Here we go; Mike Ignatieff has now adopted one of Stephane Dion's favourite tag lines "social justice". Yes, that worked fantastically for the last Liberal leader, and by dredging up the ghosts of leaders past, Iggy thinks he's got a winner. By pounding his chest on child care, he gets to appear as a benevolent advocate for children while providing no indication of what type of plan he has in mind. As it happens, one of my sisters is a working single mom with a two year old. I am aware of the demands placed on parents, especially single parents. For all the hyperbole yesterday, I saw nothing of a tangible plan through all the empty rhetoric.
Perhaps he wants to make this the LPC "No. 1 social priority", but I would like to know what the plan is. Is Iggy suggesting the introduction of a massive federal bureaucracy to care for our nation's youth? Do you think introducing more federal bureaucracy will be more efficient than parents having the choice of care from private providers? Granted, I can't really attack his plan because he did not present one. He just recycled the rhetoric of leaders past to try and score easy political points. Mike, tell me what you'd like to do, because frankly I don't trust you to deliver on your hyperbole. If federal subsidies are insufficient in your eyes, give me a structured plan which I can then cost and decide on. Until that day, I will just pass off your passionate vigor as your standard empty fluff.
Seriously, if this is such an urgent priority, why not present a real plan? If it is a quality plan, then let's do it now. Why wait several years until you may or may not be in power? Iggy says that he can't know what exactly he's going to do until he first gets into power. It allows him to claim he has a plan without delivering anything. Is there a shortage of child care services in Canada right now? Is there a national crisis? If there is then let's talk about solutions. Do we need to increase the size of child care benefits? If the $3.7 billion the government gave to parents in 2006/07 was not enough, how much should it be? Or was all that money wasted on beer and popcorn?
Mike, isn't a minority parliament supposed to work together? What if this parliament lasts 2 more years? Are you going to let children allegedly suffer while you wait for an opportunity to seize leadership? If there is a crisis, let's address right now. Start negotiations with the appropriate government Minister on a plan that will work if there is indeed a serious problem. Frankly I find the whole "I'll figure out what I'm going to do after I get elected or seize power in a parliamentary coup" routine to be quite unsettling.