'Get a better messenger' - Macleans.ca

‘Get a better messenger’


Michael Ignatieff offers his parting words to the Globe.

I think we opened up the breach in a way against Harper and against what he stands for, and someone else surged through and benefited, and at that point maybe the attack ads had an impact on my capacity to capitalize on a longing for change. There was a longing for change that I think we played an honourable part in creating, but we couldn’t benefit because someone else surged through. Good luck to him. And then what happened, of course, is, as the NDP surged through, the blue tide began to rise in counterbalance and we got squeezed in between.

I’m conscious, I’m always conscious, that a leader has to take responsibility. And I take responsibility fully for anything we failed to do. But I think it was a pretty complicated story and I don’t actually think this election was a referendum on me.


‘Get a better messenger’

  1. I think that's right. Elections are always referendums on the incumbent, and people chose Harper over both Ignatieff and Layton in the swing Ontario ridings that seem to decide elections.

  2. "And I take responsibility fully for anything we failed to do."

    Iggy took full responsibility by arranging his next job last summer. But I do agree that it was not exactly a referendum on Iggy, tho it was a bit. How can it not be?

    "It's not a scheduled stop on this summer's gruelling bus tour but the University of Toronto is looming as the Liberal leader's final destination. Michael Ignatieff is being touted as an eventual successor to Janice Gross Stein … " TorStar, July 2010

    • Same university, different job. Same one Preston Manning was given.

  3. 'And then what happened, of course, is, as the NDP surged through, the blue tide began to rise in counterbalance and we got squeezed in between.'


  4. Hey everyone. Sorry I've been really busy for the past year or so, but I'm back for now. Hope I didn't miss anything. So when are those Liberals going to bring down this woefully anti-democratic, economy-destroying Harper minority already? Bet your bottom dollar that the Red Machine will make some significant inroads, maybe even a minority government, as long as the NDP doesn't get in their way (snicker).

    • What were you doing, anyways?

      Wait, don't answer that. Let's have a competition. Everybody try and guess what Olaf was doing for the past year?

      Gender re-assignment?
      Hand model?
      Drug side effect tester?
      International man of mystery?


      • Gazing at himself in the mirror

        • Try gazing at myself in two mirrors, Blues. The first one became exhausted capturing so much pure brilliance, so I decided to lighten its load. A sign of my unending compassion and innovative problem solving skills, you wonder? That's for others to say…

          • I didn't know mirrors could lighten their load.

          • welcome back Olaf, it's good to see you!

      • You make it sound like those are mutually exclusive.

        • A hint! A hint! He's been multi-tasking.

          Pirate costume stylist and beach manicurist?
          Lunch arrangement specialist and dinerware sanitation tech?

  5. Dion: Not a leader. Iggy: He just didn't get it. Oh, he also was just visiting, etc, etc, lol

    Does anybody have any numbers on the NDP outside of Quebec, and whether or not it constitutes an actual surge?

    Additionally, I don't know how anyone can interpret a majority mandate as a desire for change.

    Like I said, he didn't get it. And, judging from some of the postmortems in the Star and by other Liberals, he was arrogant – all the way until the end.

    I wonder how long he'll stay at U of T.

    • Does anybody have any numbers on the NDP outside of Quebec, and whether or not it constitutes an actual surge?

      From 2008-2011, the NDP vote went up in 9 provinces and 2 territories. It went up by about:

      7.5% in BC
      4.1% in AB
      6.7% in SK
      1.8% in MB
      7.4% in ON
      30.7% in QC
      7.9% in NB
      1.4% in NS
      5.6% in PE
      4.3% in NT
      5.4% in YT

      It dropped by 1.3% in NL, and by 13.2% in NU.

      If my calculations are correct, the overall NDP vote for Canada outside Quebec went up a shade over 6% from 2008 to 2011.

  6. Brilliant. Blame the NDP for splitting the vote (running a good campaign) and decimating the party… and now the former leader is taking credit for their surge. Beautiful mess you left MI.

    A suggestion. Bob Rae as leader. He lead a marginalized provincial party into a majority government… and a added bonus to Liberals, he destroyed the Ont NDP at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

  7. Is it just me, or do others think he sounds more like a pompous a$$ at the end of the interview??

    Q: Is that the real issue here? You were just not the right messenger?

    A: Well, you would have thought that someone associated with highly expensive and pretentious higher education would actually be the right messenger for a passionately egalitarian message about education, for a passionately egalitarian vision of the country. Whatever else is wrong about me, I'm not a snob about this stuff.

    • I can't say I got that out of what he said, no.

  8. Always happy to help if it provides me with a good excuse to avoid doing anything that's actually productive.

    It's certainly true that the NDP growth was much stronger in Quebec, but the growth outside Quebec is still noteworthy. Even outside Quebec, their seat total tops their previous best (44 versus 43 for Broadbent in 1988) and though I'm not going to do the math, their vote share outside Quebec also seems to be their best ever. Six per cent growth certainly isn't mind-blowing like 30% is, but it's still significant.

  9. From where I stand in California, he does indeed sound like a pompous ass THROUGHOUT this interview. I have never heard of the guy until today. I am glad I haven't.

  10. Those are his last words are they? That's it? Are we through? No more paens, panegyrics, eulogies, toasts, roasts, jibes, rejoinders, advice, parting shots…?

    Let him lecture, and open each semester with "Yes, it was a screw-up from beginning to end, and we're not going to discuss that. Now, please open your textbook to page 1…"

  11. Until the Government of Harper and the (pseudo-)Conservative 'party' is recognized for what it is, there is no point in a reconstruction of the Liberal party. And the NDP better get some things straight as well.

    The Liberals will continue to take guns and knives to the fight by the sound of it. Harper is immune to such weapons. You need a screwdriver and socket-wrench.

    • Weapons that require elbow grease?? Hope really is faint for the Liberals then.

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