Monday, January 05, 2009

Where's Ignatieff?

Lawrence Martin asks- So Where Is He? A column on the quiet beginnings for the Ignatieff reign, which wonders aloud, but answers it's own question:
Iggy's investiture had the added disadvantage of coming just before the Christmas break. It meant that, with all the holiday distractions, he couldn't showcase himself.

Shorter Martin- nothing to see here, but it's a slow news cycle and I need my pay check.

Of course Ignatieff has been low key, and given the fact nobody gives a rats ass about politics over the holidays, it's entirely irrelevant. I suspect Ignatieff has been busy putting a team together and developing a strategy for the weeks ahead. The holidays are complete and utter down time, any attempt to secure some limelight or showcase, entirely marginal. People are distracted, the media on holidays, really the perfect occasion to do the quiet work needed, rather than appealing to universal indifference.


janfromthebruce said...

I thought Martin said that Iggy was finishing writing a book during the holidays.

RuralSandi said...

Well, let's see - Ignatieff has to pick his shadow cabinet, get some policies going, plan some fundraising and, probably had the contract for his book long, long before any leadership race and has to contract to honour and a deadline.

More to do than a hockey game photo-op - imortant as it is.


Steve V said...


I actually thought a few weeks ago, that the break was the perfect opportunity to take over, because the pause takes the pressure off, ample time to do the nuts and bolts stuff required.

James Curran said...

Perhaps Micahel is just taking the advice you gave him in 2006:

Advice To Ignatieff: Stop Talking
When Ignatieff made the initial flippant remark about the Qana bombing, it was clear that he was the victim of a horrible soundbite, intermingled with a helping of political naivete. In fairness, I didn't take Ignatieff's "losing sleep" comment as some indictment of the man's character. The comment was a mistake, that Ignatieff later admitted upon reflection. Chalk it up to a lack of understanding of the political realm, where carefully chosen words are a necessity.

However, this latest twist isn't so easily dismissed in my mind because on this occasion Ignatieff swings wildly to the other extreme, which suggests political motivation. Ignatieff's overt attempt to appease, in a region that would be sympathetic, is hardly flattering and rightfully blows up in his face. You can't go from no reaction to the most damaging language and not expect fallout. Ignatieff has now achieved the impossible, alienating both diametrically opposed sides.

The "war crime" comment represents the evolution of a political animal. Ignatieff tries to curry favor with a constituency that will likely never support him, given the history, and in so doing betrays his staunch supporters. Did Susan Kadis overreact? Possibly, but that doesn't diminish the fact that Ignatieff has lost his soul on this issue. You can't be everything to everybody, Ignatieff plays the chameleon and rightfully loses. If I could offer Ignatieff any advice, stop talking and take you lumps. The more you talk, the more the verbal gymnastics embarrass.

The "Ignatieff is a rookie" meme now finds more support. More alarming, the "anti-politico" angle to Ignatieff's campaign, that has appeal, is completely tarnished by this transparent political powerplay to win support. I must confess, this latest episode reminds me of Paul Martin circa 05/06, saying anything to anybody and in turn appearing to be nowhere. When you abandon your principles for political expediency, there is nothing left. I don't care what Ignatieff said, it's what provoked him to say it that is most troubling.

Anonymous said...

Of course he was out celebrating Hannukah with the Jewish community in Thornhill, even though a conservative cabinet minister's office threatened to shut down the celebration and pull funding from the school for disabled kids where the ceremony was being held if they went ahead with the invitation to the liberal leader.

Steve V said...

Wow James, it's 2009! Get over it, or get out of the way. Yawn.


The forgotten story.

James Curran said...

You asked the question. Get over yourself Steve. And I certainly don't need to get out of your way.

Steve V said...

You're irrelevant. Nobody cares. Carry on.

James Curran said...

Then perhaps you shouldn't ask questions you don't want answered. As I said get over yourself.

olaf said...


I actually thought a few weeks ago, that the break was the perfect opportunity to take over, because the pause takes the pressure off, ample time to do the nuts and bolts stuff required.

That's true, for sure, if that's what he was doing. I think Martin was saying that he was working on his book instead of doing the nuts and bolts stuff - and Kinsella's post seems to suggest that he wasn't doing the backroom stuff necessary.

But I'm gonna be completely honest here (for once) and admit that I have no idea what Ignatieff was doing. I suspect neither does Martin. His column was, therefore, pretty useless. And we agree!

Steve V said...

"And we agree!"

Let the record show :)


Please take your pity party somewhere else, and yes GET OVER YOURSELF.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree that a major PR campaign over the holidays is ignored at best and annyoing at worst. Now's the time to start ramping up a public image, but not before today.

RuralSandi said...

Iggy did the Xmas interview stuff, etc. Now, when you consider the Xmas Eve/Day/Boxing day and New Year's Eve/'s only been about 1-1/2 weeks. Good grief, you'd think he disappeared for months and months.


Why aren't the media following up on the real important stories - In and Out...what's happening there? Isotopes..., inquiry into the listeria deaths? Other than hockey photo-ops, what's Harper been up to? Where is Prentice?

Layton's been rather quiet - that's okay it seems.

When a journalist runs out of material - perhaps he should take a few days off.

I saw Bob Rae on the Isreal war - he said pretty much what everyone else said - Harper/Ignatieff/Layton.

I suspect it is better to wait until Obama takes over and see what his policies are on foreign affairs as obviously Bush is riding this out - ONLY 15 more days, yay.

Blues Clair said...

Ignatieff, has been busy L. Martin.


Steve V said...

Why give people ammo, particularly when any appearance is completely useless in a practical sense.

Blues Clair said...

You have a point, though, you also have to be comfortable with the muzzling of MPs. As a longtime reader of your blog, I doubt that is the case.

Steve V said...


After watching what's happened the last two years, SOME muzzling is fine by me. Seriously, when you actually look at the practical reality, having an MP at a rally in some Canadian city, doesn't even register or have any impact. Sad but true, so why give you opponents free shots, maybe better to air your opinion at caucus, pressure that way, in terms of policy.

BTW, I'm not particularly impressed with our reaction to date, but I rarely am.

Susan said...

I'm not sure exactly what he should be doing but it seems to me that all those smart guys that got him in as leader should have by now figured out a big picture strategy for him "defining himself" and that a few appearances before the Canadian public would have indicated that that strategy is in place.

I'm sure this is going to sound flakey but both Ignatieff and Harper are astrological "bulls" (Taurus) and one of the characteristics might be summed up as "I'll take my own sweet time" and "the big picture, what's that?". Unlike our fearless lion to the south, Obama the Leo, the bulls do what they want to do only when they are good and ready. I'm a bit nervous about Ignatieff - we'll have to see. The one good thing is that he won't be bullied.