..and that he’s more or less taking the stance I’ve been advocating that he and the Liberal leadership should be taking:
Michael Ignatieff says coalition governments are “perfectly legitimate” and he’d be prepared to lead one if that’s the hand Canadian voters deal him in the next election. But the Liberal leader says it would be disrespectful to voters and damaging to his party to try to strike any deals with the NDP before voters have spoken…”Co-operation between parties to produce political and electoral stability is not illegitimate. It’s never been illegitimate, it’s part of our system,” he said, noting that coalitions have been formed in parliamentary democracies around the globe.
…the right way to do it is to run your flag up, (opposing parties) run their flag up, you fight like crazy, you put your choices clearly to the Canadian people, they make their choices and then you play the cards that voters deal you.
Also note this part:
Ignatieff insisted he still believes the Liberals can win the next election. But should no party win a majority and the numbers make it feasible for a Liberal-led coalition to provide “progressive, stable, compassionate, good government,” Ignatieff said he’d “make it work for Canadians.”
That wording is important; the “running to win outright” line is what was repeated by Cameron and Clegg and Gordon Brown before the UK election, and the “looking to form a strong stable government” line was repeated ad nauseam after the election, when they were talking about looking to form a coalition government.
Mr Ignatieff has decided to pick up on that, and rightly so (and should repeat this line over and over again if the scenario pops up after the next election).
Hopefully, his public declaration that he is open to coalitions, but that they should only be negotiated about post-election, not pre-election, will now end the public musings and some arguing by some Liberals publicly on what the Liberals should or shouldn’t be doing come a post-election scenario involving no clear majority.
Bravo on Iggy for that stance and for making his views clear on the topic.
UPDATE 2 @ 11:30 am: An NDP blogger’s take.
UPDATE 3 @ 12:16pm: Another progressive blogger not normally friendly to the Liberals or Iggy approves, and another Liberal bloggers’ take. While in general agreement, I slightly disagree with him on one point; I think Iggy said what needed to be said for right now.