Michael Ignatieff plots his revenge - Macleans.ca

Michael Ignatieff plots his revenge

Peter C. Newman on the Liberal leader’s summer solace


Andy Clark/Reuters

Canada’s summer culture cannot be defined by trying to guess how many angels dance on Margaret Atwood’s head. It is best caught at bake sales, corn roasts, strawberry festivals, and the hootenannies where country singers search for their humanity—while their listeners catch its echoes deep inside themselves.

That was the captivating subtext the cross-country marathon Michael Ignatieff undertook this summer, hunkered down in a bus that took him and his cavalcade to more than 100 waypoints (and 140 events)—the places that the members of his brain trust (both of them) categorized as winnable seats in the general election expected this fall.

It was a gamble: would the candidate find his groove—or stumble into irrelevancy? When I briefly joined the tour I found the Liberal leader in the best frame of mind since he left his Harvard sinecure to assay the black arts of Canadian politics. He’s still not a natural in that quagmire of dashed expectations. But he has lost his amateur status and was at ease with himself and with the growing crowds that greeted him.

The essential epiphany that marked his summer jaunt was the realization that the political game was not really about him but that it was—and is—about them—the voters who need a valid reason for supporting the Count from Petrograd. He is making converts but still has a long, rocky road to make his message stick. Ignatieff spent the summer imprinting his presence on the national conscience, not by hectoring the crowds but by chatting them up on the local and national issues that mattered. “Let your [writing] grow out of the land beneath your feet,” Willa Cather, the American novelist, wisely advised. That was how the Liberal leader found his text—different at every stop—using local touchstones to attract attention and reaction to his way of thinking. Listening to him at past party occasions, I recalled Sherlock Holmes’s observation about the curious incident of the dog that did not bark. That, all too often, used to be Iggy. No more. Woof, woof!

During my time on the bus, it rained almost continually, so I decided to judge Ignatieff’s reception by my umbrella test. Whenever it rains during a leader’s speech, he can’t help getting soaked because you can’t hold a microphone and an umbrella at the same time. My test was to see how many people in the audience—moved by the resonance of his message—would express their allegiance by closing their own umbrellas in empathy. I had observed this phenomenon during the best of the Trudeau and Mulroney campaigns, but there were just enough umbrella-closers in response to Iggy (at least in the eastern parts of the country) to be noticeable.
To make the point: Canadians are not politically remonstrative—but maybe our pollster should start measuring the closed umbrella factor—within acceptable margins of error, of course.
As I watched Ignatieff getting drenched at a southern Ontario rally when it poured as if to signal Noah that he should launch his ark, the Liberal leader soldiered on. Then he swam back to his seat, grinning all the way, waving at the odd umbrella-closer.

This hardly ranks as a political miracle but his message was clear: Ignatieff’s chief opponent—with his meticulously coiffed locks and distaste for the slightest show of emotion—could never duplicate Iggy’s aquatic campaign.

Afterwards, back on the bus, the Liberal leader sat down beside me and let himself go. “This thing is beginning to seep into my bones as never before,” he said. “I live in a world where perception is reality but I don’t want to be fooled by appearances. What I saw out there was a deepening distaste for Harper. What’s sticking in people’s throats is the way he governs—proroguing Parliament; failing to show respect to the courts; the census controversy, which makes him appear to believe you can run a government without valid information; the single-source fighter contract, which will cost Canadians $16 billion without any justification. This stuff accumulates. People are connecting with us and feel seriously concerned.”

“I’m up against the most uncivil and ruthless government in the history of the country,” he swore through clenched teeth. “You can’t be a centrist on tactics alone. I’m in the political centre by temperament and by persuasion. That’s a core affirmation that has been there all my life. I want to get rid of all this ‘natural party of government’ stuff; it’s arrogant and speaks of entitlement. We have to earn the right to govern.”

And the Liberal doesn’t fear the political ring. “I fought from the minute I came to Canadian politics. I fought for my right to be heard. I fought for my right to be here. I fought for the right to be considered a goddamned Canadian. I’ve had to fight for everything,” he said. “The image that I can’t fight has been comprehensively disproved by the fact that I’m here, talking to you now. Am I angry? You bet I’m angry. But I hope it’s—you know—don’t get mad, get even.”

Michael Ignatieff is no longer seeking redemption; now he wants revenge.


Michael Ignatieff plots his revenge

  1. He is no Max, but I still think I like this guy.

    • Me too….I was actually surprised I liked him…………and he took unscripted questions from anyone there………which I am starting to appreciate more and more….I am an old PC voter and I have to park my vote somewhere and harper is not getting ever again……..

    • This dog won't hunt. (He stated in Parliament when describing our PM)

      I like Ignatieff too but for very different reasons. He is not the manager, fundraiser that is required for the Liberals to become credible at the ballot . Under his leadership he has whipped thirty MPs to avoid defeating the Conservative agenda after being critical.

      The left are highly divided, Michael Ignatieff is not sincere, the Democrats and Separatist vote will not switch parties to provide the Liberals a resurgence that he called for since returning to Canada.
      He was parachuted in a safe seat, a loss of a female visible minority Liberal MP. It is alleged they locked the doors to avoid a contest in the riding (ask Warren Kinsella). He was rejected by his member in Montreal 2006. He did not demand an open, fair democratic race for the leadership in 2008 of the Liberal Party. ( 300 Insiders+77 MPs decided the matter)

      Trust – Leadership
      The public polls show his leadership and trust put him in a distant third on EVERY issue, every group against the PM. The slide began in May 2009 with his press conference and fake ultimatums. The Liberals had a bump in 2009 with a leadership convention and policy convention that issued no policies in a minority parliament.

      They avoid the economy and jobs and they bring up issues to divide Canadians. Liberals are 91% urban ridings?

      They sided with China on human rights rebuke. They were fear mongering, cheering for an H1N1 disaster, Olympic flop, G8-G20 flop to lift their party.

      Liberals are not interested in the good news and success because it imperils their return to power.

      • Canadian nonsense…..always putting the tory spin on things. Look at the stats from the pre writ periods just before Chretien and Harper himself were elected and you will note that Iggy is looking better than they did.

        Harper is just that nasty and distrustful and Canadian nonsense is a true Reformatort muppet.

  2. The Ivy League Academic, who chose to spend the vast majority of his adult life OUTSIDE the country he now says he should run,

    is angry about having to defend his Canadianness?

    From the man who was handed the keys to the Liberal party without having to defend anything?

    Good to see the culture of entitlement is alive and well in today's Liberal party.

    • yeah….but you know what…..He gets my vote…I voted harper twice….no more…..
      ………….now doesn't that get your panties in a bunch

      • I like him a lot. My first instincts were to like the fact that due to the fact that he has not been in Canada, has not been working as a Cdn politician, he doesn't have the typical political baggage and "loyalties" that other politicians have, and that we have to pay for. He also does not use regionalism in the way that all other politicians have used it.

        Ignatieff is not divisive like Harper, he's a nationalist, he's for a united Canada, and he's also a thorough, hard, detailed worker in a way that Harper can never hope to be. We deserve to have him as PM – it's OUR time now.

        I trust his honesty, I trust his work ethic, I trust his good intentions, and I trust that he has vast international experience and connections that is another thing Harper cannot hope to ever have – international respect. I also trust his ability to get accomplished, expert people for the LPC, he's going to give Canada the best he has, and everything he has.

        Harper is an American Republican, oil-ho puppet, and nothing more. He's vain, bad-tempered, bullying and egotistical. Finally Canadians are beginning to see him for what he is – I can't wait until he's booted out of 24 Sussex. This is a man who I think is addicted to personal power, gonna have a hard time giving up the bodyguard, the limo, the big house, rubbing elbows with the glitterati of Europe, the photo-ops, and the henchmen around him at all times.

        We all know that the minute he's done, he's going to be analyzed to the Nth degree. More than he's ever been analyzed in the PMO.

      • Please – this is the oldest trick in the book. It used to be on open line shows where partisans would call up and say, "I have voted for Party X my whole life, but no longer!" Nice try, but you gave yourself away with the last line.

        • Ok……believe what you will………no skin off of my nose…..
          ….doesn't change my vote but firms up my opinions on the Reformer aspect of this Goverment though

    • Yeah, it would be better to have a Prime Minister who's never left the country or accomplished anything impressive in his life. That's the spirit. That's what we should be striving for: mediocrity!

    • Well said chet…

  3. I wonder what the average Canadian who's struggled their whole lives to put food on the table, make a better life for their children, overcome the odds stacked against them…

    of this man born into Russian aristocracy, living abroad in luxury, the latest being in a cushy tenured Ivy League position, then coming to Canada and being annointed leader of our country's storied political party by the party's elite, without having to even face a vote…

    declaring his rage about how much he's had to "fight" to get where he is?

    • As opposed to Harper, who has never worked a job in the private sector his entire life? Someone who made a career of slagging people that worked for the government, but has been a political staffer his entire adult life (with the exception of a few years at the NCC)?

      Call me crazy, but I would prefer to have someone with some international experience as opposed to a career political hack like Harper.

    • You mustn't forget Ignatieff made his international reputation by flourishing as a writer. There are fewer harder ways to make a living than as a free-lance journalist, but Iggy did it and did it well. If he lived in luxury it's because he earned it. That Russian aristocracy meant a life as the son of a public servant, and a very successful one. The family tradition of service to Canada runs deep. As Newman points out in this article, Iggy can get in and dig to get the job done, and he certainly isn't above getting wet.

      • Yes, he left his wife and kids to do so

        • Petty much? Marriages break up, Wes, and it's not always the man's fault…

    • You got that right, Chet. I wonder what other tales of hardship lie ahead.

    • ya know, you're not very good at this.

  4. The more you look at Harper's day to day behaviour, the more he seems to be acting like Elvis Presley during his decline. Always surrounded by cronies and thugs. Never spoke to the press.

    • Laureen must have been the brains in that household.

      • Only fools and Liberals post such idiotic statements.Which one are you.

  5. Nice to hear from Mr. Newman.

  6. "…the single-source fighter contract, which will cost Canadians $16 billion without any justification." – Ignatiff

    Canada has been a participant in the JSF program since 1997, when under the Chretien Liberals, DND signed on to the Concept Demonstration phase with an investment of US$10 million. As part of this phase, Canada participated in the extensive and rigorous U.S.-led competitive process where two bidders, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, developed and competed prototype aircraft. This process led to the selection of Lockheed Martin as the JSF manufacturer in 2001. If Ignatiff had been in the country for the last 13 years nay 35 he would perhaps have some notion of his party's involvement in the competitive bidding process which occured under Liberal leadership.

    • Nice strawman.

      Unfortunately for you, we were involved in this process for developing the fighters only. It was considered a good way to boost Canadian industry. At no time were we signed on for purchasing those fighters.

      Ignatieff is perfectly aware of the LPC's previous involvement. That you would think otherwise is laughable.

      What Canadians want now is a proper tendering process. Seems the CPC doesn't ever follow that process if you look at their spate of purchases over the past four years.

      As usual, they think they know better than the experts.

      And as usual they will be proven wrong.

    • You may want to take a look at Scott Taylor's article about whether Canada really did commit itself to purchasing the F-35s. "Alan Willias was the assistant deputy minister of materiel at the Department of National Defence when the deal was struck. As the senior purchasing agent for DND, Williams was the individual who negotiated the terms of the agreement of the then Liberal government with Lockheed Martin. Unfortunately to Mackay and company, Williams remains adamant and vocal that this in no way committed Canada to actually buying the new fighter aircraft. In fact, Williams inssts that a competitive bidding process should be held." (Chronicle Herald Sept 13/10)

    • David A… the fact is Ignatieff did not even live in the country when that deal was made by Chretien. So he has no idea what he is talking about. If he uses that in an election Harper will eat him up and spit him out. Like on so many issues Ignatieff and the Libs talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time.

      • yeah…..he doesn't know because he wasn't in the country……..
        ……….yeah…..you are aware of Reading…..right?….picking up a book or (shock) newspaper…or maybe even being briefed by his MP's

        and I for one have had QUITE enough of Hawrper's "eating and spitting up"….thank you VERY much

      • mervin, harper had never ever left NA when he was elected PM and suddenly he became an international genius. speasking about stuff coming out of both sides of ones mouth…………..harper is a liar.

  7. Had this guy actually run in a leadership campaign (and won) rather than being appointed, I might be inclined to look at him.

    As it is, the Librano Party looks as democratic as Castro's. Or Kim Jong-il's.

    How Ignatieff has any position of legitimacy leading a party (ostensibly) appointed in a back room deal by a cabal of Toronto lawyers)….well….that's Canadian Parliamentary democracy for you.

    • Dion was removed for good reason. The guy was a lame duck after the coalition coup.

      Ignatieff was made interim leader, his competitors backed out and his leadership was democratically confirmed at the following convention.

      If the party Liberals hadn't agreed there would've been a leadership race. They didn't want one.

      Seems pretty simple to me.

      • Phil_King….keep smoking whatever you are smoking. Nanos said just yesterday when Libs are polled they do not have much confidence in Ignatieff's leadership. There was no choice. The Libs were terrified that Harper would engineer an election and they were not prepared to go into that election with Dion at the helm. Yes it is pretty simple if you are prepared to think realistic.

        • Which may be why they didn't want a leadership race, but that was their choice wasn't it? The majority didn't want Dion around anymore and the majority are good with Ignatief as leader. Ipso facto.

          I'm not really sure in what way you even think you're contradicting me.

          Sounds like your obsession with what people are "smoking" is more than a passing interest. Perhaps you should consider cutting back between 9 to 5?

          Just sayin'! LOL

    • Backroom deals and subversion of democracy is a terrible thing.

      It's sort of like when Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay dissolved the old PC and Alliance Parties and formed the current conservative party of canada. Remember how Peter MacKay said he would never join with Harper and then ran out the day after winning the leadership to do just that? What an unethical guy. At least Ignatieff never did that, right?

    • Oh….BS…….
      if you don't like him don't vote for him…………but spare me this whole concern the Conservatives have discovered for the poor Libs who don't have a "real leader"………

  8. where one resides is a clear and articulate desire of where they want(ed) to be.

    And honestly, there are many many more refuges for scoundrels than patriotism. Dozens in fact.

    Politicians are handed a list of them by the parties when they are elected. That, and talking points.

    • Which still has nothing to do with whether someone is Canadian or not and whether they understand their country enough to govern it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the naming.

      I spent ten years travelling the globe, that's where I wanted to be at the time, and it had nothing to do with not caring about my country or not being Canadian. God forbid someone has any interest in the outside world eh?

      The entire concept of debating whether one person is more Canadian than another is disgusting.

      We all have legitimate perspectives from which we view the world.

      And whether you think there are many refues for scoundrels is irrelavent. The LAST refuge of the scroundrel is patriotism, because if a candidate is down to arguing THAT, then clearly they've run out of options. LOL

  9. Stompin' Tom said it best "If you don't believe that your country comes before yourself, you can better serve your country by living somewhere else." If Ignatiff thinks that leaving Canada when he ways 18 to spend the majority of his life in America promoting American interests to fill his coffers with American dollars qualifies him to be the Prime Minister of Canada he is mistaken.

    By comparison Gilles Duceppe who has devoted his life to seperation from Canada has spent that life not only within Canada but working for and assisting its people. Despite his politics Duceppe can be respected as an individual, Ignatiff the carpet-bagger who once called the Canadian flag a pale imitation of a beer label cannot.

    • Perhap's if you had an idea what you were talking about…then we may listen. But since you seem to be a partisan hack…go away.

      Ignatieff did not live in America for the majority of his life.

      Only to Conservative trolls is teaching at some of the best schools in the world a bad thing.

      Keep 'em dumb and uneducated…that's the way to control 'em.

  10. I get it that the whole bus tour thingy was about Iggy wanting " to be considered a goddamned Canadian " bu red baseball caps and plaid shirts and blue jeans just won`t do it.

    I know there is an effort out there to try to paint Harper as an aloof individual, but honestly put him next to Iggy and he looks like the true blue suburban hockey dad.

    I don`t know what you can do for iggy—maybe have him hang out at the hockey rink,—Have him and Zsuzsa thought about adopting ?—If he had only served one term as a town councillor before he went for the PM job, then maybe people wouldn`t think he was such an elitist opportunist.

    • True 'Blue' hockey dads know how to skate.

    • Also, I was reminded of Forest Gump by that outfit.

  11. It's painfully clear to me that my issue with Ignatieff is not his character, its his being steeped in a world of lofty ideals and next to nothing to show for those ideals, with nothing of censure for failure. I don't think the guy understands the world as it exists, only the one he would build in his head.

    And I'm not interested in becoming a non voluntary funder of lofty but ill managed ideals…had more than a lifetimes worth of that thanks…

  12. He will never be PM of Canada.Never.

  13. Iggy "fought from the minute he entered Candian polictcs? fought for the right to be heard? Fought for his right to be here…."

    In case anyone has forgotten, no one was able to run against him in his riding because no other nominations were accepted and he was annointed leader of the party?

    Boy, what a tough battle he has fought so far!

    • Good point, Trevor. It seems to me his "fighting" words and his profanity are part of his new pose as average Joe. Soon he'll profess he does his own plumbing. The disturbing thing about Ignatieff is that he's constantly taking on different persona–one day he's Trudeau; the next, average Joe.

      • Well well Prairieanne………..harper hides from us all and uses attack dogs to try on his bully tactics on us. Please don't bring that hypocrisy here.

        • Parnel dont bring your Liberal hypocracy here.Your Liberal BS does not work here.Your PM Harper hate tactics wont work either.

        • Just a reminder – Harper is PM – his time is spent governing the country (and spending some holidays with his family – OMG what a terrible person!). And besides wasn't the big complaint by the left was that Harper was too controlling and wouldn't let any of his minister's speak. So how can Harper be hiding (I guess behind the ministers who are speaking to the press) and controlling at the same time. I think the left has lost their focus on what they want us to hate Harper about this week.

  14. Peter Newman, the doyen of Canadian journalists, makes a very convincing case.
    Michael Ignatieff is well on the road to becoming a retail politician. He is well up Mount Everest and is beginning to see the full landscape of the Canadian political environment.
    Ignatieff comes across as sincere and open-minded – he knows what liberal values he represents but he does not use these values to divide and conquer liberal-minded Canadian voters.
    Harper is also a retail politician of sorts, but his skills are and will be different from those of Ignatieff. Ignatieff is rebuilding the Big Red Tent based on policies that offer hope over despair, unity over division, and a reintegration of Canada onto the international stage.
    Harper uses fear, intimidation, and the promise of some elusive reward to keep together his very loose coalition of groups including Western populists, gun toting libertarians, angry Evangelical Christians, and seemingly disappointed fiscal conservatives and Québécois traditional nationalist conservatives.
    It now appears – this may change – that Canadians will have an option to the Harper Conservative coalition at the next election, an election that will come sooner than we all think.

    • It's more like Liberals use fear against anyone who chooses to have a differing opinion than the Big Red baffoons(just watch the regulars on Macleans & CBC pounce on any Conservative supporter), regarding the "unity over division" – what a laugh – remember MR. GRAVES? The CBC pollster, staunch Liberal supporter, who gets all the press he wants on our Tax paid for newsnetwork, calling for a Urban/Rural war basically. Yes that is the true Liberal way. Re-integration of Canada on the International stage, Harper has been doing a great job fixing the mess years of Chretein left in his wake. He deserves credit for it.
      **A note to Macleans, the wonderful bus tour has been over for some time now, do you think you could find some other way to push your Ignatieff worshipping? Really, massive loads of pictures, a tab exclusively for the bus tour, the daily praises of your idol……it is tooooo much, when will a little ethical journalism ever happen in Canada? Well we can write off the eastern media, that's for sure!

  15. Sun News Media can't come soon enough. I am so sick of Iggy. Go HARPER. At least he's trying to do something that interest Canadians now just the elite. Stow the Gun Registry – Forget the Long form senses – just add a few questions – l form for all.

    • excuse me? What issues Is Ignatieff pursuing that appeal to only the so-called 'elites' (whoever THEY may be)? So far, I have heard about healthcare, the economy, the environment and universal daycare and better access to education for everyone…….Harper is all about the long-gun registry, action plan signs, building big prisons and buying jets and arenas……

      Which grouping of issues do you think Canadians care about more?

      • More to the point, what issues is Iggy pushing period!! The LPC still has no policies after years of being in opposition and how many 'forums' to discuss their future.

    • "Forget the Long form senses"

      When will you and your fellow travelers come to your census?

  16. Good for him and thank your for insightful look behind the scenes Mr. Newman, his comments on the bus to you were very interesting, he should be so blunt when he speaks more publicly.
    But I do take issue with the assumption that because people are angry with Harper's way of governing, oh and they are, that they will automatically connect with the Liberal party. I think the problem right now is that voters aren't connecting with any party because the two parties that should be working together continue to spend half their energy attacking each other even though they want the same thing. Iggy and Jack both need to put aside their own ambitions and humbly find some way to provide a united front against the Harper governing style. NDP, Liberal and Green voters in this country are ready for a change but they aren't being provided a viable way to get that change yet. Everyone simply demands that you vote for them to get the change they need. Its not reasonable for the NDP to demand all that support if they can't win and unseat the Conservatives. And it is just as unreasonable to demand NDP and Green voters to support a centre-right Liberal party just to get rid of the Conservatives. They need to all come together and provide a path to government that doesn't require voters to abandon their principles or make impossible choices. None of the leaders are impressive enough to lead to an Obama-style rebirth of the centre-left voting block. So until they can find a way to work together, we're going to be stuck with a Conservative government.

    • I strongly agree with you. Don't even like the party system. People should email the three party leaders and tell them your message. The majority of Canadians are not represented now.
      Also most Canadians don't understand how the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy works- that the party system has no legal status, it is only a tradition. These three left of Harper leaders you mention owe it to the people who elected them to put together a government, one way or another.

      • thanks, I actually turned this into a post on my blog and filled in my proposal a bit more. I don't think the leaders are hearing any of us though.

  17. On the last question… it all depends, did you eat the chocolate?

  18. I think Canadians will see Ignatief on the stump, without cheat sheets, answering questions and wil be pleasantly surprised. I predict a Liberal win in the next election. I don't really think Harper's cons know what they are doing, and surely we deserve better.

    • "…surely we deserve better…"

      Surely most people (judging by Iggy's dismal leadership polling numbers) don't think he's the one.

      • Keep dreaming Cooper.Iggy and you will share the same cement life preserver on the good ship Liberal Titanic.

    • Agreed.

      Add to that the debates. Last time Harper brought "cheat sheets" and got called out my Elizabeth May.

      Harper is a terrible debater which is why he avoids unscripted events.

      Ignatief however has been debating publically his whole life in academic circles.

      Watch for Harper to try and avoid any of the one-on-one debates the media have been planning between the individual leaders, because he knows he's going to get trounced.

  19. Revenge? We will see who has the last laugh Mr. Newman. As best as you Liberals want to spin the lie that Ignatieff has got his mojo the fact is most Canadians according to thelatest Nanos poll rate him as third in the qualities that they look for in a PM. So Ignatieff may have survived the bus trip across the country but at this point most Canadians do not have much use for the Count. Revenge indeed. Newman another Liberal sycophant who is desperately trying to convince Canadians that the faux Canadian has changed.

    • Well said hollinm!

    • I'd stock up on kleenex and antidepressants now Hollin.

      You're gonna need'em sweetheart! LOL

  20. How did he earned the Liberal leadership???

    • I don't think you are voting Liberal………So I am wondering why this would bug you guys so much when you aren't Liberal anyways………….I mean you folks have Harper….the Liberals have Iggy……..move on and don't vote for the guy you don't want in………….pretty simple

      • I have always voted liberal in the past, but appointing him has been one of the biggest mistakes the party has ever made, the sad part is, that most of the people posting here in favor of Ignatieff, think that his credentials are so impressing, that it's all that it's needed, and he has proven so far that's not the case, he can't even lead his party period, the Liberal party lately are complaining about Harper's undemocratic ways, but they started with the wrong foot on this one, get rid of Ignatieff and you will see changes!

        • I'm a Liberal supporter and will admit that I did not support Iggy's run at the leadership. But facts are facts: Dion won by coming up the middle — otherwise, it was going to Iggy, as we all know now.

          He's now served as an MP for literally years. The party couldn't afford another leadership convention, especially after multiple elections that harper pulled out of his ass.

          The Liberals agreed to make Iggy leader. And as a Liberal supporter, I cannot see how it would do them any good to change leaders at this moment. The party most likely to change leaders over the short term is the Conservative party.

          I am liking him more these days (Iggy). I was always impressed with his credentials.

          And most imporantly of all, I loathe harper and his approach to politics, people, and my country.

        • I didn't actually think I would like him………I was pleasantly surprised at his ability to answer questions off the cuff….

        • Get over it Claudia…..The liberal party followed their constitution and elected Iggy under rules that existed in the party.

          I went to the convention in Vancouver and actually voted for him as did 99% of the other delegates.

  21. Meanwhile…Iggy's popularity and leadership numbers are in Lizzy May territory, behind every other party leader. More people think Gilles Duceppe would make a better PM than Iggy. What's that tell you?

    In the end…we have no inspiring…or dare I say even….competent, federal party leaders.

    Too much power concentrated in the PMO. Our Parliament has become as much an inefficient joke as our Senate. Too many politicians and parties looking out for themselves rather than their constituents and country.

    Sad state of affairs really. I have no faith that any of our Prime Ministerial candidates have what it takes to turn the ship of state and set her back on course.

    "None of the above."

  22. Harper wouldn't have been voted in the Leaside riding where he grew up, he's been out of Ontario for 25 years, what's the difference?

  23. Harper is beating himself. Just give him time and enough rope and he and his sheep will be history. It is the Mulroney end story all over again.

    • Yeah, as we pontificate on the merits of Ignatieff — in pops Lizz with a fact: governments lose.

      • Of course you're right.

        The general opinion of Chretien before 1993 wasn't very good at all. He was seen as "yesterday's man" and "Trudeau's boy" right up until the election.

        Then Kim Cambell's genius PR team released that commercial that appeared to mock his facial deformity.

        Chretien came out with the "I've been mocked all my life but it won't stop me" and the myth of the "little guy from Shawinagan" began and Chretien couldn't lose.

        Harper's running out of places to stuff the bodies. The clock is ticking.

  24. Why expect from him what you don't expect from the current prime minister?

    Or do you consider harper to be authentic, and that politics is his calling?

    • I am not saying that I agree with Harper 100% but he has the instincts like many others and Ignatieff has none at all and you need that to lead a party and especially a country, it is truly embarrassing what he has done, as for all of his credentials? The more reason for him to have this bull by it's horns, so that proves to you, that no matter how many beautiful speches you make, they are empty words, they have no meaning! And for him to win this next election will be a miracle, and it is Harper's to loose, because with all of the messes that he (Harper) has done,Ignatieff still can not get to people, becuase they know by now that he doesn't know what to do, he can't connect because he is unaware, he want's to be liked, and there is nothing wrong with that but in politics you have to have balls and he has none! (sorry about the balls comment, but is true!)

  25. After besting Paul Martin and his machine, PM Harper can hardly believe his good luck in having two dud Liberal leaders in a row. I expected a lot more from Paul Newman, but I guess he has orders from MacLean's editorial board to be nice to Ignatieff. In this way he does PM Harper's bidding to keep Ignatieff as leader – whose standing among Canadians as |best leader" is 10%!

    The delusion among Liberals that they will make a glorious comeback because Harper is "distasteful" is folly because it prevents them from doing the hard and long slog to remake and rebuild their party. The Liberals need to be beaten, and beaten bad, for them to get it through their pseudo-intellectual skulls that they have to earn the respect and trust of Canadians. They need to make their own Long March to the caves of Yunan.

    • "I expected a lot more from Paul Newman"

      Um…wrong movie.

      • We're getting Steve MacQueen to do most of our political writing these days.

        • ROTFL

  26. It's been a tough road for Michael. He's met the challenges and is slowly overcoming the perception that he doesn't try to understand how the average Canadian feels. His cross-country tour was necessary and he carried it off quite well. There is absolutely no reason why he should not continue the tour. With today's communication networks he could very well be "virtually" in Ottawa while sipping his tea with the locals in Elliot Lake. As a matter of fact it might do our parliament a world of good if, instead of operating out of Ottawa, they all got on board a bunch of buses and held parliament in various parts of the country. I know the locals wouldn't put up with the vocal bullying which one observes happening on the Hill

  27. Peter C. Newman is now declaring that Ignatieff's past sordid political record pre-2005 is now whitewashed away .. and Canadians should only look at the man based on his last month of efforts to connect with the "little people" of Canada … and a dark curtain is now drawn on his 34 years living outside of Canada.

    Ignatieff abandoned Canada 40 years ago and declare Britain his "adopted country"… then he became a "we Americans" patriot … and now he surfaced in Canada, a lapsed Canadian pretending to be a born-again Canadian, touring the country to prove he's one of us..!!

    Plain and simple … Iggy is NOT worthy to be PM of Canada, nor will he ever be and Canadians have judged the man in the recent Nanos poll where he fails on trustworthiness, competence and vision for Canada … when compared to Harper and Layton.

    Ignatieff is a cynical political joke on Canadians trying to present him as a viable Canadian leader. He's worse than Dion … believe it.

    • Wow does that comment ever sound desparate.

      Why is it that your comments always make me think of that big lovable guy in the red pitcher suit bursting through walls to bring all the kids koolaid?


  28. Turn the other cheek, Iggy. The count is still out for the count, isn't he.

  29. Whether Harper had a solidly middle class upbringing or not (which he in fact did) is besides the point.

    Can anyone here imagine Harper publicly talking about himself like that. Expressing rage at how others don't see how much he's a fighter.

    Harper talks policy, talks Canada, talks about positions. The modest Harper rarely talks about himself.

    Iggy? Is there an interview yet where the favourite subject of Iggy hasn't been Iggy.

    Others painting you as a valiant fighter is one thing. Openly talking about oneself as a valiant fighter is narcissistic.

    Doing so in the context of an obviously privilgeged life that 99.9 percent of Canadians can't dream of, wreaks of the very out-of-touch elitism that he claims to lack.

    Word of advice to Iggy: Stop quacking, waddling, and swimming like a duck, and perhaps you'll shake the perception that you are, in fact, a duck.

    • No, Harper would never let on that he was feeling picked on. He'd just cut funding to the offender's employer and every cause that person believed in. He's too much of a petty, vindictive man to waste time talking about his feelings.

    • Oh yeah right, Harper's not narcissistic at all. (eye roll)

      He only controls everything with an iron fist, banishes experts that contradict him and undermines any group or institution that dares question the policies he comes up with while shaving in the morning and listening to Billy Graham.

      Or are you suggesting that elections are basically a "pick your kook" contest? LOL

      Then I'll take the educated well meaning kook thank you. LOL

  30. “You can't be a centrist on tactics alone. I'm in the political center by temperament and by persuasion. That's a core affirmation that has been there all my life. I want to get rid of all this ‘natural party of government' stuff; it's arrogant and speaks of entitlement. We have to earn the right to govern.”

    Well wadda ya know! I agree with this Iggy. And were you a member of any party but the Liberals I would vote for you on this basis. But you still have the problem of the Toronto set and Hell will freeze over before I vote for them. You see Iggy, they are the entitlement folks! You may earn the right to govern, but not with them!

  31. I live in Iggy’s riding– he was useless & his office uninformed on most relevent issues.if he can’t handle a riding,how the hell can he handle a country?!!!

  32. Iggy states – . “I fought from the minute I came to Canadian politics. I fought for my right to be heard. I fought for my right to be here. I fought for the right to be considered a goddamned Canadian. I've had to fight for everything,” Is he serious??? I think his fight consisted of being invited to come back to Canada to take over the leadership of the LPC, being defeated by Dion and then being given the leadership of the LPC rather than risk having another leadership convention where he might lose again. That's his idea of 'fighting"

    OMG – no wonder Canada lost its edge in the world when we have individuals who think that a fight consists of being invited to be the leader, then losing in a poorly fought campaign, but being given the job eventually anyway!! Boy I wish my career had fights like that!

  33. What about whether the candidate would continue to live in the country if he had no opportunity to become Prime Minister?

    • What about it? If Ignatief is told by the Canadian people in the next election that he is not "their man" and he steps down before the following election to let someone else lead, then accepts a position at Harvard, that's someone relavent?

      The entire concept of rating someone's "Canadian-ness" is based on insinuating that one person is more worthy than another, not based on abilities, not based on vision, not based on a strong team or legislative skills, but strictly based on the notion that one person's lifestyle and chosen view of the world is somehow "better" than another.

      It's the type of argument I expect from opponents with nothing good to say about their own achievements.

      It's a strawman argument pure and simple and I find it a dusgusting departure from civility.

  34. Once again Macleans, the bus tour is over, put the pom poms away!

  35. Iggnatieff is a 'project' … he's now a born-again Canadian … he's seized the Liberal leadership and is learning how to be a leader on the job … he's learning about Canada, after living here for the last 5 years and then suddenly decides to tour the country to meet the "little people" in the boonies … he's learning that Toronto and Ottawa are NOT Canada … and I hope he's learning that he will never be PM of Canada ever … and he should just abdicate the Liberal throne and leave Canada with the woman he loves.