( Ignatieff on 1/30/2009- CBC- The House, in response to weather he will allow the NFLD MP to vote against the budget.)
Yesterday, Liberal "Leader" Michael Ignatieff confirmed that he will allow 4 MP's from Newfoundland/Labrador to break ranks and issue a "one-time" vote of protest against the Conservative budget. I was pleased to see that Iggy showed his true leadership qualities and gave confirmation to the rest of his caucus ( and the rest of Canada) that he really has no backbone and will cave into any special interest groups demands.
By doing this he has set a wonderful precedence for the rest of the Liberal MP's, who will likely need to get their own "one-time" protest votes in future matters that are important to their riding's and/or provinces.
Parliamentary tradition requires MPs to toe the party line on important confidence votes such as the budget. Mr. Dion had been forced to expel Liberal MP Joe Comuzzi from caucus in 2007 for refusing to vote with the Liberals on the budget. What has changed here?
Iggy has stated " This is not just about Newfoundland and Labrador, this is about the way Stephen Harper runs this federation, this tendency for unilateral, surprise action is damaging to the national unity of our country. Tonight, they will have a one-time vote against the budget in order to send a clear signal to Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of the country that this is no way to run a federation.''
If the budget is so bad and if Iggy is so upset with how Mr.Harper is running the country, why did he allow his party to pass the budget? He is spinning the mini-revolt in his caucus to deflect from the bigger issue here....the fact that this job is way over his head and abilities. While teaching at Harvard, I wonder if he allowed 4 of his students to avoid writing the final exam? I am sure he would have let it slide, as confronting them would just create conflict and force him to take a stand.
It looks like he is more concerned about saving those Liberal seats in Newfoundland. You can also say that he may be a bit afraid of facing Premier Williams wrath. By showing his weakness and caving in to one provinces demand.... I think we have Dion II on our hands. Which is all right by me!