After watching Michael Ignatieff rail against taxpayer-funded partisan ads today, I was reminded of a scene in which Tom Cruise (Lt Kaffee) is grilling Jack Nicholson (Col. Jessup) on the contents of the victim's (Pvt. Santiago) footlocker and phone records.
Jessup: Are these really the questions I was called here to answer? Phone calls and footlockers? Please tell me you have something more lieutenant. These two Marines are on trail for their lives. Please tell me their lawyer hasn’t pinned their hopes to a phone bill.
There are probably a lot of Canadians (at least 500,000) who are thinking exactly the same thing right now. While we may be moving into a technical recovery the fact that we are possibly facing a fundamental restructuring of the economy (see: The perils of a jobless recovery) that will leave countless people either permanently unemployed or underemployed, should be what Mr. Ignatieff is focused on.
To that end Mr. Ignatieff has to come up with something more substantial than we're going to focus on new green jobs and tapping China and India as markets. If Mr. Ignatieff was really serious about green jobs he wouldn't have agreed to flush billions down the toilet propping up GM, a company that hasn't put a right foot forward in decades. And let's see an economic strategy that's more imaginative than "let's go after China and India". You've got to wonder how Ignatieff's green strategy is going to work with China given that they are already far ahead of us in production of solar and wind technology.
It's not like Harper hasn't left the door wide open. Last week during his address to the Canada American Business Council in New York, Harper once again focused on Canada as an energy superpower. Harper's focus on Canada as a resource-based economy rather than one that actually "makes stuff" is a significant shortcoming. And given the decimation of the manufacturing sector in Ontario, it doesn't seem he cares much. As long as we can sell the black sticky stuff to the United States everything is good in Harper-land.
So Mr. Ignatieff, maybe you can do us a favour an focus on drawing out Harper's many obvious shortcomings (on the economy, the environment, Canadian rights, foreign policy etc,), rather than wasting time on on "phone bills and footlockers".