This is absolutely atrocious:
"Mr. Layton has written a book about investing in Canadians and their communities. Mr. Ignatieff has written books defending torture,” said Lavigne.
“Mr. Ignatieff has defended and supported the war in Iraq … If Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Harper were prime minister in 2004, Canada would still be in Iraq today.”
This comment comes from Brad Lavigne, the NDP's communications director. If the NDP had a serious person running their party, Mr. Lavigne would be looking for a new job today. Since they don't, Lavigne will continue to make idiotic, false, and ideologically-charged comments that don't let details such as the facts get in the way.
Fact: Michael Ignatieff has not written a single book defending torture, let alone multiple books. He's written a book, The Lesser Evil, in which he addresses torture and flatly states that the practice of torture is anathema to a free and democratic society that is fighting a war against terror.
Fact: the Iraq War started in 2003.
Fact: neither Michael Ignatieff nor Stephen Harper were prime minister in 2003 or 2004, and thus discussing what would have happened if they were is intellectually irrelevant. Secondary fact: that it was 6 years ago compounds just how irrelevant the argument is. It's 2009, there probably won't be an election this year and who knows about next year - surely there are some relevant and pressing issues that the NDP would like to discuss.
Fact: unless there's some clandestine activity going on, Canada has not been in Iraq since 1991. Saying that we would "still" be there today makes absolutely no sense.
Fact: Michael Ignatieff has indeed supported the removal of Saddam Hussein and the liberation of 25 million Iraqis from his tyrannical grip. The NDP have always preferred that Saddam Hussein remained in power, as the status quo ante bellum was completely acceptable to the NDP. Routine detention, indefinite imprisonment, disappearing political rivals, and physical, psychological, and emotional terror - the hallmarks of the Saddam regime - are things that the NDP can tolerate as long as they're happening to Iraqis. Since George W. Bush opposed those things, the NDP, by reflex and default, supported them.