'More than simply not being Stephen Harper'

In the first of a two-part meditation, Bruce Anderson considers our hyper-simplified times and Michael Ignatieff’s situation.

I’m not one of those who think Mr. Ignatieff has had a terrible couple of months, but the next few could stand to be better. His personality is starting to develop some definition, not all of his doing. He’ll be seen as smart, but smart must be paired with equal measures of humility and purpose, or it can be more drawback than advantage.

In my mind, Mr. Ignatieff needs to evince passion, hope, determination, as well as brainpower. His deepest personal values need to be more on display. The best way to do that is to push a handful of big ideas onto the table. He can then demonstrate those qualities in the pursuit of something other than power itself. Looking passionate about power for its own sake is the fatal flaw of many political figures, the easiest weakness for voters to spot.