March 29, 2009


During the 7 “Liberal” years of my life, ethics were rather subjective. I had them when I needed them. Other than that, it was a game of “don’t get caught”.

I joined Concordia Journalism to break away from my political past. 3 campaigns/leadership races in direct succession had made me kinda crazy and very lost.

The program is one year long and I feel like I have learned a little bit about everything. As things wind down, Concordia wanted to teach us ethics before they sent us out into the unemployment lines.

I am put into situations weekly where my conscience is given a real test. Do I ruin somebody’s career to get a story? Do I present the facts in a way that help the flow of my article? Do I report a story from an anonymous source whose only interest is a rumor getting out there?

A year ago, I would have answered yes to all three questions. Call it the effect of partisan politics I guess. I spared nobody in all my Anti-Rae posts or my ridiculing of Dion and Monsieur Kennedy. If I could gain an edge back then, I did.

In a dogfight with the PQ and ADQ, I would never have thought twice about blogging anything fairly. Screw that! I used to think…

As the haze has faded over time, and the ethics I had put aside for all those years come back to me, I am beginning to understand the real hold that politics can have on some people. It is a very good thing that I took a year off politics before entering journalism school.

A friend of mine from my Liberal days MSN’ed me the other day about how he had converted to Iggymania. Naturally he thought I would be thrilled.

Just because im not involved doesn’t mean I don’t follow it. So I asked him what about Ignatieff brought him on board. I mean, 2006 was loaded with policy and ideas (like the nation and a carbon tax).

Now Ignatieff is really coasting on rhetoric and big crowds… (Hey, it worked for Obama right…)

After thoroughly confusing my friend, I got to thinking why I was no longer as enthusiastic about Ignatieff or the Liberals.

It dawned on me. Iggy 1.0 was far different than Iggy 2.0

Let’s face it. Two years ago Ignatieff knew academia and journalism but he was no politician. He started the two biggest policy debates in Canada. The nation debate cost him the leadership. The Carbon Tax cost the Liberals 40 seats.

Michael brought an approach to politics where people used logic and reason to wade through discussions and discourse. He was willing to tackle the sacred cows of Canadian politics.

He addressed Paul Martin’s cuts to transfer payments.

He addressed Quebec’s longing for recognition.

He addressed the dogmatic adherence to Medicare.

He addressed the need for REAL action on climate change and not lip service.

Now he is coy…he plays the politicians quite well…

My friends had been telling me Michael was supposed to deliver a knockout speech to the crowd in Laval a couple of weeks ago. I decided to stay away. It still is too soon for me to be returning to Liberal events.

I watched it on TV. I saw Michael Ignatieff, the politician…not Michael Ignatieff, the journalist.

Ignatieff is much smarter than I will ever be. Let’s hope politics does not ruin what he first set out to do…