April 17, 2006

Fuddle Duddle Picks Ignatieff (Part 1) Antonio

It has not been much of a secret where my allegiances lay in this leadership race. To the Liberal Party. I wanted to choose the leader that can get the party back to its roots, back to being the institution that governs this country most of the time.

What attracted me to Michael Ignatieff was his vision of Canada. Michael believes in a Canada where the federal government offers equal opportunities across the country. His concept of equal citizenship is one that I believe can captivate Canadians. I don’t want to see Canadian families move province to get better child care, but have great child care everywhere in Canada. Canadian citizenship should mean more to Canadians than it does now.

Pierre Trudeau is dead. I am one of the great admirers of the man. However, the way Trudeau handled Quebec has led to many of the problems the province faces today. A federalism of co-operation is what is needed in this country; one where the knife that is the Quebec government (PQ AND PLQ) is not always at Ottawa’s throat. We need a federalism where Quebec City does not milk the cow in Ottawa.

However, in order to truly solve this problem, the federal government has to respect the provinces and not interfere in provincial jurisdiction. That means the federal government should not accept international arrangements in provincial jurisdictions without consulting the provinces that have to implement them. They should allow provinces to speak at international conferences so long as Ottawa chooses which provincial representative and that the representative speaks the Canadian consensus. For a Trudeaumaniac like me, swallowing this pill is not only difficult, but necessary.

Experience is an important asset for any candidate. Michael Ignatieff has a resumé light on politics but full of experiences necessary to craft any global leader in the 21st century. As a journalist, Michael has travelled throughout the world. He has seen plight and suffering from women under the Taliban regime to Kosovar refugees to Kurdish chemical gas victims. He has taken a stand to say we have a responsibility to stop this.

Throughout my years in polisci, I have seen intellectuals who would rather sit by the sidelines and explain and politicians who blow hot air instead of acting. We saw 800 000 Rwandans die because a few American soldiers died in Somalia. We let Saddam Hussein persecute Shias and Kurds because George Bush Sr. wanted a quick end to hostilities. It is finally nice to see someone stand up there for the innocent victims out there and say: This has to stop!

Michael is a man of his convictions. He stands by his decisions. He will not dither and waffle. He is Canadian just like the rest of us. He wants a future for Canada the same like the rest of us. He shares the same centre-left values that all Liberals share.

Michael Ignatieff can take on Stephen Harper in intellectual warfare, otherwise known as a debate. We need someone who can put Harper on his heels immediately. Conservative Minorities usually last no longer than a year. We need to get this party ready to fight another slugfest with the Harpocritical Tories.

The tribal warfare that has weakened this party is beginning to end, especially here in Quebec. Organizers from both sides are coming together for fresh new candidates, such as Michael Ignatieff, Gerard Kennedy, and Bob Rae. This party will emerge solidly united and ready to take on the Conservatives, without the shame of the Sponsorship Scandal hanging over our heads.

The Liberal Party is on a path to renewal. We must do so together. There will be disagreements and we will get through them. It is important we do not resort to slander to down other opponents. I have kept my word to keep everything above the belt. If a candidate, including my preferred candidate, screws up, I will point it out. However, personal attacks against candidates are not necessary. Other parties will try to ensure we do not come out of this united. A weak Liberal party serves their interests. The NDP is still attacking us in Question Period. The Bloc still talks Sponsorship. Harper’s conservatives talk about corruption while presenting flawed accountability bills then appointing partisan favorites to comfy positions the next day.

We can overcome this. We must get back to the grassroots ideas which have brought our party and our country so much success. Let the fun begin. Go Ignatieff!

49 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio,

That is all very well and good but you are forgetting a very important calculation.

CANADIANS will NOT vote for a man who has been out of the country for 30 years and refers to himself as a "super intellectual". No way never.

4/15/2006 11:19 a.m.  
Anonymous Orleans Grit a dit...

Anonymous,

It's not going to matter which leader we end up having because people like you are going to say the same thing about every single candidate. Canadians will not vote for a gay PM. Canadians will not vote for a another Francophone from Quebec. Canadians will not vote for a Leader who isn't coursed in federal politics. Blah blah blah. It's like Antonio said, back to the grass roots and getting the party united. The first comment to that is , "No Antonio, your wrong. It's not about grassroots and involving people to create a united party that will kick Harper's ass! It's about your candidate not being in the country." Boo hoo... So sad... Yes Ignatieff hasn't been in the country. But to make a fair point, my godmother lives in Florida for 6 months of the year. An official Canadian snowbird. Yet she still votes Conservative. It's time to make her see the light like Ignatieff and become Liberal.

Awesome post Antonio. Although Ignatieff isn't my choice for that grassroot involvement, you make a fair debate for him. Good on you.

4/15/2006 11:39 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

grassroots involvement will not be decided by the candidates but by the people. My next post will have a very interesting idea for young liberals to ponder.

I dont mind people challenging my choice. After all, look at all the trouble I got in for challenging others!

4/15/2006 11:43 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Orleans,

As a matter of fact my comment WAS "about the grassroots and getting the party united".

OG, there is a BIG difference between the baggage that some carry and that carried by Mr. Ignatieff. Of all the names thrown around for Liberal leader the only one I can think of that matches Mr. Ignatieff in terms of baggage is Mr. Rae. Canadians are far more likely to vote for someone who "isn't coursed in federal politics", or "is gay" than someone who hasnt lived here for thirty years. The ordinary, non political people I've talked to about Mr. Ignatieff have recoiled in disgust when they realized the party was considering an individual who had been out of the country for 30 years (without even mentioning his support for the War in Iraq). THAT IS A BIG OBSTACLE FOR PEOPLE. People want a leader who is commited to their country... and unfortunately, I dont think that those in the party who are rallying behind Mr. Ignatieff because he brings a new energy to the party are giving his baggage enough weight in their consideration. Unfortunately, it IS relevant to ordinary people.

Believe me Antonio, if I didnt consider Ignatieff unelectable he would be 2nd or 3rd (maybe even first) on my list rather than tied for dead last with Bob Rae. This has nothing to do with the man personally. I think he would be a great PM. Problem is with getting him there. Gone are the days when the LPC picked a leader and that person became PM as of right.

We, as Liberals, cannot think that "hey we can pick whoever WE feel best about, submit him or her to the country and they will see it the same way". Its simply not happening.

If Mr. Ignatieff becomes Liberal leader I predict a Conservative majority. I hate to say it but I believe it to be true.

4/15/2006 12:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

"Michael is a man of his convictions. He stands by his decisions"

What about the war on Iraq? It would be one thing for him to say that he had to support the war on Iraq because he was part of a cabinet that supported it, and politics at the time required it.

But his argument is the opposite: he says that he supported the war on Iraq, and now politics requires him not to support it.

He is, unfortunatley, a politician just like the others.

Once people in Quebec get to fully understand his pro-war views, he will start to lose support.

4/15/2006 12:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

So Ignatieff's great vision is that "he treats all Canadians the same"? Couldn't this be said about all the candidates?

In Ignatieff's short 2 month political career, he's been attacked for:
1. Supporting Iraq
2. Supporting torture
3. Refering to Americans as "we" ans "us"
4. Being out of the country for 30 years

It seems to me that that's a lot of baggage for an individual with no political experience.

4/15/2006 12:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Liz a dit...

It is starting all over again. why can people not read something in its entirety instead of picking out what suits them.
Talking about American, what on earth do you think Harper is doing. He is acting.. and saying things, much like Bush.

4/15/2006 12:51 p.m.  
Blogger OttawaCon a dit...

Canadian foreign policy that Bush would love to see Harper adopt, but incoherent socialist economics. What's not to like?

Oh, right, the idea that torture is sometimes necessary as an element of public discourse.

4/15/2006 1:14 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

Excellent post, Antonio.

I am a proud Canadian and Michael Ignatieff has my vote.

He is the best person to defeat Stephen Harper in the next election. That's very important.

His concept of equal citizenship and his idea of "civic pride" are some of the qualities I like about him. He has a sense of passion for Canada that is more powerful and sincere than some Canadians (i.e. Stephen Harper) who have lived in Canada all their lives.

His experiences abroad make him see Canada so much more clearly. That fact that he had lived outside of Canada is precisely the quality I want to see in a Canadian Prime Minister in the 21st Century.

Ingatieff is a brilliant man who will do a lot of good things for Canada.

Even a Conservative columnist from the Calgary Herald admits that even though he probably will not be voting for the Liberal party, a Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff will not be such a bad thing. That's pretty high praise.

4/15/2006 1:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I believe Michael will become the next leader of the Liberal Pary.

Will his "baggage" turn-off voters in two years? The answer is no, especially If you take into account that:
- his views on Iraq have been consistent and based on humanitarian grounds;
he has unequivocally stated his opposition to torture and human rights abuses;
he has gained insights and expeirence from being abroad for 25 years.

4/15/2006 2:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

great choice!

4/15/2006 2:32 p.m.  
Anonymous sam a dit...

The Calgary Herald article highlights that Ignatieff is really a right of centre of candidate, that is why the writer likes him because the Herald is a right wing newspaper and not representative of the Canadian mainstream. This is not doing Ignatieff a favour.

This only shows that Ignatieff's claim to bring the party to the centre left does not have a lot of credibility.
I would like to see him get some political experience first. I have no idea what kind of political decisions he would make in a position of leadership because he has no track record.

Too risky.

We have other great Liberal candidates with a political record and a vision of Canada and the world.

4/15/2006 2:37 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Anonymous at 2:06pm,

Since when is supporting the war in Irag for humanitarian reasons a good policy??
This is not Liberal Policy and many Canadians are troubled by Ignatieff's stance on this issue.

Sure he has learned things from travelling abroad, anyone would. However, when someone is going to take over as leader of a party and then a country, they need experience in the day to day domestic issues of Canada. Iggy just doesn't have that background.

4/15/2006 2:41 p.m.  
Blogger frank a dit...

You gotta check out this new Blog - It seams Sean Holman is a guest writer!
And, Carol James and Harry Lali are doing the Titanic!
www.bcpolyblog.blogspot.com

4/15/2006 2:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I'm not suporting Ignatieff, but I do think he is a strong candidate and I welcome his idea's and vision into the Liberal Party. He is in my top 3, behind Kennedy and Dion, so on a multiballoted convention who knows where my last mark will go?

4/15/2006 2:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

So basically with Ignatieff as a leader of the liberal party, you'd have someone who's more American than Canadian against Harper, an American wannabe. Interesting.

The Liberals have a problem in Quebec and in the West, that will not be solved magically with Ignatieff at the helmn of the Liberal Party. To think so, is just wishful thinking, which has screwed the country countless times before.

Ignatieff might be good for the country, or might just be another clown, like the previous two liberal leaders. Only time will tell.

Also, it is quite unwise to underestimate Harper and the Conservatives, like the previous election. There will be a strong fight next time around, it will not be a shoe-in for Ignatieff (if he's elected leader). However, it has been mentioned on this discussion board that 'true' Canadians would vote Liberal, because only the Liberal party represents 'true' Canadian values. This arrogant attitude is quite similar to the one the ultra-right use in the US. Whether left, right, or centre, we are all true Canadians, no matter what our political leanings. If everyone were 'true' Canadians, everyone would vote for the Liberals... how democratic is that idea?

4/15/2006 3:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I've heard quite enough of this distancing by Ignatieff and his people from Trudeau. I've started to think this isn't political gamesmanship but reality. So once and for all is Ignatieff the anti-Trudeau? And don't say no he carries the torch through conviction or some bullshit, as you waffle about your own support for Trudeau. If he's the anti-Trudeau he's gaine da lot of support dishonestly.

4/15/2006 4:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio:

Good post. My buddies and I think Ignatieff is a good candidate. The four of us are supporting Brison, for a variety of reasons - but primarily generational change. However, if our guy can't go the distance we could end up supporting your guy.
We happen to like the fact that he supported sending troops to Iraq initially - who didn't??!! If people are honet with themselves they will remeber that support for going after Sadaam was everywhere. It is only in hindsight that we understood the deception of George Bush.

4/15/2006 5:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I'm not supporting Ignatieff simply because a debate between him and Harper would put me into a thirty year sleep. My life is too valuable to be wasted watching to two most wooden people in the world debating.

It would make the days of Preston vs. Jean look like the Golden era.

4/15/2006 6:55 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I am happy things stayed civil for the most part...then again...shoshanna berman has not arrived yet.......

4/15/2006 6:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Orleans Grit a dit...

I'm looking forward to another 2 minute reader about Michael on Torture...

4/15/2006 7:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Ignatieff may have a problem, or whoever is elected liberal leader. If Harper keeps it up, he could form a majority next time around. 'Harpocracy' seems to be absent from the minds of the average canadian.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060415/conservative_poll_060415/20060415?hub=TopStories

4/15/2006 10:13 p.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

Good point, I should beat the gun and preempt Shoshana by being the first Kennedy supporter to put in his/her two cents:

Anyone who supports Michael Ignatieff and his vision for this country is a friend to the Liberal Party and our Canada. I think he's absolutely brilliant and in December was salivating at the prospect of having him in caucus. However, he has no experience in public management and is not acclamated to Canadian modernity. It's somewhat offensive to those of us who have lived decades outside of the country and know what it's like coming back and not being up to speed when he says he is--- because it's a blatant lie. However, I don't think that is reason enough to just discount him, because Ignatieff is a truly remarkable person. I get scared when he stumbles in press conferences when asked about transfer payments and intergovernmental affairs-- it's not his fault, but he doesn't know the Canadian government of today as he's been involved with it for three months [see post-vision speech press conference]. Early polling [EARLY!] has suggested he might turn off a lot more voters than anyone with the exception of Rae--- but, he also is faring well in Québec and is firming up a solid base among Liberals. So with regards to how he polls, I'm not spectaculary worried, I think he'd be no worse than we are now.

Here's my real beef: You don't walk in and assert that your desire is to plant the party 'centre-left.' I'm a Kennedy supporer, which to Joe Volpe makes me look like a dipper, but I recognize that Canadian politics are not built on the Ann Coulter- Al Franken mold that Iggy is flirting with here. In asserting that his vision [meeting our obligations to the millenium development goals, ensuring our social programs are fair and accessible across the country, etc.] is exclusive to the 'centre-left' Iggy is introducing an unwelcome bias within the party. You don't tell people who consider themselves 'right' that they don't care for people who are waiting for hip replacements-- because they do. You don't tell people who consider themselves 'right' that they don't care about the world's poorest citizens in the developing world-- because they do. The Liberal Party of Canada isn't left or right, it's Progressive, and to be progressive you don't take a step to one side or the other you need to go forward. Pragmatic people on the right, left, and in the centre want what is fiscally prudent and benefits the whole of society. That speech might've worked at an Alberta Liberal AGM, but giving it to undecided Albertan voters and telling them where they need to situate themselves on the political spectrum would get you another Conservative sweep of the province. Ignatieff's talks so far have hinted at bringing this black-white left-right US approach to Canadian politics and to those of us who have lived and worked in America this is absolutely horrifying. I don't want a political war of no compromise. I don't want an ideological stalemate like the one that's existed in the last two US presidential elections. I want a Party that stands for Progress. Screw the political spectrum, we need to resolve our health care crisis, institute the social programs Canadians want, and help make ours and the world's economy sustainable and environmentally sound. To his credit, Iggy wants to do all of these things, as do Gerard and Stéphane Dion, but he can't expect to do it and win when he's trying to reform the Liberal way. Yes, we've had crazy right wing parties like Reform and we've got the NDP swinging out left. Why do you think Canadians have kept the Liberals in power for so much of the last century? Because the party, at its best, is blind to the partisan spectrum and invests itself in Progressivism, which is a philosophy everyone can agree on.

I should add that anyone who is still whining about torture, Iraq, or human rights really needs to shut up because the positions have all been clarified and are perfectly reasonable. He doesn't support torture, has a LONG history of defending universal human rights and the liberty of the individual, and supported the overthrow of the Hussein regime because it was in the best interest of the people of Iraq.

Ignatieff's platform will be great. I think he, Kennedy, and Dion will overlap significantly and the three of them are going to help revitalize this party together. I'm happy with any one of them as leader, but I don't know that Iggy or Dion is at all capable of beating Stephen Harper in a general election.

[And as much as Ignatieff's people seem like they're trying to distance themselves from PET, they've not hesitated to post articles on his MP or leadership sites that make the comparison quite clear. They're very smart, they'll use PET selectively where he can garner support and then deflect any and all association when it benefits the campaign. There's nothing wrong with this, it's smart politics. I think he's got the best organization of all the candidates by far.]

4/15/2006 10:50 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

Ignatieff explains in the Globe & Mail:


Where 'centre-left' is

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF

Toronto -- The Globe and Mail may want to play word games (The Liberals' True Place Is In The Political Centre -- editorial, April 12), but I see absolutely no difference between a Liberal who is "centre-left" and a Liberal who is a "progressive centrist."

I believe in a progressive and compassionate approach to social policy; a moderate, creative and responsible approach to economic policy in order to fuel the growth required to enhance social justice; and a confident and realistic foreign policy that focuses on making a real and positive difference in our troubled world.

I simply want a Liberal Party that clearly occupies the progressive side of the moderate spectrum. That is what I call "centre-left."



People can label him what they want, the fact is, he is a responsible moderate, and it's also the position of the majority of Canadians.

4/15/2006 11:23 p.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

It's a great place to be. But like I said, it's extremely dangerous to run around calling it the centre-left. I just think it demonstrates Ignatieff's inability to fully understand the Canadian political climate. Most Canadians are moderates, but in order to win and build a winning coalition to govern within the Liberal Party, we need someone willing to embrace the centre-right, the left and the right and acknowledge that the ends they all seek are nearly identical, which is a prosperous Canada.

He's an awesome candidate, and no one can take this away from him. If he wins, I won't be complaining. I'm just afraid Harper and everyone else will grill him on just how acclamated to Canadian modernity he is, which will result in a prolonged tenure in opposition.

4/15/2006 11:48 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

I think he acknowledges all those things...that what they all seek are nearly identical -- a prosperous Canada.

Whoever becomes the Liberal leader, Harper will find something to grill him/her on. I tend to think that Ignatieff's strength will overcome any perceived weaknesses. I also happen to think a lot of his so-called weaknesses are non-issues, or will become non-issues.

All the top candidates have their strengths.

Kennedy has a lot of potential. He would make an excellent MP and Cabinet Minister. But I feel he is at least 5 years away from federal leadership material. He is still young, only 45, in 10 yeas he'll still only be 55.

Brison, too, has his appeal. Both Kennedy and Brison could be good future leaders. But I don't want to wait 5-10 years to defeat Stephen Harper. I want Harper out in less than two years!

Ignatieff has the intellectual bravura to go up against Stephen Harper. It will not be an easy race. Harper is a cunning political strategist, make no mistake about it. Which is more the reason I want Ignatieff at the helm in the next election. He has a very clear and strong vision, a vision which I share and I believe the majority of Canadians will come to appreciate.

Dion is close to being my second choice, maybe third. He is smart and likeable. But he lacks charisma, which is so vital in uniting not just the Liberal Party, but the entire country. His English is also not good enough for the majority of Canadians who are English-speakers. Frankly, I have trouble following some of his English speeches. I also don't find his vision to be very inspiring. He has made some good points. But we need a leader who can LEAD. I feel he makes a better follower than leader. He is a valuable asset to the party, though. I would like to see him given an important portfolio.

Generally speaking, I like Bob Rae as a person. He is smart and articulate. But I have a big problem with him only joining the party last week. On top of that, his less than impressive record as Premier of ON is a HUGE hurdle for him, one which I don't think he will be able to overcome, certainly not in Ontario, and that's a big problem. I see Rae more as a great potential Ambassdor to the U.N. or U.S..

Canadians are hungry for a leader with a strong vision who can inspire them. The country has been asleep for too long because of lack of inspirational leadership. Canadians don't just want a manager, we want and need a true leader who can inspire us with ideas. Michael Ignatieff fits the bill, in my humble opinion.

4/16/2006 1:37 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I like how Michael Ignatieff complains about the press he is getting in the globe and mail. The globe is having a wet dream over ignatieff, and he complains!
The newspaper is not a peer reviewed journal, and in politics, you don't always get to explain your position in a 12 pages discussion paper.
Ignatieff's problems will come to roost. We shall see how he preforms at DSM time with many intellectual liberals (ie not in the trenches troops) supporting him.
Will he have a good memebership base, and be able to get them out?

4/16/2006 2:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

He's not complaining. He's clarifying his position. I see nothing wrong with that.

4/16/2006 2:41 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Why do you come back to Canada after 35 years abroad and think you can be Prime Minister. One question. That's all it takes for this man to be destroyed for Canadian voters.

He also says very strange things in English and will continue to do so. His most recent is he said that an MP who has six month old twins left a meeting early because she had "domestic duties". How about those "assimilated" immigrants, or that war of "independence" we fought.

All the man has to do in English is open his mouth for voters to know that he's not Canadian.

Why is he here to be Prime Minister? That is beyond arrogant and Canada is not an emergent democracy or developing NAtion that needs an intellectual from the "first world" to come back and run our country. Sorry that's an American pseudo imperialist development model that is completely insulting to Canadian voters.

We're not Iraq or even the Czek Republic. We don't need someone to come back after 35 years to run our government.

This man would be anhilated in a general election and the Liberals with him if he were leader. And don't tell me he won one of the safest Liberal ridings in Canada after being parachuted in, because that is not running for P.M.

Quebec, honestly how many seats can the Liberals gain in Quebec a year from now? A few in Montreal, a couple more outside, at best. That's it. He could be considered the second coming of Christ by Liberals in Quebec and it won't mean much in a general election.

4/16/2006 9:59 a.m.  
Blogger Jason Townsend a dit...

I see Michael's friends in the Anonymous Party are as active as ever ;)

Good endorsement from good folks; minus the 'noise machines' this is looking like a promising and substantive leadership process.

4/16/2006 10:36 a.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

Michael Ignatieff has always been from "Canada", whatever world people would like to label it. He was born in Canada, grew up in Canada, went to school in Canada, graduated from a Canadian University, taught at Canadian Universities, did documentaries for a Canadian TV broadcasting company, wrote books related to Canada. He's a Canadian citizen when he's abroad.

Some people say that the U.S. will never put someone who has lived abroad for many years in the White House. Well, no one has tried, it doesn't mean it couldn't happen. What we do know is that in the U.S., they elected a foreign-born person who speaks with a heavy foreign accent to be the Governor the great state of California. This "first-world" country has embraced a person whom they feel could make a positive contribution to one of their biggest, most important and wealthiest states, even though he was not born in the U.S. and did not grow up in the country.

Canada is a nation of immigrants. We live in the 21st century of Globalization. THIS world is indeed a global village. There are no rules that say X Y Z could never happen because they have never been done before. Or that certain things only happen in X Y Z countries because that's what we have seen so far.

Canada is a progressive country. We are not stuck in some ancient tradition.

Michael Ignatieff has seen THE WORLD, the same WORLD that we, Canadians, ALL live in.

Michael Ignatieff wants to be Prime Minister because he sees Canada as a great country.

Michael Ignatieff is a Canadian treasure who has come home to serve his country. We should be thrilled that he is back.

4/16/2006 12:52 p.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

Although, polfilma, Arnie had lived in the US for decades. He was fully in tune with the political climate in his country because he was active within it--- so this is an unfair comparison. Someone who was born outside of this country and has lived here for the last three decades knows contemporary Canadian life better than Michael Ignatieff does, and I'm sure if there was a qualified candidate in this mold they'd be welcomed. If you've read Iggy's books, one of his main tenets about nationalism is that to know it fully you have to be within it. That's why he traveled to places he was writing about-- in order to gain the slightest understanding of his subjects. He has not been a full time member of Canadian society for three decades. He can't make claim to having a full understanding of Canadian modernity and his academic works assert that fact.

And also, I was raised in Canada, but prior to 2005, had spent over a decade in the United States. Trust me, the electorate there would NEVER elect someone to the oval office who had been absent from the country for three decades. However, we're not the United States and if embracing someone who is better acclamated to the world than he is the domestic front is preferable to a large number of Canadians, there is nothing wrong with that. I hope I'm getting it across that I am absolutely bananas about Michael Ignatieff. I love the guy. Although, pragmatism leads me to believe that he is unelectable and lacks an understanding of today's Canada and its politics, which renders him incapable of effectively serving as a prime minister.


[The California thing is not just an unfair comparison because it twists fact to make it benefit Ignatieff, but also because a brilliant man like him should never, ever be compared to someone who fought Sinbad for a rocket man action figure for an hour and a half in Jingle All the Way. Iggy deserves much better than that.]

4/16/2006 1:38 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

andrewridgeley, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. :)

I don't think the comparison is unfair at all. Sure, the situations are different. Other people saw fit to make all kinds of "comparisons" in order to discredit Ignatieff. My so-called comparison was meant to highlight the positive aspects of all the events, whether it's in Canada, U.S. or other countries.

I have read some of Ignatieff's books. And Ignatief has been IN Canada. As I have already said, he was born here, grew up and went to school in Canada. Yes, he had been away, but he was not cut off from Canada. He had on-going communications with people in Canada and had made frequent trips back to Canada.

Some people will probably never be satisfied. Their measure of "how much time" spent in Canada is considered enough will always be greater than what they see is the reality. But may I remind people that "foreign" experience is also considered important, and many leaders, including Stephen Harper, had not satisfied the "measure of time" spent outside of Canada.

So we could go on and on counting numbers and scruntinizing every number.

The bottomline for me... I look at Michael Ignatieff and I see a great man who can contribute to this country very positively in a way that no one has done in recent history. Whether that person has spent 1 year, 2 years, 10 years, 30 years in Canada most recently is the least of my concern.

I want to know who he is TODAY, what he stands for TODAY, and his vision for this country TODAY and TOMORROW.

I look at Michael Ignatieff, and I am satisified that he has the right substance to lead this country.

I do think he is VERY electable. Will Canadian voters in general feel the same way as I do? Time will tell.

4/16/2006 2:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Graydon a dit...

ON SUBSTANTIVE DEBATE AND MESSAGE TRACK CRITICISM


During the election I started to become a regular observer of the liberal/progressive blogosphere, and since the leadership I have found it as good or better a source of information on the race for the Liberal leadership than the MSM.

I have to admit though that I have become tired of the internecine attacks Liberals have been launching at each of the Leadership candidates and each other. I have been guilty of this myself, especially with respect to Bob Rae, and it has been pointed out to me that it is a reflection of a bad attitude that has become prevalent within the Liberal Party. After much thought on this I have to agree that this is not only a bad attitude but one that is unhealthy and will negatively impact our efforts at the renewal of the Liberal Party. It’s easy to fall into flame war e-mail exchanges and message track criticism, what is much more difficult is to reflect on substantive policy discussion over the differing visions of the various leadership candidates.

Kennedy is called a micro-manager and a difficult personality, Ignatieff a pro-torture war mongerer, Rae a disaster to any economy he would manage, Brison a man of questionable judgment, etc., etc. etc. The bottom line is that message track criticism cloaked in vague generalities is very seldom particularly fair or true upon closer examination and for every negative there is a positive. We should as Liberals be leaving these sorts of attacks to the people who will make them regardless of the leadership result, namely the New Democrats and the Conservatives. In an internal party process we should instead be focusing on the various agendas being advanced by the leadership candidates and deciding whether they present a package that will make a worthy Liberal Leader and a Prime Minister.

We should be debating the merits of Dion’s environmental agenda, Ignatieff’s position on citizenship and social justice, Brison’s ideas on the economy, Kennedy’s positions on education, and Carolyn Bennet’s ideas on grassroots Liberalism. This is a little more difficult than the standard ad hominem attacks that are so easy to launch on line and which have already been repeated over and over and over again. Originality requires thought and thought generates substance. We will be involved in a convention that will not go as anybody expects, it is important that the Party not break into hostile camps that are not able to come together during and after this Leadership process.

The bottom line is that the Liberal leader leads an association of Liberals across Canada and requires a team to realize the ambition to become Prime Minister. Every candidate will have pros and cons, but it is team work and an amalgam of progressive values that makes the Liberal Party strong. The enemy is not the Leadership candidate you may dislike now but may one day be canvassing for, it’s the other political parties and lets not forget that.

4/16/2006 2:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Well as an NDP supporter I have to say it would be dreamy for the respective leaders of the Cons and Libs to both have got the most important geopolitical decision of our era absolutely WRONG when Canada had it right. We'd finally have the centre all to ourselves. Thanx

4/16/2006 4:14 p.m.  
Anonymous ks a dit...

Polfilma at 1:37am,

What evidence do we have that Iggy can stand up successfully against Harper or any other politician???

He has no political record. It is quite the leap to extrapolate his professor career as a guarantee that he will be an effective politician.
At least we know how some of the other candidates have performed against Harper, Harris and others from the Harris government that are now in the Harper government.

I am voting for experience.

4/16/2006 4:42 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

For all thse Iggy supporters who keep saying he has been here for the last 35 years. Show us his last Canadian tax return before this year. I'll bet it was 36 years ago. Sorry visiting and doing a CBC documentary and the occasional lecture don't count as residency.

You know what else is fantastic he's the only politician in Canada you can't find on Wikepedia because he's had it all erased. His team probably checks it every day to make sure it doesn't come up again. Wow, you guys really can't deal with the truth can you.

That alone is enough not to vote forhim.

4/16/2006 5:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Graydon a dit...

I gotta say S.B. you really are miserable. You're not worth having on any team. Who needs the Conservatives with Liberals like you. I'd delete my wikepedia entry as well with people like you on the net.

4/16/2006 7:06 p.m.  
Blogger franco-manitobain a dit...

Good post Antonio, Ignatieff is the right man for the job. If the Calgary Herald published somehting good about him, maybe that's not such a bad thing considering, the liberals didn't win a seat in Alberta. IF we start getting some good publicity in the west maybe we will start winning seats in the west. I believe if Canada gets to hear what he truly has to say (without it getting smeared by the media) a lot of people will find his ideas fresh and inspiring. Not only is Ignatieff the best choice for the Liberal Party he is the right choice for the Country as a whole, on every front, unity, economy, equality etc.. It is about time that someone is able to really put together what is best for the country and for the party in one package.
p.s. here's the link to the 'missing' wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ignatieff

4/16/2006 7:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Shosanna for christ sakes, you and your wikipedia you worship it. YOu know very well that it was only when your ilk (probablly you yourself) started redesigning the previously only slightly biased against Ignatieff article that it started getting trouble. How about not rewriting an ENCYCLOPEDIA article all around the issues one group of people feel he is wrong about. The truth? You want the opposite of truth! You deleted the truth to put in your propoganda!

And I know lots of young liberals not filing tax returns I gues sthey don't matter. Kennedy doesn't file tax returns in the maritimes because is wife is from there or in the west because he lived there before guess he has no national appeal eh.

AND Ignatieff is the only Canadian politician who's wikipedia entry has to be blocked for bias because people like you have insisted on turning this into an AMERICAN STYLE DEBATE! Sickening

4/16/2006 7:56 p.m.  
Anonymous stephane a dit...

shosh:

Interesting that wikopaedia says that` your candidate a=has a University degree. Isn;t that a lie?!

In fact Gerard Kennedy is a university drop-out!!

4/16/2006 11:01 p.m.  
Blogger Parliamentary Sex Therapist a dit...

I G N A T I E F F:

Spelling: political interloper.

The Liberals would have better luck with Alan Dershowitz...

4/16/2006 11:39 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Do I get points for making the Shoshanna prediction?

Come on, if Milton can do election prediction, I can do troll prediction lol

Honestly, I met Gerard, he is a GREAT guy. He assured me he will not participate in any smearing.

I hope shoshanna gets the memo. It turns people off...you will become a liability

4/17/2006 2:03 a.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

Agreed, I keep telling people, as a Kennedy supporter, that Michael Ignatieff is an incredible individual and I'm happy to have him in this race--- I am. Graydon hit the nail on the hammer: let's put candidates' agendas first. As we've seen, it's easy to manipulate circumstance and history to cast anyone in a bad light or a good one [except for maybe, like, Hitler and Keanu Reeves]. I'm willing to suck it up and say every candidate in this race, those declared and those still mulling it, is legitimate and deserves to be here. Even Myron Wolf Child. Especially Myron Wolf Child.

4/17/2006 3:54 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Ignatieff is a smart man, no doubt. His motives, however, are questionable. If he had such vision for Canada, why did he not seek election, or even come back to Canada, in the last few years? Why now? The obvious answer is that he smells power, which feeds his giant ego.

The guy talks about "equal citizenship" but what does it say about him when he spent his entire working life in the USA? He'll try and separate and diffuse that issue but if you spend that much time in the USA, you surely adopt some of their psyche. For example, he supported torture and the Iraq war in the past. He says he no longer does (politically convenient) but we must ask why he ever did and what else he would support if given the chance? Remember, most Liberals, but admittedly not all, never supported torture and never supported the Iraq war.

Quite frankly, he's more American than Canadian and I'm surprised a Quebecer would ever endorse him. While he was in the USA contributing to their education system and their country, the rest of the Leadership candidates were in CANADA working or contributing to CANADA in some way.

If Ignatieff truly believes in "citizenship" maybe he'll learn how to be one before he chooses to try to lead this great country.

4/17/2006 11:26 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Ignatieff supports an independent Quebec! Read his past interviews, it's all there! If he's elected leader, say bye to a united Canada!

4/17/2006 2:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I love how Ignatieff went from being compared to Trudeau to being a separatist.

I guess people are willing to say anything

4/17/2006 3:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Hey!

Did you guys heard that Pascal Dessureau is thinking about being a candidate to replace Diamond!?

I heard it a lot recently, after Diamond's choice in the leadership.

Please update me if someone has more info!

4/19/2006 11:54 a.m.  
Blogger bza a dit...

nice pick! :)

4/20/2006 7:13 p.m.  

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