32

Pollyanna


 

Silly Michael Ignatieff, still believing in people and things.

Still, insiders say, Mr. Ignatieff initially wanted to trust Mr. Harper, believing he was sincere that he wanted changes to the system.

“I think Michael genuinely believed that if Harper showed some interest in his employment insurance stuff … Michael’s plans might have looked a lot different,” a senior Liberal strategist said. “There is a Pollyanna quality to Michael that shouldn’t be underestimated.”


 

Pollyanna

  1. I'd think the issue is less "believing in people and things" generally than a lack of any attention to what people or things he apparently believes in. There are surely some honest brokers in Canadian politics – but if anything isn't "Pollyanna" too timid a term for somebody who thinks Stephen Harper could possibly fit into the category in light of his track record? (I'll suggest "grossly negligent" as an alternative.)

    • You mean like people who vote non confidence 79 times, tell everyone you can't "trust" Harper and then suddenly go tothe microphones like somebody stole his lunch and argue we need to "make Parliament work"?

      • How did Iggy describe the practice of the NDP for rejecting any proposal before reading? Does this mean the Liberal Party and Iggy are now channeling Rodney Dangerfield?

        No Respect?

      • The difference would be that Layton recognizes that any chance of getting better results out of Harper relies on appealing to his own self-interest and seeking verifiable results to take trust out of the equation, rather than honestly expecting him to govern better out of the goodness of his heart. And if Ignatieff has been that gullible all along, there isn't much reason for optimism the next time he gets the chance to give Harper the benefit of the doubt.

  2. Conservatives should send that "senior Liberal strategist" a nice present. How can anyone be considered a strategist and lob that quote to the opposition? (Or how can a strategist with those tendencies get to be senior?)

    That said, in all the discussions about what a dufus Ignatieff was wrt EI reform and how awkward he looked back in the spring, I don't recall anyone noting the opposition day thing. It would be interesting to know if he was thinking that far ahead… guess we will have to wait for the book.

    Questions for the experts: How binding are agreements such as these on the parties?
    Are the agreements themselves public documents?

    • If the Liberal campaign is going to be focussed on being the positive, forward thinking. colloborative party, there's worse things than planting a seed that your leader genuinely listens to others and wants to work with them. Because people will reflexively do the comparison to Harper. And I don't care if he spends all his free time playing piano for orphans, his track record on the job speaks for itself.

    • If the Liberal campaign is going to be focussed on being the positive, forward thinking. collaborative party, there's worse things than planting a seed that your leader genuinely listens to others and wants to work with them. Because people will reflexively do the comparison to Harper. And I don't care if he spends all his free time playing piano for orphans, his track record on the job speaks for itself.

      • I agree completely … but the obvious counter attack against "a big Canada" theme is that Ignatieff will be pushing impractical, poorly thought out, financially crazy ideas. Perhaps it is just me but "Pollyanna" carries those connotations and sums them up in a catchy word that would likely have found Conservative talking points anyway given their accusations of positivity bias against Ignatieff.

        • Fair enough.

          I suppose it will all come down to the party who can most successfully drive the "narrative." Can Harper treat Iggy as another Dion and make it work? (Problem is, they can't play up the "power mad" Machiavellians angle at the same time, at least easily). Can the Liberals sell the message that Harper & Co. are toxic to the economy, national unity, or international standing, and a functional parliament? (Their problem will be that Harper's regime has been fairly scandal free, and has done pretty well by sitting on their hands when possible. Hard to create a groundswell impression of gross incompetence in that light.)

          • No, SeanStok. The Liberals' problem (the country's, really) is that almost every week brings a new, tiny mini-scandal from the Harper regime. Something you would be outraged about, if you'd gotten over being outraged last week, and are still too tired to mount the energy. The incompetence isn't "gross" its just continuous.

          • Nothing that's registered much with ordinary Canadians – for whom a scandal has to transcend the appearance of partisan disagreement and truly enrage them on a moral level.

            Preaching to the choir will not advance the Liberals. Not one bit.

          • Jen – you don't think Flaherty's absolutely wilfully blind ignorance of the state of the economy back in October – then in November, December, January and even up to two days ago – when he spoke after the G20 Finance ministers meeting – he's still got the blinkers on…
            If that isn't consistent and gross and wilful ignorance – because it doesn't fit his ideological bent – I don't know what is…

  3. Right…..this contradicts the stories being floated that the deal was some cunning stunt to get an opposition day in September.

    This story is a cover…the sudden Special Order meetings for the committees revealed the true intent. For whatever reason they look to be intent on forcing an election on their opposition day in September.

    Now whether the Liberals have a deal with the other two parties to rotate who gets to try to negotiate something out of the government I have no idea. Since it would appear to not be in anyone's immeadiate interest to actually have an election, but it is in some people's interest to look like they'll force an election at various times.

    Of course maybe MI is that naive, or inexperienced (my bet is on the latter). Now imagine this guy being responsible for negotiating a deal with another government, or even in keeping the provinces honest…….

  4. Keeping the provinces honest? When has any Canadian federal government ever showed an inclination to do that?

    Provincial governments have fewer checks and balances than almost any democratic jurisdiction in the world, and they emerge from every negotiation with more powers and more transfer payments.

  5. Geez, giving someone the benefit of the doubt and the chance to prove he's upfront – I say that's a positive.

    Harper had his chance – he blew it.

    • What a fantasy the Liberal Party of Toronto is living. Count Iffy as upfront and positive? Harper did not blow it and in fact he will blow Count Iffy right out of the water come election time. The Liberal Party of Toronto is dead and on life support in the West. Now Count Iffy is trying to tell his lonely Liberal candidates in B.C. to push that the new HST tax as a "Harper tax" when we all know it is a Liberal tax. The Liberals are hated here right now with their 2 new taxes so good luck in the election. Hedy Fry – crosses burning in Prince George – goodbye. Ujjal Dosanjh – who won by 20 votes – goodbye. Count them – only 7 Liberals east of Toronto – pretty pathetic showing for a party that is suppose to represent all of Canada but wait no – it is The Liberal party of Toronto not Canada – just ask Warren (Chinese serve cats in their restaurants) Kinsella. I'd say the only thing positive is that we are going to have a mjaority for Harper.

      • First of all – try to be a grown up and quit using the grammar school namecalling. Secondly, Harper/Flaherty have pretty much forced the HST.

        And, you sure as hell need some new talking points.

        Do you really want to go into past stuff of MP's? Not hard to do and the Cons have some really interesting stuff via Anders, Lewsnicki (sp?), etc.

        So, cut the garbage – grow up

  6. Let’s hope voters insist parties genuinel co-operate in future parliament.

    • I'm the idealist in the room, and even I think that's Pollyanna-ish. But I'll hope right along with you.

      • Jenn took the words right out of my mouth. Dave's comment was the definition of a Pollyanna quality, sad to say.

  7. I agree with the poll on this website to the right! Whoever causes an election this fall will NOT get my vote.

    • So you'll be voting for a candidate representing one of the parties currently not represented in parliament, I take it?

      • There is such a thing as spoiling your ballot in protest, y'know.

  8. Another hard hitting column from Taber, I see. Iggy's insiders have his 'itis' -saying multiple things that at same time. How can Iggy be pollyanna and start preparing for autumn election months ago at same time?

    dreidel, dreidel, dreidel (stolen from Kaus).

    • Not sure if I am an insider… becoming a fan though. As one, the reason I like this opposition day bit is that it helps convince me that my worst fears wrt Ignatieff are unfounded. The Liberals have thrown two very good, very smart men up as leaders, neither of which was capable of managing the streetfighting side of Canadian politics. They turned out to be horrible leaders, in spite of their positive attributes. No question Harper is a brawler on par with Chrieten himself.

      Ignatieff is certainly an optimist and a dreamer. He might well have taken Harper for his word and genuinely believed that cooperative EI reform was possible. He might have felt it unlikely, but believed the Conservatives deserved the chance to make it work. He may well have intuited that Harper would put his most partisan MPs to work on the committee and had no intention of making it work and laid a snare for him. We will have to wait for the book to know.

      I am relieved because it appears Ignatieff was pragmatic and strategic enough to consider the “what if”. Btw, I agree this means he is no Pollyanna, but it does not mean he is not genuine and optimistic.

      • Iggy as Hope and Change…..which is what this leak was apar of. It is contradictory to the other leak, master strategist.

        Hey its worth a try, but it needs to be more than a slogan, and Iggy's personal story kind of lacks that uplifting narrative that Obama's has.

        I still think the campaigns to date have been targetted at Liberal, lapsed or otherwise, voters. The references to Pearson, what was up with that? And now this kind of reference to 150th birthday, ulm trying to recreate 1967…..nothing wrong with celebrating the birthday but seems to be nothing but an appeal to Iggy;s generation. Then again Mad Men is on TV so hey 60's retro is in.

        • Stewart – if I might extrapolate from your "belief" – maybe Mr. Ignatieff should also have the belief that an "arrangement" (his word) with the other centre / left parties opposed to Harper's style of governing would go a long way to convincing Canadians that – here at last – are some statesmen like politicians who are capable of putting aside partisan bickering in the interests of the good of the nation – but I'm just a dreamer – I guess…
          After all – it is evident that none of them are going to get a majority of seats – so some agreement up front would go some way towards transparency – and convince people that the Liberals are simply looking for raw power…

        • Stewart – if I might extrapolate from your "belief" – maybe Mr. Ignatieff should also have the belief that an "arrangement" (his word) with the other centre / left parties opposed to Harper's style of governing would go a long way to convincing Canadians that – here at last – are some statesmen like politicians who are capable of putting aside partisan bickering in the interests of the good of the nation – but I'm just a dreamer – I guess…
          After all – it is evident that none of them are going to get a majority of seats – so some agreement up front would go some way towards transparency – and convince people that the Liberals are NOT simply looking for raw power…

  9. Much as i’d like to see the end of the Harper regime ther’e definitely moments when the Iggy team makes me cringe – this is one such…Pollyanne? The stategist who uttered that remark should be collecting his pink slip now. You’re gonna run on a Big Canada ticket and you allow that expression to become associated with your visionary leader. Well, i hope that was their fifth string guy. Unfortunately Ignatieff has a taste for these cringable moments…serene was another one…pehaps calmly reviewing your optons was plain enough for the average voter. I’m sure it’s tough enough fighting an experienced incumbent PM without passing him unsolicited ammunition.

    • Oops! Pollyanna.

  10. But did they mention that the PM is actually kewl and can play the Stones on Piano?

  11. But did they mention that the PM is actually kewl and can play the Stones on the piano?

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