'That choice is now his' - Macleans.ca
 

‘That choice is now his’


 

Glen Pearson considers Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize, Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff.

Politics is desperately in need of game-changers – leaders who go for the impossible as opposed to the prudent, for principle over power, peace over pragmatism. Stephen Harper can never be that person because he’s an incrementalist, attempting not to change the channel but to just bore us with all the noise in hopes we won’t catch on to the subtle changes he’s introducing. To accomplish his agenda, he requires stealth.  Michael Ignatieff is the only leader close enough to forming government who has the potential to inspire us once again. But for that to happen he mustn’t be so much defined by politics as transcending it. That choice is now his.


 

‘That choice is now his’

  1. Get a life.

    Barack Obama WAS inspiring until unemployment in his country kept climbing and climbing and climbing. Meanwhile it just went down three decimal points in Canada.

    Who cares about all that. I'll take boring, steady leadership that out performs the dismal global economic situation any day.

  2. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows:
    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee, in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes, and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  3. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee, in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes, and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for it's misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  4. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows:
    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee, in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes, and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  5. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee, in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes, and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  6. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee, in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes, and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for it's misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  7. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee (in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes) and Obama's acceptance as yet another narcissistic sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for it's misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  8. Yeah we need big thinkers in government, men of action, like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Franco, Kim Il-sung…

    • good point, the american left is so strangely reverant of people like mao, it's kind of a scary thing.

  9. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee (in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes) and Obama's acceptance as yet another sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for it's misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  10. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee (in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes) and Obama's acceptance as yet another sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for its misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history.

  11. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee (in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes) and Obama's acceptance as yet another sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for its misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history. It has contributed nothing positive, but rather accentuated the polarization now dominant in world politics.

  12. "And so the Nobel committee gave him “street cred” – an advance of moral capital …"

    The problem with this argument is as follows.

    Those of us who watched with dismay when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee honoured Carter, Arafat, and Gore do not see any "street cred" left in the prize. We see Obama's award as yet another underhanded political move by the committee (in defiance of Nobel's dying wishes) and Obama's acceptance as yet another sign of his overweening ego.

    Those who were not dismayed by the Nobel committee's prior idiocy are already caught up in Obama adulation. They needed no further "street cred" to support him.

    Therefore the prize accomplished nothing beyond confirmation of the disgust many of us already held for its misuse, the birth of skepticism on the part of many of Obama's erstwhile supporters, and reaffirmation for those (including Obama himself) who already view him as a messianic figure in world history. It has contributed nothing positive, but rather accentuated the polarization now dominant in world politics.

  13. "That choice is now his."

    I'm not so sure. Chantal Hebert on her blog yesterday said that many Liberal MP's are presently contemplating a Plan B who's name is Bob Rae. This is being talked about by everyone in the press although here at Blog Central it's like there appears to be some kind of informal gag order in place. No one here has posted about it or is talking about it. But it's out there. Iggy is very vulnerable at the moment. Indeed, he has never been more vulnerable than now.

    • OK, I give up. I've tried to find Hebert's blog from yesterday in which she says that many Liberal MPs are presently contemplating a Plan B whose name is Bob Rae without success. Are there any links anywhere to anyone in the press talking about this? Thanks.

      • I'm going to have to learn how to link. But if you google "le blogue de Chantal Hebert" you'll get it, but it is in French. A recent column by Vincent Marrissal's column in La Presse and there are some other ones in English but I don't remember them off hand.

    • The Conservatives would like nothing better than to see Rae as the leader of the Liberals.

      While Rae might make a better prime minister than Ignatieff, he is absolutely unelectable in Ontario – which is where the Tories are hoping to pick up seats to obtain their long-sought-after majority.

      I shudder to think what the anti-Rae attack ads would look like.

  14. Ughh….I just threw up a little bit on my mouth ….

  15. Wherry, why do you keep citing Pearson as though he's some sort of post-partisan deep thinker, and not just another extremely party-line backbencher who happens to have the time to blog?

  16. I never thought I would say this in a million years….rather see Rae as the leader!

  17. Wherry, why do you keep citing Pearson as though he's some sort of post-partisan deep thinker, and not just another party-line backbencher who happens to have the time to blog? I mean, even Garth Turner is typically more interesting (albeit not for the reasons he intends).

  18. hey don't forget the roots of the big thinkers with grand visions like Alexander The Great, Genghis Khan, All Hail Ceasar etc etc etc ….

  19. This might just be the single dumbest thing I've ever read on the internet. Congratulations!

  20. ‘Cuz it’s really worked so far.

  21. Wow, a Liberal hack that thinks Ignatieff is great! What next? A Liberal that likes taxing and spending?

  22. Yeah, because Harper had anything at all to do with Canada's performance. Here I was thinking that ordinary Canadians keeping their heads down, working hard, etc. was the reason. Oh, and the banking system being the best in the world, despite Harper's previous attempts to ruin it. Don't forget that as well!

  23. Or a Conservative that likes borrowing and spending.

  24. "Politics is desperately in need of game-changers – leaders who go for the impossible as opposed to the prudent"

    I don't know how many ways I find this thought to be stupid but here's two main ones:

    1) Traditionally 'game changers' bring death and destruction with them. Incremental change is the way to go.
    2) Why would I want my leader to focus on things that are impossible. I can certainly think of many ways I would rather our PM spends his time than coming up with cockamamy ideas that are unachievable.

    And how do you transcend politics, exactly, when you are a pol?

  25. So the criticism is now incrementalist…it used to be Harper was a radical reformer…what wil it be tomorrow? Oh, we will go back to the hidden agenda, the radical reformer who only acts like an incrementalist. Goodness you need a program to keep all this straight.

    I thought Pearson was decrying the personal only 2 weeks ago and now its down to the personal.

    Despite his studied "I am above it all" personna Glenn Pearson reveals himseld as a partisan like all the rest. Clearly being sanctimonious couldnt stay under control any longer.

    I have seen Obama, Ignatieff is no Obama.

  26. Glib moment: I thought that role was well-played by the NDP? *ducks and runs for cover*

    Seriously, though: it's one thing to put policy over politics, it's quite another to shove prudence to the wind. With all this budgetary spending and no real way for Canadians to know how much and where it's being spent, I would think that's where we are now.

  27. So the criticism is now incrementalist…it used to be Harper was a radical reformer…what will it be tomorrow? Oh, we will go back to the hidden agenda, the radical reformer who only acts like an incrementalist. Goodness you need a program to keep all this straight.

    I thought Pearson was decrying the personal only 2 weeks ago and now its down to the personal.

    Despite his studied "I am above it all" personna Glenn Pearson reveals himseld as a partisan like all the rest. Clearly being sanctimonious couldnt stay under control any longer.

    I have seen Obama, Ignatieff is no Obama.

    • I have seen Obama, Ignatieff is no Obama.

      Thank heavens for that! There is a chance that one day Ignatieff might lead a G7 country.

  28. "Politics is desperately in need of game-changers – leaders who go for the impossible as opposed to the prudent, for principle over power, peace over pragmatism."

    Allow me to be glib for a moment: I thought that role was well-played by the NDP?

    Seriously though, throwing prudence to the wind is how we end up with $60B deficits. Oh wait, we already have…

  29. Glen Pearson: Chicken Soup for the Commons.

  30. Link?

  31. Instead of some weak-minded name calling, why not explain yourself?

  32. Instead of some weak minded name calling, why not explain yourself?

  33. Rae is really plan D. He previously lost to Ignatieff, who had lost to Dion, who had lost to Harper, and is now being reincarnated as leadership material.

  34. Knick, just go Chantal's blog. As a longtime Rae supporter, I'd welcome the change, but as Rae said earlier, coronations typically don't end well and it would be high comedy if the Liberals tried again to cake on the lipstick… then again those just released Angus/reid leadership scores for Ingatieff are devastating.

  35. One very encouraging aspect of the Left beginning to advocate for a "game-changer" is the revelation that the game is not going their way. Those who once loved Chretien for his incrementalist approach to politics now claim that Harper's incrementalist approach is not what the country needs.

    The reality is that it's the direction of the incremental gains, not the fact that they are incremental, that has people like Pearson concerned. For someone like myself who has serious reservations about Harper's direction this is a good sign.

  36. One very encouraging aspect of the Left beginning to advocate for a "game-changer" is the revelation that the game is not going their way. Those who once loved Chretien for his incrementalist approach to politics now claim that Harper's incrementalist approach is not what the country needs.

    The reality is that it's the direction of the incremental gains, not the fact that they are incremental, that has people like Pearson concerned. For someone like myself who has serious concerns about Harper's direction this is a good sign.

  37. One very encouraging aspect of the Left beginning to advocate for a "game-changer" is the revelation that the game is not going their way. Those who once loved Chretien for his incrementalist approach to politics now claim that Harper's incrementalist approach is not what the country needs.

    The reality is that it's the direction of the incremental gains, not the fact that they are incremental, that has people like Pearson concerned. For someone like myself who has serious reservations as to whether Harper's direction is in the country's best interest, this is a good sign.

  38. The new jobs created were in construction and the public sector.

    Of course Harper had something to do with that. They actually have data on the jobs that are created you know ? The numbers lost, the numbers created, part time, full time, public or private sector.

    We're seeing a continued collapse in the private sector and Canada's economic action plan coming to the rescue with measures like the home renovation tax credit and a variety of infrastructure projects.

    • "With little fanfare, the Harper government announced that last year it recorded the first annual budget defecit – $5.8 biliion – in over a decade"

      It would appear that we were already in defecit before the recession (we were going to skirt) even landed. Did Harper have anything at all to do with that?

      It seems that "boring, steady leadership" also means "can't tell the truth"

  39. One very encouraging aspect of the Left beginning to advocate for a "game-changer" is the revelation that the game is not going their way. Those who once loved Chretien for his incrementalist approach to politics now claim that Harper's incrementalist approach is not what the country needs.

    The reality is that it's the direction of the incremental gains, not the fact that they are incremental, that has people like Pearson concerned. For righties like myself who have serious reservations as to whether Harper's direction is in the country's best interest, this is a good sign.

  40. Who's calling anybody names? Read my comment again, you'll note that I said your statement was dumb, not you.

    Personally, I think that if anyone needs to explain themselves it's the guy who just compared Barack Obama (and Michael Ignnatieff) to Stalin, Hitler and Mao…but that's just me.

  41. I read this, and I too wish to be inspired by a Liberal leadership that has teeth.

    "Politics is desperately in need of game-changers – leaders who go for the impossible as opposed to the prudent, for principle over power, peace over pragmatism"

    Sigh…..

    Then I read from Michael Geist's blog about how the Liberals are lobbeying for watering down C-27, Canada's anti-spam legislation:

    "The copyright lobby's interest in the bill has been simmering since its introduction, with lobbyists attending the committee hearings and working with Liberal and Bloc MPs to secure changes. The two core concerns arise from fears that the bill could prevent surreptitious use of DRM and block enforcement initiatives that might involve accessing users' personal computers without their permission."

    Sigh……

    I've wanted to believe, but it seems like things are the same old?

    • It's actually on her blog at the French magazine L'Actualité, le blogue de Chantal Hébert.

  42. Where do I compare Obama to Stalin, Hitler, Mao et al.?

    I questioned Pearson's premise that we need game changers who go for the impossible, rather than choosing leaders for what they stand for and their ability to deliver their plan. I would say Pearson is completely flawed in his assessment that Ignatieff and Obama are not pragmatists.

  43. You did nothing of the sort….maybe you are making that observation NOW, but you certainly weren't when you said "Yeah we need big thinkers in government, men of action, like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Franco, Kim Il-sung… "

    Don't like getting called out on your absurd rhetoric eh?

  44. I see, you read a whole bunch of things into what I said, like references to Obama, I call you on it, and you tell me what I really thought.

    Sorry, the observation I made all along had to do with Pearson's confused notion that we need game-changers who go for the impossible, look at my examples. Your failure to comprehend what I said and your projection of things I never said is your failure.

  45. Ignatieff isn't Obama. Liberals don't seem to have figured that out. He's not inspirational, he doesn't have anything game changing, and he's in this for power. The timing of his return tells us very clearly that he came back to Canada for one reason: he wants to run it. That's not a vision to inspire people with.

    Given that Ignatieff is, in policy terms, not extremely different from Harper, it's hard to understand claims that he could be a "game-changer".

    • I think that Ignatieff in this because he has some vague notion that he ought to perform public service. It's a bit woolly-headed, but you can't fault the motive.

      I find it fascinating that many of Ignatieff's detractors accuse him of only being in politics for the power, and that many of Harper's detractors are saying exactly the same thing. My biggest problem with Harper is that he appears to be placing Party over Country – or, alternatively, believing that Party and Country are one and the same. The GST reduction is an example of this – it put the country in a fiancial hole, but it scored points with swing voters.

      This is like trying to make your child like you by serving him or her pizza and ice cream for dinner every day.