Stephen Harper's Conservatives say Michael Ignatieff wants to trigger an election this year – one that would most certainly disrupt the fragile economic recovery they are trying to manage. They even take shots at the Liberal Leader for taking a holiday over the Christmas break.
The Tories are reacting to Mr. Ignatieff's 11-day tour of un-held Liberal ridings, which he began Wednesday morning. The Opposition Leader also released a campaign document: "Five Years of Harper: Is Canada Better Off?"
Mr. Ignatieff outlined a number of issues on which the Conservative government has failed Canadians, including the economy, the environment, pension reform and the deficit. The Tories scoff at this – and the Liberal Leader's contention he's not "pushing for an election" – in a memo circulated to MPs and supporters.
"In the clearest indication yet that he has his sights set on forcing a needless election that will distract from creating jobs and sustaining our fragile economic recovery, Michael Ignatieff – fully rested after a three-week vacation – started his New Year by launching a national political tour," the Tories say.
"The message of this tour, according to an unnamed strategist is that 'you have to vote Liberal' and targets ridings he believes he can pick up from other parties."
The memo incorporates all of the loaded language used by Tories to criticize the opposition, invoking the "uncertainty of a reckless Coalition" trying to take down a government that is working toward "a budget that will keep our fragile economic recovery on track."
The Conservatives repeatedly bring up the idea of a coalition of Liberals, NDP and Bloc MPs running the country as a scary proposition. "We, again, restate our commitment to not provoke an election that is unnecessary at this time. With economic recovery in sight, the last thing we need is the disruption of a needless election or the uncertainty of a reckless Coalition."
Concluding their missive, the Tories vow to focus on jobs and growth "as Ignatieff travels Canada calling for an unnecessary election."