Thanks to National Newswatch for linking to this unintentionally hysterical end-of-year sympathy-cry for the hapless Leader of the Opposition, Michael Ignatieff, courtesy of the shameless Susan Delacourt of The Toronto Star.
First, the lede:
…doesn’t he just want to give up, go back to his charmed life as an international academic and writer?
“Never,” Ignatieff says. “I’m here. I’m staying. I’m not going anywhere.”
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Iggy in 2009, it’s that his tough talk is a complete sham. Why even pretend you’re an alpha-male, Iggy? Fact is, the only thing in your control is where you live (Toronto or Cambridge). He could be turfed out the back door just like his predecessor, Steffi, as soon as tomorrow for all we know. That much is up to the Liberal power brokers – not Iggy.
Next, Susan on how his ambitious turnaround plans will start:
As soon as the Liberal leader returns from an extended Christmas holiday – destination kept secret – he is headed out on the road, to connect with university students and rooms full of what he calls the “unconverted.”
Everyone can relate to those leaders who, when times get tough, go on extended vacations. And when Liberals need to convert the unconverted, of course they go straight to where a Liberal can hardly be found – the university campus! More on that:
“We’re going to universities. It’s important to preach to the unconverted. Some of what I have to do is rally the base, raise money. But the stuff I enjoy the most is going into rooms that aren’t full of Liberals – university crowds, university students are the future of Canadian politics and we have to get to them.”
A parody writer couldn’t have done a better job inventing the character, “Delusional lefty politician”.
As usual in the mainstream press, the important and valuable insight can be gleaned by reading the story bottom-up. The final paragraph contains Iggy’s depressing vision of Canada. Does he speak of freedom? Opportunity? Prosperity? Northern toughness? Achievement? How about even the basic Liberal boilerplate of Human Rights, Equality and Multiculturalism? Well, high-minded dreamers, here’s Canada in the mind of the man who wants to be your Prime Minister:
“I think it’s a small-l liberal country and I don’t want that to sound arrogant,” Ignatieff says. “I think that the country is small-l liberal in that it believes passionately in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It believes in publicly funded health care. It believes that Canadians should not be abandoned when they lose their jobs, they need help and training. It believes that anybody who has good grades to get through school should get all the education our society can provide. This stuff hasn’t moved very much.”
“It believes passionately in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms” – I don’t think so. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of Canadians could not recite a single line from the charter, and at least 50% wouldn’t even be able to tell you a single concept contained therein. Many Canadians are told that they believe passionately in the Charter; but most have no clue what that even means.
“It believes in publicly funded health care” – that’s number two on our list, how we pay our doctors? Makes us sound like a country of soulless bean-counters, not human beings.
“It believes that Canadians should not be abandoned when they lose their jobs” – amazingly, dear leader can’t even come up with a third point of vision, and reverts instinctively to petty partisanship, as if helping the unemployed is somehow an issue of controversy.
“It believes that anybody who has good grades to get through school should get all the education our society can provide” – he’s a professor, an author, a journalist, and a political leader; and yet, he can’t even compose a coherent sentence on the topic of education as a national value. Cue the parody writer again: Idiotic academic who can’t even master the art of bullshit.
The dreariness of this man! Enjoy that vacation, dear sir. For a non-entity, it can neither hurt nor help.