Last night I watched an interview with Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff by Peter Mansbridge, and I could not help but notice Chicken Little doing his best to try to convince viewers that the current state of the Canadian economy is far worse than the experts would have us believe. His evidence is that people have been complaining to him about their credit card debt. Iggy cited credit card debt to make his point on multiple occasions. I am very curious to know how exactly Iggy intends to remedy this problem. Our employment rate has held strong relative to other industrialized nations, and our deficit is affordable so long is it is temporary. Iggy would like us to extend the stimulus, which is at least consistent with their demands for a stimulus in January 2009. Though I find it a bit rich to complain about a deficit when the stimulus package which he demanded is the main source of deficit spending.
Back to credit card debt, if Iggy is signaling this as a problem, then what is his solution? Should we make credit more prohibitive? These people showing up at Liberal BBQ's complaining about their own spending of money they did not have, they probably should not have been extended this extra credit in the first place if they could not afford it. So when these people approach Iggy, are they asking him to pay their credit card bills, or looking for him to say that they should never have been issued that much credit to begin with? I would really like to know what Iggy's plans are for this problem he is complaining about, instead of just citing it as a reason to possibly take down the government.
It is clear that Ignatieff is going to make a big issue about the purchase of fighter jets, where he admits that our current fleet needs to be replaced. Considering that this whole fighter jet contract started as a Liberal development project before the Tories were in power, I do find it ironic that they are going to fight the Tories going forward with a Liberal contract. Why aren't the Liberals taking credit for this starting under their government? Because they remember Chretien in part taking down Mulroney/Campbell over the helicopter contracts once upon a time, and they want to repeat. Meanwhile, it turned out that was a necessary purchase and the cancelling of that contract ended up being a huge mistake.
Make no mistake, this is not about right and wrong, this is about the Liberals choosing issues over which to fight an election. If they think that the purchase of military aircraft will anger Canadians, then they take the perceived populist side of the issue even if the project is necessary.