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Leadership that sounds like what you imagine leadership should sound like


 

Michael Ignatieff’s listening tour continues.

Ralph Blaese said he could connect with Ignatieff more than he could with Dion.

“He has a voice that is a little better for people to understand and hear he’s not as weak as Dion was,” Blaese said. “He’s very charismatic and he’s a person that can get along with people.”


 

Leadership that sounds like what you imagine leadership should sound like

  1. While I like Iggy, Aaron’s in full infatuation mode.

    • I disagree, Jarrid. I think that Wherry`s recent blog postings and articles suggest that he is quite skeptical when it comes to Ignatieff.

  2. Yeah, Ignatieff’s someone you’d like to have a kir royal with.

    Charisma isn’t everything and politicians tend to possess charisma in inverse proportion to their degree of aptitude.

    • politicians tend to possess charisma in inverse proportion to their degree of aptitude.

      … which would imply that the uncharismatic Harper is very apt, while the extremely charismatic Obama is also extremely inapt.

      Personally, I think that charisma and aptitude are very weakly correlated.

      • I wasn’t writing a dissertation here. But in the age of the soundbite and video media, charisma (and other traits secondary to what is required to be an effective politician) are over-emphasised.

        I might have agreed with you about Harper’s lack of charisma, if not for the fact that:

        a) his supporters believe he has a lot charisma;
        b) no amount of charisma can hide the documented record of what he really believes.

        And I don’t know what Obama has to do with this. Have you forgotten what country you live in?

        • I might have agreed with you about Harper’s lack of charisma, if not for the fact that: a) his supporters believe he has a lot charisma

          His supporters believe he has a lot of charisma? This is true for almost every politician, so it doesn’t exactly strengthen your argument.

          And I don’t know what Obama has to do with this. Have you forgotten what country you live in?

          When you made your dubious generalization you were referring to all politicians, not just Canadian politicians. Silly me – I chose to interpret your words literally, which is clearly a fruitless endeavour.

          • This is true for almost every politician, so it doesn’t exactly strengthen your argument.

            That’s an assertion, not an argument. If you’re going to start picking nits with what I’ve said, then it behooves you to do better.

            When you made your dubious generalization you were referring to all politicians, not just Canadian politicians. Silly me – I chose to interpret your words literally, which is clearly a fruitless endeavour.

            Well, serves you right for making assumptions of what context I may or may not have had in mind when I wrote that, Mr/Ms. Critical Reasoning. The World is a very complex place. Politics and culturally-determined notions such as charisma and what people look for in leaders vary enormously. For future reference, if I generalise about politics and politicians, please assume I’m speaking as a Canadian.

          • That’s an assertion, not an argument.

            *rolls eyes, wanders off…*

          • *rolls eyes, wanders off…*

            Glad that’s over with.

          • I dunno if you guys bicker as a hobby or something, but CR’s points were all well taken. Why on earth wouldn’t one look at Obama? Why on earth wouldn’t one judge charisma based on everyone’s views, rather than those of their supporters? Quite apart from which, lots of Tories are perfectly on board with the (admittedly simplistic) stereotype of Harper as amusingly uncharismatic.

            Although, of course, a knack for the attack and being well spoken are enough to qualify as fairly charismatic in our political arena. It’s less that he lacks it than that he’s disliked and has a satire-based label as woodenly uncharismatic, from 22 Minutes, Mercer, his own participation in the joke, etc.

    • “Ignatieff’s someone you’d like to have a kir royal with”

      That’s prettty funny.

      • er, “pretty.” As in very.

  3. I am imprissed that Aaron is able to “know” what I imagine leadership to sound like..

  4. Well, I guess that ends the debate over whether noted leadership expert Ralph Blaese prefers Dion or Ignatieff. I was so curious about what Ralph Blaese thinks on the matter. Can you believe Ralph Blaese picked Ignatieff? Ralph Blaese, of all people! Shocking! This is an endorsement of epic proportions, I’m not sure why the international press hasn’t picked up on it yet.

    Way to earn that paycheck, Aaron.

    • They’re still waiting to hear in from Edith Petric, Olaf. THEN you have a media feeding frenzy.

      • Just wait till Michael gets the nod from Oprah. At which pt i’ll convert to catholicism in order to really pay for my liberal sins. Never happen anyway. Iggy’s too much of a snob, thank god!

  5. I sometimes wish Wherry would jump in on this own blog and explain what the point of a rather cryptic post is. Maybe he’s making fun of small-town journalism? Remember, this is Orillia, the Canadian archetype for self-satisfied parochialism.

    • I sometimes wish Wherry would jump in on this own blog and explain what the point of a rather cryptic post is.

      The clue is usually in the title.

      Maybe he’s making fun of small-town journalism?

      In which case, I would owe him an apology. Which he will never get. Because apologising is for the weak.

      • The clue is usually in the title.

        But maybe the title is cryptic. What, oh what, Olaf, are we to do in that case?

    • Gordon Lightfoot should feel snubbed. I think he is owed an apology.

      It seems to me Aaron (or was it Chris) covered the Dion campaign stop last Fall at the Saturday Orillia farmer’s market which was funny to me at the time as I had been there and recognized what he was describing. Apparently, at the time, the local green candidate was offended because this was apparently “green territory” , well, amongst the organic farmers at least.

      More Sunshine sketches of a little town.

      • HEY! Quit dissing the home town. Its not our fault we had a funny story written about us and our self-satisfied parochialism. I love the farmer’s market. Well, I love that the library is at the farmer’s market, so the grocery shopper can shop while I read.

  6. I thought the post was intended to be ironic. It is, after all, about a guy from Orillia talking about how he can relate to Michael Ignatieff… who started his speech with: “This town will be forever associated with Stephen Leacock…”

    His point, I think, is that Ignatieff is not inherently easier to relate to than Dion (if anything it is the other way around – Dion was neither rich nor famous nor jetset). Rather, Ignatieff is better-looking, more charismatic and English – when you have that going for you, people will assume the rest.

  7. The key point is that we can actually *understand* in a purely linguistic sense what Ignatieff is saying. This is surely a huge leap forward.

    We can worry about the content later on.

    • Yes, because Canadians are so unused to hearing people speak with a noticeable French accent.

      I’m surprised this degree of parochialism is still found in Canada.

      • Chretien had a much stronger accent than Dion, but won 3 majority governments. A fair proportion of English-Canadian people said that Lucien Bouchard or Gilles Duceppe “won” various debates, and nobody disputes the oratorical skill of Rene Levesque (who had a very strong accent).

        Dion’s problem was not one of language. His problem was that he was:
        1. Uncharismatic and looked weak (like Joe Clark)
        2. As a result of 1 he tried to be more aggressive in speech, and ended up coming off as petulant (for instance his response to “Mr. Speaker, we get our mandate from the Canadian people, not separatists”)
        3. He won leadership being the second choice of everybody and first choice of nobody. When the chips were down he had no loyalists in caucus. This had its greatest impact at the riding association level – he had no party organization, thus no money, thus b-grade campaign ads and poor GOTV.
        4. He made bad choices on the issues, emphasizing the environment, where his own party’s record was bad, where he had to compete with 3 greener parties, and when the issue’s importance had peaked. He de-emphasized issues where he had greater credibility and expertise, like federalism (he probably should have led the charge against the Quebec nation motion). His notion was that he could win by galvanizing the left behind him – his problem is that in most of the country, the Liberals are not the natural alternative to the Tories, and where they were (eg. the 905), he had ceded the center.
        5. He made horrible tactical choices, like the deal with May; like abstaining on budgets he said were bad (he should have tried to negotiate amendments that were popular, and castigated the Tories for not following suit); like the logistic fiasco at the start of the ’08 election; or like the coalition (although he had nothing to lose at that point).

        Dion’s language (anyhow his problem is more listening than speaking) is just an easy answer to draw upon for instapundits that can’t believe any sane person would vote not-Liberal in the first place.

        (Dion could have won if he used his natural, less emotive speaking style; actually reformed the Liberal party internally; did not pick issues based on recent polls that ignore salience and staying power; and ran as a centrist).

        • His ad showing him cross country skiing by himself, engaging in floor hockey (often talk of going off fishing), and the failed attempt to score on the Quebec talk show host? in a demonstration of his road hockey skills only reinforced his in introverted, nerdish, go it alone, “no close friends” image. Internal problems resulted from his inability to consult, and if so, with the wrong people (G. Turner, E. May etc)

          • 1. To an extent I do think he was communicating less effectively than Jean Chretien. The reasons can be debated but it was always a problem and didn’t see the improvement I hoped for. Needless to say there’s a yawning double standard at play here but it’s still arguable reason number 1.

            2. Gasoline prices spiked horribly immediately before an election, effectively performing the carbon-pricing (for a couple of months) all by itself. This was extremely, extremely bad luck. Had it been a normal year for oil prices it’s quite possible that the chattering classes wouldn’t have snowballed against the wisdom of the environment as a central political axis. There was a time when he was hailed as a masterful risk taker for it.

            3. The division of political support among 5 fundamentally viable parties in a FPTP system meant the Liberals were fighting for, at best, a microscopic minority, and it wasn’t something enough people believed in. When there’s that little red meat to wave in front of a party that believes in better government through crushing victories, it’s a problem.

            The beating a decent, admirable man like Dion got, inside and outside my party, eats me. I worked hard that election and yet watching the results I still felt like I let a good man down.

        • I think Dion should have simply opted to not speak English at all, or rarely.

          But that, I’m sure, would have been unacceptable.

  8. I’m kinda hoping that some genius with photoshop skills takes the time to fit Ignatieff with the appropriate facial hair ( leave the eyebrows alone ) just to see how close the resemblance would be to Honest Abe Lincoln. I think it could be scary close.

    • Hmm!!! And a little within Michael’s range, then say putting on a fringed jacket and paddling the Mackenzie, don’t ya think?

      • Sam Waterston or Will Rogers, although with Rogers the resemblance it only shows up from certain angles, and better in film than still.

  9. Slightly off topic, but Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek has an article this week about Canada and how the world should be emulating us because we haven’t been hit hard by world financial collapse. At the end of his article, Zakaria writes that Canadian officials are trying to get “councils of the financial world” to implement our rules and regs.

    This would be leadership but I haven’t heard anything about it in Canadian msm. Not sure if Zakaria is talking out of his arse or if Canadian msm is ignoring the initiative because it doesn’t fit in with their Cons/Little Englanders narrative.

    • Slightly off-topic?

    • Maybe Mr. Zacharia doesn’t know that Canada doesn’t even have a national securities regulator , or that we are becoming known as the scam centre of the Americas , or that our “responsible” government had to be shocked into providing a half-hearted fraction of a stimulus package that it had committed to , or that we had a deficit before the stimulus was even considered, or ………

      I think I vote for arse option.

      • Maybe Mr. Zacharia doesn’t know that Canada doesn’t even have a national securities regulator , or that we are becoming known as the scam centre of the Americas , or that our “responsible” government had to be shocked into providing a half-hearted fraction of a stimulus package that it had committed to , or that we had a deficit before the stimulus was even considered, or …

        Zacharia covered all that when he called Canada “boring.”

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