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The quotable Ignatieff


 

Canadian Press has now moved at least three stories on Michael Ignatieff’s town hall meeting in Halifax—one on his proposals for the economy, one on his thoughts about Israel, and now one on some of the Liberal leader’s more personal comments this evening.

Anyone want to guess whether CP managed three stories from a single public appearance of the Liberal leader when Stephane Dion was that leader?

Anyway. Take it away, Mr. Ignatieff.

On government cuts to literacy and his son: “If you allow me a little bit of raw political anger here to surface – that was one of the dumbest things I’ve seen during my time in Parliament. We would not do that … He has a problem, my own son. This impedes his capacity to succeed. He needs a lot of help. My wife and I have put a lot of investment into this to get this right. Every family needs help with that problem … We do not want a small businessman, a large factory owner to be sitting there, watching a kid come onto the shop floor and say, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know how to read this diagram.’ We just can’t afford this as a society. As the parent of someone who has watched a brave young man struggle with this his whole life, I don’t want this to happen to other Canadians.”

On his career as a freelance journalist: “I had four pots on the stove at any given time and sold intellectual products in the marketplace without any safety net. I know about being a small, self-employed businessman. People think I spent my life in a sheltered, ivory tower, but for 16 years I was out there thinking, ‘I’m not sure what I’m living on in three months.'”

Suggested topic for a future Harper/Ignatieff debate: Which of you can more convincingly claim to understand the experience of the small businessman?


 

The quotable Ignatieff

  1. wow, Iggy’s impressive

  2. Keen on literacy programs? Cool. Maybe we could help him learn to read the friggin’ Constitution and he can run for premier of a province.

    As to the mine-is-bigger-than-yours because my humble beginnings were humbler than your humble beginnings, I really wish all politicians would spare us.

    As to Israel, what little I’ve seen so far tonight (thanks to you, Aaron), I have been impressed.

    • Canadians willl always be held hostage to people like madeyoulook.

  3. Keen on literacy programs? Cool. Maybe we could help him learn to read the friggin’ Constitution and he can run for premier of a province.

    As to the mine-is-bigger-than-yours because my humble beginnings were humbler than your humble beginnings, I really wish all politicians would spare us.

    As to Israel, what little I’ve seen so far tonight (thanks to you, Aaron), I have been impressed.

  4. The only difference between Iggy and Dion is that Iggy can speak English.

    • Right Bruce. We Canadians do not tolerate would-be PMs with french accents.

  5. It depends how loosely you define the word “business”.

    Being a freelance journalist is in some ways comparable to being a small business owner (e.g. economic uncertainty) but it is not really the same thing.

    Running a nonprofit corporation with 17 employees (NCC) is in some ways comparable to running a small business, but it is not really the same thing.

    I think it’s a tie.

    • A freelance journalist may not be running a business per se, but he’s self-employed, like a small business owner. He’s more like an inventor or a start-up entrepreneur.

    • The difference is Harper didn’t say running the National Citizens Coalition was like running a small business, Harper just said he had run a medium sized business.

      The difference is Harper lied and Ignatieff didn’t. That is a big difference.

      • Clearly you haven’t run a mid-sized non-profit and in particular an organization like NCC which relies almost 100% on public donations – and I doubt that you have even run a business. You need to keep in touch with your members and provide good service to them (not unlike a business of any size), make sure that programming decisions are well planned because you have to self-finance them and there needs to be results or your customers (members) will not likely continue to support you if they do not see results. And what has Iggy run – some academic policy centre where I would be shocked, if the money to fund such a venture didn’t come directly from government/university – yeah that takes skills to request money from government and the university to support academics thinking about human rights.

        • How does anything you wrote address the fact that Harper lied and Ignatieff didn’t?

          If Harper had said he ran NCC which in some ways is like running a business, your comments would be relevant. He didn’t and they aren’t.

        • Harper deliberately misled people. He didn’t run a ‘medium sized business’ (leading people to think an organization that makes widgets or does tax returns for people, etc.). He ran a lobby organization. He is not an entrepreneur, but a professional lobbyist.

    • many freelance journalists have trouble paying bills, but I think Ignatieff also comes from money, so I doubt he was ever in the real dire situations that many of us face in uncertain times. As for Harper, running a lobby organization is not a business because there is no profit factor to consider, but it is still a management or entreprenuerial position.

  6. I hooked Mr Ignattiefs brain up to a computer last month, and the computer started beeping really loud and then it exploded.

  7. This week we are seeing the first indications that politicians are starting to comment on the exploding national debts in public. It is time for our political leaders to start explaining us where they see the exit. I’ve read an interesting related article on Crunchreport.com.

  8. Hi Aaron

    1) There’s a typo. Replace literary with literacy.

    2) I share your (implied) frustration with the lack of positive press (or even just reporting) when Stéphane was Lib leader. That party and the news media couldn’t stop unjustifiably ridiculing him long enough to recognise that man’s brilliance.

    • I’m sorry, I like the guy but he comes babblefish required. It was a rare occassion when he said something in English the press could clip effectively without bordering on parsing.

      • If you listened to him express his thoughts in French, though, he was brilliant. Maybe the fault is with us for not being a more effectively bilingual country (at least as far as media).

        Translators are a pretty easy to come by in this country. Media outlets ought to use them more effectively.

        If you listen to Harper speak French, he’s not so smooth either. But I’ve yet to read/hear Canadians complain about that.

  9. This will depend, very much, on (a) how many small businessmen are in either the Liberal or Conservative parties, and (b) which leader has a been line of communication to hear them out.

    At the moment, I’d say Harper has the edge, but if Iggy’s serious about reworking the Liberals, that could change by the end of the year.

  10. “He has a problem, my own son. This impedes his capacity to succeed. He needs a lot of help. My wife and I have put a lot of investment into this to get this right.”

    I don’t get this quote because it sounds like Iggy is saying the programs offered by government were not helpful to his son so they had to make other arrangements but he also seems to be saying we should keep these programs that aren’t effective.

    • he was speaking about cuts to literacy programs, so I think he was saying because the support is not already there, he and his wife have had to invest in it themselves.

  11. Wow . . Iggy is coming out of his Conservative closet.

    Good for him but tough for the Liberal Party. All those soft lefty, champagne & latte loving liberals are going to have a tough time stomaching Iggy as a Liberal.

  12. Yup, Wherry’s daily Iggy rant and Iggy haters delight.

  13. I agree with Baldygirl whole-heartedly re Mr. Dion. He is indeed a brilliant man, who rarely got a fair shake from the media etc. …to their everlasting shame. His English was at least as good as Mr. Harper’s French; it’s time we torpedoed this idiotic double standard. I for one would like to see Canada committed to a policy of enhanced bilingualism, coast to coast. No child is ever hurt by being MORE educated, for Pete’s sake…and if they are taught from a young age their brains absolutely absorb language; it’s only alot tougher to learn language when they’re teens!

    Anyhow, now we have Mr. Ignatief, and I just hope that he has the same passion to do the right things, not just for today but for our children’s tomorrows. And I hope Mr. Ignatief has Mr. Dion in mind for an important ministry post, such as the environment.

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