Some highlights: If the proposed coalition of opposition parties had come to power last year it would have deeply and enduringly divided Canadians, says Michael Ignatieff.
“There was also a question concerning the legitimacy of the coalition that troubled me.” While he said the coalition was democratic he added it would nonetheless have given Canadians the feeling that the parties had "in some sense or another stolen power.”
“I felt it was very difficult to guarantee the necessary political stability during a time of crisis with three partners in a formal coalition,” “That was my first doubt. I couldn't guarantee the long-term stability of the coalition under the circumstances.”
Coming from a guy who said this Dec 1, 2008: The announcement comes only hours after the three Liberal leadership contenders said they would support Dion as the leader of a new government coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois. Speaking outside of the Liberal caucus meeting, Dominic LeBlanc, standing shoulder to shoulder with Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, said they all back the deal forged with the NDP.
"The accord that was presented to us received unanimous support and the other issue which is very important is we decided the only person and the best person to lead and form a coalition government is the elected leader of our party, the leader of the opposition Stephane Dion," LeBlanc said.
Ignatieff echoed his words, saying "I support the [coalition] accord because it's fiscally responsible, it provides responsible economic leadership in tough times and it also conserves the basic principles of national unity, equality, that our party has always believed in." and upholds Dion as party leader until May.
"We are at one, the three of us, that the only person who can lead the party is the duly elected leader of the party Mr. Stephane Dion," Ignatieff said.
You can watch Ignatieff here (video 15) ht Wilson.
This December 5, 2008 . "Mr. Harper's only chance for survival is to split the Liberal Party of Canada." "He will try to drive a wedge between us, and he will not succeed. Our party is united in its determination to face Mr. Harper down."
"Canadians can have confidence in a coalition, provided they know certain things are on the table and certain things are off it at all times. And they have our iron-clad assurance they we will govern in their best interest.
"I think this is what Canadian people pay us to do. They pay us to get it right, and I think we have to find a way out of this for all Canadians. I am convinced we can do this. We are up to it. "We are aware we are we are living historic moments. We are aware of the responsibility."
And this January 21, 2009 : "The choice is up to Mr. Harper," Ignatieff said after the meeting. "It's up to him to make the right decision and up to me to decide if he made it. A coalition is still a possibility . . . a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily, a coalition."
This guy is too flaky to even be considered for the job of PM as his word and signature obviously mean squat.
Update: Dr. Roy in the comments brings up a very interesting point. If Iggy had doubts about the stability of the coalition back in December when he signed the agreement, he wasn't just lying to Canadians, he was also lying to the Governor General to get her to allow this coalition to take power claiming among other things that it would be stable enough to form the government.
Steve Janke doesn't mince words: Ignatieff is a liar. He also has an interesting point at the end of his blog entry asking when Ignatieff is going to thank the PM for proroguing Parliament and saving the country from an unstable coalition government involving "people who want to split my country up".
Update May 21: Coyne has similar thoughts.