Glen Pearson tries to explain Michael Ignatieff.
In truth, Michael Ignatieff is hovering. Like Lester Pearson or Pierre Trudeau, his vision of Canada contains huge portions of how the world sees us as a nation. Some claim he hasn’t been in Canada enough, but others sense that this is, in fact, his genius and strength. The media claims he waits because he’s tentative; others say he does so because he refuses to play with the regular toys with which political leaders entertain themselves. Lost in our domestic troubles, many wait for him to prescribe his cure for their ills. But with Stephen Harper this would be suicide – his attack machine is at the ready. Instead, Ignatieff holds out his lofty vision in hopes that Canadians themselves will rise above the political foolishness of the moment. We are part of a bigger world; our strengths are ignored by Ottawa at present; the only way we can overcome this national struggle is “together” – a nation unified. More than the other leaders, Ignatieff is an intuitive leader – not for what is politically astute but for what is nationally possible.