Ignatieff’s failure to connect with Quebecers is emblematic of his larger failure to connect with Canadians. And unless it is reversed it may go down as the biggest squandered Quebec opportunity in recent federal Liberal history.
Couldn't agree more with the word squandered. What is particularly worrisome, since the Coderre fiasco, Ignatieff has virtually disappeared on the Quebec landscape. I believe that the last year has provided a terrific opportunity for a federalist option to seize some ground in Quebec, challenge the Bloc in an aggressive way. Couple that fact with a decidedly weak Conservative option, and the Liberals really have/had room to reinvent their brand in the province. Why the lack of high profile exposure in Quebec?
On a side note, as it relates to my decidedly pessimistic view of late, I would contend that circling the wagons, putting our hands over our ears and praying for some external gift to reverse our fate is entirely counter-productive. I also think under-estimating just how bad things are serves no one, because it validates a status quo which has already failed. I don't blame Ignatieff, nor do I blame his handlers, but if people don't reaccess the entire approach and show the pragmatism and outside the box thinking required, then blame is entirely warranted. Comfort blankets are for the delusional, Canadians don't owe the former natural governing party a darn thing, nor will old nostaglic sympathies be our savior.
I think we can turn it around. Step one, would be a provocative and engaging strategy within Quebec, one that frees Ignatieff from politicianitis- a condition that renders a once powerful thinker impotent, as he learns the safe language that tries to be everything to everybody, and in so doing ends up saying little to anybody. I see recent events as a cold shower moment for the Liberals, and the good news is you generally feel refreshed and revitalized after the initial shock is accepted. Brrrr.