130

‘I will meet you at the time and place of your choosing’


 

Michael Ignatieff has released an open letter to Stephen Harper.

Dear Mr. Harper:

I am writing about the one-on-one debate that you challenged me to two days ago.

You will recall that when you issued your challenge, I immediately responded, accepting it with enthusiasm.

As you stated, there are only two people who can be Prime Minister after May 2nd: you or me. Canadians truly deserve to see us go face to face in a contest of ideas, values and very different visions for our country. That is what democracy is all about.

Like many Canadians, I was disappointed and puzzled when you reversed your commitment, and tried to back out yesterday. I don’t understand why you have gone back on your word, or why you would wish to disappoint Canadians.

However, it is not too late for you to rectify the situation. Since our original exchange on Wednesday, many invitations to host the debate have come in from prestigious organizations across Canada. So there are any number of venues and times to choose from.

Perhaps I can make this easier for you. I will meet you at the time and place of your choosing. There is no need for complicated or convoluted debate formats.  Just two podiums – and you and me.  A true, honest-to-goodness battle of ideas and visions.

This is the kind of contest that Canadians are yearning for. I know because I have been meeting ordinary Canadians of all ages, backgrounds and political allegiances at events across Canada.  It’s absolutely exhilarating. In fact, I would recommend that you try it.

In closing, I urge you to reconsider your reversal and stick to your word. I strongly believe our fellow Canadians deserve this chance to see the different visions of leadership between the only two people who can become prime minister of this country at the end of this election.

Sincerely,

Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada


 

‘I will meet you at the time and place of your choosing’

  1. One issue I had going into this was whether Ignatieff was nasty enough to become PM. He may be.

  2. One issue I had going into this was whether Ignatieff was nasty enough to become PM. He may be.

  3. Who knew that the defining topic of the election campaign would be how much of a chicken Stephen Harper is?

  4. Who knew that the defining topic of the election campaign would be how much of a chicken Stephen Harper is?

    • In the 2008 campaign Flaherty refused to debate his decision to destroy Income Trusts. Brent Fullard of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors offered to donate $50,000 to the charity of Flaherty's choice to engage in the debate. The premise on which the Conservatives based their decision was tax leakage and Fullard was prepared to challenge that falsehood in a debate.
      http://caiti-online.blogspot.com/2011/04/harper-i

      So not much of a surprise that Harper is as much of a coward when it comes to facing a knowledgeable opponent.

      • Fred Flinstone ' Flaherty ' debate someone? The guy cant even count let alone talk!

  5. I can understand why Ignatieff is keeping this issue alive because he actually wants to debate Harper. What is not so obvious is why Harper is keeping this issue alive. Here is an article where the Conservatives are basically saying Ignatieff is lying about wanting to debate Harper.
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/1236078.html

    Rather than fueling the fire by saying the Liberals are lying, why wouldn't Harper just want this to die down? Maybe we will get the additional one-on-one debate after all.

  6. I can understand why Ignatieff is keeping this issue alive because he actually wants to debate Harper. What is not so obvious is why Harper is keeping this issue alive. Here is an article where the Conservatives are basically saying Ignatieff is lying about wanting to debate Harper.
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/1236078.html

    Rather than fueling the fire by saying the Liberals are lying, why wouldn't Harper just want this to die down? Maybe we will get the additional one-on-one debate after all.

    • If Iggy was afraid to debate Harper, this letter is basically an invitation for them to call his bluff. So…

    • The' chronically horid' as it is referred to in Nova Scotia is right wing. They're tory supporters. That explains the made up story.

      • Iddiotson was making soft murmurs trying to massage Harper's back-spin as more an issue with the debate system than any yellow stripe down so-called leader's back.

  7. April Fool! ;-)

  8. April Fool! ;-)

    • Nice try to help Stephen out of a corner.

      • I really thought it was a spoof — after all, this is the official "let's all get paranoid" day.

  9. Nice try to help Stephen out of a corner.

  10. I really thought it was a spoof — after all, this is the official "let's all get paranoid" day.

  11. Although it was more a warning swat than a full-on verbal spanking, Mr. Ignatieff, clearly enjoyed writing that.

  12. If Iggy was afraid to debate Harper, this letter is basically an invitation for them to call his bluff. So…

  13. The government is so absolutely dysfunctional, the first question I's ask them is this:

    Are you one of these people who think that cows can fly?

    http://ahabit.com/letter.htm

    In days gone by, psychiatrists used to ask questions like, "Tell me about your mother"…now, it appears, they ask questions like, "Why do you think that cows can fly?"

    Looks like we need new psychiatrists, lawyers, and politicians -they're ALL delusional.

  14. The government is so absolutely dysfunctional, the first question I's ask them is this:

    Are you one of these people who think that cows can fly?

    http://ahabit.com/letter.htm

    In days gone by, psychiatrists used to ask questions like, "Tell me about your mother"…now, it appears, they ask questions like, "Why do you think that cows can fly?"

    Looks like we need new psychiatrists, lawyers, and politicians -they're ALL delusional.

  15. Iggy will do anything for attention. He is an opportunist who was a talk show host and professor of history. Does this qualify him to RUN our Country. Canadians aren't as stupid as you thing we are Iggy.

  16. Dear Mr.Ignatieff,

    why are you directing your plea towards Harper when you know full well that the media consortium has not had the courage to replace even one of the three-on-one debates into a one-on-one debate?

    Why, Mr.Ignatieff, are you afraid to tell the media members of the consortium that they, too, have a voice in what Canada demands?

    Perhaps the time has come to let the media play a real role, rather than let them hide behind a false reporting of the facts.

    Sincerely,

    A reasonable voice

  17. Iggy will do anything for attention. He is an opportunist who was a talk show host and professor of history. Does this qualify him to RUN our Country. Canadians aren't as stupid as you thing we are Iggy.

    • Now, there's the thing! Canadians can thinK and many question the qualifications of Harper.

      Harper, not a leader.
      Harper, the Great Divider.

    • Maybe not all, but by the latest polls around 39% are.

    • People become professors of history in order to get attention? Studying history is a sign of opportunism? It would be better to have a PM who does not know anything about our history?

      Wow. War is Peace. Up is Down.

    • If you really believe that, you should want your guy to debate Ignatieff.

    • You are as stupid as we thing you are! As for 'anything for attention', Duh! he's running for Prime Minister stupid!

    • Harper's such an oopportunist, trying to hog the camera without providing any substance. Photos all down the corridor of the House only prove he's in it for himself, except for the part of being scared of his own shadow.

  18. had to give you a thumbs up… that last line was hilarious.

  19. yawn.

  20. had to give you a thumbs up… that last line was hilarious.

    • By last line do you mean

      "Perhaps the time has come to let the media play a real role…"
      or
      "A reasonable voice"

      Not sure which is more ludicrous from someone defending Harper's unwillingness to meet the media or public.

      • Either-or.

        • or read between the lines

          sincerely

  21. There's an obvious solution. Let the potential coalition leaders debate among themselves, without Harper, and than have Harper face the winner of that debate. Everybdoy wins! And the sheer pleasure of watching Gilles Duceppe and Harper spar during the English leaders debate will be unmatchable…

  22. There's an obvious solution. Let the potential coalition leaders debate among themselves, without Harper, and than have Harper face the winner of that debate. Everybdoy wins! And the sheer pleasure of watching Gilles Duceppe and Harper spar during the English leaders debate will be unmatchable…

    • it's not a matter of "obvious solutions", so much as Harper needing to follow through or face ridicule.

      • redicule from you? But he gets that daily, no matter what he does.

    • The obvious solution is that Harper grows a backbone and debates Ignatieff.

      • Obvious solution…..As- Ho– should have made up his mind in the beginning…(Harper / Ignatieff) and the others decided it would be Harper and alll. It just goes to show you how important this As– Hol- thinks he is.
        Too bad he resembles the "Screemer"

        • Let's see…

          …should have made up his mind in the beginning…that would be Harper, who tried to play tough guy by challenging Ignatieff to a one-on-one debate and then chickened out when called on it.

          …shows how important he thinks he is…again must be Harper as he is "too important" to take more than 5 questions (and again only if they are questions he wants to answer) or to debate his vision of where he wants to take the country.

          Still, try not to use derogatory names for him as it is not very classy. That is more like something Conservative supporters would do.

        • Say, weren't you 'Sam' or 'Ken' on a couple of other threads? Probably not. But that 'As-Hol-'' thing looks awfully familiar. Though 'Sam' and "Ken' did use 'a-ho–'.

          So, yeah. Forget it. Mistaken false identity.

          Or maybe you're just winning on 'Wheel of Fortune'.

      • I know that's obvious to Liberals, but other Canadians might wonder what authority Harper has to decide the leader of the opposition coalition. Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

        • Cool!

        • Extra points for product AND service placement in a comment thread!

  23. Now, there's the thing! Canadians can thinK and many question the qualifications of Harper.

    Harper, not a leader.
    Harper, the Great Divider.

  24. Michael Ignatieff's position on debates in John-Kerry-speak: "I was against the 1-on-1 debate BEFORE I was for it."

  25. Michael Ignatieff's position on debates in John-Kerry-speak: "I was against the 1-on-1 debate BEFORE I was for it."

    • Just curious, how do you manage to lie without any twinges of conscience? It's a skill I wouldn't mind being able to have.

      He's never been against the 1 on 1 debate. He's been against preventing other leaders from debating.

      • Read Maher's piece in the Chronicle Herald about the debate negotiations with the consortium and the parties. Ignatieff was opposed to all 1-on-1 options proposed by Harper.

        Ignatieff was opposed to the 1-on-1 debate before he was for ti.

        • Sorry. All you've got there are a bunch of quotes from Harper Campaigners about how they wanted to change the format of the all-party debates, and Ignatieff's people had no instructions to allow that.

    • Even if your point is correct…he's pretty clear now, only a few days later….so what's the problem?

  26. it's not a matter of "obvious solutions", so much as Harper needing to follow through or face ridicule.

  27. But nasty is bad, right? Or is nasty only bad for a PM when Harper is considered nasty?

  28. By last line do you mean

    "Perhaps the time has come to let the media play a real role…"
    or
    "A reasonable voice"

    Not sure which is more ludicrous from someone defending Harper's unwillingness to meet the media or public.

  29. Maybe not all, but by the latest polls around 39% are.

  30. The obvious solution is that Harper grows a backbone and debates Ignatieff.

  31. Just curious, how do you manage to lie without any twinges of conscience? It's a skill I wouldn't mind being able to have.

    He's never been against the 1 on 1 debate. He's been against preventing other leaders from debating.

  32. Obvious solution…..As- Ho– should have made up his mind in the beginning…(Harper / Ignatieff) and the others decided it would be Harper and alll. It just goes to show you how important this As– Hol- thinks he is.
    Too bad he resembles the "Screemer"

  33. The media consortium doesn't have anything to do with this. CBC, for one, has already agreed to air these additional debates.

  34. The media consortium doesn't have anything to do with this. CBC, for one, has already agreed to air these additional debates.

    • They should make it a round robin that goes on for more than a week, like the big curling bonspiels.

  35. When was he against a 1 on 1 debate? He's always been in favour. He's been opposed to canceling the all-party debate.

  36. People become professors of history in order to get attention? Studying history is a sign of opportunism? It would be better to have a PM who does not know anything about our history?

    Wow. War is Peace. Up is Down.

  37. They should make it a round robin that goes on for more than a week, like the big curling bonspiels.

  38. Read Maher's piece in the Chronicle Herald about the debate negotiations with the consortium and the parties. Ignatieff was opposed to all 1-on-1 options proposed by Harper.

    Ignatieff was opposed to the 1-on-1 debate before he was for ti.

  39. In the 2008 campaign Flaherty refused to debate his decision to destroy Income Trusts. Brent Fullard of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors offered to donate $50,000 to the charity of Flaherty's choice to engage in the debate. The premise on which the Conservatives based their decision was tax leakage and Fullard was prepared to challenge that falsehood in a debate.
    http://caiti-online.blogspot.com/2011/04/harper-i

    So not much of a surprise that Harper is as much of a coward when it comes to facing a knowledgeable opponent.

  40. I know that's obvious to Liberals, but other Canadians might wonder what authority Harper has to decide the leader of the opposition coalition. Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  41. If you really believe that, you should want your guy to debate Ignatieff.

  42. Dear FVerhoeven –

    Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper are both free men who have access to their own planes. They do not need a consortium to have this debate and you bloody well know it.

    Now, perhaps you will up your game on these posts in arguing the Conservative position on things and make it a lot more interesting for the rest of us.

  43. Dear FVerhoeven –

    Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper are both free men who have access to their own planes. They do not need a consortium to have this debate and you bloody well know it.

    Now, perhaps you will up your game on these posts in arguing the Conservative position on things and make it a lot more interesting for the rest of us.

    • Indeed, Mr.Ignatieff and Mr.Harper are both free men.

      Some voters (also free-willed) will be swayed by Mr.Ignatieff's argument, and other voters (also free-willed) will be swayed by Mr.Harper's argument; Canada does find itself in the midst of an election, you know.

      And lo and behold, even the media consortium deciding on these formats, had a free will. They chose to decide one way or another and things did not go Harper's way. Harper has accepted that. Why are you against such acceptance of the facts?

      ps: a letter beginning with the word 'Dear" usually ends with something like, 'sincerely,' or ' yours truly' or

      Cheers!

      • You are correct in my lack of writing etiquette, and for that I apologize.

        However consortium = red herring. Why don't you accept the fact the Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper are free to have a debate and to do not answer to the consortium on this matter?

        • Of course, they are both free men: Ignatieff as well as Harper.

          It is my understanding that when the various parties had input in how the media consortium would format the debates, Harper's preference of choice was to have a one-on-one debate rather than have the three-on-one debate. It is my understanding that Ignatieff's preference of choice was to have the usual three (or four?) -on-one format, when talking to the media consortium before the format had been decided upon.

      • Harper and Iggy are similarly free to join debate hosted by someone other than the consortium. A dozen respected organizations have offered to host. Blaming Iggy and blaming the consortium won't work. It's ridiculous. The consortium has no control over which debates Harper chooses to participate in or not.

      • So it's the big bad media's fault when Harper is given cover to run for? Consortium or not, he could name any time or place to debate Iggy but he's just plain scared to.

    • There is still time for the media consortium to schedule as follows:

      No separation of french and english debates
      1. One debate between all five participants
      2. One debate between Harper and Ignatieff
      3. One debate between Layton, Duceppe and May

      Two of those debates could be slotted in the times projected and since other media outlets have come forward to hold additional debates, one could be aired by them.

      Within my suggested format, leaders would participate in two debates each, and the voters would still get the one-on-one thrown in without any of the leaders having to change anything they have said before. What do you think? Would the media consortium be up for it??

      • Let me clarify my question: why do Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff have to wait for the media consortium?

        • Just so you know, she answered in an earlier thread. She respects Harper's decision not to take time away from a hectic campaign schedule for four debates, what with the English and French repeats.

          You can take it from there.

      • I'd be satisfied with this, but I see no reason why we can't have three debates. The debates are more useful than flying around the country waving at adoring supporters.

  44. Even if your point is correct…he's pretty clear now, only a few days later….so what's the problem?

  45. Indeed, Mr.Ignatieff and Mr.Harper are both free men.

    Some voters (also free-willed) will be swayed by Mr.Ignatieff's argument, and other voters (also free-willed) will be swayed by Mr.Harper's argument; Canada does find itself in the midst of an election, you know.

    And lo and behold, even the media consortium deciding on these formats, had a free will. They chose to decide one way or another and things did not go Harper's way. Harper has accepted that. Why are you against such acceptance of the facts?

    ps: a letter beginning with the word 'Dear" usually ends with something like, 'sincerely,' or ' yours truly' or

    Cheers!

  46. There is still time for the media consortium to schedule as follows:

    No separation of french and english debates
    1. One debate between all five participants
    2. One debate between Harper and Ignatieff
    3. One debate between Layton, Duceppe and May

    Two of those debates could be slotted in the times projected and since other media outlets have come forward to hold additional debates, one could be aired by them.

    Within my suggested format, leaders would participate in two debates each, and the voters would still get the one-on-one thrown in without any of the leaders having to change anything they have said before. What do you think? Would the media consortium be up for it??

  47. redicule from you? But he gets that daily, no matter what he does.

  48. Cool!

  49. Sorry. All you've got there are a bunch of quotes from Harper Campaigners about how they wanted to change the format of the all-party debates, and Ignatieff's people had no instructions to allow that.

  50. When we were doing the softwood lumber thing I wouldn't have minded a little less bend-over and a little more nasty.

  51. When we were doing the softwood lumber thing I wouldn't have minded a little less bend-over and a little more nasty.

    • Huh. And here I thought we'd received quite enough nasty from bending over during the softwood thing.

      • I'm feelin' all tingly now.

        [alt text: "I've got wood!"]

  52. Either-or.

  53. You are correct in my lack of writing etiquette, and for that I apologize.

    However consortium = red herring. Why don't you accept the fact the Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper are free to have a debate and to do not answer to the consortium on this matter?

  54. Let me clarify my question: why do Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff have to wait for the media consortium?

  55. Just so you know, she answered in an earlier thread. She respects Harper's decision not to take time away from a hectic campaign schedule for four debates, what with the English and French repeats.

    You can take it from there.

  56. Of course, they are both free men: Ignatieff as well as Harper.

    It is my understanding that when the various parties had input in how the media consortium would format the debates, Harper's preference of choice was to have a one-on-one debate rather than have the three-on-one debate. It is my understanding that Ignatieff's preference of choice was to have the usual three (or four?) -on-one format, when talking to the media consortium before the format had been decided upon.

  57. or read between the lines

    sincerely

  58. Harper and Iggy are similarly free to join debate hosted by someone other than the consortium. A dozen respected organizations have offered to host. Blaming Iggy and blaming the consortium won't work. It's ridiculous. The consortium has no control over which debates Harper chooses to participate in or not.

  59. I'd be satisfied with this, but I see no reason why we can't have three debates. The debates are more useful than flying around the country waving at adoring supporters.

  60. Honestly, I think a Harper vs Ignatieff debate really would have the chance to swing my vote. I've been a CPC voter for a number of years, though I politically lie between the CPC and LPC (CBC vote compass backs me up there too!).

    Since Ignatieff entered Canadian politics I wanted to like him. Like a lot of voters, I want to feel some connection, or inspiration from a leader that I just don't really get from Harper. I quickly found him to be about as appealing and electable as early 2000's Steven Harper.

    Lately, however, he's really been growing on me. I think his time on the bus this summer really helped him out. He doesn't seem so stiff and awkward as before. He's starting to feel Prime Minster material.

    I'd love to see the improved Ignatieff debate Harper. I'd be nice to see these two debate each other without the noise coming from the other leaders (yeah the NDP and BQ deserve to be in an all leaders debate, but even Duceppe said in the debate last election there's only really two people who might become PM). I want to hear from those two one-on-one.

  61. Honestly, I think a Harper vs Ignatieff debate really would have the chance to swing my vote. I've been a CPC voter for a number of years, though I politically lie between the CPC and LPC (CBC vote compass backs me up there too!).

    Since Ignatieff entered Canadian politics I wanted to like him. Like a lot of voters, I want to feel some connection, or inspiration from a leader that I just don't really get from Harper. I quickly found him to be about as appealing and electable as early 2000's Steven Harper.

    Lately, however, he's really been growing on me. I think his time on the bus this summer really helped him out. He doesn't seem so stiff and awkward as before. He's starting to feel Prime Minster material.

    I'd love to see the improved Ignatieff debate Harper. I'd be nice to see these two debate each other without the noise coming from the other leaders (yeah the NDP and BQ deserve to be in an all leaders debate, but even Duceppe said in the debate last election there's only really two people who might become PM). I want to hear from those two one-on-one.

    • It's not so much as Ignatieff improving (tho he certainly has done that) probably as much as some people's brains have become immune to the koolaid attack ad campaign. It's a growing trend, by the way.

  62. Huh. And here I thought we'd received quite enough nasty from bending over during the softwood thing.

  63. Well played. Best laugh of the week. Thumbs up.

  64. Let's see…

    …should have made up his mind in the beginning…that would be Harper, who tried to play tough guy by challenging Ignatieff to a one-on-one debate and then chickened out when called on it.

    …shows how important he thinks he is…again must be Harper as he is "too important" to take more than 5 questions (and again only if they are questions he wants to answer) or to debate his vision of where he wants to take the country.

    Still, try not to use derogatory names for him as it is not very classy. That is more like something Conservative supporters would do.

  65. "Why, Mr.Ignatieff, are you afraid to tell the media members of the consortium that they, too, have a voice in what Canada demands?"

    If you read Ignatieff's challenge, you'd note that he claims that invitations to host/sponsor a one-on-one debate have come from "many prestigious organizations across Canada". Once a time and venue is decided, the media wouldn't fail to cover it.

    The lack of interest by the consortium of networks is a red herring.

  66. "Why, Mr.Ignatieff, are you afraid to tell the media members of the consortium that they, too, have a voice in what Canada demands?"

    If you read Ignatieff's challenge, you'd note that he claims that invitations to host/sponsor a one-on-one debate have come from "many prestigious organizations across Canada". Once a time and venue is decided, the media wouldn't fail to cover it.

    The lack of interest by the consortium of networks is a red herring.

  67. So it's the big bad media's fault when Harper is given cover to run for? Consortium or not, he could name any time or place to debate Iggy but he's just plain scared to.

  68. Whatever "the consortium" thinks is irrelevant. If Harper is too weasily to debate Ignatieff, that's his own problem. He looks like a fool for talking big and then shrinking away from his own words.

  69. Whatever "the consortium" thinks is irrelevant. If Harper is too weasily to debate Ignatieff, that's his own problem. He looks like a fool for talking big and then shrinking away from his own words.

    • "When the debate reared its ugly head, Harper bravely turned his tail and fled. Brave, brave, brave, brave Steve Harper…"

  70. "When the debate reared its ugly head, Harper bravely turned his tail and fled. Brave, brave, brave, brave Steve Harper…"

  71. I'm feelin' all tingly now.

    [alt text: "I've got wood!"]

  72. Hasn't Michael Ignatieff been through enough univerisities to know that the appositive of a predicate nominative takes the nominative case? Of did he include that error deliberately to sound more "folksy"?

  73. Hasn't Michael Ignatieff been through enough univerisities to know that the appositive of a predicate nominative takes the nominative case? Of did he include that error deliberately to sound more "folksy"?

    • You really ought to read someone like Glenn Stillar to fully comprehend the deleterious effects of technical grammar on positive rhetorical communication!

  74. Say, weren't you 'Sam' or 'Ken' on a couple of other threads? Probably not. But that 'As-Hol-'' thing looks awfully familiar. Though 'Sam' and "Ken' did use 'a-ho–'.

    So, yeah. Forget it. Mistaken false identity.

    Or maybe you're just winning on 'Wheel of Fortune'.

  75. Extra points for product AND service placement in a comment thread!

  76. You really ought to read someone like Glenn Stillar to fully comprehend the deleterious effects of technical grammar on positive rhetorical communication!

  77. Fred Flinstone ' Flaherty ' debate someone? The guy cant even count let alone talk!

  78. The' chronically horid' as it is referred to in Nova Scotia is right wing. They're tory supporters. That explains the made up story.

  79. You are as stupid as we thing you are! As for 'anything for attention', Duh! he's running for Prime Minister stupid!

  80. Iddiotson was making soft murmurs trying to massage Harper's back-spin as more an issue with the debate system than any yellow stripe down so-called leader's back.

  81. Harper's such an oopportunist, trying to hog the camera without providing any substance. Photos all down the corridor of the House only prove he's in it for himself, except for the part of being scared of his own shadow.

  82. It's not so much as Ignatieff improving (tho he certainly has done that) probably as much as some people's brains have become immune to the koolaid attack ad campaign. It's a growing trend, by the way.

  83. Hey, why don't we just all throw up our hands and let Vote Compass decide for us–what say you Andrew Coyne?

  84. Hey, why don't we just all throw up our hands and let Vote Compass decide for us–what say you Andrew Coyne?

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