Saturday, December 02, 2006

Some Thoughts On Ignatieff

You must have a cold heart, or hatred fills your veins, if you didn't feel a tinge of sadness watching Michael Ignatieff in the moments before the vote. Apparently, the candidates knew the outcome minutes before the announcement, so it was interesting to watch Ignatieff as videos of past Prime Ministers played on the screen. Ignatieff was aware of the cameras, but on a few occasions you could see he was lost in thought. As the videos played, the reality hit Ignatieff and you could visibly see him well up.

The frontrunner is unkind ground, especially if you aren't a seasoned politican that shoots from the hip. Especially hurtful to watch as candidate after candidate moves to others and you are left wanting. An old friend abandons you, an upstart upsets the plans, everything went wrong for Ignatieff. I believe Michael Ignatieff is an honorable, incredibly gifted man, as evidenced by his grace in his defeat speech. I believe Michael Ignatieff geniunely wanted to contribute to making Canada great. I don't share some of the disdain for Ignatieff, because afterall his views were rooted within his own moral compass.

No leader has every lost from his position, an apparent organization unparalled in Canadian politics, and yet he does lose. Watching Ignatieff in the final moments, split-screened with Dion, you saw the two faces of every contest. So, while everyone focuses on the winner, a brief comment on the loser. Michael Ignatieff is a good man, a proud Canadian, who brought great ideas to the campaign. Hopefully, the Dion Liberals will find a place for Ignatieff, because he is an asset.


Larry Gambone said...

Yeah, moral compass alright - like supporting the war in Iraq, the use of torture and Thatcher's war against the coal miners. I am glad this a-moral pseudo-intellectual is not the leader of the Liberal Party. One neocon as PM is enough...

Simon Pole said...

What fills the veins of the dead children of Iraq?


Steve V said...


Steve V said...

BTW, he wasn't my choice. I was merely feeling empathy for another human being, my apologies. Michael Ignatieff is satan, I forgot.

Simon Pole said...

Not Satan, only Satan's helper (if you wish to use this analogy).

What damns him is that he had a choice -- he was Satan's willing helper.

Anonymous said...

I lost respect for him when his campaign tried to bring everyone down over his support of the nation resolution. Remember his campaign saying all four front runners had the same position. That was just crap. Remember his campaign saying the renewal commission had the same position. That was just crap. He was prepared to drag everyone else and the party down with him. I went from Dion as my first choice and Iggy as my second to Dion as my first choice and anyone but Iggy.

Steve V said...

I don't want to re-hash the issues. I don't agree with Ignatieff.

On Iraq, if anyone thinks Ignatieff supported Iraq for the same reasons the neo-cons did they are ignorant. Bad judgement? Obviously. Bad man? Come on.

Simon Pole said...

Steve, I suppose we differ here.

You believe Ignatieff made an error of judgement.

I believe Ignatieff was willingly blind to the false pretences of the war so he could maintain his priveleged position in America.

That's why I believe he has alot to atone for, and until that time, its not acceptable for him to hold public office in Canada.

Steve V said...

I take Ignatieff at his word when it comes to the Kurds. Unlike Bush, the man had actually been to Iraq and saw first-hand the atrocities. Ignatieff's fault may have been some romantic sense of justice, that failed to see the obvious pitfalls.

My only point with this post, I felt bad for him in the end, which doesn't translate into wishing he won.

Road Hammer said...

I saw relief on the guy's face ... as in "now I can go back to being me".

cdntarheel said...

Hi Steve,

I appreciate your comments regarding Iggy, and so, I find the responses unwarranted.

First, the man lost the race and now we, Libs, must come back together under Dion to focus against the Conservative agenda. Such venom after the fact does not help to accomplish that goal. It impedes it.

Second, I loathe to rehash some of the ridiculous debates like the ones in the User Diaries at Progressive bloggers. However, I’d like to say that although I came across much of the anti-Iggy drivel during the course of this leadership race, it still astounds me.

I hope we, Libs, can rise above this junk and concentrate and the battles that need to won, namely the next election.

Erin said...

I did think the waiting was a bit unfair - and the media speculation about whether the candidates knew showed their lack of knowledge of these events. (Have they never heard of party reps or "agents" when the vote is being counted?????)

Politics is not an easy sport though and Iggy is a big boy. I am sure he will survive. He had a slick machine - what happened to it against the little campaign that could. Personally, though I was not there, I would have voted for M. Dion - or Mr. Dryden - loved his "I want my Canada back" remark.) I want my Canada back too and I honestly did not see how someone who had been an extpatriate for 30 years, even if it was clse by in Cambridge, Mass. (one of my own alma maters) was going to be able to do that when he supported Mr. Bush's war.

M. Dion will I think!!

As for whether he was the first person to loose from a frontrunner position, there was the strange incident of Svend Robinson handing his position to Alexa in that NDP convention many years ago. (I forget the year just now) but I am assuming Mr. Robinson knew then he could not win. Strange for someone who someonbe who never met a camera he does not like - other than when he is stealing expensive trinkets. In 1976, I am old enough to recall the better financed Brian Mulroney lose to Joe Clark, who, like M. Dion, came from behind to defeat the former Prime Minister, at least for a time. Like Paul Martin, Mr. Mulroney, would divide his party for many years. There are examples but I am exhasuted after a long convention.

firerfruze said...

I personally thought it was cruel and unusual punishment to have him sitting there waiting in front of the cameras ( anybody notice that the journalists were extremly clingy and right in peoples faces this time around). But yeah I felt really bad for him, I would have never had the kind of strength to endure that kind of public torture and probably would have left the room.

Steve V said...


Well said.


Good point about Svend, but I think this is the first time in Liberal history where someone has lost in this fashion. I remember all the Ignatieff supporters using historical precedent to squash all the speculation about someone coming from behind.


Apparently, they waited on the results until the 6 eastern time news, which made it pure torture (no pun intended) watching Ignatieff. I think John Manley called the spectacle "inhumane".

Simon Pole said...

Folks, its not like Iggy's rotting in a cell in Abu Ghraib or Guantonomo.

The man failed to reach a higher office from a position of already considerable privelege.

The miseries he helped bring into the world far outway the hang-nail he suffered today.

cdntarheel said...

You're right, simon pole. Advocating intervention to stop atrocities against the Serbs (Kosovo) and the Kurds (Iraq since the Clinton admin) have brought untold sufferings in the world.

Dana said...

Jayzus keeriist ahlmatty, some positions can become so stone carved that the wind and rain has no effect at all ,at all.

It's almost anti-evolutionary in it's absolutism.

DivaRachel said...

I personally thought it was cruel and unusual punishment to have Iggy sitting there waiting in front of the cameras
firerfruze: How fitting! Is that the kind of "supervised torture" Iggy champions?

Barney said...

Mark me down as another cold hearted, hate filled SOB, but I felt absolutely nothing for his discomfort at the convention.

I'm still puzzled at how this war hawk garnered so much support within the Liberal party.

I'm glad for the Dion victory, but if Ignatieff is given the Foreign Affairs or Defense portfolio as he will no doubt demand, I will continue to donate, volunteer and vote NDP.

An Iggy led foreign policy is no different from Harper's. What greater issue to a country is there than to send arms and country men to kill and be killed?

Steve V said...

"Mark me down as another cold hearted, hate filled SOB, but I felt absolutely nothing for his discomfort at the convention."

Duly noted.

Anonymous said...

"I take Ignatieff at his word when it comes to the Kurds. Unlike Bush, the man had actually been to Iraq and saw first-hand the atrocities."

Ignatieff visits the Iraqi Kurds in 1992, after Saddam fell out of favour with the US and there was a US-led war to market. He was comspicuously quiet when Saddam was actually persecuting and gassing the Kurds in the '80s.

On the contrary, Ignatieff heaps high praise on the criminal Reagan cabal who veto'd a US Congress resolution to sanction Saddam for the atrocities against the Kurds.

That same gang who sheltered Saddam from the Congress back then remain largely in tact and now runs the GW Bush war cabinet. Whom Ignatieff, in the same article, again praises as a "plain speaker visionary" for his efforts in Iraq.

I would never take this man at his word.

cdntarheel said...

Hi Anon 4:08,

I have no idea what you're getting at.

First, there is no context provided about Ignatieff himself at that time. Where was he? England? The US? What was he writing about at that time? Had even turned his focus to human rights at the time.

Second, there is no context regarding the Reagan administration or Congress for that matter. How do the proposed insinuations square with historical accounts by scholars like Gaddis?

It seems more like insinuation with little regard for historical timelines or context.