Friday, January 8, 2010

Stalking Michael Ignatieff: Spotted on Parliament Hill

During the summer, the media became fixated on the fact that Michael Ignatieff was missing in action. So BCer in Toronto and several other bloggers, ran a series of posts with photos of where Michael Ignatieff was 'hiding in plain sight'.

Of course, he wasn't really hiding if the media had bothered to look anywhere other than their inbox, for the latest Harper directive, but what can I say?

The past week or so, they appear to have started the same nonsense, so I'm going to be stalking Michael Ignatieff.

OK. Just to be clear. I'm not actually stalking, stalking him, so please don't call the cops.

I'm just going to report on his whereabouts, and today from my spot in the bushes, I found him lurking around Parliament Hill, letting Canadians know that just because Harper locked the doors of Parliament, he was reporting to work; just as his staff will be doing on the day they are supposed to be returning to work.

He made it clear that he would not be forcing an election. This was an important message, because our little Stevie was hoping to do a little fundraising suggesting he was. (Ignatieff's not the only one I'm stalking)

Harper has 'crazy way' of running democracy: Ignatieff
January 8, 2010
CBC News

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the decision of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government to prorogue Parliament and muzzle opposition was "a crazy way to run a democracy" but he stopped short of threatening to bring the government down.

Instead Ignatieff said all of his party's MPs and senators
plan to return to work in Ottawa on Jan. 25, the date Parliament was set to resume before Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut it down until March.

Ignatieff, speaking from Ottawa in his first public appearance since Harper prorogued Parliament on Dec. 30 until after the Vancouver Olympics, said his party plans to return to work because that's what Canadians have told him they want.

"We're going to be working right until the Olympics because I feel that this is in response to the needs and wishes of Canadians," he said.

Ignatieff said the suspension of Parliament was reflective of the prime minister's tendency to shut down or muzzle the opposition or government watchdogs when they are critical of the government.

"Each and every time he seems in difficulty, each and every time he feels the pressure of democracy, he tries to have the work of this House behind me stop," he said.

"We think this is a crazy way to run a democracy," he said.

Liberals plan return to work

Ignatieff stopped short of threatening to bring the government down, saying Canadians don't want an opposition that operates with threats.

"I've gotten a very clear message from Canadians: do your darn job, lower the volume, do what you are elected to do," he said.

Ignatieff said his party plans to hold roundtables and public consultations on the environment, democratic governance and the economy. He said his party was willing to work with other opposition parties should they decide to return to Parliament as well.

Harper's move to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament drew criticism from opposition parties.

They suggested it is an attempt to muzzle parliamentarians and avoid the controversy sparked by hearings into Canada's role in Afghanistan — specifically, the treatment of detainees transferred to Afghan authorities by the Canadian military.

The Conservative government said it sought the suspension in order to have time to consult with Canadians, stakeholders and businesses as it moved into the "next phase" of its economic action plan amid signs of economic recovery.

On Tuesday the prime minister told the CBC's Peter Mansbridge the decision to prorogue government was a "fairly standard procedure," and a "routine constitutional matter."

"I don't think it makes sense for a session of Parliament to go on and on without the government periodically examining its overall agenda," Harper said.

Ignatieff said Harper's decision to suspend Parliament until March 3 was a gamble on the cynicism of Canadians, and that the reaction of the public has demonstrated that the gamble has failed.

A Facebook group against prorogation has attracted more than 100,000 members, while an EKOS poll released exclusively to CBC News on Thursday found Canadians following the decision to prorogue Parliament were nearly twice as likely to oppose the move as favour it.

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