"Are you and your family better off now than five years ago?" .
Aside from the fact that the line was blatantly stolen from Ronald Reagan, which I mentioned yesterday, something else has been bothering me about Ignatieff's campaign query. What would Michael Ignatieff's answer be if he was asked his own question?
Seriously, assuming that he would be honest and give a straight answer, what would Michael Ignatieff's answer be?
(Perhaps someone in our fine Canadian media establishment would be so kind to ask him so we all could find out. Hint Hint)
I say the answer has to be a resounding yes. Micheal Ignatieff is indeed much better off now than he was 5 years ago. (Speaking only on the financial aspect, which considering that we have just been through a nasty recession, I assume was what Ignatieff was referring to with his question) Here is why:
On January 14, 2006, after recently returning to Canada after 27 years away, Michael Ignatieff was busy running in his first election to be the LPC MP for Etobicoke Lakeshore. He won his riding but the Paul Martin lead Liberal Party lost power and Ignatieff made his way onto the Liberal back benches where he would be compensated with a wage of $147,700. Assuming that he sat on a couple of committees etc, I think we can safely round it up to $160K. (plus travel, office etc)
5 years later in January 2011 Micheal Ignatieff is now the leader of the official opposition with a salary $233,247, a residence (Stornoway), an office budget of $3.2 million, a car allowance of $2,122, and perhaps even some kind of top up or other perks from the Liberal Party itself. Not to mention that the job of leader of the opposition carries with it much more prestige as well as other intangibles that no ordinary MP enjoys.
Sounds to me like Micheal Ignatieff better hope that nobody in the media can take a hint and asks him to honestly answer his own question, because financially speaking he certainly is better off today than he was 5 years ago.
Sort of related and good news for all Canadians including Ignatieff, not that he would ever acknowledge it though, as Canada's economy outperforms the G7.