When pandering becomes offensive:
Tories, Liberals defend oil sands
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who recently positioned himself as a supporter of the oilsands, was emphatic in his disdain for the National Geographic story.
"National Geographic is not going to teach me any lessons about the oilsands," he said.
"This is a huge industry. It employs Canadians from coast to coast. We have oil reserves that are going to last for the whole of the 21st century. We are where we are. We've got to clean it up, and we've got make it a sustainable place to work and live."
Ignatieff has ALWAYS been consistent, this idea of energy policy as national unity issue. The federation is fractured, there is much regional angst in the land, and it's true the level of tolerance is on the wane. It's imperative that the Liberal Party, even if it doesn't translate into sweeping seat totals, appeal to the entirety of Canada, because this country needs a unifying voice. I believe Ignatieff is sincere in his desire to bring people together, and I have high hopes for him as Prime Minister in this regard. I also understand, that in the game of politics, nuance is required along with some heavy petting- kissing ass is part of the equation, always has been, always will be, the tenets of democracy almost demand it. HOWEVER, let's not get carried away, shall we, because you're now ALIENATING part of your base, with a misguided courtship.
Earlier, I linked to the Alberta Environment Minister, responding to the National Geographic piece. Renner actually used the word "fair" to describe the piece, found some positives and stressed the improvements coming in the future. In other words, Renner was less categorical and dismissive than Ignatieff, while Ignatieff sounded exactly like Jim Prentice, who sounds like a Suncor executive half the time. It would seem the Liberals are now trying to out- Conservatives the Conservatives on the tar sands- almost like "no, we love it more, no we love it more, no we love it more..." Sssstttoooopppp!!!
Ignatieff is going too far in my estimation, because he's essentially giving NOTHING more than lip service to environmental concerns, while singing the praises of what amounts to an environmental NIGHTMARE at the moment. As mentioned earlier in the comments, many Albertans share concerns on the tar sands. It's not like everyone in the province is screaming "full steam ahead", the environment be damned. That fact means that Ignatieff doesn't have to be so one-sided in his presentation, he MUST speak to the balance, he MUST articulate how the tar sands can be viable within an environmentally friendly policy. Otherwise, Ignatieff just sounds like the Conservatives, even worse, under some illusion that this now MEGA pandering will lead to a red wave across the oil patch.
I'm actually starting to get quite pissed here. Earlier, I cautioned on waiting for the other shoe to drop, somewhat content allowing Ignatieff to do the necessary work to redeem the Liberal brand. But, with this latest crack, directed at National Geographic, Ignatieff is in danger of losing his soul, for the sake of political expediency. AND, even if you confine yourself to mere strategic considerations, Ignatieff risks undermining support he enjoys now, while he over shoots with attracting the "new". What's the environmental vision here Michael? I think Ignatieff had best starting fleshing out a few things, because at the moment, parroting Jim Prentice isn't quite doing it for me, and I suspect I'm not alone. Unity yes, respecting provincial economies a given, offering solutions to mitigate the damage, let's hear it, slamming NG for a "fair" piece, please stop talking.