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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail (Brian Gable)
Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail (Brian Gable)

Ottawa Notebook

Tories throw coalition fit Add to ...

This morning, almost at the very moment that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced his party would support the Conservative government's HST motion, the Prime Minister's Office issued a nasty missive to its MPs about Mr. Ignatieff.

Today's Tory talking points attack Mr. Ignatieff yet again - but this time for something he did last year.

"Exactly one year ago, on December 1st, 2008, the leaders of the Liberal Party, Bloc Québécois and NDP signed their infamous deal to form a coalition government," the confidential memo says. "And who was one of the signatories to this backroom deal? Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff … A year ago, Michael Ignatieff proved he was out-of-touch with Canadians and only in it for himself by signing up for the coalition deal."

The talking points are nasty; there is no real narrative or logic to the Tory criticism of Mr. Ignatieff. It's a rant.

"When it comes down to issues that matter most to Canadians, Michael Ignatieff is only looking out for himself. If another coalition will make him prime minister, he would gladly sign a new deal with the Bloc Quebecois and NDP [Huh? Where did this come from?]That's because Michael Ignatieff isn't in it for Canadians. He's just in it for himself."

Seconds later, after this landed in Tory email boxes across the country, Mr. Ignatieff announced he was supporting the government and two provinces, British Columbia and Ontario, on the issue of a harmonized sales tax.

For those interested in another - perhaps more refined - view of the coalition that almost brought down Stephen Harper's minority government, NDP strategist Brian Topp is in the midst of writing a detailed series on his role in negotiating the deal a year ago.

(Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)

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