‘Bogus’ peacekeeping?

It wasn’t long ago that Michael Ignatieff had harsh words for Canada


 

‘Bogus’ peacekeeping?Michael Ignatieff, Liberal leader, is lavish in his adoration for the country and the people he wishes to lead. His recently published book, True Patriot Love, which dovetailed with his ascension to the Liberal party leadership, is replete with fuzzy bromides about Canada and its “quietly but intensely patriotic” citizens.

Yet Michael Ignatieff, Harvard professor and public intellectual, was once slightly more harsh toward his native land. Following a 2005 lecture at the University of Dublin’s Trinity College, Ignatieff excoriated Canadians for trading on Canada’s “entirely bogus reputation as peacekeepers” for 40 years and for favouring “hospitals and schools and roads” over international citizenship. “If you are a human rights defender and you want something done to stop [a] massacre, you have to go to the Pentagon, because no one else is serious,” Ignatieff said.

“It’s disgusting in my own country, and I love my country, Canada, but they would rather bitch about their rich neighbour to the south than actually pay the note,” he said, in response to a question about peacekeeping. “To pay the bill to be an international citizen is not something that they want to do.”

Ignatieff gave the lecture while he was director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. The talk, which received brief mention in Canadian media at the time, reiterated Ignatieff’s belief that the U.S. is a force for good in the world. “Don’t forget that the speech given by a U.S. president that most committed the United States to the promotion of human rights and democracy in the Arab world was given by George W. Bush,” he said. He later told the Irish Times that he was taken aback by the “waves of anti-American and anti-Bush feeling in an Irish audience.” It was in the question-and-answer session which followed, and which has never been reported, that Ignatieff was most critical of Canada.

He was also seemingly at odds with the party he would come to lead four years later. Peacekeeping is the stuff of lore within the Liberal party, which bills itself as the founding father of Canada’s traditional role as a peaceful international referee to the world. As Liberal external affairs minister, Lester B. Pearson is credited with inventing the very concept when he championed the first armed United Nations peacekeeping force in 1956. “There tends to be a strong association with peacekeeping” within the Liberal party, says author and former Liberal strategist John Duffy. “Liberals are proud of their role in this tradition.”

Ignatieff, circa 2005, begged to differ. Introduced by Trinity College professor Ron Hill as “a challenging liberal thinker,” Ignatieff spoke favourably about America’s peacekeeping capabilities and the need to use “men with guns” when protecting the world’s vulnerable. Ignatieff had already backed away from his support of the Iraq war when he gave the speech, though he still praised George W. Bush’s foreign policy at a time when then-Liberal prime minister Paul Martin was attacking Bush for what he said was the U.S. president’s lack of “global conscience.” Canada certainly didn’t fare well in Ignatieff’s speech; Ignatieff portrays the country as a somewhat frustrated, reflexively anti-American middling power that has become something of a pretender on the world stage.

“We used to be peacekeepers, we used to have the capabilities [but] we gave them away, because people wanted hospitals and schools and roads. And God bless them, but the costs are coming in.” (Ignatieff is correct in his assertion that Canada’s contribution of army and police personnel to the UN has decreased over the last several decades. However, Canada remains one of the UN’s largest contributors of international, professional and general service staff, and is the eighth largest contributor to the UN’s total peacekeeping budget, according to UN figures.)

Liberal spokesperson Dan Lauzon, who declined to answer specific questions about Ignatieff’s speech, said the address didn’t contradict any Liberal party principles. “It’s provocative, sure, but consistent with our long-held position,” Lauzon wrote in an email to Maclean’s. “Though the language used in the quote is more provocative than we’re used to in the political realm, I think it’s consistent with our position that cuts made to the military in the past were too deep, that we’re glad they were corrected, and that we intend to ensure that it never happens again.”

Ignatieff’s speech, which has gone largely unnoticed, threatens to reignite the war of words between the Liberal and Conservatives, the latter of which has launched attack ads largely based on Ignatieff’s (much older) musings. Certainly Lauzon, who passed along a selection of past Stephen Harper quotations to Maclean’s, is in a scrappy mood. “If we’re digging up bones here, I’d like to point out that these comments are certainly more consistent than some Stephen Harper’s past quotes, which you may wish to probe for a future article.”

Still, Ignatieff softened his criticism of Canada’s peacekeeping reputation the very day he became Liberal leader. During his acceptance speech last January, he humoured the crowd with a tale of being saved by a Canadian peacekeeper during a sojourn in the former Yugoslavia. In “a world ravaged by hatred,” he said, “we remain a light unto the nations.” The “Canadian way,” he concluded, was the “way for the whole world.”

With Nancy Macdonald


 

‘Bogus’ peacekeeping?

  1. Hey Lib's what goes around comes around – the last few years have seen as much if not more dirt and the good ol liberal fear and shmear and dredging up copius amounts of past speech material thrown on the Conservatives and Harper .. so you can't complain when karma kicks in. Iggy has definitely said some things that really makes a person wonder so we shall see if you can take it as well as you can give it out! I love the bits about him slagging the Pearsonian tradition OUCH!

    • What's that sound Iggy hears, it's the bus that he will soon be under joining the hapless Dion.

      Iggy is polling worse than Dion was, way too funny.

      The BlocTorontois Champaigne Socialist Elitist Liberals really screwed up big time by installing this loser.

  2. "Hey Lib's what goes around comes around."

    You better believe it. Up next: Who paid for Harper's leadership campaign for the Alliance?

    • "You better believe it. Up next: Who paid for Harper's leadership campaign for the Alliance? "

      So up next is same liberal talking ponts since 2004. Awesome, as a CPC supporter I am stoked the the LPC has learned nothing. LMAO…

    • The kicker is that there is no one complains more about the U.S. than Anon/Ti-G*y. His dear leader calls Anon/Ti-G*y''s complaining about the United States "disgusting" and Anon/Ti-G*y comes running to his defence.

      Does partisan hackery get any more obvious than this?

  3. I've known about this speech for years. I wondered when someone was going to pick upon the "bogus" peacekeeping comment, or the claim that too much was spent on schools and hospitals and not enough on the military.

    • And where is Iggy, cowering somewhere in France?

  4. This man oozes leadership, honesty and pragmatism.
    This man isnt afraid discussing the role of our soldiers in the world.

    We need to honour the pearsonian tradition by looking it over in an honest and just way for the 21st century. To think that peacekeeping 'a la 1940 1950 or 1960s' is exclusively 'pearsonian peacekeeping', it is complete nonsense and naivete. Peacekeeping, like everything else evolves over time depending on the environment it puts itself in.

    What Ignatieff is doing is leadership. A man that THINKS in parliament today is something thats refreshing.

    Unlike the current bungling PM -wether its domestic issues or international.

    Oh except the time he went and picked up refugees in Lebanon. Good for youuuu!
    With harper, if theres no PR coup involved he wont get off his duff to do it.

    And to think that ignatieff, a teacher for decades is not interested in the importance of our Education system for the future of this country and the world is being a ostrich with its head stuck in the sand. Child Care and Education 'a la Harper' is a 100$ cheque per month. Gimme a break! Makes me laugh….the hypocrisy that surrounds us

    • Given a choice between the Conservatives and Iggy's brand of conservative-light, I think Canadians will choose the real thing.

      As for the man oozing leadership – he orchestrated a non-democratic coronation of the Liberal leadership, something not seen in the Liberal Party probably since confederation. With views like the ones outlined in the article above, you can see why Iggy wasn't too anxious to have another leadership convention. He would have lost like he lost the last one. He's too far to the right of the Liberal Party, which has drifted left, or rather stayed left as the world has moved right.

      • " I think Canadians will choose the real thing."

        You mean the government that has shovelled billions and billions of taxpayer dollars into socializing the auto sector? Or the government who cannot get a grip on their spending such that it's anybody's guess just how large our deficit and debt will be when they're done? Or perhaps the government that has embraced spending federal dollars to placate any province that whines loudly enough, thus continuing the Trudeau-Chretien tradition in fine form?

        Just what "thing" are the Conservatives-by-name being real at?

        • Given the state of the global economy, stimulus spending, as long as it comes to a stop at some point, is defensible. I think all four major parties in Parliament are on the same page on that one.

          You are mistaking "Conservative" with being a rigid "ideological conservative". The Conservatives in Ottawa aren't like that and I'm glad they're not. I disagree with you if you're saying you want the Conservatives to be ideologues. Almost by definition, conservatives aren't ideologues.

          • Which definition makes that distinction?

          • Conservatives abhor ideological programs, they beleive in the tried and true and go with incremental change. They also beleive that government doesn't have all the answers, especially in relation to rearing children. Strong families make for a strong nation. Weak families make for more government and a weaker nation. Conservatives beleive in creating conditions for families to prosper, instead of competing with or replacing the family unit.

          • Another conservative talking point with no bearing to reality. The right-wing tries to figure out which issues to take on as values which are emotionally charged and get people rilled up. In your example, they present themselves. Nothing to do with their policies… everything to do with a base bereft of knowledge.

            Gun registry! GUN REGISTRY!!! The government's commin' fer yer guns!!!

          • My apologies; it seems that my question wasn't as clear as it should have been.

            I was asking for a dictionary definition (or at least a widely held definition) that states that conservatives aren't ideologues, not your own personal definition. There is probably a phrase that describes the answer that you provided, but that phrase escapes me just at the moment.

            I suppose that in the originating post you did say "Almost by definition…"

          • " I think all four major parties in Parliament are on the same page on that one."

            Oh, it's not just stimulus they all agree on.

            And since "Conservative" seems to mean anything you want it to, I have trouble understanding how you can define Iggy as one.

            The more I think about it, the Harper Conservatives are really "Liberal Light". They cherry pick the popular policies, then subtract the financial intelligence to manage a budget, and any sense of vision or shared national responsibility (that doesn't involve shooting at people or throwing them in jail).

          • I have absolutely no grief when political parties cherry pick ideas from their opposition. Well, at least as long as the policy that gets enacted is a sound policy.

            That way we get to benefit from the policy sooner rather than later.

          • Agreed. That ought to be one of the desirable traits of a minority parliament. I'm more having fun with jarrid's yogic manipulations of logic and evidence in trying to descibe the Conservatives as "real" and defineable, while trying to show the Liberals as suffering from a higher level of incoherence. Both are arguably a dog's breakfast of ideas and policies of late, though it's manifested differently in each case.

            I would say, though, that recent history has shown the Liberals as more able managers of the economy than the Conservatives, so I'd probably opt for the less dickish and more fiscally responsible of the two parties – all other things being equal as they seem to be.

          • Who's being inconsistent? Liberals and Conservatives are both the same, but I support the Liberals. I guess they're not quite the same. The Liberals as fiscally more responsible than the Tories? You're joking right? That Green Shift nonsense would have knocked out our economy coming at the same time as the worldwide recession. And for what, to combat a fictitious pseudo-scientific assertion called AGW. Fiscally responsible, I don't think so, but nice try. Canadians sensed the nonsense and said no thank you. And they were right to do so. It was economically reckless.

          • "That Green Shift nonsense would have knocked out our economy coming at the same time as the worldwide recession."

            You mean the recession Harper lampooned Dion for suggesting was on its way? The one we would have had already if it were going to happe

          • "That Green Shift nonsense would have knocked out our economy coming at the same time as the worldwide recession."

            You mean the recession Harper lampooned Dion for suggesting was on its way? The one we would have had already if it were going to happen?

          • Waiting for an answer Sean, if you were one of the 25% of Canadians, one in four, who thought that the hare-brained Green Shift was a good idea, you should be at least prepared to defend your choice. Waiting for an answer.

          • You should really see someone about that inability to stay focussed on the topic at hand. Does that super-subtle shifting of focus really work for you with others? :)

            Anyway, the question not a policy that was never enacted, but rather the track record of recent Liberal governments (you remember, the ones that balanced the budget?), as opposed to the Harper Conservatives (well staffed with Harris Conservatives – nuff said there). They weren't able to see the recession coming that most everyone else did (and mocked others for speaking the truth on that account). They have proven wholly incapable of anticipating obvious consequences of spending decisions and tax cuts, and their entire strategy for rebalancing the books seems to hinge on hope and crossed fingers. They are doing to Canada what Harris did to Ontario. Only Harris did it during boom times, so we have good reason to be afraid of how bad the mess will be with these guys at the helm in a recession.

            I know you miss Dion, but it's really time to move on and find fresh fodder.

          • Ginseng.

            Ginseng and less sugar.

            I did some quick research for you, and that's supposed to help your mental focus. You're welcome.

            By the way, speaking of unanswered questions – I thought I had queried you about the recession. Were you in fact referring to the current one that Dion predicted and Harper categorically denied, while warning us that the Liberals would plunge us into recession? (I, like you, am SO glad we avoided that fate.)

          • Wow, those Liberal colours are on full display this evening. You might want to look up a recipe to cope with your passive-agressive Sean.

          • C'mon. You can do better than that. Can't you? I know it's hard for you when you can't find someone who froths at the mouth and gets all excitable, but it's more entertaining we can at least attempt to follow a coherent path of debate. Try that ginseng, and get back to me.

            Yes, I'm such a Liberal that further down in this same board, you'll find me criticizing Iggy and the lack of policy in that party.

            Look up passive-aggressive, by the way. Not the proper insult in this case, as I've been reasonably above board in my derision.

          • "Yes, I'm such a Liberal that further down in this same board, you'll find me criticizing Iggy and the lack of policy in that party."

            Many partisan Liberals are making the same criticism, so what's your point again?

            I have noticed a heightened agression in left/lib commenters of late, since about the middle of June when the polls started moving in the wrong direction, but you're right, it's more overt than passive so I stand corrected on that.

            As for Dion being old news, well the thing is the Green Shift was rejected in large measure because it was seen as being economically risky. Iggy by the way was foursquare behind a carbon tax. As you point out there are no new policies that have been announced by the Libs to replace it. Will the next Liberal policy be as hare-brained as the Green Shift? Do the Liberals still beleive we should meet the Kyoto targets which would also tank the Canadian economy? The Liberals began promoting fiscally irresponsible policies under Dion. I've yet to see any evidence of a change of direction of the Liberal Party in that regard.

          • I find it interesting that in the last Liberal platform, between National Child Care and the proposed increases in social programs, their budget would have been close to 50 billion (and that was before the recession). Only by robbing the E.I. fund, decreasing the health care transfers to provinces from 50% (see Canada Health Act) to 12%, did the Liberals manage to chalk up a surplus. And in 13 years, they did not manage to reduce the national debt as much as the Conservatives did in 2 and a half years (34 billion). Puleeze, give your head a shake. The Conservatives gave you essentially the Liberal/NDP budget only on temporary terms rather than permanent ones–isn't that what you wanted?

          • Good rebuttal SeanStok! That's exactly what they do. Anything goes with the CPC of today – right wing, central, socialist, whatever. In business they call it attempting to 'mass market', which essentially results in pleasing no one very well and not being very good at anything.

  5. The Libs are strugling. They have no leadership.Iggy is a flip-flop man,and has No ideas for the economy. He has NO alternative except raising more taxes for the Canadians who are overtaxed.This man is here just for himself and can't be trusted.I think, he is good to write some books for kids.That's all.

    • Thank you Nino. In the past I've taken those ideas to be nothing more than parrotted one-liners put out by Conservative headquarters. But when you string together a bunch of those same pithy bits of propoganda – all neatly side by side and unfiltered by reflection or insight – you've crafted a masterpiece of rhetoric that has deeply influenced my understanding of both Ignatieff and the Liberals.

    • Did you read any books when you were a kid? Maybe you should as you yould learn how to spell.
      Like SeanStok's overwhelming sarcasm shows us, youve crafted one hell of a nice bit of ignorant rhetoric without really saying anything and not backing up what you say whatsover.

      Congrats, you can type like most chimps.
      Now go crack a book on how to convey a message and argument.

      • Nino…you forgot to add in "Just Visiting" and "He's in it for himself".
        Other than that, you've written an excellent polemic.
        B+
        – Professor T. Orry

        • Do you mean professor Tom Flanagan M-A-N?

      • " you yould learn how to spell "

        Love it!

        • Glad i made your day Irony Man!

      • I think you need to learn to spell as well. That should be "should" not "yould", "you've" not "youve" and "message and an argument" not " message and argument."

      • I guess Liberals have no ability to stay out of the gutter. Name calling. That is all they can do. Bring up those old Harper speeches which have been widely reported in the past and Canadians will roll their eyes and say so what. So keep with the name calling and contine to confirm that the Liberal party is not mature enough to form government.

        • Indeed. I really can't understand how any name calling helps any cause, and I do want it to stop.

          I wasn't able to figure out if you actually approve or disapprove. Can you clarify that?

          •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>I do not think calling other posters names is very productive. Political parties are fair game but when you have to try to make a point by calling a commenter names then you really have lost the battle.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Iggy is being called names because he refuses to put anything into the window that would allow rationale discussion. He is trying to fly under the radar and that is not very manly in my opinion. Debate is what makes politics interesting but when the other guy simply says I am not Stephen Harper and therefore I am better than his facade needs to be exposed for what it is.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

          • So, wrt name-calling your position is:

            – posters should not call other posters names,
            – political parties are fair game, and
            – political leaders might be fair game?

            But a political party is just a collection of individuals, some of whom might be blog commenters, or party supporters if not members, so the distinction seems somewhat minor and irrelevant. Basically it is an unsuccessful attempt to disguise personal name-calling as something else.

            I also don't see why political leaders should have to accept name-calling. As a slight tangent, I will agree that political leaders do need to accept a somewhat higher level of scrutiny than the average citizen (as it relates to past statements and decisions).

            To me it still comes down to the same question: What is achieved by name-calling in any form? Certainly that can't be the only way to challenge different viewpoints and assumptions, and I have serious doubts about its effectiveness.

            Btw, I am also a huge fan of 10pt arial font. I use it in almost all of my correspondence.

          •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>Lets not get too hung up. I thought maybe you would get the point that criticizing Iggy for his past positions is ok given that he has put no meat on his political positions.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>I think Harper would agree with you that name calling is not nice. He of any leader in recent memory is vilified personally. Very seldom are his policy positions criticized. Just name calling because that's what Liberals do best.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>If we think that name calling is going to disappear we are dreaming in technicolour. However, I find it offensive when one poster calls another poster names. Everyone is entitled to their opinion whether we agree with it or not. </DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Too often the posts go off in all directions and never address the subject matter.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

          • I actually did get the point about Ignatieff's past comments. In fact, I think that I have been fairly consistent about maintaining that the past comments of political leaders are legitimate topics of discussion (regardless of how much 'meat' is on current positions). And to clarify that a bit, I believe that there is no inherent problem when a politician changes their position; in all cases I am way more interested in the rationale that was used to arrive at the past and current positions.

            I am slightly more optimistic about the future of name-calling, but only slightly; it is unlikely to disappear completely, but we can hope and we can provide feedback to our own political representatives and we can at least make sure that we hold ourselves to the higher standard.

          •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>You are much more accomodating than some of the partisans who will not give any credit to a politician who changes his/her position. </DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>No matter what rationale Harper gives for the income trust decision his opponents nor the media will give him an inch.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Similarly with the change in equalization they would not report the facts that Nfld wanted their cake and eat it too. Collect equalization while collecting 50% of their resource revenue.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Anyway one of these days we will get a media that approaches stories as a news item rather than a partisan attack.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

          • So, yes, ahem…..on the matter of the income trusts, I gave Harper full marks for changing the rules when he did; the reasons that he offered at the time (tax leakage) made sense.

            However, I was critical of Harper for changing his position, simply because at the time that he made the promise it was fairly obvious that it was a promise he was going to have a very tough time keeping.

            As I have stated on other blogs, I don't believe that Harper explicitly knew he was going to remove the tax exemption a year or two later (ie outright lied during that campaign), but I do believe that he chose to ignore the warning signs and simply fervently hoped that conversions to income trusts would cease.

            So, full marks for eventually doing the right thing, no marks for ignoring the warning signs.

          •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>Speculation my good man..speculation. You have no idea what Harper knew or didn't know after all he was not in government and probably didn't have the same info the Liberal government had at the time. You may recall that John MacKay appeared on TVand said the Libs were considering a 30% tax which raised all kinds of eyebrows. Of course when the Libssaw the reaction and the fact an election was coming they ran and hid.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Its a mute point now but my point was simply to reinforce your previous point that sometimes policiticians do have to change their positions with the benefit of new information. However, the partisans on both sides jump all over it and try to exploit the change to their advantage.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>So what you are saying with this comments “So, full marks for eventually doing the right thing, no marks for ignoring the warning signs.” He can't win. He must be perfect because he is a Conservative. Pretty high standard to meet.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

          • It is absolutely true that I don't know what Harper knew or didn't know. To adapt one of Rumsfeld's best lines, I know what I knew at the time, and during the campaign that promise struck me as a promise that was going to be very difficult to keep. I suppose that on this matter we disagree on what we believe Harper should have known at that time.

            Do you mean John MacCallum? If so, I agree with you completely. He leaves MUCH to be desired when it comes to sticking to a position OR having a sensible explanation for why his position has (suddenly) changed. In my view, he would almost be the poster boy for playing both sides of an issue, sometimes within the same speech, let alone within 2 years. If you actually mean John MacKay, I'll have to do some searching.

            We also seem to agree that in and of itself there is nothing wrong with changing a position; it is the reasoning that went into the old and new positions on which I place a lot of emphasis when considering who to support.

            Perfection (obviously a high standard) would be great, but that would be 'dreaming in technicolour'. Still, I ask for perfection, and then realizing that it is very unlikely ANY politician from ANY party will achieve that objective, I see who comes closest to achieving my particular version of perfection, and proceed from there.

  6. Old news. I hope the writer didnt spend too much time on this.

  7. Soiunds like someone from Macleans has been in contact with Reps for Iggy.

    • Um…actually, those are Iggy's own words, and represent his views, the year before the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal. My favorite line "It's disgusting…they would rather bitch about their rich neighbour to the south…" But for Liberal partisans like BCL it's somehow unfair to bring those recent comments to the light of day. That's the real iggy, BCL.

      Complaining about the United States is disgusting. Wow, just about every Lib/left commenter on the blog, including hardcore Liberal partisans indulge in that disgusting activity on a daily basis around here.

      • "Wow, just about every Lib/left commenter on the blog, including hardcore Liberal partisans indulge in that disgusting activity on a daily basis around here. "

        Jarrid obviously has no examples.

        • You're on BC, I'll make a point of documenting this from here on in. I must say that the anti-U.S. sentiment in the Liberal Party has gone a little underground since Iggy's arrival, which is no coincidence. But the reflexive anti-U.S. stance of Lib/left commenters around is notorious.

          • Some of those lefties are fairly dense, so you'll need to be very sure to document the appropriate response in each instance.

  8. What I think is sad is that I might have voted for the '05 vintage Ignatieff. He was a man with a sensibly pragmatic vision of international relations. Namely, he was a bleeding heart that genuinely cared about oppressed people and human rights violations, but sufficiently realistic to recognize the utility of force in affecting outcomes.

    Ignatieff the politician (particularly Ignatieff mark II) is a pale pink imitation of Ignatieff the academic. He has not presented any sort of alternate vision to the Canadian people. He has embraced the status quo on international relations. He largely agrees with Harper's objectives on 90% of the stimulus spending. He has also run away from previous positions such as the green shift.

    If Ignatieff's greatest strength is his intelligence and ability to produce and present new ideas, why have they been so hard to find?

    • Dion's biggest error was putting out his whole platform months in advance so the Con PR vultures could introduce it in the public environment.

      Ignatieff is keeping his cards close to his chest, it only makes sense. Especially when we live in a world of 24hour news and short term memory loss.

      • "Ignatieff is keeping his cards close to his chest."

        Unfortunately, those cards consist of a half-filled "buy-10-get-one-free" coffee card from the parliamentary cafeteria, and a library card with fines owing.

        • Very smart SeanStok. Very insightful. Heres a medal.

          After picking up the pieces of my head from it being blown away by your untouchable wit and humor, i write again.

          Canada under Harper has never been so unilateral in the world and even domestically with the provinces. All Igantieff is saying is that Canada should be at the FOREfront, carrying the torch for multilateralism and global cooperation.

          With a PM that never had a passport before he became PM, that wholeheartedly disturbs me that my beautiful country and its reputations are in a man's hands who's never left US/Canada before the age of 50. :S

          • "Canada should be at the FOREfront, carrying the torch for multilateralism and global cooperation"

            Why?

          • Why?

            Canada as a nation asserts itself in global and domestic cooperation.

            Pretty simple eh?

            Now go suck on your thumb and fall asleep :)
            Everything will be okay.

          • "Pretty simple eh?"

            That doesn't even begin to describe it.

            Nor does it really constitute an answer, but I think I know what you mean.

            Let me get to the point: assuming Canada ought to be a more prominent nation on the international stage, and assuming you're correct that Harper has utterly failed in that respect (it's true in some ways, but not all), I can assume that the well travelled and internationally minded Iggy would have been pressing this dire national need in his role as leader of the official opposition.

            I'm just a thumb-sucking joke maker, so I'm hoping a smart fella like you has been paying attention and can fill me in on a)the general plan Iggy has to enhance Canada's international participation, and b) how he has advocated for this while in opposition.

            Cuz reading the bits of his speech in this blog post lead me think he's more or less saying we should do what the USA wants. Which sounds bad in combination with his prior support of US torture. But I don't hold past writings against folks, it's current policy and ideas that matter to me. Fill me in!

          • [I expect a short intermission while mrgenier madly Googles in an attempt to rally some evidence]

          • O'course that wasnt a simple answer.
            But i am glad all you want to do is understand Iggy. I took think he could communicate his platform in a wider form, but thatll probably come out in the fall/late summer.

            Read this speech Ignatieff speech 'Liberal Values in Tough Times' at Isaiah Berlin Lecture "http://bit.ly/Ktjdu

          • O'course that wasnt a simple answer.
            But i am glad all you want to do is understand Iggy. I took think he could communicate his platform in a wider form, but thatll probably come out in the fall/late summer.

            Read this speech Ignatieff speech 'Liberal Values in Tough Times' at Isaiah Berlin Lecture http://bit.ly/Ktjdu

          • O'course that wasnt a simple answer.
            But i am glad all you want to do is understand Iggy. I took think he could communicate his platform in a wider form, but thatll probably come out in the fall/late summer.

            Read this speech Ignatieff speech 'Liberal Values in Tough Times' at Isaiah Berlin Lecture <a href="http://bit.ly/Ktjdu” target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/Ktjdu

          • Seriously?

            I have read it. Can't say I recall a single word about Canada as an international participant. Lots of broad stuff about Liberal values, and how Canada has unique ones.

            Thanks for playing, though.

            (p.s., you should really apologize to poor Nino. You attacked his spelling, when in fact he only had a few grammatical errors, and you've since proceeded to wage an unholy war of mangled style and meaning against the English language.)

          • Not my problem my friend.

            Blows me away that people that have no concept of political science are so assertive in their ignorance.

            Ill go along with my day, i dont know about you.

        • Bi-polar much?

      • We all know the reason there are no policies being presented is because there are none. When some emerge it will be the same old stuff…national daycare, aboriginals, cap and trade, chicken in a pot for everyone. If the policies presented are realistic and accepted by the Canadian people they will give the Libs credit. However, this hide and seek seinfeld party has nothing to offero the Canadian people including a leader.

        I will say it once more. The carbon tax was bad policy because it wasn't an environmental policy but a social engineering experiement which transferred wealth from the West to Eastern Canada similar to the NEP.

  9. Canadians have latched onto the concept of peacekeeping, which when closely examined amounts to little more than emulating that legendary peacekeeper from Mayberry better known as Barney Fife. it's a wonderful warm-fuzzy type of operation which is amount as effective as "tits on a bull" in places where the action really is.

    We tried the Mayberry method in Rwanda, where an entire genocide took place in front of our very eyes. Neville Chamberlain tried a peacekeeping approach in his attempt to pacify the fuhrer. And during the last days of the western Roman empire, Christian peaceniks played a role in Rome's inability to defend herself-The Visigoths sacked the place and filled the streets with Roman blood.

    So why are Canadians, especially our lefties, so caught up in the notion of peacekeeping? Are they hope fiends? Where they born in a barn and therefore naive about the world? Are they disillusioned artsy-fartsy students from York university? Or are they cowards who want bragging rights and an opportunity to preach to the Americans?

    • Your second paragraph is FULL of bogus historical misunderstandings.

      First, your use a mission where canada did not participate (only lead by a Canadian, who now is a LPC Senator).
      Second, Rwanda (if you crack a brook one time) you will learn that it was a complete disaster because of several domestic and international factors (ie: taking of Milles-Collines, Gulf War etc…).

      Third, to compare the appeasement done by Chamberlain and a completely exhausted post-WWI british army is complete historical inaccuracy and idiocy. The idea of peacekeeping was born out of the Suez crisis. Now you tell me what went wrong there and what could have happened and then we can debate on the same level of intellectuality. I wont even start with your horrible analogy of the visigoths and romans.

      Every soldier that has ever kept the peace for our country would spit in your face Dieter. Peacekeeping is a tool created by modern states in order to conserve and make the modern state prosper. Of course it will have problems, and ameliorities to bring forward (exactly what Iggy points out) but to stamp out the idea because of historical or military ignorance.

      Reading is your friend Dieter

    • I would agree with you that peacekeeping is a myth that many Canadians, particularly those of the liberal left, think is the only role for our armed forces. However the way Iggy has spoken about it is dismissive and as usual is from the high lofty view of an elite who hadn't even been in Canada for number of years. The liberal left needs to get on board with the realities of the world and that frequently these is NO PEACE to keep and if Iggy had the guts to get on board with that in a leadership role, that's fine, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

      • [deep sigh]
        Maureen, you realise that Ignatieff was advocating peacemaking here, namely jus what you appear to want? You should be applauding him.

        • If that is his intent (and I doubt it) then he is using a very twisted and convoluted way of thinking. All that serves is for him to continue in his say nothing, do nothing and maybe no one will notice approach to being leader of the LPC

        • Poor Jack…placing an awful lot of faith in the wilfully obtuse to display that level of reading comprehension…

    • As mrgenier says above, you seem to be mixing up appeasement and peacekeeping…pretty sure those are different concepts.

      And which part is mythical? That Canada has ever participated in a peacekeeping effort, or what?

      And what's wrong with preaching?

      I'd be surprised if there was a correlation between naivete and place of birth. Btw, where were you born?

  10. Smart move by the Iggiots. Get all the Iggybage out during the summer silly season so that they don't get blindsided during an election.

    • Iggiots? Did you coin that one?

      • Yes — must credit "Anon".

  11. ‘Bogus' peacekeeping?

    Has any one hear actually served?

    The only thing Bogus about are "peacekeeping" has been both parties.

    In the beginning of Afghanistan – The only army in the desert in green. Of course over the years most troops augment there kit, from the good O'l US of A or what ever we could find at MTN Co-Op or surplus stores.

    I wish big Ig was there with us, in Bosnia, Rwanda or Somalia. That would have been nice.

    Under payed, under equipped, doing a tour every year and a half. Hell some troops are up to 9 tours.

    Yet still some of the best soldiers in the world – Are Canadian. Perhaps were bogus to some but there irrelevant. Much like Iggy.

    As Rommel said and stands true to this day

    " The best army in the world would compose of German officers, American equipment and Canadian soldiers."

    • Bosnia is an example of peace making which was done outside of the exploitive umbrella of the UN, and it involved the surgical use of force, including cruise missiles. Rwanda was a fully sanctioned UN Kumbiya operation paid in full with the blood of an entire people and eleven Belgium peacekeepers hacked to smithereens and stacked up in a corner.

      • I was there but thanks for that.

    • That's a nice quote from Rommel.

  12. And, the truth is? We are way down, way, way down the scale as far a peacekeeping is concerned because since Mulroney-Chretien-Martin – our military has been a sad situation and without good forces and equipment you can't be all that effective.

    I do not like Harper – but I do believe he did the right thing upping the military but we sure have a long way to go.

  13. Peacekeepers were present before the clash between Israel and Hezbollah. The Kumbiya warriors were unable to prevent Hezbollah rockets from being fired into Israel, nor were the peacekeepers able to stop Hezbollah operatives from entering Israel, where they abducted two Israeli soldiers, brought them back to Lebanon and dismantled them.

    Peacekeping is at best reactionary,where the peacekeeper can stand a line after two belligerents have knocked themselves out.

    • You don't appear to understand the purpose of peacekeeping. Peacekeepers aren't deployed to stop one side (or both) from waging war if they wish to. Nothing can do that, bar an American carrier group in the neighbourhood. Peacekeepers are there to prevent routine clashes between the armies of nations who want peace. As you can imagine, when two formerly hostile armies patrol within range of each other for months, there are bound to be accidental incidents, such as lead to an escalation. If there are peacekeepers patrolling between them, they both deal with the peacekeepers (against whom they have no grudge) and not with each other, and so peace is kept until somebody wills another war. It was never about halting an ongoing war or preventing one side from being able to launch an attack.

      • Actually Jack, I can not totally agree with you, Peacekeeping also involves standing between the more aggressive nation and having them weigh the political and military cost of having to go through the peace keepers to get to the other party. We are not just there although your description concerning minor incidents is accurate to do that. There were many times in Bosnia/Crotia that the more powerful of the three sides( and yes it did change through the years)backed down because we refused to get out of the way and we backed it up with force. Just food for thought, anyone who has served in a peacekeeping mission knows that the most effective peacekeeping force is a well trained fully capable combat force with out a horse in the race.

        • "the most effective peacekeeping force is a well trained fully capable combat force with out a horse in the race"

          I don't disagree, and you seem to have experience of peacekeeping yourself, so I defer to your opinion; I remember there were a few serious firefights (against Croatian militia?) in Bosnia, e.g. But how often would the hostile forces be willing to accept a peacekeeping force between them with serious firepower? Seems to me that Canadians can both fight hard when called on to do so, as well as anybody or better, as in Afghanistan; but they also have the light touch when that's what's needed — and that's why our soldiers are so sought-after as peacekeepers.

    • Dieter, peacekeepers are bound by UN rules, such as don't interfere so we end up with Rawanda and Israel/Hezbollah. Don't lay the blame on the troops or Country supplying them. The UN has largely become useless in conflicts.

      • Any suggestions about which UN rules would need to be changed to allow peacekeepers to be more effective? If those suggestions were to be proposed (by Canada, for the sake of discussion) any thoughts on how likely it is that those new rules would be adopted, and/or which UN members would oppose the changes and why?

        Not questioning your conclusions, just interested to see if there is hope for improvement, or is this as good as it gets wrt peacekeeping.

    • Go and do a tour as a solder befor you make any more comments.
      Unles you have served,you do not know what you are talking about,you are no diferent than a polatition.
      I took part in the Peacekeeping missions in Cypres and Egipt for the good of the women and children,
      What have you done ?

  14. I'm not sure whether Mr. Ignatieff can distance himself so easily from his (critical-of-Canada on the world stage) and pro U.S. Foreign Policy comments enough to satisfy all Canadians, who feel and have a Distinctly separate viewpoint, and always have had. I hope to hear a deeper and more clarified explanation from him in the future on this matter. I do not want to be U.S. light. I want to be Canadian, and that has always meant something to me. Quotes abound regarding spreading true Democracy by example and not at the point of a gun. After many conversations, the distinction for many seems to be the difference between having a foreign policy of pre-emptive strikes and occupation that circumvent established U.N. protocol for reasons as yet not established by unquestionable and firm evidentiary intelligence (honor counts), or rather, having a trained, ready and pre-briefed military well armed and equipped in sufficient numbers with the ability to intervene in a competent and timely manner with real teeth to make a convincing difference in emergency cases of real genocide on the world stage. Peace keepers today also need the ability to protect themselves from those around them who don't want peace. I agree with Mr. Ignatieff on arms, but more in cases such as this. My ears are open.

  15. Taken from the Peterborough Examiner this past May

    The role of Canadian peacekeepers has changed so drastically over the past 15 years that the country ranks 51st in the world in terms of how many peacekeepers it deploys, and most of them are police officers.

    At the end of April, there were 65 Canadian military peacekeepers deployed compared to 119 police officers.

    That includes Ottawa police officers. The force has seen the number of officers sent on peacekeeping missions grow since Chief Vern White took over about two years ago.

    • Deployment numbers are deceptive. A lot of developing countries employ troops for profit (they get money from the UN, and under-equip their troops sufficiently that they can make a small windfall). These peacekeepers are tremendously ineffective. Incidentally Canada's decline as a great peacekeeper is a result of the great liberal internationalist Chretien's decision to axe military spending.

      Secondly, since R2P (a Canadian initiative), the notion of peacemaking has gained increasing significance. Afghanistan is a good example of this, and Canada's commitment there is quite substantial.

  16. Who's Afraid of the Big bad Wolf, when the Big bad Wolf is Toothless?

    KHARTOUM (Reuters May 2009) – Carjackers have shot and killed an international peacekeeper at the gate of his residence in Sudan's Darfur region, the UNAMID peacekeeping force said on Friday, describing the attack as a "war crime."
    The military observer, who died Thursday evening, was the second peacekeeper to be killed in Darfur since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's president on March 4 on charges of masterminding violence in the western region

  17. When did it become conventional wisdom that Dion lost because he put the green shift out early? Didn't the polls basically show that the public had made up their mind that Dion was a poor leader long before the green shift was ever released? By the time he released it, the election was all but a lost cause.

    • I agree – the only polls on the Green shift were pretty favourable. Gordon Campbell certainly survived introducing a green shift himself.

  18. Ignatieff was right. Too bad he won't show the same backbone as Leader of the Liberal Party.

  19. My respect for Mr. Ignatieff just shot up a few points, and I'm gratified to know that the response to this (in the comments) is not overwhelmingly negative (as I predicted it would be). He's totally on the money in those quotes.

    • a.g..that's rich considering at the time Iggy made the comments he was criticising the existing Liberal Government, and sounding very pro American and pro military, not your typical Liberal brand.
      Must be confusing for lefties these days.

      • I don't understand the thrust of your point. Am I supposed to be the lefty? Out of the three times I've been allowed to vote, I've voted for the Liberals once and the Conservatives twice.

  20. Liberals wear "peacekeeping" like they do fake fur coats. Ignatieff is right to expose their hypocrisy and I applaud him for speaking the truth to his followers; however, he has a long way to go to expunge the naivety inside his Party.

    As for Harper, there is one thing he did that will always endear him to our military and he did it in private, with neither fanfare nor cameras to record it.

    He is the first and only Prime Minister in our history to spend a night in a forward operating base, sharing the risks with our troops in enemy territory. The extra demands it placed on them notwithstanding, they appreciated the gesture.

    Harper "gets it" and I am sure Ignatieff appreciates it too for the sake of Canada.

    We lost another one yesterday.

    • Excellent comment. There's little more obnoxious than a pious, holier than thou, idealist, lecturing the world about peace with full knowledge that most warring nations or groups don't give a hoot about rhetoric. On a micro level is the increased number of violent tragedies, involving teens as well as members of the larger communities. These individuals have heard sermons from David Miller, Daltom McGuinty as well as various small"l" liberal teachers. But in the final analysis it means nothing to those warped enough to do the unthinkable.

      On another level, could you imagine the revulsion of the world, had we not played such an important role in WWII/ Imagine for a moment, a Canadian society arguing that we Canucks are peacekeepers, in the old sense of the term prior to R2P. In my view, the world would be correct in deploying the peacekeeper along the beaches of France just moments before the D-day invasion.

  21. Re: Iggy's comments, I guess that's what you'd call dissing your base. With views like these, you can see why Ignatieff and his handlers orchestrated that coronation as Liberal leader.

    Can anyone, anyone, imagine Ignatieff winning the Liberal leadership convention talking like that? No? Me neither.

  22. In order to keep scrutiny of Iggy to a minimum, this headline grabbing story (if it were a conservative making them, that is) best be kept deep inside the blog world.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Sincerely,

    The liberal establishment media

    • ROFL : well done

    • Ain't that the truth.

  23. Ask a Liberal what his/her position is on any subject and they will tell you anything you want to hear. Peacekeeping is good in Canada. In the United States or Ireland not so great. This is the problem with Iggy he has made so many comments that are contrary to the beliefs of most Canadians that his past positions need to be exposed. This is one example. Canadians need to be made aware that the man who would be PM has little respect for his country of birth.

  24. The whole notion of "peacekeeping" is bogus. "Peace" is a prerequisite to "peacekeeping". "Peace" does not exist in most of the places where Canadian troops are concentrated. OK. You can all go back to sleep now.

  25. A human right advocate on the International scale criticizing a country for a perceived lack of will to depart from self absorption and take a leading role in the fight against inhumanity globally in the post 9-11 era – so, what more can you want. Sounds like he was doing his job.

    Clearly, Ignatieff has a very in depth, comprehensive and clear understanding of the dynamics of international affairs. Harper and the Con's have shown us the opposite.

    In this fragile, complex age of globalization not only of economies and human suffering but nuclear and terrorist threats I choose Ignatieff – let get the bull out of the china shop.

    Lloyd MacIlquham, cicblog.com/comments.html

    • Dude, what you talkin' about?

      On foreign policy, Ignatieff and Harper are like peas in a pod. Take their position on Afghanistan for example.

      • Hi jarrid,

        One need simply compare their backgrounds on the Internations sceen – I'll let Iggy's speak for itself.

  26. I haven't been very impressed with Ignatieff. To sly by half but if he was actually straight with people regarding his views such his aforementioned comments I might start to like him more. I think his comments regarding Canada's military role in the world are spot on.

    I'm tired of pandering politicians who stand for nothing but getting elected.

  27. I agree with glenn. Would the real Iggy stand up please.

  28. Ignatieff's speech, which has gone largely unnoticed

    Largely unnoticed indeed. No media outlet other than Macleans is running these obviously inflammatory quotes. In whose world is a potential PM expressing disgust with one of the most quintessential Canadian values of peacekeeping not newsworthy??? The value that is pretty much synonymous with his own party? It's Chretien's legacy he's primarily criticizing in this 2005 speech.

    If Kady is reading…regarding your point about what your Conservative friends tell you about how the Conservatives run attack ads because the media doesn't cover this stuff…now do you see their point? Where is the Globe and Mail? Where is the CBC? In this country, gotcha journalism clearly only works in one direction. If Conservatives don't run attack ads, how would news of these inflammatory quotes ever get out?

  29. Every time one of our oldiers is killed in Afghanistan by an IED ask yourself why Paul Martin sent our troops in with inadequate armored troop carriers and no heliocopters to avoid the roads. Also our soldiers have no air cover. Not one ffing plane

    Liberals are gutless incompetents and if Grenier objects to that he is free to name the time and place.

    • That would be Chretien and Martin and all of the Liberal caucus.

  30. Let's put aside the content for a moment, because reasonable people can disagree about the role of Canadian peacekeepers in this dangerous world.

    But could Iggy's pompous finger wagging from afar sound more contemptuous of Canadians?

    Our collective position on the matter "disgusting"?

    We'd rather "bitch"?

    The reputation of our brave young men and women "entirely bogus"?

    And in order to fully place himself on the mantle high above the rest of us bogus bitchers, he refrains from the WE, settling comfortably with THEY.

    • "And in order to fully place himself on the mantle high above the rest of us bogus bitchers, he refrains from the WE, settling comfortably with THEY."

      Those Canadians not we Canadians.

      Could catch biff, it's what Paul Wells calls Iggy's pronoun problem.

      Is Iggy really sunning himself in southern France as we speak? Tell me that isn't so. Anon? Anyone?

  31. Sorry. Meant to say 'In your example, they present themselves as the single party that believes in strong families.'

  32. Bully for Iggy!! He certainly hit the bulls-eye on this one. This won't sit well, though, with a most of his colleagues on the Opposition benches. Perhaps he should consider crossing the floor.

  33. The LIberals have used the term 'peacekeeping' in order to reduce funding for our military. Real Who Killed The Canadian Military by Granetstein if you need the whole story of decline by LIBERALS of our national defence. Kudos to Harper for increasing funding for our troops. What Canada doesn't need is insipid cowardly academic comments by a 34-year expat who is using the military for political support.

  34. To the best of my knowledge, we Canadians prefer honesty, integrity and sincerity. We therefore find nothing wrong with policing a line between two groups who want a graceful exit to an earlier conflict. But let's not believe that this is our only calling and the only thing the world expects from us. And lets not redefine Lester B. Pearson as some sort of pacifistic Kumbiya type who applauded unilateral disarmament. He didn''t. And even the NDP will reluctantly admit that Pearson was a strong proponent of the creation of NATO and that his deployment of Canadian troops to Cyprus came in large part from the request of American president LBJ.

    Bet this will shock you re deployment to Cyprus

    Prime Minister Pearson was initially
    dubious about sending Canadian
    troops — “Let them cut each other
    up,” he told Paul Hellyer, his
    Defense Minister. “We certainly
    won't go in just to help the British.

  35. Johnson, worried
    about NATO's future if the Greeks
    and the Turks went to war, He was filled with admiration…
    when Canada provided a presence….‘You'll never know what this
    may have prevented.'” The president
    then asked, “Now what can I do for
    you?” Although Pearson replied “nothing, many believe the reward came in an agreement which provided unbelievable amounts of financial reward for Canada-the Auto Pact.

  36. Lester B. Pearson is credited with inventing the very concept when he championed the first armed United Nations peacekeeping force in 1956.

    -Pearson, functioning as chairman of the General Assembly's Special Committee on Palestine laid the groundwork for the creation of the state of Israel in 1947.

    -Pearson drafted the speech in which Prime Minister St. Laurent proposed the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

    -Pearson headed the Canadian delegation to NATO until 1957,

    -Pearson was willing to accept nuclear warheads from the United States

    -As PM, Pearson pursued a bipartisan foreign policy based on a philosophy of internationalism

    The Two Faces of Pearson Peacekeeping

    -Canada had a vital
    national interest in holding off the
    Soviet threat. During the Suez Crisis,
    the split between Britain and France
    — the aggressors — and the United
    States was huge. Canada's actions
    were directed as much to repairing
    the breach among allies ( face #1) as to restoring
    peace in the area (face #2)

  37. Much misinfo here, as usual. "Canadians" did not 'choose' roads and hospitals etc over peacekeeping – the politicians who run the country did. The two are most certainly not the same thing (i.e. for decades 'Canadians' have been saying they preferred a well-funded health care system over corporate tax cuts, and for decades both major parties have given them just the opposite). But more importantly, in terms of misrepresenting facts, the politicians during the 70s and 80s chose to create and then feed a national debt of a half trillion dollars, through which they could funnel (to date) a couple of trillion dollars of tax dollars to those who actually run the country (banks and wealthy 'investors') rather than spending tax money on things most Canadians might actually want, such as a well-funded health or education systems. And until more Canadians actually understand this massive scam, they're going to keep doing it. More detail at Global Financial Meltdown: Forces beyond our control, or the greatest scam ever?
    http://www.rudemacedon.ca/greatest-sting-ever.htm… .

  38. Wait.. so Ignatieff argued that the Rumsfeld Pentagon was a force for human rights?

    Most sane observers would have balked at “serious”. “Human rights” wasn’t even in the same ballpark.

    • No real surprise there, Ignatieff's basically a neo-conservative and fits right in with the American neo-conservatives.

      • No, he’s not a neo-con. Certainly no neo-con would have given that Isaiah Berlin speech.

        What Iggy was (and may still be) is the worst kind of enabling liberal hawk, the kind that uses the language of liberalism to support hilariously illiberal ends. Saying “the Pentagon is the only organization that can defend human rights” is just ludicrous/ But by tying together “Pentagon” and “defending human rights”, Iggy was doing Rumsfeld’s job for him, laying out enough FUD to derail the calls for investigations into Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld’s activities during that sorry time.

  39. Here is the big question:
    In the next election Do you want more of Mr. Harper and the Conservatives' way of governing the country based on how they are actually performing? Or do you want to dismiss Liberals based on what the Leader said in the past, or what the Liberal Party has done or not done in the past – or vote them in? Who would you most trust to govern us? It will be all up to "we the people" soon.

    Isn't it just awful that once we are in that little voting booth all by our lonesome, politicians, journalists, and blogers will be excluded from our decision.

  40. Canada's lefties are on the run. For years, they've lied a delusioned existence, preached an abundance of anti-American sentiment and done so with impunity. And lefty school teachers have even gone so far as to preach the gospel of anti-Americanism to their students, regardless if some of those students have American parents or are themselves American. This is especially concerning in Ontario, where parents do not have any choice regarding where their students are educated as the good premier has disdain for school choice.

    In order to have a free thinking society , our lefties must be challenged vigorously, their "hog-wash" must be scrutinized and thrown back into their faces and we need to liberate Ontario's public school system ( choice should not be an evil word ) which is a large breeding ground for lefties.

    The gloves are off, folks!

    • Lawnchair Larry, speaks, behold.

      • Great reply, Clair. Nice contribution.

        • Thanks scf, I'm on the run, the gloves are off.

    • “Breeding Ground for Lefties”?

      Nothing like hearing the eliminationist rhetoric about exterminating the “plague” of liberalism and progressivism, huh?

      Reminds you of the kind of National Security State dictatorships that would shoot up universities because they had “red” in the name. Except, somehow, even less sane.

  41. My apologies for guessing that you meant John MacCallum instead of John MacKay.

    •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>Not a problem. Do you remember when MacKay made the comment?</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

      • Sorry, nope. I looked him up, and I do recognize the face (he is on a committee or two, no?), but I honestly can't recall his participation in the particular event that you mentioned.

        My memory of the event itself is that the Liberal trial balloon was part of the sequence that led to the Conservatives staking out the opposite position. Maybe that already was a Con position, and it just gave them an opportunity to highlight their opposite approach.

        I'm a little disappointed that I don't remember, because I try to follow politics fairly closely (maybe not as closely as the typical poster on this board, but I would say closer than many voters). Sometimes I wish I could have a more relaxing hobby, but so it goes.

        •  IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>Its not a problem. I agree it was just before the 06 election and it did lead to Goodale being put on the hot seat and of course the run up in the stock market etc. etc.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>I am like you. I like to follow politics but am becoming increasingly disenchanted with the level of discourse and the bravado being displayed by some MPs and the parties in general.</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>In watching the U.S. stations they have panel discussions which are interesting and informative. Here in Canada we have the same characters appearing on the political shows with their spin and hyperbole and it insults anyone who is following politics. </DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>We have reporters interviewing reporters who are giving their opinions. Naturally people see bias and spin in their comments and so when they are actuallyreporting the news they are considered less credible in their day job.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

  42. This will serve as an excellent retort for “Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.”

    It's like political MAD. You launch ads with that, we'll launch ads with this. Everyone loses. ;)

  43. The Canadian lefties, who is likely pro union, pro infanticide, pro legalization of pot, pro high corporate tax, pro enhanced social safety net, pro double income, pro materialism, pro short work week, pro, divorce on demand,etc, loves peacekeeping. But for reasons too shallow to boast about.

    Pearson deployed troops to Cyprus because it was in Canada's interests to keep the NATO alliance together. The mission did save lives and Pearson was handsomely rewarded. meanwhile the lefty saw opportunity.

    In lefty world, Canada had a glorious opportunity to bill itself as a super moralizer, preaching the gospel of peace, while lording over other countries who were involved in violent confrontations. it doesn't take much of a defense budget to equip a gathering of peacekeeper-they don't have to be soldiers-and the savings could be used-in fact they were used-to gorge the demands of this lefties who want more and more and more.

  44. Excrementum Tauri Mr. Ignatieff!

  45. Intuitive comments, indeed. The Liberals traded on our reputation of peacekeeping and our heroic efforts in the Second World War for years all the while decimating the military. In the mid 90's the only countries to spend less than Canada in terms of GNP on their militaries were Luxembourg and the Netherlands. "While Canada Slept – How we lost our place in the world" by Andrew Cohen also speaks to the comments made by Ignatieff.

  46. Will the Liberals still love him after all this? My, he certainly is quite pro-Bush and pro-America (not necessarily a bad thing — the latter part, that is).

    But these 2005 comments are in line with similar statements made at a lecture Ignatieff delivered in circa 2004 at a Jewish temple in Toronto, which was recently broadcast by BookTelevision in Canada.

    In that lecture, Ignatieff spoke about how important it was to defend America and Israel against the evil in the world, and even though he delivered it in Toronto, he kept referring to Americans as “we” and “us”.

    He also specifically said during that lecture in Toronto, placing his hand on his heart, that there was nothing more important for him than ensuring the continued existence and safety of the state of Israel – clearly comments that will now get him into major trouble with his Liberal Party, which is becoming more and more anti-Israel.

  47. Why does Ignatieff bother, liberals need a new leader, who is he?…I know, he will prove that he can be incompetent, he likes being the pot to call the kettle black! Prime Minister Steven Harper has stepped up to the plate and delivered our great country through trials, tribulations and secured our future. Thank You Mr Harper.