Ignatieff hints at spring election, going after Rob Ford voters. Wait, what?

Ignatieff hints at spring election, going after Rob Ford voters. Wait, what?

Michael Ignatieff on election night 2008 (Image: Michael Ignatieff)  

Canada last had an election in the fall of 2008, after which coalition hilarity ensued. Of course, about the only person to come out of the whole coalition debacle better than he went in is Michael Ignatieff, who managed to get himself acclaimed leader after it had all shaken out.  So maybe that’s why he keeps making noises about being keen on a new election—he’s a guy who won even when his party lost badly.  According to the Globe and Mail, Ignatieff is planning on not supporting the next Conservative budget—and when he hits the hustings, look for him to use the words “gravy train.”

On one issue, especially, the Liberals and Conservatives seem irreconcilably opposed: corporate tax cuts.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is adamant that the Conservative government will continue with its multi-year plan to reduce corporate taxes in an effort to make the Canadian economy more competitive.

But Mr. Ignatieff was emphatic that his party opposes those cuts.

“It is imprudent in the extreme to borrow $6-billion to give large, already powerful corporations a tax break when you’re running a $56-billion deficit,” he said. “It is a fundamental disagreement on the economic policy of our country.”

Not that the Conservatives need our help writing attack ads, but this will probably fold nicely in to Stephen Harper’s “job killing socialist separatist coalition” talk pretty well.  And what of the gravy train?  According to the Toronto Star, Ignatieff’s key demographic in the next election will be Rob Ford’s voters—“three-bedroom brick bungalows built in the 1960s and 1970s, the core middle-class … These are the people who put me where I am.”

Ignatieff represents an Etobicoke riding, so it’s not entirely crazy, but we can’t help but think that Rob Ford’s voters had a chance to vote for a prominent Liberal in our municipal election, and declined the honour. But maybe George Smitherman’s problem was he didn’t try singing.

• Ignatieff set to trigger election call in New Year [Globe and Mail
Ignatieff has eye on Rob Ford’s voters [Toronto Star]