Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"no real or imagined relationship with the Canadian people."

Another guest blog from C.

I tend to agree with what he's saying here, mainly because Stephane Dion was my number one sweetheart and I thought it was really sad when he was unseated by Ignatieff and his scary smile. also, I'm pretty sure michael ignatieff is a vampire. But this is besides the point for now.

Read on below for some astute observations on Canadian politics right now:

The Liberal Party of Canada’s insatiable hunger for power is emerging again as party leader Michael Ignatieff dismissed talks of a coalition with the NDP as “absurd”.

One would think, given the successful formation of a coalition government in Britain as well as Harper’s current communications crisis surrounding the lot of “Message Event Proposals” currently circulating through the media, that Ignatieff might just be looking at his best opportunity to unseat the minority Conservatives to date.

Alas, perhaps the only political group more determined than the Conservatives to concentrate power in the PMO is the Liberal party. This was never more apparent than a few years back when Paul Martin, determined to wrestle the leadership from his predecessor Jean Chretien, began slowing eroding loyalty by creating damaging divisions between Liberal party members. It was the infighting that resulted from these efforts that continues to plague the party today, even more so than the fallout from the sponsorship debacle. Too many power-hungry Liberal politicians jockeying for position have created an ideal climate for Stephen Harper’s skilled messaging strategists to pick apart the lowly, aimless Grits.

Even more recently Stephane Dion paid the price for his so-called “lack of leadership” when his party turned on him for exploring an alliance with Elizabeth May and the Green Party. I’ve fully believe all the talk that “Dion was not a leader” actually meant that “Dion was not a politician”, a plainly obvious fact that endeared him to me even more. Never mind that he actually had a platform that he was passionate about and that he was the only true embodiment of Liberal values since Jean Chretien. Unfortunately he didn’t do enough favours for his Liberal colleagues. He didn’t stroke their massive egos enough and he was devoured for it. And with Dion went the Liberals last best effort to unseat Stephen Harper.

As a result, today we have a minority Conservative government slowly but surely imposing right-wing policy on a too-complacent opposition. Examples of this trend continue to pile up. Whether it’s the government’s refusal to take responsibility for misleading the public about torture in Afghanistan (remember when Harper was a glowing beacon of accountability), or when they shit on the arts community and Toronto Pride, or the ongoing saga to abolish the long gun registry, the Conservatives continue to sell themselves as a centrist government while behaving like the reformists they truly are.

What better time to bring together the true centre-left of the Canadian political spectrum to create a proper and effective opposition? The Conservatives continue to manufacture countless opportunities to fuse NDP and Liberal values into strong, truly Canadian policy initiatives that would represent a stark contrast to Conservative policy, or lack thereof. Unfortunately, Michael Ignatieff isn’t willing to concede his delicate and incredibly limited power for the better of the country.

I said I’d never vote for Michael Ignatieff for two reasons: First, he wasn’t elected by his party members but rather elevated to the leadership in what essentially amounted to a coup against Stephane Dion, and secondly he has no real or imagined relationship with the Canadian people. He’s a social elite who lived outside the country for the better part of his adult life. The notion that he is capable or deserves to be Prime Minister of Canada, even in the context of a coalition, is truly absurd.



Michelle said...

The guest blogger C provides pretty silly reasons for not voting for Ignatieff - they aren't even based upon the platform he stands for. Choosing who to vote for is everyone's legal prerogative however, it seems irresponsible to negate someone's capacity for political change based upon where they lived, social class and how he got the position etc...

It seems ridiculous that you can be considered less patriotic for living and working in other countries (I wonder how that applies to all those political refugees out there in other countries eg Dalai Lama) . Now I am not saying by any means Ignatieff is a political refugee but compared to the thousands of politically inactive Canadians who couldn't be bothered to vote or know the name of the Prime Minister - Ignatieff seems to be willing to work towards building a better Canada politically and that is pretty patriotic (whether he achieves it or makes a difference is another story).

It should also be known that anyone who has attended or graduated from a post-secondary education is a social elite to a vast majority of the world (and that is not even getting into issues of gender or race).

Further given the blogger's description of the liberal party since Paul Martin - what does it matter that Ignatieff was not elected by the party?

The author implies that all politicians are out to achieve a level of personal power but apparently Ignatieff stepped to far - by not going through a pseudo democratic vote of liberal party members (the average Canadian pretty much gets no say in who is the leader so whether by election or other means as a Canadian you are stuck with it regardless).

Especially if the party members are out for their own individual power and political ambitions rather than the countries (according to your own description). Why would a person be elected by the party a better choice?

C said...

I concede that my reasons for not voting for Ignatieff have nothing to do with his platform. Thing is, Ignatieff and the Liberals don't really have a platform and he certainly hasn't shown much courage in opposing Conservative policy that doesn't jive with fundamental Liberal values.

I didn't imply that "all politicians are out to achieve a level of personal power", although I agree that they are, I said unequivocally that "too many power-hungry Liberal politicians jockeying for position have created an ideal climate for Stephen Harper’s skilled messaging strategists to pick apart the lowly, aimless Grits" - Do you dispute this?

I don't agree that anyone with a post-secondary education is a social elite. That would make me a social elite. Lol. Typical characteristics of social elitism would include being born into extreme affluence, being ivy league educated, having the option of moving back to your country of birth and almost immediately assuming control of a major federal political party etc etc.

Which brings me to my point about his not having been elected leader by his party. Ignatieff rose through the Liberal ranks based on who he was, not his policy. In the process he turned the party (and to some degree the public) against a brilliant, more experienced, passionate leader in Stephane Dion. A leader whom, in your words, was "willing to work towards building a better Canada politically", even if it meant putting all of his political capital behind a single, extremely ambitious policy initiative. Perhaps being elected by the party isn't any more democratic. Regardless, Dion deserved better.

Back to my original point, Ignatieff hasn't done shit as leader of the opposition. He shouldn't be dismissing the concept of a coalition government as absurd, when in fact it's the assumption that he should be the one leading it that's truly absurd.

tee said...

"Why would a person be elected by the party a better choice?"

I have to disagree with Michelle on this one. I think that as "democratic" nation we have to have democratically elected officials. The way Ignatieff went about consolidating his own power by questioning Dion's was inexcusable.

Maybe I just don't like Ignatieff because I really liked Dion, but something just isn't right about a leader who divides their own party to gain power. Especially when, once they get the power, they don't do anything productive with it.

Ignatieff needs to show us what he's got and why he felt the need to usurp the leadership from Dion, until then he's just a semi-handsome scarecrow.

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