Deleted scenes (II) - Macleans.ca
 

Deleted scenes (II)


 

Several Liberal MPs spoke on the record and quite candidly about how they view their current conundrum. Rob Oliphant, the Liberal MP for Don Valley West, a United Church minister and a friend to Mr. Ignatieff, had several observations, a couple of which made it into the piece. This one did not.

He’s not a natural opposition leader, mind you very few people are … To me, in opposition you have to be angry, all the time. Michael is not an angry person. That’s not his personality. He doesn’t enjoy that. That’s very hard for him. It’s not a natural thing.

This is an interesting argument for probably a few reasons, but consider one way of looking at this: You could make the argument that Mr. Ignatieff is the only of the four current major party leaders who is not currently defined, or was not once primarily motivated, by a sense of anger or indignation. Messrs Harper, Layton and Duceppe all have that in their stories. The closest Mr. Ignatieff comes to that is the notion that “we can do better.”

A bit more from Mr. Oliphant, some of which appears slightly abridged in the print edition.

We’re having a hard time. There’s no doubt, we’re having a hard time. We’re not able to somehow convey the Michael that I know to the public. The biggest part seems to be that the Conservatives are brillaint at framing him in a way that is negative … We have not been able to get out the fact that he’s not in this for himself, he’s in this for public service. This is not an easy life. My god, he’s working 12 hours a day, seven days a week … But that’s our fault.

Michael, his whole life has depended on his intelligence. He is amazingly intelligent. He’s also curious … he’s more of a broadcast journalist than a professor… when you’re with him, he actually interviews you at times. So he’s depended on his intelligence and his curiosity. I think he has decided that intelligence isn’t really working for him, so he’s decided he has to be clever. And the people around him, I think, are trying to be clever. So they have this sort of chess game going on and they expect these certain moves and when the other side doesn’t make those moves, they’re kind of flummoxed. They just don’t know what to do … The other side’s not intelligent, but they are clever. What my perscription is be smart. And smart is different than clever or intelligence. Smart is what Chretien was. Smart is you don’t make decisions until you need to. Smart is you remember the people all of the time … We just have to be smart. Quit trying to out-clever the other guy, because the other guy is Machivellan, the other guy… there’s a moral bankruptcy there. He’ll do anything.

Frankly, he went through a leadership battle where he talked about some things and pretty much paid a price on them. So I think you get a little gun shy … The pendulum’s got to swing back down into the middle where he can be his authentic self. Which is an idea guy. That is my hope. My hope is that he can find his authentic voice. When I listen to him at times, it’s not the Michael I’ve heard before … He is who he is. But who he is right now isn’t coming through.


 

Deleted scenes (II)

  1. That is bang on. 100% what I would have said had you asked me Aaron. I hope Rob is telling that to Liberals and not just Maclean's. Unleash the lion!

  2. See, I think the last paragraph in the smaller font is generally why the left is generally disliked by anyone who isn't in their parochial social circles.

  3. While the analysis seems sound, I doubt its very candid. A strong compliment (no matter how seemingly backhanded) which also speaks to a big failing of the opponent is hardly the stuff of "let me let you in on a little party secret, here…"

  4. jeesh with troops like these no wonder Iffy just doesn't rate. Look let's be honest folks The Conservatives are not the cause of the LPT no showing … it is themselves – they are indeed their own worst enemy –

  5. "The closest Mr. Ignatieff comes to that is the notion that “we can do better.”

    Nope. It's the graceless notes when he says HE can do better: "[Harper's] singing is not all that much better than mine"

  6. "….Mr. Ignatieff is the only of the four current major party leaders who is not currently defined, or was not once primarily motivated, by a sense of anger or indignation. Messrs Harper, Layton and Duceppe all have that in their stories."

    Anger and indignation are the entirety of Harper's story. His image consultants are trying to blunt that, of course. (how much are taxpayers paying for them, btw. I remember it caused a bit of a stir a couple of years back when it came out that Harper had a couple of these on the payroll (Read: the taxpayers' payroll) but wouldn't divulge how much we were paying to make him look good.)

  7. So you're arguing that Harper's party is so dumb that they spent all that money on negative adverts to no effect?

    I suppose that's typical conservative economics. They don't like paying for things, so they pay for nothing.

  8. Haha well if she keeps pumping out work like that then she's worth every freakin' dime!!
    More importantly than image consultancy, who's Harper's anger management phychotherapist? Seem to me that a consistent narrative over the past 3 and half years is that the whole party cannot seem to get out of 'opposition mindframe' – which is but one of the reasons that they deserve to plopped back there…………….

  9. ""[Harper's] singing is not all that much better than mine"

    Yeah, this is so graceless, compared to a year's worth of stupid attacks.

  10. …"attack ads," that is.

    Harper has embarrassed Canadians for four years with his gracelessness.

  11. I don't think Ignatieff has it in him to be the lion. Unleash the other lions in the party. Martha Hall Findlay has that perfect hint of glee in her eyes when she's about to go after the Conservatives. Tap that kind of anger.

  12. Wow. A Liberal calling the Tories morally bankrupt? Thats just hilarious!

  13. No.

    A newly elected Liberal calling these Tories morally bankrupt.

    And really, can you honestly say that is there a single principle or promise left that Harper hasn't abandoned or broken?

  14. The Conservatives are not morally bankrupt. They're ethically bankrupt.

    So are their supporters. A whole demographic of pathologically dishonest people.

  15. I wouldn't go so far as to call Conservatives a whole demographic.

  16. You do realize that by posting such drivel you only encourage an undecided to consider voting CPC thus defeating the intent of your post ? or do you? are you old enough to vote?

  17. You just have so much hate for Harper that you can't see straight…and why Ignatieff can't get ahead…

  18. "Quit trying to out-clever the other guy, because the other guy is Machivellan, the other guy… there's a moral bankruptcy there. He'll do anything."

    That – right there in two sentences – is why I could never consider voting Liberal. I have a lot of quarrels with the Harper Conservatives… really a lot… but it's still conceivable that I could vote for them again. There is no such a slim chance with the Liberals even though I actually prefer Ignatieff over Harper as a person. Hell, Harper is just not that likeable, but he's head and shoulders above any other political leader on the scene right now.

    Liberals, it's not your leadership, it's you.

  19. They're ethically bankrupt. So are their supporters. A whole demographic of pathologically dishonest people.

    Luckily, most people are classy enough not to associate the Liberals and all their supporters with such a vile opinion as expressed by one of its supporters.

  20. All this navel-gazing by Liberals isn't going to produce much except more navel-gazing. If they can't figure out a way to show Canadians how they would do things differently from Harper, then they may as well just ride off into the sunset. And if the press can't do a better job of presenting the differences between the two parties, then they may as well take a ride too.