economic strategy during a deep recession could prompt a voter backlash, Liberals acknowledge. Harper is certain to contend an election battle would only delay delivery of federal spending.
Nonetheless, some Liberals favour a quick election while Canadians are smarting over the economy and the medical isotope crisis. But most seem content to wait at least until the fall to try to bring down the government.
Rejecting Harper's economic policies, the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois have already said they will vote against the government in a non-confidence vote on Friday. That means it will be up to the Liberals to defeat the government or keep it in power.