Monday, January 21, 2008


I completely disagree with the Liberal position, articulated by Ignatieff, as it relates to the Manley panel. Why are the Liberals giving this Harper construct validity?:
Ignatieff hinted that the Liberals might fine-tune their own policy in light of recommendations, expected Tuesday, from a panel headed by Manley, a former Liberal cabinet minister appointed by the Conservative government to study the mission.

"My sense is Manley is not in the status-quo business," Ignatieff said. "My sense is Manley is very critical of how the government has managed the mission. He will, I think, say things that suggest we need to refocus the mission, manage it better, work with our allies to make sure we're getting some results there."

..."I think I'm going to take Manley seriously.

To be fair, obviously the Liberals are privy to some of the Manley conclusions, particularly portions that criticize the Harper government. However, while the Liberals may score some political points, I don't agree that they should endorse the process, which was flawed from the onset. I certainly don't think the Liberals should take their policy cues from a panel, who's sole purpose was to neutralize the issue for Harper.

I suppose I pre-judge, in not waiting to see the final recommendations. The Liberals may be calculating that the report can be used for advantage. That said, I've never taken Manley "seriously", nor has the official party line until now, so this type of validation seems like a departure. There's a difference between policy pragmatism and endorsing an uneven process, hatched, not because of the desire for genuine debate, but electoral prospects.


Anonymous said...

Ignatieff should keep his mouth shut.

He's not the Liberal leader and he doesnt speak for the Liberal Party.

Notice how he uses the word "I" all the time.

Good thing Canadians, Liberals in particular, don't have to listen to his "I" and take it for anything more than his enormous ego.

Steve V said...

What he said here aside, Ignatieff really has to lose the "I" reference. You hear it often, and it shows a lack of understanding as to place, not to mention team.

Anonymous said...

If Manley is Joe Lieberman, then Iggy is (gasp) Hillary Clinton.

Has not apologized for initially supporting the Iraq war.

Still, there are internal party politics in this. Manley still has major influence within the Grits. There are prominents that share in his views ie. McKenna, Brison, and David McGuinty. Some of these are future leadership contenders.

Not to count the NATO forces into Pakistan thing.

Steve V said...


I wonder if you are right, Manley's supporters within want to endorse his participation.

Anonymous said...

Iggy is clearly free-lancing here. Maybe he will use his next presser at the caucus retreat to suggest a new official bird for the LIberal, sorry.

For all the Liberals bitching about Dion, stop and consider for a minute if Michael were leader right now and what our position on Afghanistan would be (shudder).

Or, if Rae were our leader with a slowing economy on the horizon (double shudder).

The grass ain't always greener, as they say.

Anonymous said...

That’s exactly what we have a caucus for. We’ve got to see what this caucus wants to do about that. We need to listen carefully to Manley. I think I’m going to take Manley seriously. It (his report) is, as I understand it, critical of the government’s management of the mission. He repeats criticisms we’ve been making for months.”

I see the idiotic wing of the party (or are you truly Liberals?) is back out bashing Ignatieff.

Jesus, where in the above statement does it even mention Ignatieff is speaking on behalf of the party? The way I see it, Ignatieff is indicating that he personally will look into the Manley Report seriously, and then the party will need to caucus and get behind a final position determined by Dion.

Honestly, some of you should be voting for the NDP by the sounds of it.

Anonymous said...

and for the record, none of my comments are directed towards you Steve V

ottlib said...

The worst thing the Liberals can do is dismiss the Manley report out of hand.

Give Mr. Manley some credit. He might have sold out his party but he will draft a report that will make it difficult for the Liberals to just crap on it.

So they are going to have to be subtle about it. They are actually going to have to read it, seriously consider it and come up with a reasonable response.

If that means tweaking their own position then sobeit. I doubt we will see a major shift in position.

Or to put it another way. The Conservatives have made this issue a partisan political football and they have been roundly condemned for it by the Liberal Party and Liberal blogsphere.

For the Liberals to then react in nothing more than a partisan fashion to the Manley report would leave it wide open to accusations of hypocracy and with good cause.

Credit Mr. Ignatieff for seeing that reality.

Steve V said...


Effectively, this acceptance means Harper achieved what he set out to do. When Liberals are forced to operate on ground Harper has chosen, forced to react to his gambit, it's never a good position. Ignatieff should stay completely and utterly silent until the report is released, let it fester around and then decide how to deal with it. Manley will throw the Liberals some bones, but I don't think we need to take our cues from a propaganda exercise. We go from a panel that was roundly dismissed, Dion mocking it at the press gallery dinner, to legitimization by engaging, quite the evolution, and exactly what Harper had hoped.