Jump to content
canflyer
Sign in to follow this  
tcook052

Ignatieff struggles to prove his Canadianness

Recommended Posts

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas ... nadianness

Michael Ignatieff: Canadian candidate struggles to prove his Canadianness

Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Party candidate in Canada's May 2 election, lags far behind in the polls. His main problem: He spent too much time south of the border.

For a man who has spent most of his adult life traveling the inner circles of British and American intelligentsia, Michael Ignatieff seems remarkably comfortable with the working class crowd that has gathered in a renovated train station in Canada’s steel manufacturing capital to meet him.

With the obligatory handshaking and baby-kissing out of the way, Canada's Liberal Party leader takes his place at the front of the room, tucks his open-collar shirt loosely into his pants, and walks the audience through his party’s platform, emphasizing middle class concerns such as education and money to care for elderly parents at home. Then he allows his patrician face to broaden into a smile and brings the house down with a child’s political joke about why the chicken crossed the road.

“He did it to avoid a debate,” Mr. Ignatieff says, taking a swipe at sitting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s refusal to meet him one-on-one in a televised debate.

MONITOR QUIZ: Weekly news quiz for April 10-16

Six years after leaving his post as the influential and respected head of Harvard’s Carr Centre for Human Rights, Canadian-born Ignatieff is finally getting a chance at the job he came home for – he is running to become Canada’s next prime minister.

But for all his ease in front of party supporters in places like Hamilton, Ignatieff is a long way from convincing Canadians his impeccable international credentials qualify him to lead the country. And he doesn't have much more time to make his case as Canadians vote on May 2.

'The United States way of thinking'

Dennis McLaren, a retired steelworker who came to the rally to protest the low level of his pension benefits, expresses a widespread view of the Liberal leader.

“He’s a carpetbagger. He drops from state to state. He’s come up from Harvard and Princeton, and now he’s up here in Canada. He’s been out of the country for 30 years and now he’s up here in Canada because he’s fed up with being a professor down there,” he said. “And what is he going to do for the country? Who knows. Maybe 30 years away is too long. Maybe he’s got the United States way of thinking.”

Polls reflect that sentiment. They show that although Ignatieff’s centrist Liberal Party, ranks second in popularity, just 10 points behind the governing center-right Conservatives, he sits a distant third in a ranking of candidates’ trustworthiness and leadership skills.

Mr. Harper is widely criticized for his autocratic nature and is facing serious questions about whether he misled parliament about government spending. But daily voter tracking by Nanos Research gives him an approval rating of 122.8. Jack Layton, who leads a party that is often considered a marginal force in Canadian politics, the socialist National Democratic Party, gets a rating of 57.3. Ignatieff comes in with 52.7 points and has only marginally improved his status since the start of the campaign.

His main problem, says pollster Nik Nanos, is that like the demonstrators outside the Hamilton rally, Canadians see Ignatieff as unpatriotic and suspect his motives for returning to Canada after spending more than 30 years making his name abroad.

"His personal journey has prepared him to be a very good candidate for Prime Minister, but the problem is few Canadians will ever see Mr. Ignatieff up close,” says Mr. Nanos, whose Nanos Research company tracks daily changes in voter sentiment. “The risk is seen as, ‘He’s been out of the country for a long time. What does he understand about Canada?’ That could be a parochial view, but it’s the view many people have.”

Expatriate thinker to rookie politician

Many Liberals viewed Ignatieff’s return to Canada six years ago as a long overdue chance for salvation. Then Liberal leader and Prime Minister Paul Martin had been badly bruised by controversy over a funding scandal in Quebec and the party had lost its sense of direction in the midst of political infighting.

Ignatieff boasted a pedigree as former BBC journalist, celebrated author of 17 books, outspoken promoter of human rights and liberal values, and the man whose eloquent writing and speeches helped convince the world to send military forces to protect Albanians in Kosovo. His good looks fueled fantasies of reviving a type of Trudeaumania – the frenzy that swept Canada in 1968 when its last intellectual prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, first ran to lead the Liberals.

After a long courtship by a handful of Liberal insiders that included former Trudeau guru Senator Keith Davey, Ignatieff returned to Toronto in 2005, in the hope that an apprenticeship as a member of parliament and cabinet minister would groom him to eventually take over as party leader and prime minister.

But the transition from expatriate thinker to rookie politician was far more difficult than even Ignatieff expected.

“I don’t know whether I’m up to it,” he told the Canadian daily The Globe and Mail in 2006. “I mean, I think I’m up to the job, but I don’t know whether I’m up to the price you have to pay.”

The Liberal Party lost power to the Conservatives shortly after Ignatieff’s arrival and spent months riven by intense infighting over who should replace Martin. Ignatieff came off as stiff and professorial and lost his first run at the leadership to the even less-inspiring Quebecker Stéphane Dion. When he finally replaced Mr. Dion in 2009, it was by acclamation.

John Duffy, a public policy analyst and communications adviser for one of Ignatieff’s chief rivals for the leadership, says Ignatieff paid a heavy price for mistakes born of inexperience in politics. “He had difficulty switching from language of Harvard Yard to the language of Walmart."

Shedding Harvard, embracing Walmart

Shortly after Ignatieff became Liberal Party leader, he was seen in a public television documentary eating breakfast in the elaborate dining room of his official residence, wearing a suit and tie and listening to opera. He told The New Yorker magazine that although “some of my best friends are cosmopolitans” he had gotten out of his system “a certain kind of cosmopolitanism that’s highly individualistic.”

“He was very much the kind of person you’d expect in a salon in Back Bay Boston or on the Upper West Side of New York or in Cambridge or in Islington in London where those are the values,” says Mr. Duffy. “It’s about intelligence, quick-wittedness, a certain savoir faire, a command of a few extra languages, a good number of historical references and literary anecdotes. None of those things are valued in national Canadian politics. In fact, they cost you.”

With national elections looming, Ignatieff loosened up and learned to relate to ordinary folks during a cross-Canada bus tour of small-town barbecues and church basements last summer. At the end of the tour, it seemed that by adopting the language of the street and letting people poke and prod to see what he was made of, the former Harvard lecturer had finally found his stride in Canadian politics.

“It’s all about confidence and I think for Mr. Ignatieff, becoming leader as he did, this was a huge challenge,” says Dan Brock, one of the party insiders who recruited Ignatieff. “But he’s developed the confidence to get rid of the scripting and to be himself.”

Some of that transformation is paying off. Marsha Deschamps, a speech language pathologist from Hamilton, said she at first had doubts about Ignatieff but that he won her over with his focus on strengthening the Canadian health care system, one of the “pillars” of Canadian identity.

“I really feel bad for what Canada has done to him,” she said. “I think of him as a well educated and thoughtful man with a strong vision of where he wants to take us.”

Conservatives' attack

But Ignatieff is still burdened with a widespread perception that he is an outsider with dubious motives for coming home, an idea firmly planted in the Canadian psyche by a series of Conservative Party-sponsored attack ads that saturated prime time Canadian television over the winter. The ads say Ignatieff has publicly stated his love for the United States and conclude “Ignatieff, he didn’t come back for you,” or “Michael Ignatieff. Just visiting.”

The Liberals were short of money to place their own ads. On the campaign trail, Ignatieff has fought back by pointing out that Harper’s weak coalition government was forced into an election because of a finding it had misled parliament about the cost of building more jails and buying F-35 fighter jets from the US.

"The other thing that Mr. Harper does is the appeal to fear. ‘If I don’t get a big fat majority, that terrible, frightening, terrifying figure Michael Ignatieff might just become prime minister of Canada,' that’s what he’s telling Canadians,” he told the crowd in Hamilton. “I have many failings … but I don’t think I’m scary. I don’t think Canadians need to be scared of me, they don’t need to be scared of democracy and above all they don’t need to be scared of change.”

The pitch goes over well with audience members like Larry Shuh, a budget manager at a nearby university. “I saw, in spite of his intelligence, his track record, everything he’s done, I saw a modest man standing up there and I believed what he actually said,” says Mr. Shuh.

But even he can see Ignatieff has little hope of leading the next national government when Canadians vote May 2. “I don’t mean to say this negatively, but I think it’s going to take more than one election for him to win over Canada,” he says. “If he doesn’t make it this time I hope that he’s allowed the time to really develop into that role and let people know what he is.’

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2011/0417/Michael-Ignatieff-Canadian-candidate-struggles-to-prove-his-Canadianness

Michael Ignatieff: Canadian candidate struggles to prove his Canadianness

Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Party candidate in Canada's May 2 election, lags far behind in the polls. His main problem: He spent too much time south of the border.

For a man who has spent most of his adult life traveling the inner circles of British and American intelligentsia, Michael Ignatieff seems remarkably comfortable with the working class crowd that has gathered in a renovated train station in Canada’s steel manufacturing capital to meet him.

Too bad for you and your socialist pals that Iggy has easily overcome that BS and is in almost full attack mode on Harper's extreme right wing type comments in the past. He mouths the word democracy with disdain becasue it interferes with his vision of people marching to his drum song. We have strong examples in history of this type of behaviour going bad for the people in western Countries starting with Atilla the Hun and up through the second world war.

This guy effectively pledged to dismember Canada by putting higher walls up between Canadians, seriously restrict refugees from certain areas of the world, forbid family reunification for recently arrived immigrants, turn off the tap for refugees landing here, kill medicare, forbid abortions and SS marriages, and bring back capital punishemnt among other things stated in past speeches. Condemnation of his government by parliament simply shows the tendencies to sideswipe democracy at every possible opportunity to get his way. He also wanted to "seize power" with the separatists in 2004 and then hypocriticially acused the Liberals of an illegal coalition to do the same thing. I hope Canadians are finally going to wake up to his lies. Anyone who can look straight into the cammera and lie like he did in the debates is dangerous to our democratic health.

layton is another gigantic liar telling us he will raise every social spending limit to the highest ever and still balance a budget without raising taxes. We have seen that experiment in the past also

Next week will be fun..but not for stupid or his pals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

^ Seems like His Igness someone else is stuck in the wrong era hurling those kind of terms around. The ultimate irony, of course, is the next leader of the Liberal party will be a former socialist! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

^ Seems like His Igness someone else is stuck in the wrong era hurling those kind of terms around. The ultimate irony, of course, is the next leader of the Liberal party will be a former socialist! :lol:

your hero Lying Jacko will never be allowed to be a Liberal..........he's way too phoney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

Harper violated parliament for his own gain...so did the Nazis in their time.

harper lied time and time again....so dd the Nazis until thye had full control.

My party would not ask me to resign because they essentially think the same things but are more politically correct.

Do you think the attack ads Harper threw at Dion first, and then Iggy, with their abundence of lies were democratic ideals at play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparently he has no problem proving he's like Howard Dean!!! What the hell was with that crazy speech, I believe it was in YSB as well! Did you spike his milk acysb87? :wink:

It was not me. :shock:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

Actually, he is... http://www.oakvilleliberal.ca/riding.html

In that case maybe the G&M would be interested in hearing some of the comments on this thread.

Headline: Ontario Liberal riding exec calls Harper a Nazi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headline: Ontario Liberal riding exec calls Harper a Nazi.

First of all when ever anyone checks out your credibility and the garbage you write, or more precisely the posting of copyright articles about the leader you dislike, they will see the point of my exercise which has been expanded from its original one sentence.

Others are now saying the same thing again about the Harpercrite's vision which he refuses to discuss openly:

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/colum ... 12231.html

This, then, is what a Conservative majority government’s policies should look like.

— No abortion. In May of last year, Harper’s government was alone among G8 nations in opposing abortion as part of family-planning projects in poor nations. He stuck to his decision, even when facing criticism from Barack Obama. If put to a vote — and Tory MPs periodically push for one — abortion would be gone. Since Harper assumed control of the party in 2004, more than 80% of his caucus favour banning abortion.

— No gun control. More than other issue of its type, Harper has been clear about gun-safety laws — he detests them. In 2009, a Conservative backbencher’s bill to gut the centre of Canada’s gun control laws was defeated in Parliament. But Harper is undeterred. Throughout the campaign, he has said his party will go back to the issue and “scrap the long-gun registry.” Shootings generally account for a third of all murders in Canada; after tougher gun controls were introduced in 1995, shooting-related deaths dropped dramatically. But, despite the pleas of police officers and victims’ families, gun control will be history under a Harper majority.

— No equal marriage. In 2005, Harper and a majority of his party voted for the proposition that marriage can only happen between heterosexuals. During the debate on Bill C-38 — the equal marriage bill — Harper appeared at rallies where anti-gay rhetoric flourished. The Tory leader does not regard the issue as one of human rights. In Parliament in September 2003, he dismissed it as a discussion about “sexual behaviour.” It’ll be gone, too.

— The death penalty. Since 2004, Harper has said he favours a free vote on a return of the death penalty. He wrote the Reform Party platform that called for a binding referendum on it. Most of his caucus are onside, with a majority of Conservative MPs — including Harper’s current justice minister — voting for it the last time it was before the House in 1987. More recently, in an interview with CBC in January, Harper stated: “There are times where capital punishment is appropriate.” While Harper hastened to add that he then had “no plans” to bring back the ultimate sentence.

There many other issues where Stephen Harper has been clear about what he favours — such as more jails, more government advertising, more baubles for the generals — and what he does not.

He isn’t shy. It’s all there, on the record, for those who want to look.

What is also there is this truth: For good or bad, by the time Harper is done with it, you won’t recognize Canada

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I cannot understand the rhetoric that goes on here between certain posters.Truly amazing and disheartening. :(

How would you like it if your daughter had to face the systemic reduction of women's rights under a Harper majority?

Susan Delacourt

OTTAWA – Aid experts alarmed by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand in foreign policy have received some raw political advice from a Conservative senator: “shut the f--- up” or it could get worse.

“We’ve got five weeks or whatever left until G-8 starts. Shut the f--- up on this issue,” Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told a group of international-development advocates who gathered on Parliament Hill on Monday to sound the alarm about Canada’s hard-right stand against abortion in foreign aid.

“If you push it, there will be more backlash,” said Ruth, who fears that outrage will push her boss, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to take further measures against abortion and family planning – abroad, or maybe even in Canada. “This is now a political football. This is not about women’s health in this country.”

Last week, Harper’s government announced that it would no longer be supporting abortion as any part of its foreign-aid focus on maternal health, even though abortion is legal in Canada.It was a surprise measure from a Conservative prime minister who has so far veered his government away from any overt social conservatism and may haunt Harper into a future election campaign.

Ruth’s remarks, intended more as friendly advice than a warning, were met with gasps of disbelief and even anger among the approximately 80 aid representatives who converged on Parliament Hill to condemn what they see as a gathering storm against women’s rights in Canadian aid policy.

Ruth explained that she attends Conservative caucus, understands the current political dynamics and is sympathetic to the cause of women upset by the anti-abortion announcement – “I just want them to be quiet for five weeks,” she told reporters. But few of the advocates appeared inclined to take her counsel.

“We have shut the f--- up. That’ s the issue here,” said Joanna Kerr, the newly named chief executive of Action Aid International, based in South Africa.

“There’s a real chill in Ottawa on speaking out,” said Betty Plewes, a development consultant and chairperson of Monday’s meeting, organized around the question of “where is Canada’s leadership in the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights?”

One international aid advocate, Lydia Alpizar Duran, from the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, vowed that Canadian women would have help from other countries if they want to start making noise here.

“I don’t remember any women’s rights ever gained by staying silent,” she said.

At Monday’s meeting, Kerr laid out a variety of measures which she says point to a worrying pattern in Canada’s attention to women’s rights abroad.

Just days ago, for instance, a 34-year-old Canadian aid organization devoted to gender equality, Match International, was notified that its funding was being cut. Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae slammed the Conservatives in the Commons on Monday for the Match cuts, asking: “Just what kind of a grudge does the government have for the women's organizations around this country that are working so hard for women?”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who was also on Parliament Hill on Monday to add her voice to the rising chorus against the anti-abortion stand in foreign policy and the cuts to Match, said: “These are very dark days for women or for any Canadian citizen who looks at our place in the world and wonders: ‘what are we saying to the rest of the world about what we care about’?”

Ruth is convinced that the final communiqué of the G8 meeting in Canada in June will include a mention of this country’s support for family planning, but fears that ongoing furor over abortion could harden the Conservative government’s stand even more. And just as her Conservative colleagues have warned repeatedly, she said that Canada does not need a reopened abortion debate.

“I hope I’m not proven wrong but I have every confidence that it (the communiqué) will include family planning,” Ruth said. “Canada is still a country with free and accessible abortion. Leave it there. Don’t make it into an election issue.”

Harper’s announced ban on abortion in foreign-aid programs is an echo of a similar ban that former president George W. Bush also enacted during his eight years in office.

But Harper and his Conservatives say they are simply following the lead of the House of Commons, where a Liberal vote to support “the full range” of family-planning options in foreign aid was defeated in March.

The Liberals’ status-of-women critic, Anita Neville, was in the room as well when Ruth made her comments on Monday and spoke out against any further “chill” among people inclined to be critical of Harper’s decision. Neville says there’s enough of that in Ottawa already.

“I think women have been told too often to be quiet, be good and then you'll get what you want. I think that she was saying don't push the issue or you'll get the Prime Minister's back up even further and you won't get what you want,” Neville told reporters later.

“There was a bit of a shock in the room. I don't know that there was anybody in the room that agreed with her. I think people appreciated her sentiments were well intended but not well received.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/803859

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harper violated parliament for his own gain...so did the Nazis in their time.

harper lied time and time again....so dd the Nazis until they had full control.

Sorry but you can;'t wiggle off this so easily. When people think of nazis, they are not referring to proroguing parliament (sanctioned by the GG) and not giving full cost estimates on bills (as if the Liberals always did this when they were in power). They think of starting a World War and exterminating minorities - Harper plays politics with sharp elbows, but all he has done is continued a Liberal war, participated in another one started supported by all parties and suggested that prisoners actually serve out the terms for which they were sentenced. He has yet to burn down parliament hill.

My party would not ask me to resign because they essentially think the same things but are more politically correct.

Why don't you try sending a two line Letter to the Editor of the Oakville Beaver claiming Harper's Nazi Past signed by yourrself as a member of the riding association executive and let's see.

Do you think the attack ads Harper threw at Dion first, and then Iggy, with their abundence of lies were democratic ideals at play.

No but attack ads never are - I hate it when any party runs them. My mother taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it and my father taught me that you never trash your competitor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter what people think becasue most of them are sheeple to begin with. My comparisons are staying because in the end Harper is no democracy advocate. He has a personal ideology he wants to shove down our throats and his writings confirm all of that. You won't catch me squirming out of that. I still have lots more to say on Harper. :wink:

The Oakville Beaver has never ever posted a controversial letter. They see themselves as a community newspaper.."see no evil hear no evil" except for house breakins and local political nonsense.

If you don't like attack ads speak up and stop being a sheeple....tell the party you support to stop or you won't vote for them. Otherwise you get what you deserve.

Our opponent in oakville has gone to doors in town telling his angry white tory voters that:

1. the liberal guy is a dangerous muslim with intonations that he is almost a terrorist or has leanings toward them.

2. He doesn't actually live in Oakville where he is a town councillor and where he and his extended family have lived for almost 35 years. he has been told by the local returning officer to cease and desist with that false allegation.

3. Tells people the liberal opponent is drawing his town council salary during the election even after he was shown proof it wasn't true.

4. Tells people the town is a local liberal den of thieves and liberals but would not comment on Rob ford's conservative sign on his lawn and walked away from that scrum.

5. has refused to debate in two of the four all candidates meetings.

6. he tore down liberal signs on his neighbours lawns and told them he would do it agian if they replaced them... so even bigger signs are there now :)

And more to come on him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2. He doesn't actually live in Oakville where he is a town councillor and where he and his extended family have lived for almost 35 years.

The Town of Oakville lists him as having lived in Oakville for 22 years. I guess that is "almost 35 years".

http://www.oakville.ca/w06t.asp

Anyone who has done an undergraduate degree in Economics at Western and then goes on to Dalhousie must be a pretty impressive person. I wonder if I met him at either place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It doesn't matter what people think becasue most of them are sheeple to begin with. My comparisons are staying because in the end Harper is no democracy advocate. He has a personal ideology he wants to shove down our throats and his writings confirm all of that. You won't catch me squirming out of that. I still have lots more to say on Harper. :wink:

By all means, keep saying stuff on Harper (hell, trashing his record all but writes itself), but steer clear of the Godwin's law-invoking bombast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2. He doesn't actually live in Oakville where he is a town councillor and where he and his extended family have lived for almost 35 years.

The Town of Oakville lists him as having lived in Oakville for 22 years. I guess that is "almost 35 years".

http://www.oakville.ca/w06t.asp

Anyone who has done an undergraduate degree in Economics at Western and then goes on to Dalhousie must be a pretty impressive person. I wonder if I met him at either place.

He lived with his parents in Oakville before university and then lived a very few years away. He has effectively lived almost his entire life in Oakville as most people don't call school years as formally living away per se. The 35 year number came from his dad who was head of the CAW at Ford and a national CAW rep until he retired. Good smart people. As many Asian families do they live as an extended family in the same house. Sometimes Max is too honest for his own good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ignatieff) is in almost full attack mode on Harper's Nazi past.

All I can say is wow!

If you were officially working on the Liberal campaign, I would hope they'd be asking you to resign for that kind of inflammatory post!

Actually, he is... http://www.oakvilleliberal.ca/riding.html

I have a business card of yours;so I know who you are...should I expose your identity for all to see who is a real red neck tory here or worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sometimes Max is too honest for his own good.

He must be a new Liberal in that case.

HE HAS WATCHED THE SOCIALISTS AND REFORMATORTS AND KNIWS IT DOESN'T PAY TO BE DISHONEST

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sometimes Max is too honest for his own good.

He must be a new Liberal in that case.

HE HAS WATCHED THE SOCIALISTS AND REFORMATORTS AND KNIWS IT DOESN'T PAY TO BE DISHONEST

Hope he learned from Gagliano and Chretien too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×