I fail to see the negative within an organic exchange between a "put yourself out there" Ignatieff and a group of environmental activists. Given our current state of staged photo ops and cautious message management, a bit of spontaneous friction is welcome from this quarter. I have Greenpeace on my sidebar, I've given in the past, no "attack" on the Liberal leader makes me any less inclined to support, nor to do I see an ideological conflict. The video in question:
I think most fair observers would give Ignatieff some credit for his recent tour, in the sense that it allows for unscripted expression, it denotes a certain grassroots conversation. I've watched a few videos from the various stops, and Ignatieff has been put through his paces throughout, some tough questions accompanied by nimble and engaging response. If there is one thing our political discourse needs, it's this type of forum, any "risk" an afterthought. Uber partisans like Stephen Taylor rush to find any "protester" to discredit Ignatieff's initiative, but that is the useless domain of robotic HACKS. Liberals shouldn't fear any potential "blow back", because really I see it as wind in the sails, more than anything. Let's get some spice into the conversation, let's get engaged, let's debate and let's not fear dissent.
Greenpeace has a vital role to play within the environmental conversation. Their role is awareness and ensuring important issues make it into the public domain. The presence of Greenpeace pushes the envelope, they apply pressure on our political leaders. In this instance, a conflict over the tar sands, which quickly turned into a consideration of the ideal vs the practical. I agree with Ignatieff, the tar sands are a reality, it's hard to envision any scenario where the energy simply lies in the ground untouched, in the name of environmental consideration. To take that view in totality means one must ignore the other powerful forces at play, as well as jurisdictional realities. Ignatieff can't turn off the taps, and the policy proceeds with that sober consideration in mind. I have no qualms with this view, because it's simply a "sky is blue" position.
However, none of this is to say the tar sands shouldn't be attacked, pressured, embarrassed, decried. That is the counter required, the essential part of the puzzle that will lead to the best possible scenario moving forward, the better practice arrangement.
Stephen Harper hasn't put himself in ONE potentially unflattering appearance since he's become Prime Minister. It is so PATHETIC, this supposed man of the people, that he actually refused to appear on CBC last year, if had to respond to a question from A voter. Think about that reality for a second, what that says about our democratic debate. After you consider the micro-managed, propaganda machine approach, it's hard to find any fault in a guy who gets up on stage, confronts a mostly non-partisan and potentially hostile crowd, takes all comers and answers every question. Looks like democracy in action to me, or more rightly something I'd like to see more of from our political class. Agitation is healthy, voluntarily putting yourself within that medium, welcomed.