Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When you sift through the misconceptions about the man, and focus on the views in totality, then any perceived ideological tension evaporates. I consider myself left of center, progressive, but also pragmatic. In the past few days, I've done my homework, reading or re-reading a host of essays, excerpts, speeches, to make sure I was comfortable with supporting Ignatieff, to reconcile any lingering doubts. I'm glad I did, because it really has made my decision an easy one. I am supporting Michael Ignatieff for the Liberal leadership.
I had the opportunity to meet Michael once in 2006, at an intimate forum, that allowed for a one on one conversation. I found Ignatieff completely sincere and passionate, incredibly thoughtful, it was actually fascinating to watch a man who had the rare capacity to morph deep intellectual consideration into clear and concise expression. I was particularly struck by his ideas on the environment, reconciling the sometimes competiting ideas of planet and profit. I found Ignatieff bold, but reflective, and while I didn't waiver from my support of Gerard Kennedy, I left thinking he was a unquestionable asset for the Liberal Party.
Many people can't get beyond certain controversial positions offered by Ignatieff, these issues have led to many unfair accusations and inaccurate readings of political leanings. I was against the Iraq war from the onset, as a matter of fact, I cut my teeth in the blogosphere railing against that war, supporting the most adamant of opposition. That said, there was a certain laziness in certain criticisms, namely lumping any supporter of that war into a neat category, despite the fact that people can come to the same conclusions for vastly different reasons. Unlike the neocons, unlike Harper, Ignatieff had INTIMATE understanding of Iraq, he knew the Kurds and Shia, he worked within the human rights horror that was the Saddam regime. Ignatieff's view started with a consideration of human rights abuse, it wasn't about oil or some misguided militarism, so we can rightly look at his perspective in a different light. Was Ignatieff right in his view? Obviously not, from my point of view, but that rejection also allows for a consideration as to the thinking, there was actually a noble thought process at the core, even if misguided. When Ignatieff admits a mistake, I take him at his word, and we move forward.
I believe Ignatieff has the capacity to become a great Prime Minister. You can sense a vision with Ignatieff, careful deliberation and the ability to grow. What I find most intriguing about Ignatieff, despite his obvious intellectual stature, he if forever inquisitive, searching for more perfect paradigms, a trait which is exciting in any leader. That's what I crave, a politician with a set of values and beliefs, but one that continually processes new information and realities, always curious, never a prisoner to dogma.
I see a great deal in Ignatieff that can appeal to the progressive wing of the Liberal Party, I just don't buy some of the nonsensical characterizations about the man. As a matter of fact, Ignatieff may well be the perfect candidate to reconcile the sometimes disjointed aspirations within a big tent party. I'm comfortable with Ignatieff, and I look forward with some optimism, that this is the man best equipped to defeat Harper, engage the country and restore some faith in our political leadership.
Posted by Steve V at 10:34 AM