The winner of the "quote" contest was Harper calling Canada a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term.
All the flap over the misdirected quote only drew our attention to the fact that Stephen Harper has spent much of his career trying to put an end to public healthcare.
Another passion of his and the group he ran, the National Citizens Coalition, was busting unions. He hated public schools because they were "union run schools". Rob Anders who worked with him at the NCC, was the man in charge of destroying unions.
Which gives this story some relevance.
Paying workers under the table and threatening them if they dare try to form a union?
But back to quotes. Terry Milewski and others were tweeting yesterday about the Conservatives not exactly misquoting, but rewriting one, to raise the alarm again about a coalition.
Ignatieff was talking about how it could be possible to become prime minister without winning the election. He laid out the facts of the Westminister tradition: The leader of the party with the most seats gets to try a form a government by demonstrating he or she can win the support of Parliament. If not, Ignatieff said, then the Governor General can ask another party leader to try to do the same thing.I was thrilled because I thought it meant that Ignatieff would support a coalition, but what he spoke of was the fundamentals of a minority Parliament. The one who leads is the one who can earn the confidence of the House.
Ignatieff talked about how that might work, especially as the Liberal leader has ruled out a formal coalition. Ignatieff said: "I'm prepared to talk to Mr. Layton and or Mr. Duceppe -- or even Mr Harper -- and say we have an issue and here's the plan that I want to put before Parliament, uh you know, this is the budget I would bring in and then we take it from there."
The Conservative war room spun this as evidence Ignatieff would form a coalition.
But the Conservatives deliberately left out the four words: "or even Mr Harper".
They are really getting desperate.
Layton also spoke of respecting the way that Parliament works, and agreed to the possibility of a Coalition if a minority is in the cards.
I wish the media would quit giving this oxygen, or take a civics lesson.
Conservative columnist Norman Spector tweeted that he wondered what Ignatieff would give Duceppe in a coalition. I tweeted back saying that I was more interested in what Harper had promised Duceppe in 2004.
Shame on Spector. He's been around for awhile and knows or should know something as basic as the Canadian Parliamentary system. I'll let Rick Mercer give him a lesson.