On Friday Gerald Caplan eviscerated Michael Ignatieff over his incomprehensible stands on Bill C-300, that called for accountability and transparency to the activities of Canadian mining companies operating around the world, and Bill C-393 an initiative to provide inexpensive AIDS drugs to poor countries in Africa. Both were the kind of bills that traditional Liberals have supported in the past and would no doubt be proud to stand up for now but not our Iggy.
Mr. Ignatieff you should know can be dissuaded from most any principled stance on any issue by either, a) furious lobbying in the part of any corporate interest group or, b) a healthy dose of demagoguery and fear-mongering by PM Harper. That's it! That's all it takes and it's a sad commentary on the kind of leader the Liberals installed to lead their party in place of a man who may not have been telegenic but Stephane Dion at least stood for something.
Iggy abandoned bill C-300 not even showing up to vote while claiming it was a great bill and that somehow the bill and its defeat were some kind of victory. Well, if that represents victory to Mr. Ignatieff, I am in sincere dread of the next election. As for Bill C-393 it was originally introduced by the Liberals back in 2004 with much flourish and optimism. It was put in place to help Africa better and more affordably cope with the scourge of AIDS which has ravaged the continent by providing inexpensive AIDS drugs to poor countries. The bill was supported by UNICEF, Médecins sans frontières, Dignitas, AIDS-Free World, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, as well as international experts and tens of thousands of Canadians.
All this is of no matter to the leader of the opposition. There was intense lobbying! He would have had to take a stand and explain himself! Caplan suspects that Iggy feared it might have cost him some much needed votes in Quebec. Perhaps, but not nearly as many as not standing up for anything is going to cost him. Who is going to get fired up and knock on doors for a man whose embrace of wishy-washy politics is an embarrassment and not easily explained.