Dearest Quebec -

Dearest Quebec


Michael Ignatieff pens an open letter to la belle province.

During this campaign, and for more than two years, I have travelled across Quebec and met Quebecers in every region who are proud of their culture and identity and concerned about their children’s future. The vast majority of Quebecers want to get rid of the Stephen Harper regime. This government does not represent them, nor does it share their values or priorities.

By its own admission, the Bloc does not seek to govern. The NDP, meanwhile, has neither the team nor the experience to govern. Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton cannot become Prime Minister; they can only oppose Mr. Harper. That is not good enough. The time has come to replace him.


Dearest Quebec

    • I don't know about his team but saying Jack Layton doesn't have the experience is a blatant lie.

      • Well…ahem…his team is the point

        • So the centralist NDP's team is running amok without the guidance of Layton's 30 years in politics? I don't buy that either.

          • Well it doesn't matter what you 'buy'….many of the NDP candidates can't be found, or are on vacation…and ones they can find are dicey to say the least.

            So it doesn't matter what kind of PM Jack would make …he wasn't expecting this surge anymore than anyone else….that's why they had 'place-holders' on the ballot. People who never expected to be elected.

          • Well, I don't follow the NDP but after 5 years of Harper I think our country is resilient enough to be governed by the NDP, regardless how biased your assessment of their quality is.

          • No, they can't be any worse than Harper has been.

            But first 5 years of Harper and then 5 years of the NDP?

            We may not survive.

  1. I imagine him writing these notes by candlelight with a quill and monogrammed stationary, sealing the letter with a kiss.

    • You're thinking of Harper's ad….in his office late at night….with an outdated cord phone, and a pen and paper…no computer.

  2. "Frank, forthright, and quite true."

    Iggy's been that and more for a while now. The problem isn't him, or the Liberal platform. It's us. Canadians (as a whole) don't want to deal with anything substantial on any front. They either want Harper's certainty or Layton's vague alternative. Both are committed to ramping up spending while starving the treasury — they just go about it in opposite ways.

    The Liberals made the mistake of being brutally frank with the Canadian electorate, about the needs and costs we face. We said we wanted honest, realistic and balanced policies — but we lied. We're not serious about education, being competitive in the modern economy, rebalancing the nation's finances, adjusting to demographic change or anything long-term or challenging. We are susceptible to stage-managed optics and populist, though unsustainable, propositions.

    I don't see this changing for a while, as the cohort of boomers are camping out in jobs — during their highest earning years — and asking for tax cuts, and then demand better services the second they retire.

    • Except for the part where he says the NDP can't form government. Why not? Isn't that just the refrain one would expect from the "natural governing party", a dismissal of anyone else's aspirations to power? Based on the more optimistic (from the NDP's point of view) polls and seat estimates, it may be very possible for the NDP to form a government – with the support of the Liberals. So to say Mr. Layton "can't be Prime Minister" is factually incorrect.
      He is correct to say the NDP has neither the experience nor the team to govern.

    • All I hear is "The sheeple are too stupid to understand that we're the best and the smartest." Good luck with that messaging.

      • Yeah, it might be time for Harper to drop that line of attack.

        • Because the Liberals need it back? Can't they share?

          • Harper's not big on sharing.

      • Seems to be "You don't like Harper, and even though you like Layton better I'm the better choice anyway".

        So it's "you're sort of right about things but not right enough".

        The reality is, Quebecers like neither Harper nor Ignatieff and they seem to like Jack because he told them he wanted to reopen the constitution, ban English in government workplaces in Quebec, etc etc.

    • Read the Rae and Dosanjh letter. Their biggest complaint about an NDP government is that it might only invest $20B more in social programs, rather than $25B. That doesn't exactly scream unsustainable populism to me…

  3. Needs more "baby, I can change".

    • Maybe new glasses would help.

      • Harper is the only one who wears glasses.

        • "The casino dropped the charges"

          • Harper was charged with breaking glasses in a casino? Dear me.

  4. The problem is more fundamental that most are thinking, and a lot more ominous for Canada. The unprecedented assault by George Soros' organizations in this election is frightening, combined with other natural Canadian lobbying of which I am less concerned. Why is Soros & Co involved? I take a shot at it here:

    If you are truly concerned about Canada, read it. If you feel no different afterwards, fine. At least you are aware of what's going on.

    • Soros is not involved…he's busy working on Bretton Woods….take your meds.

    • Out of Fendi replica handbags and discounted Nikes?

  5. Poor Jack, he's surrounded by wastrel incompetents like Jack Harris, Thomas Mulcair,
    Paul Dewar, Joe Cromartie … we are truly doomed.

  6. Good thing there's no Liberal breakthrough in Alberta! Imagine trying to find those candidates.

    • On the contrary, my preferred candidate, Josipa Petrunic, has not only shown up but really has been the most active in and around the riding for some time now. The NDP candidate is a place-holder — search for Calgary-East NDP candidate and the results you get leave a bit of confusion as to who it even is. The Green candidate lately seems to be concerned with becoming "the sexiest candidate" rather than anything significant.

      And while I admire Jason Devine's spirit running for the Communist Party here in Calgary, his ideas sadly don't measure up to that.

  7. There's nothing in that letter he hasn't said before. What's the point?

    • It shows he's now taking leadership advice from Dion? "You know, Michael, what worked for me in Quebec was open letters. That's how I saved the country."

      • Sorry, but Dion wrote serious letters, like this open letter to Quebeckers on why he wanted to become prime minister:

        Ignatieff's letter is boring and banal.

  8. Oh yeah, the letter should do it

  9. Yeah, like I said, a long-shot. No illusions there. After all, if Albertans haven't figured out that doing the same thing and expecting different results is insane after the first 20 years, I don't know why they'd change now.

    • C'mon up to Edmonton-Strathcona.

      • Unfortunately, that'd mean living in Edmonton.

        There's certain things that even *I* won't do.:)

        • Your loss. They filled in a pothole near my house today!

  10. It just seems to me that Iggy's message since the NDP "surge" has been flat and completely off the mark. He went from urging people to "rise up" — which they actually are by supporting the NDP, incidentally — to imploring people to support Liberals because they're an establishment party.

    I think Iggy's lack of political experience and leadership has really hurt the party, especially in these last few days. He doesn't understand why his attacks on the Tories were off. He doesn't understand why the NDP is "surging." He's flailing away with the best that his discredited braintrust can feed him right now. Just how ugly can it get for this once great party? Boy.

    • Get down! Get back down!

      The fact is, there's nothing Ignatieff can do. Right or wrong, he has an aura that people don't like, you could see immediately when he arrived that he was never going to sell. Add that to the trends against the Liberals for the past decade and this was a doomed campaign from the start.
      I had really considered the Dion coalition move as irredeemably poisoning things for Ignatieff, but now seeing the surge for Layton, I'm not so sure.

  11. It's a letter he (and his inner circle) probably never expected he would have to write.

    What a bizarre couple of weeks.