... the new Liberal leader acknowledged that Western outrage over the prospect of seeing overturned the results of the last federal election -- which brought a West-dominated minority Conservative government to power -- gave him pause.Although Iggy doesn't rule out working with the NDP to pass legislation in order to govern in the event that the government is defeated, he's pretty firm when it comes to kiboshing any further speculation about a coalition between the Liberals and the NDP or the Bloc.
"You are, after all, looking at someone who turned down the chance to become prime minister of Canada, and I did so, in part, because I felt that it would divide the country," said Mr. Ignatieff. "I want to be someone who unites the country, and that includes the West."
It's pretty obvious that Ignatieff, who still has something left to lose - lots, in fact - would never agree to a coalition between the NDP and the Liberals the way an utterly destroyed Stephane Dion did. (Hell, even Dion was smart enough to resist it until it was the absolutely last option available.) Well, it's obvious to everyone except those Conservatives who continue to stomp their feet and impatiently insist that tossing fiscal restraint to the wolves and setting back small-government ideology in Canada by ten years was The Only Way To Stop The Coalition!, anyway.
And, let's face it, that argument gets more and more transparent by the day. You can pull apart the talking points even if you assume that Ignatieff is politically stupid and would have been willing to go through with the coalition, but that's just not a realistic assumption, and neither is the assumption that he would have spent far and above what the Conservatives did in their budget regardless of what Canadians wanted - no matter how much the partisans want that to be true.
Cross-posted to The Shotgun.