I've read some criticism of Ignatieff, as it relates to Mulroney. First the birthday phone call, now the defence of Mulroney in his spat with Harper, clear evidence of some affinity, more proof that Ignatieff is a conservative at heart. Did it ever occur to anyone that this is all merely strategic mischief?
I fail to see the downside, in Ignatieff calling Mulroney, or injecting himself into the Conservative "feud". As a matter of fact, I think it's brilliant and I have little doubt it's intentional "stirring the pot". Why not speak to Conservative internal strife, why not volunteer an opinion, why not highlight a negative storyline? All I see, Ignatieff exploiting a chasm, and in so doing looking far more statesmanlike than the leader of said party. It's not an endorsement of the man's policies, or some deeper meaning, it's a political ploy, pure and simple. Mulroney still enjoys support within the Conservative ranks, and a measure of stature in Quebec, so Ignatieff's "praise" highlights an under the surface tension, which Conservatives don't welcome. I note that Bob Rae also called Mulroney, and I would love for someone to extrapolate that phone call as evidence of political similarity. I'm sure it's all genuine on one level, but a strategist would also see the value and a shrewd Ignatieff would relish the opportunity to wade into the Conservatives family feud.
If you're a detractor, it's easy to seize on the Mulroney/Ignatieff dynamic to further some pre-conceived view. IMHO, that narrative is a meaningless distraction from the real impetus here. This is smart politics, and it's refreshing to see Liberals poking the coals, as opposed to the previous years of listening to our opponents fan our own divisions. I haven't seen the tape, but I'm willing to bet a curious grin came to Ignatieff's face, when asked to comment on the Mulroney matter.