What has happened to the Liberal Party under Ignatieff's leadership?

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NorthReport
What has happened to the Liberal Party under Ignatieff's leadership?

The cracks are beginning to show. While other party leaders are out and about, Ignatieff has been nowhere to be found for the past while.

Now staunch Liberal backers such as Lawrence Martin are getting very anxious as we approach the later part of the summer, and the enevitable will there, or will there not be, an election this fall. There will, of course, be no election this Fall, unless the Liberals have a death wish.

Will the Liberals' strategy of roll-no-dice work?

 

A good many in the party want to reboot, but senior strategists remain unmoved

 

 Some things are starting to worry some Liberals.

1. The economy isn't sinking. It won't propel them to power.

2. The Harper Conservatives aren't going to defeat themselves.

3. Liberals can't win by trying to be all things to all people. Paul Martin tried that.

4. Michael Ignatieff isn't capturing the public imagination, as earlier hoped.

A good many in the party want to reboot - and they want to do it now. The initial idea was that the combination of their new leader and a brutal recession would lead them back to the promised land. Being proactive wasn't necessary. But the economy is rebounding earlier than expected. Stephen Harper is back on his feet. Liberal polling numbers have stalled. Media reviews are unflattering.

There is concern the Liberal leader is risk-averse. Mr. Ignatieff, some worry, is still thinking things through - something intellectual types are inclined to do. In their wisdom, these leaders see the complexities of the issues, the grey zones, the competing shades and they hedge. Vague imagery results.

What to do? Get out some bold policy initiatives, many in the party say. Give the leader definition. Give Canadians a vision. Roll the dice.

But it's not about to happen.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/will-the-liberals-roll-no-d...

NorthReport

It must be contagious. Another one is worried as well.

 

 

Michael Ignatieff hurt by his own tactics

 

There are two basic political rules that rookie leaders break. One warns against taking a position that can't be abandoned without severe damage or high risk. The second, related to the first, cautions against cornering an opponent unless the purpose is to force a fight on advantageous terms.

In roughly six months of on-the-job training, Michael Ignatieff has savaged those axioms. The result is that a party that should be riding high is down in the dumps. It's squandered an opinion poll lead and lost the swagger that carried caucus through spring and toward yet another early election.

Part of the problem is politics is unforgiving as well as not easily mastered. Worse, it's at least as complex as chess and cruelly punishes new players by discounting their experience and success before abandoning real for elected life.

Putting Conservatives "on probation" is a prime example of what happens when a tactic is too clever by half. Instead of putting pressure on the Prime Minister, it creates a periodic test the Opposition leader can only pass by forcing what may be an untimely election.

Ignatieff compounded the error by ignoring Rule 2. Threatening to bring Conservatives down before Parliament's summer recess was only sound as long as Liberals, and particularly their leader, were ready for a campaign. They weren't and Stephen Harper shrewdly called the bluff, sending two parties in different directions.

There are two basic political rules that rookie leaders break. One warns against taking a position that can't be abandoned without severe damage or high risk. The second, related to the first, cautions against cornering an opponent unless the purpose is to force a fight on advantageous terms.

In roughly six months of on-the-job training, Michael Ignatieff has savaged those axioms. The result is that a party that should be riding high is down in the dumps. It's squandered an opinion poll lead and lost the swagger that carried caucus through spring and toward yet another early election.

Part of the problem is politics is unforgiving as well as not easily mastered. Worse, it's at least as complex as chess and cruelly punishes new players by discounting their experience and success before abandoning real for elected life.

Putting Conservatives "on probation" is a prime example of what happens when a tactic is too clever by half. Instead of putting pressure on the Prime Minister, it creates a periodic test the Opposition leader can only pass by forcing what may be an untimely election.

Ignatieff compounded the error by ignoring Rule 2. Threatening to bring Conservatives down before Parliament's summer recess was only sound as long as Liberals, and particularly their leader, were ready for a campaign. They weren't and Stephen Harper shrewdly called the bluff, sending two parties in different directions.

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/canada/columnist/article/665630

Oppo-Guy

Second only to Rachel Marsden's twitter feed, the most vitriolic, irresponsible, mean-spirited, out-of-touch Canadian conservatives write on Free Dominion.

Yet that's exactly the place where Conservatives - disappointed by Harper - are talking to each other about voting for Ignatieff.

It's a sure sign of the dramatic shift to the right going on in the Liberal Party that staunch elements of the conservative movement are seeing the Liberal party under Ignatieff as a welcome home for their issues and a vehicle for their agenda.

A few snips from Iggy's new right wing fan club:

"I think Ignatief "gets" the oil sands. Time will tell if he "gets" the rest of western Canada. If he does, people will switch their vote."

"I'm not so sure he'll turn out to be the same NDPlite PM as Trudeau."

"If he does exceptionally well, he may just get my vote."

"I really think that Iggy is a traditional Liberal - which means balanced bugets, debt repayment, and cuts to social spending in much the same manner as pre-Pearson, he strikes me as very much like Chreiten or Laurier."

Debater

North Report, you seem to have an obsession with this subject and often post multiple threads on it every day.  While I agree with you that Ignatieff definitely needs to start defining himself and his policies with more substance if he is too succeed, I think you are exaggerating the extent of the problem and not focusing enough on the challenges that face the other leaders and parties as well.

remind remind's picture

well, I read all 6 pages of that thread, which was painful. Did not touch marsden's twitter feed, *gag*.

And yes, there is a small minority there who would vote Liberal, if all things aligned, but perhaps they are  the "soft soaping" Liberal plants that can be viewed everywhere across the political forum world, that seem to be growing daily. And yes it does somewhat indicate, to a certain extent, how far right the Liberal Party has moved.

I found it interesting when one stated if the Liberals apologized for NEP, they would now vote for them and so would everyone in AB.

Are apologies all that it takes?

 

Debater

If Ignatieff can attract Conservative voters away from Harper and to the Liberals, that will be viewed as a victory for him.

remind remind's picture

Debater wrote:
not focusing enough on the challenges that face the other leaders and parties as well.

WTH? Why does anyone have to focus on anything they don't want to? get a grip.

Sean in Ottawa

remind wrote:

 

Are apologies all that it takes?

 

Gee I hope not-- Don't think Atleo will find that an acceptable idea.

 

remind remind's picture

No...I do not think so either, not by a long freaking shot.

 

NorthReport

Let me get this straight.

 

Ignatieff rejected pulling the plug on Harper, and discrediting Harper when the economy was in recession, and instead decided to wait. Wait for what? For the Bank of Canada Governor, to say the recession is ending, and allowing Harper to get the credit.  

 

 From a liberal supporting paper no less. And some people still think there will be an election this Fall. Laughing

 

Good times spell bad news for cautious Liberals

Instead of blaming Conservatives for job losses, misjudging the deficit and mismanaging the economy, Liberals would have to fall back on the weaker, more nuanced and less evocative argument that it was the Official Opposition that forced a reluctant government to open the stimulus floodgates.

None of that would matter so much if Liberals hadn't been overly confident Conservatives, with a lot of help from the recession, would defeat themselves. Gripped by the same hubris that convinced the party it could afford Stéphane Dion, Liberals failed to give Canadians reasons to vote for Ignatieff, not simply against Harper.

Foolis

Instead of blaming Conservatives for job losses, misjudging the deficit and mismanaging the economy, Liberals would have to fall back on the weaker, more nuanced and less evocative argument that it was the Official Opposition that forced a reluctant government to open the stimulus floodgates.

None of that would matter so much if Liberals hadn't been overly confident Conservatives, with a lot of help from the recession, would defeat themselves. Gripped by the same hubris that convinced the party it could afford Stéphane Dion, Liberals failed to give Canadians reasons to vote for Ignatieff, not simply against Harper.

Foolish as the failure to establish themselves as a compelling alternative now seems, lying low is appealing to Liberals still nursing bitter memories of what happened when Conservatives made Dion and his policies the ballot question. But that doesn't change the urgent new reality confronting the party. Carney has indirectly started the clock ticking for an autumn campaign that Ignatieff and Liberals are still far from ready to contest.

h as the failure to establish themselves as a compelling alternative now seems, lying low is appealing to Liberals still nursing bitter memories of what happened when Conservatives made Dion and his policies the ballot question. But that doesn't change the urgent new reality confronting the party. Carney has indirectly started the clock ticking for an autumn campaign that Ignatieff and Liberals are still far from ready to contest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/671778

remind remind's picture

Link doesn't work

NorthReport

I wonder what the Liberal Party's position on the Arctic is.

 

So Harper is first out of the gate here once again.

 

I doubt that Ignatieff will be interested in an election this Fall, as it appears Harper will mop the floor with him. 

Canada unveils Arctic strategy

 

 

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/07/26/arctic-sovereignty.html

NorthReport

Thanks remind, it is now fixed.

remind remind's picture

Sounds like they are trying to deflate Iggy's visit to Gatineau as a press release there is not much there other than the seal pelt thing.

NorthReport

I guess the Globe's Laghi doesn't read the news if it's not in the Globe & Mail. He might want to try checking out the Bloomberg.com website.

 

 

 

With eyes on fall vote, Tories tutored in electioneering

 

Party meets Monday for update on vote preparations and employment insurance update

 

One senior party member said that Conservatives feel increasingly buoyant. The Liberals, who had been holding a lead of about a half-dozen percentage points through most of the spring, have fallen back to parity with the Tories, numbers that party members believe may persuade Mr. Ignatieff to hold off on an election.

Still, the Tories have made a number of moves suggesting they are preparing just in case. The party has, for example, begun nominating candidates in larger numbers.

"We're not fully nominated yet - but we're certainly north of 200," said a party official. There are 308 ridings.

The party's chief fundraiser, Irving Gerstein, has also sent out two separate letters seeking donations of $60 on each occasion.

"Money was supposedly earmarked for a pre-election campaign fund and it was suggested funds would be used to develop communications collateral," said a Conservative who received the solicitations.

Although the Tory doesn't believe the climate is right for an election, the Conservatives do believe that Mr. Ignatieff may not have the stomach to again support the government and that it will be left to the NDP and the Bloc to decide whether to bring down the government. Some Liberal MPs have become increasingly restive about keeping the government alive, arguing that it makes their party look weak and doesn't allow for differentiation with the government.

 

 

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/with-eyes-on-fall-vote-tori...

NorthReport

 

 

Unsolicited advice for Michael Ignatieff

Because, you genius, for the one guy you've just pleased, you've made an enemy of every other candidate. What will poor former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler think, for heaven's sake? Cotler keeps threatening not to run again but hangs in hoping for the holy grail - becoming justice minister again, the job for which he as born. So he gets up one fine Saturday morning and learns from the gossip columnists that the grail has gone, evaporated, disparu, his hopes as dead as John Cleese's parrot. And what other Liberals are receiving promises that haven't yet been leaked? Question: How many resentful candidates and caucus members can there be? Answer: All that believe a lucky few have gotten commitments they themselves have not. Heckuva way to build the new team, eh?

Just about everybody in Canada has warned Iggy that he can't afford too many more goof-ups. He can't keep conducting himself as if he personally knows how the political game in Canada is played since he hasn't a clue. Yet the first person singular reigns in the Liberal party. Ignatieff continues, apparently unilaterally, making decisions that have made him look foolish - putting the Conservatives on probation, threatening yet again to force an election he can't risk fighting, surrendering his demand for EI changes without getting a single change, having no policy on any issue whatsoever.

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/unsolicited-advice-for-igna...

 

Well you can always count on Caplan to piss someone off whether it be the Liberals like this time or the NDP other times.

 

remind remind's picture

What did Iggy do to Cotler?

NorthReport

Well it sounded like he had aspirations to be justice minister again but apparently Ignatieff has offered the position to Oppal. Just what Canada needs in the House of Commons, another lawyer and a judge. WTF.

And what has Ignatieff offered to Paul Zed who supposedly is running in Saint John. I cant help but think that Zed was involved somehow in that Telegraph Journal Harper smear. I wonder what Zeds  reward will be.

gunder

If Ignatieff falls flat in the next election (ie. anything less than 25 seats in Quebec and another Tory minority), then perhaps he'll try and convince people the left wing  (or indeed, any ideological current) of the Liberal Party sill exists.  Until then, he's just minding the store.  He already cut off his nose on the EI reform issue, a golden oportunity he talked to death and then all but conceded to Harper anyway. 

 

My initial prediction was an election in March '10, and it seems to be getting later by the day...

 

remind remind's picture

Oh that is right Ignatief did offer the justice minister job to Oppal, I had not thought of the implications of that little action, and what a slap in the face it would be for Cotler.

Well actually I would say to all Canadians, having experienced Oppal's inabilities and actions in BC.

Debater

Oppal is indeed an idiot, and didn't even handle the RCMP taser death inquiry correctly.  No way should he be considered for Justice Minister over Irwin Cotler.

NorthReport

And how should Oppal have handled it.

 Im not disagreeing with you, but lets have some substance to back

up what you are talking about.

NorthReport

 Not a bad idea. Maybe after the next election the Liberals will give up the ghost. Fat chance.

Harper's Great White Hope?

 

Speaking of not new, it must have been music to Mr. Harper's ears to hear Ed Broadbent thunder, "What modern Conservatives and Liberals have done is not only to reject the political legacy of the CCF and the NDP, but they have also rejected part of the political legacy of Lester Pearson, John Diefenbaker, Pierre Trudeau and Bob Stanfield...." And, I'll bet the Prime Minister didn't even take offense when the old social democrat war horse said, "There's been a straight line from Paul Martin to Stephen Harper, and don't let the Liberals tell you otherwise...There's a fiscal link from the Liberals of the 1990s to Mr. Harper, and anyone who thinks there isn't is off in cloud cuckoo land."

Let's face it: The stronger the Dippers and the more they eat into the Liberal vote, the greater the chances that Stephen Harper and his family will continue to enjoy their chef's fine food and that great view overlooking the Ottawa River after the next election, notwithstanding the Conservatives being supported by a mere 36 per cent or so of Canadians. Plus he'll have the power to name senators and judges and fly around the world in his own jet meeting interesting folks like Barack Obama, if not Bono.

It took numb-skulls on the centre-right three consecutive Chrétien victories to figure out that they had to unite their forces if they hoped to form government again. Now, with Michael Ignatieff hugging the centre and playing doppelgänger to Mr. Harper, it's beginning to look as though it will take dim-wits on the centre-left at least as long to figure out their path to victory. In fact, after striking out on their coalition coup - an embarrassment that you'll not hear mentioned by the speechifiers at this weekend's meeting - it might take them even longer.

Sure, Mr. Harper will not achieve a majority Conservative government; as long as the Bloc remains strong in Québec, no party will. Still, being in power atop three successive minority governments has its rewards: just ask Lester Pearson. True, Stephen Harper is no Lester Pearson. But, unless he comes up with a new game plan, it's looking less and likely that Michael Ignatieff will ever get the chance to show whether he can measure up to that standard.

 

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/spector-vision/harpers-great-white-...

NorthReport

Close to 40% for Harper, in an IR poll released Friday nite, that's what has happened.

Is this brain trust, or brain dead

You're doing one hell of a job Iggy.

 Ignatieff's Bay St. brain trust

Quote:
The Liberal Leader has reached into the heart of Toronto to form his new advisory team. For a struggling party that needs to reach beyond the 416, this is a breathtaking wager

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/ignatieffs-bay-st-b...

remind remind's picture

So they think the centre of the universe peeps are going to sell Ignatief to Canadians, eh?!

Good job boys, you got him nicely down in the polls already.

NorthReport

Not a good omen for the Ignatieff-led Liberals, as there is no bigger fan of the Liberals than this guy in the press. This is a devastating attack on Iggy. Is it over before it even begins for Canada's newest political nobility

 Michael Ignatieff's curiously wasted summer

The failure to develop a coherent critique of the government has left Liberals wondering what is going on

Quote:
Suggested changes to employment insurance, making it easier to secure EI with fewer weeks worked, certainly isn't an overall "critique." Most people in Canada are working, and don't worry much about EI. But even if the Liberals were substantively correct about the issue, and they are not, one policy dispute does not make a coherent line of attack.

Some days, the Liberals claim the Harper government hasn't spent enough public money on the recession. But they voted for the Harper budget, whose deficit has since exploded. Would the Liberals really recommend a budgetary deficit above the anticipated one of $50-billion? Where would that leave their other critique that the Conservatives have been reckless with the public purse?

On other days, the Liberals suggest the stimulus money should be rolled out ever faster. This is a purely political critique, rather than a seriously substantive one, since it takes time to make sure money is well spent. As it is, a whole lot of the stimulus money will be spent next year and the one after that, when the economy won't need the public money.

The economic centrists in the Liberal caucus know that taxes should be raised in the next few years to drive down the deficit and avoid years of red ink. But they dare not say so, because they fear the Conservative counterattack. So they say nothing. Indeed, so seared were Liberals by the bad public reaction to their carbon tax in the last election that they won't put anything forward before the election.

Mr. Ignatieff is going off to China, a good thing in itself, but wrong from a timing perspective. The Liberals thought they had the Conservatives somewhat vulnerable for mishandling relations with China, but with four senior Conservative ministers having recently visited that country, the potential critique has weakened.

Elections are won at home, on domestic issues overwhelmingly. If there's one area where Mr. Ignatieff doesn't have to burnish his credentials, it's having an international perspective, because he lived overseas for so many years. He'd be much better off attending barbecues in Ontario and Quebec than visiting Beijing and Shanghai. Get elected and go fast to China, but get elected first.

Stephen Harper had scarcely been outside Canada before getting elected. Canadians think they are great internationalists, but they are not at all.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/michael-ignatieffs-curiousl...

 

 

NorthReport

The Ignatieff Liberal fans definitely do not want to view this, although the Bob Rae supporters might. LaughingWink

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb9kR1XHh3o

Debater

I think Bob Rae is a much more articulate and charismatic speaker than Ignatieff and would have made a better leader in many ways.  He is also more compassionate and more progressive and closer to what the Liberal Party should represent.

Unfortunately, because he was Premier of Ontario, the baggage of that has remained around his neck and may prevent him from ever becoming leader.

janfromthebruce

"He is also more compassionate and more progressive and closer to what the Liberal Party should represent."

Talk is cheap which the liberals love to do - but liberals just don't do the walk. Many old time liberals are stuck in a "time warp" of the Trudeau era. It left the building a long time ago but they keep thinking that when everything is fine - the libs will enact those "promised progressive policies/programs."

Not going to happen folks.

madmax

Debater wrote:

I think Bob Rae is a much more articulate and charismatic speaker than Ignatieff and would have made a better leader in many ways.  He is also more compassionate and more progressive and closer to what the Liberal Party should represent.

Unfortunately, because he was Premier of Ontario, the baggage of that has remained around his neck and may prevent him from ever becoming leader.

Bob Rae Foot in mouth

Uncle John

I don't think Bob's health will permit him to run for leader.

However in Bob we have the one of the only Liberal MPs who has spoken for the plight of people whose rights have been trampled on by the Project for a New American Century.

This is a stretch I admit, but I figured if Bob could have taken the Liberal leadership we would have had a Democratic Coalition government by now. NDPers may not like Bob, but at least he would have been a devil they knew.

IMO the best bet for renewal in the Liberal Party will come from Domenic LeBlanc. Yet on the other hand, the Liberals may be permanently doomed.

As the NDP soaks up centre-left voters the Conservatives will get centre-right voters to stop the NDP. This pair of trends is positively radioactive for the Liberals.

Stockholm

"As the NDP soaks up centre-left voters the Conservatives will get centre-right voters to stop the NDP. This pair of trends is positively radioactive for the Liberals."

Sounds like fun!!

NorthReport

Susan Riley is one of the few Ottawa columnists that puts out a reasonable political column. I usually enjoy her comments because she is frequently on the money as she is here, although I find it bizarre she is being published in that POS better known as the National Post.

 

Ignatieff's big problem

He has some renown as a champion of human rights. Why didn't he condemn Hamid Karzai's recent endorsement of an edited version of a law that still treats Afghan women as chattels? Why didn't he draw attention to Harper's sudden low profile on the same issue? And if he did speak out, see above: the need for a quick response team to get the message out.

He has been criticized elsewhere for missing a chance to defend Canadian health care in the face of the raging debate in the United States, for failing to exploit his personal ties with the Obama regime, for remaining mute on the harmonized sales tax - a federal initiative that Harper is trying to blame on the provinces - or the outrageous official indifference to Canadian citizens who find themselves in trouble abroad.

Lesser Liberals have squeaked about some of these issues. And no one wants to hear the chorus of complaint about everything which is the opposition leader's sorry duty. What the country needs -those who are thoroughly fed up with Harper's cramped vision, at least - is intelligent demolition of Conservative nostrums accompanied by optimistic and generous alternatives.

This is usually described as "policy" - and the clamour for marketable and distinctive Liberal positions is building and will be heard again next week in Sudbury as Liberals hold their pre-session caucus. This will eventually lead to a glossy booklet which will be released amid much fanfare then forgotten - unless it contains something truly novel (like a Green Shift), in which case it will be mercilessly eviscerated by rivals.

It isn't "policy" the Liberals need, not in the narrow sense, but a different approach to the country and its problems - less hostile, hidebound and divisive than Harper's. Bob Rae embodies elements of that more "liberal" approach, so does Manitoba NDP Premier Gary Doer, U.S. President Barack Obama, even, on good days, Quebec Premier Jean Charest. So did Jean Chrétien, notwithstanding his authoritarian streak and animus towards separatists.

But does Michael Ignatieff? He appears culturally (fashionably) liberal and temperamentally conservative - but, mostly, diffident. Diffidence can be a charming personal trait, but a political liability -especially when your opponent is a human blow torch when aroused, fiercely single-minded, utterly convinced of his own rightness, ruthless in incinerating stumbling rivals.

And no amount of aggressive staff work can cover confusion at the centre. After all these months, Ignatieff remains an enigma - either undecided on key issues, absent, or a conservative trapped in the wrong party. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1951806

mybabble

I'm curious what the Opposition has to say aren't you?  Harper has been campaigning against Iggy from the get go with his made in America stuff or lived in America.  Can you take the Canuck out of the Canadian?  I think not.  Harper would sell out to American Big Business in a New York Second and its been wasted advertising dollars as Harper's leadership is Iffy to say the least.  Now its the Liberals turn.  And the NDP I'm certain. 

Oppal, someone has got to be kidding its Opps they did it as innocent citizens end up dead on Vancouver's street so heading up Canada's justice  system with former BC MLA who failed to get re elected because of his Poor performance as justice minister needs more thought. 

mybabble

And don't you just love Harper's Hated Sales Tax, you know the HST?  Canadians hate it.  I read today the receission is over in BC and thought these guys are the out to lunch bunch, the recession is over?  Apparently the l% growth was a indicator its over.  Did you know China is in the Red?  That is an indicator that it is far from over. 

What about Canadians Health as Canada is not prepared for a pandemic and it could get real ugly for Canadians as Harper has other priorities like helping big business to the average stiffs paycheque?  Did you know the NDP would have won the last election if Campbell hadn't lied?  I knew it and was certain if the public knew the true state of affairs Campbell was a goner.  I still think he is.  Can you imagine a pandemic during the Olympics?  No, because it would be over before it started.

NorthReport

Uncle John wrote:

As the NDP soaks up centre-left voters the Conservatives will get centre-right voters to stop the NDP. This pair of trends is positively radioactive for the Liberals.

You can say that again.

Isn't it about time Canada had a real Official Opposition, instead of the Liberals, who have voted 79 times to support the right-wing assault by the Harper Cons on Canada's little guys and gals.

remind remind's picture

According to Sgro, on last night's late news, Iggy allowed them to be bullied.

SCB4

NorthReport wrote:

Uncle John wrote:

As the NDP soaks up centre-left voters the Conservatives will get centre-right voters to stop the NDP. This pair of trends is positively radioactive for the Liberals.

You can say that again.

Isn't it about time Canada had a real Official Opposition, instead of the Liberals, who have voted 79 times to support the right-wing assault by the Harper Cons on Canada's little guys and gals.

 

It would indeed be nice to have a real Official Opposition.  You have to go back to the pre-Laurier era to recall a time when the Liberal Party was so utterly bereft of effective leadership (or any potential leaders waiting in the wings for that matter)

Doug

This is definitely LOL-worthy:
 
Yesterday, in explaining why it is that he wants an election, Michael Ignatieff offered the following:[...]

Stephen Harper has been prime minister for four years, and he's never visited China. We'll be there next week. After that, we'll plan a trip to India.
That's where we need to be as a country - if we want to secure markets for the next generation of our exports - if we want to compete with the best in the world - if we want to get out of the trade deficit the Conservatives have created, the first in thirty years.
 
Less than 24 hours later, CP reports:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is cancelling a week-long trip to China due to his self-declared threat of a fall federal election, The Canadian Press has learned.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/radwanski/china-is-so-yesterday/art...

NorthReport

I don't often agree with WK but this time...........Tongue out

Warren Kinsella explains how we can all "see the corpse of Michael Ignatieff's vaulting ambition"

 

This is from Warren Kinsella's blog, March 27, 2006:

"It is not very often that one gets to witness a "leadership frontrunner" immolate his own candidacy so blithely, so recklessly, but if you click here and you peer inside, you will see the corpse of Michael Ignatieff's vaulting ambition. He is done - and if he isn't, he should be. Now, it is true that I objected to the learned professor before reading this essay, posted over the weekend on Pierre Bourque's site. I objected to the manner in which his supporters trampled on democracy in a Toronto riding - literally locking out opponents. I objected to his support of George W. Bush's illegal war in Iraq. I objected to the fact that he mocked Canada (Link dead) during the three decades he was abroad, and that he likened Israeli policy to the fascism of apartheid. I objected to what I perceived to be breathtaking arrogance - calling Canada a "herbivorian boy scout" one day, then jetting up here to run it the next. And then came this essay. Below I have culled a representative sampling of some the things Ignatieff says about torture in his just-published tour de force. His Kool Aid drinkers - and he has many already, rest assured - will bombard me with emails, braying and screeching that I quoted him out of context. But the fact is that they are his words ..."

 

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/09/19/...

janfromthebruce

A poster left this message with links:

Kinsella really pretty much hits the nail on the head.  As much as it can be argued that a Liberal Government would be more in touch with Canadians not in this case.  See more on this at www.policycentre.ca/.../4 and at www.policycentre.ca/.../the-unbearable-jeffery-simpson

enjoy

KeyStone

Ignatieff was never the right man for the job. The only reason I have heard that people support him was because he had a good chance of winning. It was not because of his compassion, or his patriotism, or his ideas.

Here is what we know:

1) He's really only back in Canada because he thinks he can be the Prime Minister. Look, you don't have to live in Canada all your life to lead it, but someone who hasn't lived here in 20 years, doesn't love it enough to lead the country. Sorry.

2) He's not a people person. I have heard this time and time again, from Liberal insiders, who say he's pretty much dismissive of all but the most important people. Unless you are bringing in big cash, or you have a PhD, don't expect to get a word in with Ignatieff.

3) He doesn't seem to have any ideas. Then again, Harper didn't have any ideas either, and that seemed to work for him. Just sit back and criticize everything the opposition does, and make wild claims that you could have done much better. Well, it's easy to recognize mistakes after the fact, but let's hear the criticism when decisions are being made.

It seems that the Liberals don't want to follow the likes of Dion or John Tory, by coming up with ideas and getting them shut down.
The 'grass roots' that the Liberals tries to embrace aren't regular people - they're pandering patsies all looking to be part of the Liberal entitelment machine. Their ideas aren't reaching out to the average person - the only focus groups are Liberal sycophants who don't want to ruffle any feathers by shooting down someone else's ideas.

The whole party needs to be rebuilt. There are few people with passion left, and mostly a lot of people vying for their own taste of power, or some sort of preferred treatment if their candidate of choice gets elected.

remind remind's picture

Nope Ignatieff is not the man for the job, but then neither is the Liberal Party the party for the job, we can see that they are not just by their inserting Iggy, and their flailing about currently.

Should they get to the brass tacks of helping Canadians, as opposed to jockeying for power and a place at the feeding trough, it could be a different story.

But that is doubtful in the extreme, it is the way they are, and have been for decades now. The posturing mask has just been removed.

However, they could still be forced by the public in this government setting, to bring in needed reforms and measures. One would thinkj they would do it, if only to try and put their mask back in place.

We know that should an election happen, they would be in shambles, and Harper would have full control even if he would only get another minority.

 

 

NorthReport
MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

In the heat of the 1964 Saskatchewan election, CCF leader Woodrow Lloyd characterized the Liberal campaign strategy as "hucksterism, the kind of sales attempts that one usually associates with useless pills, second hand cars, and body deodorants."

This is where the Kinsella camp could take the good professor if he is not more careful.

autoworker autoworker's picture

NorthReport wrote:

 

 

Unsolicited advice for Michael Ignatieff

Because, you genius, for the one guy you've just pleased, you've made an enemy of every other candidate. What will poor former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler think, for heaven's sake? Cotler keeps threatening not to run again but hangs in hoping for the holy grail - becoming justice minister again, the job for which he as born. So he gets up one fine Saturday morning and learns from the gossip columnists that the grail has gone, evaporated, disparu, his hopes as dead as John Cleese's parrot. And what other Liberals are receiving promises that haven't yet been leaked? Question: How many resentful candidates and caucus members can there be? Answer: All that believe a lucky few have gotten commitments they themselves have not. Heckuva way to build the new team, eh?

Just about everybody in Canada has warned Iggy that he can't afford too many more goof-ups. He can't keep conducting himself as if he personally knows how the political game in Canada is played since he hasn't a clue. Yet the first person singular reigns in the Liberal party. Ignatieff continues, apparently unilaterally, making decisions that have made him look foolish - putting the Conservatives on probation, threatening yet again to force an election he can't risk fighting, surrendering his demand for EI changes without getting a single change, having no policy on any issue whatsoever.

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/unsolicited-advice-for-igna...

 

Well you can always count on Caplan to piss someone off whether it be the Liberals like this time or the NDP other times.

 

Who's to say whether the 'Norwegian Blue' might have vacated it's perch, if asked politely?  The point is that Justin Trudeau won in Papineau, against  Vivien Barbot, a formidable candidate.

 

Slumberjack

Seems that Canadians have always preferred to stick with the devil they think they know instead of throwing their lot behind an unknown entity that is clearly in disarray.  In Ignatieff's case, the liberal strategy of propping up a freak show of an individual by a party that is so out of tune with what the public wants in a leader has completely failed.  Successively presenting Dithers, Dion and Iggy figurines as representatives of their vision is indicative in itself of a party whose only strategy is to superimpose it's own inner stupidity and careless ambition upon the country, instead of building a movement based upon the electorate's need.  In struggling and wasting time with their own oblivious back room intrigues, for growing numbers of voters their crass ineptitude has become all too obvious.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Seems that Canadians have always preferred to stick with the devil they think they know instead of throwing their lot behind an unknown entity that is clearly in disarray.  In Ignatieff's case, the liberal strategy of propping up a freak show of an individual by a party that is so out of tune with what the public wants in a leader has completely failed.  Successively presenting Dithers, Dion and Iggy figurines as representatives of their vision is indicative in itself of a party whose only strategy is to superimpose it's own inner stupidity and careless ambition upon the country, instead of building a movement based upon the electorate's need.  In struggling and wasting time with their own oblivious back room intrigues, for growing numbers of voters their crass ineptitude has become all too obvious.

"Ambition, "stupidity" and "intrigue" pretty well sum up the LPC, since the turn of the millenium (probably longer, but why go back that far?).  Their leader continues to claim 'non-confidence' in the Government, but refuses to bring it down (preferring to prop up his chief adversary on a "measure for measure" basis) because he fears the public's lack of confidence in his own leadership. Canada has matured, in the last 30 years, to the point where it confidently rejects prodigal elitists who present themselves as champions of some mythological value system that never really existed.  Canadian politics is non-academic, despite what the carreer intellectuals say.  It's bedrock populism that wins elections.  Ralph Klein on a bender would get more votes for the LPC than Iggy on a good day.  Enough said.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I know two things about Canadian politics: 1) Obituaries are often written quite prematurely; 2) The biggest audience for media pundits is media pundiits.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

I know two things about Canadian politics: 1) Obituaries are often written quite prematurely; 2) The biggest audience for media pundits is media pundiits.

 

You're probably right, on both counts.  I just don't see how Iggy can pull out of his tailspin.

janfromthebruce

He can't - essentially he is not of the people or for the people - unless you count the few who represent power, privelege and petroliam behind the throne.

So when Iggy tries to make a pitch for national childcare, first nations, public health care, environmental concerns - it's a joke - his personal narrative contracts these pitches - and brings into relief the credibility of the liberals in these policy areas.

But he is the libs choice so - so what?

Time to move on and go with the real progressive choice - and I'm not losing any sleep over that.Wink

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