In the debates, Harper accused Dion of having "panicked" by trying to discuss an economic-emergency contingency plan during the debates, as if (a) there's nothing to panic about, or (b) you wouldn't want to share such a plan with a national television audience.
Harper later said as PM it's not his job to go around the country talking about an economic crisis that doesn't exist.
Yesterday, Harper allowed that, "We are putting some secondary plans in place if that becomes necessary," without letting us in on what they might be.
Today, Harper was back to mocking contingency plans, telling a joint meeting of the Canadian and Empire Clubs in Toronto that, "If you are making up [policy] in response to the latest news, or the latest changes in the stock market, then it is obvious you really don't have a plan."
Back to Monday, when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty acknowledged that, "The deterioration of global credit markets is beginning to squeeze the ability of even the strongest of financial institutions to raise longer-term funds, which could limit the provision of longer-term credit in Canada to businesses and households."
So, our big question: If, according to the minister of finance, Canadian banks are being sucked into the global credit crisis, and can't or soon won't be able to serve their customers, why isn't that some kind of national emergency?
And why isn't it appropriate to have the emergency summit called for by Dion and Layton, but mocked by Harper?
And to develop and communicate to the public a contingency plan?
What part of "leadership" does Harper fail to understand?
Oh, by the way, the "latest changes in the stock market" began in mid-June. That's when the S&P/TSX Composite began its 32-per-cent slide. And the global credit crisis? That began 15 months ago. It's time for Harper to stop acting like his campaign has been ambushed by unforeseen events.