October 10, 2006

A Politician Not Like the Others...from the Journal de Montreal

A Politician Not Like the Others
Le Journal de Montréal
Marco Fortier

Weird. Now that the Leadership Race of the Liberal Party is headed for the final stretch, the candidates should have all their knives out and begin publicly tearing their opponents to shreds, but the front-runner refuses to play the game.

Michael Ignatieff only has good things to say about everybody, including his opponents Bob Rae, Stephane Dion and Gerard Kennedy, who are talking behind the scenes to block his ascension to the helm of the party. Ignatieff supporters may be right : this 59-year old intellectual is a politician not like the others.

It’s true that there is a little refreshing quality to Michael Ignatieff. Women find him charming. Men find him intelligent. His opponents describe him as an arrogant aristocrat in his ivory tower.

His strategists, they, are discovering he is all that and more.

« I am not in politics to say boring things. I am in politics to say what I think » affirms Michael Ignatieff, seated for breakfast behind his glass of orange juice at the restaurant of the chic Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal.

You bet he says what he thinks. And he thinks a lot. It is worth listening to : Michael Ignatieff could not only become Liberal Party Leader, but perhaps Prime Minister of Canada.

Not long ago, the Liberals didn’t even dare to dream of forming the next government.

But to see the Conservatives of Stephen Harper, who are firing in all directions ever since the Lebanon crisis, the next election issue becomes more unclear by the day.

It adds some spice in a leadership race that was quite boring up until this point.


Michael Ignatieff dares venture off into issues that no candidate would even place their little toe. He is challenging ideas in the fight against climate change, the Afghan War, and the recognition of the « specificity » of Quebec.

Perhaps it is because the unique road he took that Ignatieff can bring this new look to politics. Without the arrogance of his childhood idol, Pierre Trudeau – who he served voluntarily as a student in 1968 – Michael Ignatieff shares with Trudeau an intellectual past that arrives suddenly into the political arena.

Son of a Canadian diplomat of Russian origin George Ignatieff, a young Michael learned an excellent French in the living rooms of the bourgeoisie in Toronto, Sarajevo, Paris, …and on the farm of his uncle Vladimir near Richmond, in teh Eastern Townships, where he spent his summers as a child.

A prolific author translated into 19 languages, Harvard Professor, Michael Ignatieff can talk to you about former French television star Bernard Pivot, of the work of Robert Lepage « where actors played in the mud, in London », or of the works of Bach with a touch of Glenn Gould.

But do not ask him to state his favorite Quebec author, as he doesnt know any, other than Lepage and Michel Tremblay.


Being against the current does not prevent Michael Ignatieff from committing to insert the « specificity of Quebec » into the Canadian Constitution. His friends in Toronto treat him like a nut, but Michael claims acorss all of Canada that Quebec forms a « nation ».

Ignatieff also surprised many Liberals in unequivocally supporting Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. His firm position in favor of an armed fight against the Taliban dates back to September 1997.

Reporting for the American publication, The New Yorker, Ignatieff witnessed first-hand the takeover of Kabul by Taliban forces, these religious extremists who preach a fanatical Islam. He remains profoundly affected by what he has seen.

« The Taliban ran after women in the streets in order to beat them with sticks. I saw women take refuge by the hundreds in ICRC offices. (International Committee of the Red Cross) From that moment on, I took a position in support of these women », he recounts with emotion.

Let’s bet that his opponents are waiting for him eagerly in anticipation of the final Leaders’ Debate, which will take place this Sunday in Toronto.

Micahel Ignatieff had better ask everyone to « keep their elbows down », to take a hockey metaphor, he would also state that it is rough playing in the corners…

4 Commentaires:

Blogger Peter a dit...

Bourque.com has right now another headline about Iggy:


which forwards the reader to


That IGGY is not like the others that's for sure.

10/11/2006 11:11 a.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...


10/11/2006 10:40 p.m.  
Blogger ktr a dit...

iggy may say nice things about everyone, but behind the scenes...
it is clear his team was behind the mud thrown at volpe. minna's top secret memo trying to put pressure on his ontario chair to be removed from the party was leaked, and pablo rodriguez is known to have possessed and distributed the lists in papineau quebec of volpe's new members.
how now, a rat, dead for a ducat, dead!

10/12/2006 2:02 a.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...


What the fuck are you talking about ? Pablo never distributed any lists. It's the riding association that filed the complaint and went to the media. They are the ones that know who was signed up by which campaign.

Before throwing mud at people, just make sure you know what you are talking about. What about using your real name ? Cowards that throw unfounded accusations tend to use pseudonyms.


10/14/2006 2:10 p.m.  

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