Michael Ignatieff: Another Disastrous Liberal Mistake

As long as Stephen Harper refuses to expand his PR image beyond “competent” and “safe”, he will fail to attain his much-desired majority government. If he can put forth a coherent, positive, aspirational vision for the country – whether it be with a hard conservative edge or not – he will get it. And now may be his opportunity, as he has once again combined strategic mastery with a bit of luck to buy himself at least another year as Prime Minister in a minority parliament, with an opposition in absolute disarray.

The latest work of strategic mastery? The 2009 budget, presented yesterday, unloved by everyone today. How can a document that has been panned across the ideological spectrum be considered a strategic masterpiece? 1) It pays lip service only to the irresistible force of the Keynesian “stimulus” nonsense fad dominating the world right now, projecting an inflated budget deficit that will never actually take place thanks to a neat poison pill (a provision that releases infrastructure funds only when matched dollar-for-dollar by provinces or municipalities – dollars that simply don’t exist) that will ensure most of the infrastructure billions announced will never be spent. This allowed Harper to gain Liberal support and earn NDP/Bloc wrath – wrath directed mostly at his true rivals, the Liberals, once again fracturing the left into little pieces; and 2) It avoids the “third rail” that conservative politicians must never touch – tax increases – and actually offers, in difficult times, small but tangible tax savings for most.

As for the luck? That happened in December, when the Liberal Party inexplicably decided to cancel its leadership race, and install “The Czar”, Michael Ignatieff, as its instant, permanent replacement for the hapless Stephane Dion. “Hey, he’s brilliant, he’s dashing, he’s worldly, he’s respected – he’s our Obama”, the pinheads in the party must have been saying. But what arrogant Liberals have failed to learn is: a coronation hands its recipient a poisoned chalice. The public at large will always be suspicious of a leader who did not earn his position. Paul Martin, Kim Campbell, and John Turner all learned this in the most humiliating way: each was utterly rejected by voters after being handed the Prime Ministership on a silver platter. I guarantee, the vast majority of non-political-junkie Canadians who watched the news tonight had the same opinion of this performance: who the hell is this guy, and who does he think he is, putting the government on “probation”?:

Iggy is everything the Liberals should have avoided: an arrogant-sounding, elitist, Toronto-centric, prickly, inexperienced, cold, humourless, hard-edged, bitter-looking opportunist, whose every public word makes him sound like an actor pretending to be a politician. While Stephane Dion had even worse flaws, at least he seemed genuine. As I have contended for two years now, there’s only one Liberal leadership candidate who was in the running that the Conservatives were scared of facing off against, and that was the very dangerous, very destructive Bob Rae. Further, there’s only one Liberal who could have peeled away the Conservative base and led them back to government quickly, and that would have been John Manley. But, as luck would have it, the Libs, panicked by their ill-conceived runaway-freight-train coalition experiment and their precarious financial position, took the worst possible choice in the worst possible manner.

Bad choices come with bad costs. Now, we’ll see if Harper can seize the opportunity, and move from being a competent caretaker to an inspirational leader.

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5 Comments

Filed under Political Idiocy, Politicians, The Sinking Ship Liberal

5 responses to “Michael Ignatieff: Another Disastrous Liberal Mistake

  1. bob

    Press release from the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association:

    Senior Ignatieff Liberal’s “cat meat” comment offends the Chinese community

    Chinese Canadian Conservative Association calls on Liberal leader to fire Senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella

    Toronto – Alex Yuan, chair of the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association called on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to distance himself from the comments made by senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella. In a recent blog posting Kinsella likened the meat found in Chinese cuisine to cat meat.

    “Back in the Big Owe for a couple weeks, so what better way to kick things off than with some BBQ cat and rice at the Yang Sheng, hangout of our youth? Yay!”

    Kinsella repeated the offensive comment in a video posting on his website.

    “Our community is deeply concerned with Mr. Kinsella’s comments. Kinsella repeats the most vulgar and offensive stereotypes by associating the meat served by Chinese restaurants to cat meat. He has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and disrespected the Chinese culture,” continued Yuan.

    “This is not the first instance of such intolerant remarks by Mr. Kinsella therefore we call upon Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to fire Mr. Kinsella as his senior strategist and apologize to the community.”

    Mr. Kinsella was forced to apologize for another intolerant blog posting in 2007. In the 2007, he wrote a post suggesting that Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod would rather bake cookies than run for office.

    For more information please contact:

    Tom Pang, CCCA Director

    416-447-0446

  2. Matty

    After all the strange Gaza (‘you’re for Israel or for Hamas! Bottomline!’) stuff on this blog this is what I’ve been waiting for. I wondered, how would staunch Conservatives twist their leaders current predicament into a story of success? The other day I complained of lack of imagination on this blog, today the opposite – this was an incredible stretch of imagination!

    So let me get this straigh: the Conservatives, being backed into a wall and in need of Liberal support to stay on life support and in office, have intentionally got themselves into this sitaution and are using it to gain a majority sometime in 2009?

    Part of this brilliant plan is to write a budget pandering to all the Liberal demands and then when asked for amendments by Liberals immediately agreeing without hesitating. I can see the genius in the plan, by doing anything the Liberals ask, people will feel sorry for the Conservatives and reward them by turning their minority into a full blooded majority. The novelty of this is quite brilliant…

    Right now in office you have what could be considered a strange Liberal-Conservative coalition, at least that’s what the NDP and Bloc like to call it. It’s odd that you ignore the fact that the Liberals are currently and willingly propping up the Cons in order to avoid an election. Without Liberal support Canadians would be back at the polls – a situation no one except the NDP and Bloc want. Any way you look at it this document was no ‘masterpiece’ of strategy – it was a flailing government desperately trying to stay in power.

    The same government that laughably predicted a few months ago that there would be surpluses in 2009 is now conceding an 80+ billion dollar deficit – a number many are already saying is optimistic. Nothing instills more confidence in your government than watching as they are off on economic predictions by 80 – 100 billion dollars.

    I enjoyed listening to Harper and Flaherty in the fall talking of how Canada’s unique economy and banking practices would shield it from a recession. Ah those were the days, days when reality didn’t exist. The only shielding going on was willful ignorance of Canada’s export industry being about to take a major hit. Today Harper was talking of how the steel industry’s ‘buy American’ policy concerned him. Ah yes, the real world is starting to enter the Conservative’s ideological one.

    And Ignatieff a disastrous mistake? The same man that is polling ahead of Harper and who’s party has made stunning gains not only nationally but particularly in Quebec? Not to mention the fact he currently holds the minority government on a tight leash.

    The fun of not being strongly aligned to any particular party is watching those who are try to defend their dear leader’s blunderings.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find any of this economic crisis funny, except of course watching politician’s who I think are inept prove themselves inept beyond my wildest dreams. Though, I must say it would be wonderful if these people had an ability to perform their jobs adequately – another world I suppose.

    In the end there’s not a whole lot they could likely do to fix this crisis, so watching them act like complete idiots is fun comic relief to reading financial reports.

    ~

  3. Try to be pithy, coherent, or entertaining when commenting here. Thank you. The Management.

  4. Tim

    I think something happened. Was it the back lash against Israel in the Gaza strip? Was it just that the budget the NDP and Bloc required too liberal?

    I does not mater. Michael, I doubt he is alone, found he had more in common with the Conservatives under Harper the he did with his fellow Liberals and especially thae NDP and Bloc. A choice was made. It was not a mistake.

    Things have changed.

    The Liberals and Conservatives have made peace.

  5. Pingback: Blue Like You » Blog Archive » Did the Liberals goof with Iggy’s appointment?

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