I went to the doctor's today with my wife and the two younger kids. I was stuck in the waiting room, watching some television on endless repeat. According to the television, I need to do two things in the near future: 1. get a pap smear; and 2. vote for Ignatieff.
The brief ads for Ignatieff were much as I expected them to be: attacks on Harper for the most part, with no reason to vote for Ignatieff. The fist attack on Harper stated that, under Harper, the prices of gas, transportation and food have risen. While true, let's look at this. These three claims are really only one claim. The price of gas has risen. If the price of gas rises, by definition, the costs of transportation will also rise. If the cost of transportation rises, the cost of things that are transported (i.e. everything) will likewise rise. So the only claim here is that the cost of gas is up. How much of that responsibility goes to Harper? That's simple: none. Gas prices are up worldwide.
Another claim: Harper is giving away billions of our tax dollars in tax cuts to our largest corporations. M-kay. I am at a loss to explain how letting them keep their money equates to giving them mine.
Final claim: Harper is wasting thirty billion dollars to buy fighter jets for the military. Apparently, Ignatieff thinks we should not buy any. I have mentioned this a few posts down. If Ignatieff wants to argue that we should buy some other jets, fine. That's a valid argument. If he wants to attack Harper for circumventing the usual process, as no other bids were tendered to the government before the decision to buy these were made, fine. That's valid. To say we don't need to replace our thirty year old planes- no, that's invalid, and I have no patience for it.
There was a final ad, which praised Iggy as a loving son, a devoted husband, a professor. The tag line also attacked Harper as "Out of touch, out of control" That I agree with. But Ignatieff being a loving son- so what? What is his policy? Where does he stand? As I have said before, and I will say again, it is insufficient to tell me why I shouldn't vote for the other guy, You must convince me to vote for you.
Against all odds, this campaign has given me a shred of respect for the third man, or I should say, it gives me an iota of a scintilla of a particle of a fraction of a shred of respect for Jack Layton. He at least appears in his own ads, shows he approves of what is said, and outlines his policies. I completely disagree with his policies. I still won't vote for him. But I wish the other leaders would conduct their campaigns like him. It would have elevated the level of political debate in this country a hundred times over, instead of dragging it through ever lower levels of mud..