'Suggesting otherwise is offensive'

Three political strategists discuss what comes next. Leslie Campbell takes the opportunity to wax philosophic.

The Conservative Ignatieff.me campaign is unfortunate because it brings politics into further disrepute, as if things weren’t bad enough already. Don’t get me wrong — Michael Ignatieff”s background, qualifications, opinions and previous policy statements are all fair game. But saying that “he’s in it for himself” is unfair and calls into question the motivation of all politicians. Everyone has their failings, and some politicians are manifestly unqualified, but most Canadians enter public life because they believe they have something to contribute to the country. Suggesting otherwise is offensive.

The Conservatives are soiling their own nest. If Mr. Ignatieff’s motivations are selfish, what does that say about other party leaders and other members of Parliament? Why does ridicule and childishness have to be the modus operandi of political debate? Why not weave the salient portions of Mr. Ignatieff’s biography into a more substantial form of discussion? The same points could be made, but without resort to personal attacks.

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