Tag Archives: Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff’s Vision of Canada: Dreary, Vacuous Mythology

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.

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Filed under Broken Socialist Health Care System, Canadian Identity, Political Idiocy, Politicians, The Confusion of The Left, The Sinking Ship Liberal

“The Great Abandoner” – Charles Adler on Michael Ignatieff and the End of the Coalition

When it comes to covering big-time political events, Winnipeg-based Charles Adler is every bit the equal to his talk radio peers in the US who command daily audiences in the millions (unfortunately, he’s not nearly as good on a day-to-day basis, but we take what we can get). Yesterday, he was at his best with this 12-minute monologue on Iggy, the Coalition, and the Conservative budget, titled “The Great Abandoner” (click on the arrow below to listen, and make sure you stick with it to the end – it gets better as it goes along). Tells you all you need to know about Michael Ignatieff, the new crown-prince-in-waiting of the Canadian media elite:

Read the text here at Fullcomment.com, and join the conversation!

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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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Filed under Political Idiocy, Politicians, The Sinking Ship Liberal

Liberal Party of Canada: When it comes to the public trough, there’s no compromise!

They will write books some day analyzing the political genius of Stephen Harper. This move was audacious, stunning, bold, and absolutely right from a small-c conservative point of view: through his Finance Minister’s economic update, he has announced the end of the outrageous system of public financing of Canada’s political parties imposed by the Chretien Liberals. Read about it in Kelly MacParland’s fine column. Quite simply: a system in which the Bloc Quebecois receives over 80% of its operating funds from the very Federal Government it wishes to dismantle, is a system that must go. Grabbing this post-election opportunity in which the official opposition is at its weakest to scrap the system is the type of hardball politics that conservatives usually end up on the butt-end of! Finally, we have hardball players on our side.

What makes this incredibly entertaining is the bluster and sabre-rattling of the opposition parties. Both NDP leader Jack Layton, and Liberal leader-in-waiting Bob Rae, have called the move “undemocratic” – an Orwellian inversion if there ever was one. All opposition parties are threatening to vote against the measure, which would trigger a snap election. Check out these quotes from Joan Bryden’s evening report:

Ignatieff: “I’m utterly unintimidated and undeterred by this stuff and the caucus is in the same mood . . . . (Harper) has misread the mood if he thinks that the Liberal caucus is going to cave on this matter. No way. No way.”

Similarly, Rae said the Tories are “deliberately creating a political crisis in order to avoid dealing with an economic crisis.” He said there’s “no public policy benefit at all” to the move to scrap public subsidies for parties.

“It’s just absolute bloody-minded meanness that’s motivating them and it can’t be allowed to stand.”

So, after two years of abstaining on every key issue put forward by the Conservatives – from war, to justice, to taxes, to economics – we now know where the line in the sand is drawn for Liberals. Deny these pigs their seat at the public trough, and it’s war!

Dignity, thy name ‘aint Lib.

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Filed under Leftist Duplicity, Politicians, Small-c gains by Big-C Conservatives, Sucking the Canadian Taxpayer Dry, The Sinking Ship Liberal

Liberals in Meltdown: Stephane Dion Won’t Go Quietly

These Libs are too much. Canada’s “Natural Governing Party” is in complete meltdown after the leader who presided over two disastrous years (who ever thought, after Paul Martin, that it could get worse?) not only refused today to step down as party leader, but showed a mind-boggling lack of humility by refusing to take even a shred of personal responsibility for his party’s ugly showing in last week’s election.

If you want to torture yourself, here’s the link to his entire press conference in RealTime format. Dion blamed: a) “Conservative Propaganda” that bamboozled the Canadian public about his personality; b) stupid Canadians failing to understand the brilliance of his Green Shift; and c) bad fundraising efforts that didn’t allow the Liberals to advertise his brilliance enough. I would argue that the loss should be blamed on a) the intellectual bankruptcy of the Liberal Party of Canada, which allowed the worst possible candidate to win their 2006 leadership contest; b) the inevitable, and well-deserved, unpopularity of any scheme that puts a financial penalty on carbon emissions; and c) the well-deserved financial bankruptcy of the party, whose own election finance rules made it impossible for its one solid remaining base (Canada’s business elite) to fund it through an election.

Dion may sound like a simpleton and a rube when he speaks, but he’s not stupid. He’s staying put until someone ponies up his still-standing $100,000+ debt from the 2006 leadership race – only then will he walk away gracefully. Ripping apart his own party at the seams in the meantime doesn’t seem to matter to him (which is fine with me). According to Bourque, Michael Ignatieff’s people are already planning a coup for later this week. Bob Rae has been positioning himself as the lone serious candidate for months. Vainglorious ones like Martha Hall-Findlay, Gerrard Kennedy, Denis Coderre, and Joe Volpe are still floating their own names around. Some are pimping Frank McKenna, John Manley or – gasp – Justin Trudeau – as Liberal Messiahs capable of lifting the reds out of the dumps. It’s getting ugly – and funny!

What does it all mean? With a lame-duck Leader of the Opposition, we’ve got at least 8 months of an effective Conservative majority ahead, and at least two years of Conservative minority rule until the next Lib leader would even consider going to the polls.

And some would have you believe that Harper somehow lost the election!

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