As the Liberals’ summer caucus in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, drew to a close on its third day, Michael Ignatieff talked more about staking his ground in the political centre. He also is touting the difference between him and the prime minister (“Open Mike” versus “Closed Steve”), taking a closer look at (but not necessarily cancelling) the latest bout of military procurement, including the F-35 fighters jets and his thoughts on the RCMP.
Harper, meanwhile, was in Quebec to announce a maintenance contract for our existing CF-18 fighters. He claimed he totally wasn’t avoiding Quebec (after the Liberals sent out a release saying he hadn’t visited the province in 110 days) and also hinted about resurrecting some lapsed provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Apparently Harper’s playing the coalition card has to do with the fact that he can’t use the same messages as before (cleaning up government corruption, managing the agenda, etc) so this is the new wedge. Because of course, the opposition parties can now use those same messages.
The NDP and the Conservatives are getting into more spats on the long-gun registry, especially as it pertains to the rural-urban divide in this country (but still no indication as to whether or not those dozen NDP MPs will vote to keep the registry). Ignatieff also had words for Jack Layton’s compromise private member's bill, saying that NDP apparently stood for “No Darned Principles,” and it was like Layton stealing the suit off the clothesline and then showing up at his wedding in the stolen clothes.
The one time this government decides to listen to expert advice, it’s to hold off on the so-called “liberation therapy” for MS patients. Instead, they’ll wait for more research to take place on the treatment. It is interesting when they say they’ll actually listen to data, rather than ignore it out of hand.
And apparently some of our development money has gone to an unnamed organization that helps women in South Africa procure illegal abortions. That just won’t do, and now that it’s been reported on, I’m sure that we can expect a crackdown and more agencies to lose their funding.