David Akin evaluates the comparative negotiation skills of Michael Ignatieff against those of Jack Layton:
"In 2005, Jack Layton won $4.6 billion in new investments in housing and transit in exchange for supporting the minority government of Paul Martin.
In 2009, Michael Ignatieff got a working group and an opposition day for supporting the minority government of Stephen Harper."
But it’s actually less than that. In exchange for voting in favour of the Conservatives' estimates on Friday, the Liberals have been given:
a) the opportunity to write a private members' bill on EI with the help of three Conservatives; and
b) An additional opposition day in at the end of September with which they can once again threaten to defeat the government, thereby beginning the ceremonial crying-of-wolf all over.
So, other than Stephen Harper, is anyone actually any better off today than when this soap opera began? Nope.
Even Michael Ignatieff can admit that:
“Let me be clear, we don't have an agreement here. We have an agreement to work hard, professionally, and seriously with top level officials to get a legislative proposal before parliament if we can. I give you no guarantees that we can get there, but I know in my heart I can look unemployed Canadians in the eye today and say I’ve done my darnedest for you.” – Ignatieff, CTV News, 17 June 2009