Why Michael Ignatieff should be more like George Costanza - Macleans.ca

Why Michael Ignatieff should be more like George Costanza

Or Corp. Klinger, cause taffeta works wonders on tall men.


It’s been a rough go for Michael Ignatieff. He came into political life like some suave fella all full of brains and handsome and by now he’s got to be feeling like Sideshow Bob being smacked in the face with the sixth rake and, oh, look, there’s three more lying there on the ground.

There’s no denying it: Ignatieff is in a tough spot right now. He’s so low in the polls that he can see Gilles Duceppe’s bald spot. But you know who else is often in a tight spot? Sitcom characters. And yet they always seem to finagle their way out of it. Maybe it’s time for Michael Ignatieff to stop following the advice of political strategists and start learning from the titans of the small screen.

Tip No. 1: Do the opposite of what you’d normally do (George Costanza/Seinfeld) – George was the ultimate loser until he started denying his every impulse. Doing so made him attractive and popular. So when Ignatieff feels the urge to issue another ultimatum or threat, he shouldn’t. When he’d normally skew toward hyperbole, he should pursue measured discourse. And when he thinks the eyebrows are good for another couple weeks, no, time for a trim.

Tip No. 2: Get Peter Frampton to serenade Canada with the song Baby I Love Your Way (Peter Griffin/Family Guy) – After golfing on his anniversary, Peter has an epiphany (thanks to a lighting strike and, indirectly, Death’s hectoring mother) and realizes how important his wife is to him. He wins her back by enlisting the strumming services of the 1970s’ rock icon. Ignatieff needs to execute a similarly showy display of affection for Canada. Because we’re a generous people, Canadians will also accept the boom-box-above-the-head-playing-Peter-Gabriel approach.

Tip No. 3: Dress like a woman (Corp. Klinger/M*A*S*H) – Okay, this never actually paid off and Klinger never actually got out of the army, but bottom line is taffeta works wonders on tall men.

Tip No. 4: Pretend to be gay (Jack Tripper/Three’s Company) – Confronted by internal dissent? Under attack for your poor performance in the polls? Caught putting the moves on a hot blonde?  Jack Tripper taught us that no mess is too far gone that it can’t be saved with some exaggerated limp-wristedness. Ignatieff can start by declaring the next budget faaaaahbulous and asking his caucus to make the Mr. Roper “Tinkerbell” gesture in his presence. Also, more pratfalls. One complicating factor: Declaring that the kisses are hers and hers and his moves the Liberals uncomfortably close to socialism.

Tip No. 5: Wear an onion on your belt (Grampa Simpson/The Simpsons) – Because that was the style at the time.

Tip No. 6: Order live turkeys to be thrown from a helicopter (Mr. Carlson/WKRP in Cincinnati) – As God is his witness, he thought an election on the issue of Employment Insurance would fly.

Tip No. 7: Wake up to discover it was all a horrible dream – Worked for Bob Newhart.


Why Michael Ignatieff should be more like George Costanza

  1. Tip No. 8: Engage in light treason/em> (George Bluth Sr./Arrested Development) – Wait, no, he might have already covered that with spontaneous declarations of British or American identity.

    • Awsome one!

  2. Tip No. 9: Challenge Harper to a shootout and then show up naked. (Rent-a-Goalie)

  3. Tip No. 10: Meet with the Fonz in the washroom at Arnold's.

  4. Re-unite with an old army buddy. (Mannix) On second thought, that never worked well for Mannix either.

  5. Put on a blond wig for public outings and secretly lead two separate lives. Miley Ignatieff during the day – Hanna Ignatieff at nights.

  6. Tip No. 11. Move to a de-luxe apartment in the sky.

  7. Using everyday objects such as toothpicks, paper bags and toenail clippings, put together a few policies (MacGyver).

  8. Torture the head of the government to tell you what you need to know. (Jack Bauer/24)

  9. I drifted off after the 27th pop culture reference.

    Short 'n peppy, Feschuk. Think Twitter.

    • Suck it.

      (Zippy enough?)

      • FAIL! Lol…

    • Do you have ADD or something? The only time I ever see comments by you, they are complaints about word length.

      • Not this time.

        Very succinct. Bravo!

  10. Soory folks … I just don't see Iffy as George it doesn't work … having said that … Kramer – now that has potential show Iffy sliding into harper office and keep sliding all the way through the room and out thw window = now this has some potential, maybe a quick stop at the fridge to check out if any OJ is left in the carton and walk head first into the door ledge or some such!

    • Or you could do this.

    • I'm with you psiclone!

  11. Don't act superior when in the company of inferior people / Archie Bunker

  12. Iffy could do himself a world of difference if he simply accepted the fact that the Conservative party is the government and his prospects are limited to put it kindly.

    Having recognized that he could reach a rapproachment with Harper by suggesting to Harper that he and his party want to work together for the betterment of Canada. That they will cooperate on legislation working together with them to put forward the best legislation that can be given regardless of ideology.

    When it is time for an election then let the chips fall where they may.

    The current strategy is not working for Iffy and the Libs and unless they do something meaningful they are going to get creamed in the next election no matter how many faux scandals they tried to create.

    • Is there some kind of prize or reward for commenting seriously on one of Feschuk's humour columns?

      Cuz if there is, I think you won.

      • 24hr ‘on’ switch.

  13. never happen – way to logical and chock full of common sense so the LPT backroom boys club would rule it out faster than Bobby R. sharpening his poltical ginzo knife every morning.

  14. Tip number 12: Go on a snipe hunt (Frasier Crane, Cheers). At least the walk in the woods may help clear your head. Tip number 12.5: don't do it in winter, lest people accuse you of taking a walk in the snow.

  15. Or he could turn to the lowest critter in town and ask for populist advice…(Starsky & Hutch and Huggy Bear) Opps, sorry, Kinsella fills that niche.

  16. Another example of Liberals turning on Liberals.

    • Or, another example of a political humourist writing funny stuff about a politician.

  17. All that can save him now is some of Judge Harry Stone's magic.

  18. Someone has to tell Iggy he has to quit playing the Wylie Coyote.

    • You mean "Wile E."?

      • Beep Beep….my bad. Your right. :)

  19. Get the party planning committee into action, a la Michael Scott.

    Stephen Harper can take the Dwight Schrute role.

  20. Appoint Coderre to be Assistant Weekend Quebec caucus chairman, but Coderre has to do it without wearing a shirt. Drink heavily therafter.

    • This has real potential. On the other side of the House (or trailer park) Haper would get Flaherty some glasses and he could become The Green Bastard (Bubbles); John Baird as Ricky and Maxime Bernier as Julian. Hilarity ensues.

      • Poilievre and Kenney could be Cory & Trevor

        Guergis could be Lucy and Rona Ambrose could be Sarah.

        Diane Finley could be Lahey's ex-wife

  21. Tip 13: Buy a bar where everybody knows your name and they are ALWAYS GLAD you came….

  22. Tip 14: A Three Hour Tour!

    • LOL!

    • Or the Cone of Silence?

  23. Lighten up. Let his hair down. Maybe join Al bundy at the nudie bar?

  24. or put on some glasses, expose that thunder bolt on his forehead and yell "expectus patronum!"

  25. Tip No. 512

    Attack the statues at 24 Sussex Drive in the interest of fighting racism (George Lopez's mother/George Lopez)

    In other news, doesn't Harper kind of remind you of Anna from V? You know, he seems all nice but you know your going to end up as dinner instead of for dinner. And you're certain that everything that's coming has already happened back in the eighties.

  26. Hmmm, Ignatieff's lean and lanky.
    Adopt Cleese's ministry of silly walks routine. That should bring the HoC down.

  27. Iggy's got some 'splainin' to do.