‘The daily bread of politics’


Robert Fulford is unimpressed.

In 1987, the 40-year-old Michael was an academic and a journalist, little more than a footnote to a narrative focussed on his grandparents, Count Paul Ignatieff and Princess Natasha and the revolution that forced them into exile. But in 2009 he’s a star. He’s the fourth generation mentioned in the subtitle and his prose indicates that he’s conscious at every moment of the impression he’s making on potential voters. Even the title qualifies as an election slogan. Five years ago “true patriot love” would have been an ironic or hopelessly banal label for the work of a sophisticated intellectual like Ignatieff. But now that he’s in politics those words, while still mawkish and obvious, seem almost appropriate.


‘The daily bread of politics’

  1. “At one point, mentioning certain failures of Canadian life, he says: “Despite these challenges, or because of them, most of us [Canadians] are quietly but intensely patriotic.” How the hell can he know that? Did he do a poll? And if someone’s patriotism happens to be quiet, how can he know it’s also intense? He can’t, of course, and probably wouldn’t even try to defend that sentence if challenged in public.”

    The line Fulford has a problem with is one that really resonates with me. I don’t beat my chest about Canada, but I do have a great love for it, and will certainly fight to defend it. It happens with great frequency for me….I’ve been working abroad now for almost a year.

    • Abroad for a year, eh? You better watch it–pretty soon you won’t be Canadian enough.

  2. And if you’re gonna quibble about Canada, you better do it in letters to the editor at the NY Times or Wall Street Journal, because obviously that’s beyond the borders of patriotic convection.

  3. Aah, yes. The same Robert Fulford who supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and who infamously trashed David Cronenberg before he became one of our more celebrated film auteurs. Why should I care what Fulford has to say?

Sign in to comment.