After bad mouthing the Conservatives for aeons and complaining about the Liberals propping up the Conservatives for a similar length of time, the White Knight socialist Layton gallops to the rescue of the right wing Harper because Harper is willing to give a few crumbs to the unemployed. I guess Layton is a supporter of trickle down Harperism. Never mind parliament is working, for Harper that is. Meanwhile the way is cleared for Ignatieff to come down with the harshest anti-Harper rhetoric since it is perfectly safe. I am waiting for Ignatieff to condemn the harmonised sales tax as a burden on consumers. This is from the Star.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the Conservatives are undermining national institutions.
October 01, 2009 bruce campion-smithOttawa bureau chief
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has survived a Liberal move to topple his minority Conservatives but suffered a withering attack over his policies and style of government.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff delivered one of his most passionate speeches to date Thursday as he condemned the Conservatives' "terrible record of failure" and tried to persuade voters why Harper should be dumped after almost four years in office.
But Harper remains in power thanks to the tacit help of the New Democrats, who abstained from the late-day vote, denying the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois the votes they needed to defeat the government.
The non-confidence motion was defeated by a vote of 144 to 117, sparing Canadians an election just a year after the last one and what would have been the fourth trip to the polls in five years.
There was little drama in the vote since the NDP had already signalled they would not oppose the government, reversing a position that had seen the party fight just about every initiative proposed by the Conservatives.
Instead, they now say they will avoid defeating the government until improvements to employment insurance are passed.
But the Conservatives took a bruising during a day of debate when all opposition MPs lined up to take aim at the government's record and style of politics.
"This is a government that uses every opportunity to treat its adversaries as enemies, every opportunity to sow division for partisan gains and every opportunity to use public money to spread untruths," Ignatieff said in the Commons.
On issues such as the economy, climate change, swelling unemployment and Canada's position on the world stage, the government has failed Canadians, he said.
"The Conservatives have lost control of the public finances," Ignatieff said, citing a growing deficit he said could reach $60 billion by Christmas.
"All Canadians must understand that this deficit is going to hang around the necks of Canadians like a stone," he said.
He rattled off a list of complaints, charging that the government is more concerned with promoting its own image than getting Canadians to work or protecting them against the H1N1 flu pandemic.
He wrapped up his speech warning that the Conservatives have a "starve-the-beast ideology" to permanently weaken the institutions of the federal government. That risks changing Canada "beyond recognition," he said.
"If this ideology prevails in this country it will permanently weaken the tissues that bind our society together," Ignatieff said.
"This is an unworthy way to govern this country, and we stand against it," he told the House of Commons.
Harper shrugged off the Liberal gripes and accused Ignatieff of "flailing around trying to justify an election that nobody wants for a reason nobody understands.
"This government has important measures before the House, tax measures to help the Canadian economy, to help homeowners and the population. It has important measures before the House to help the unemployed and help workers," Harper said.
Liberals are vowing they will not support the government in future confidence motions, leaving the government on uncertain ground in the months ahead.
"If there are confidence votes to be taken, we will be voting no," Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale said.
The vote came on a day when a new poll showed little change in voters' preferences. The Angus Reid/Toronto Star poll showed the Conservatives at 37 per cent, Liberals at 27 per cent, NDP at 17 per cent, Bloc Quebecois at 11 per cent and Greens at 6 per cent.
The poll of 1,000 Canadians was done Tuesday and Wednesday and is considered accurate within 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.