Twenty on Ignatieff in the third

Michael IgnatieffI’ve just recently taken a brief primer to catch up with the Liberal leadership race, and I’m afraid that I am, in the words of Anna Russell, just as befogged as before. There’s a clear frontrunner, about whom everyone feels strongly; he is either heralded as the party’s saviour or derided as an unmitigated disaster. A Harper-Ignatieff general election would be a policy wonk’s dream; one can’t help but feel a battle between the two cerebral overminds of modern Canadian politics would be best settled by a simple battle of wits to the death! with a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a vial of iocaine powder.

Would Ignatieff be a viable candidate for PM in a general election? Hard to say. He is an outsider to the party, which is currently the single most important determining factor in my view. He has some rather right-ish views on Iraq and torture, but we are told he has good reasons for holding these views reasons different from your typical neo-con’s and I suppose I should be getting to the business of reading his papers to find out just what they are.

I have no such uncertainty regarding the candidate’s general electability as PM when looking at Bob Rae’s campaign (Motto: “Why the hell is Bob Rae running?”). His miserable showing in his home province does not surprise me, but his support elsewhere does, particularly the endorsements from other candidates. The most plausible motive I can assign to him is that his goal is to deliver to the federal NDP the votes he cost them during his stint as premier of Ontario.

Gerard Kennedy seems like he should be a strong contender for the Anyone-but-Ignatieff position, and I have been quite impressed when I have heard him speak. But unless his French improves dramatically over the next week or two, Jeffrey Simpson gives the ABI title to Stéphane Dion, and in my limited view, he does seem like the default choice. But arriving by default on the third ballot is probably as far as you get to go.




  1. Manatee said,

    Wednesday, 11 October 2006 at 8:52 pm

    This seems like a major chink in the Ignatieff armour. Leaping from one extreme to the other is a far greater liability in electoral politcs than saying nothing at all. I think we should call it Janus Syndrome. There, it’s coined.

  2. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 12 October 2006 at 12:06 am

    The more I see of Ignatieff, the more I respect him. While I certainly don’t agree with all of his statements, he seems to actually have well-developed reasons behind his positions, and hasn’t just adhered to a popular prepackaged bundle of idealogical rhetoric.

    “If my friendship on occasion involves criticism, it is because this is the truest form of friendship.”

    I’m beginning to understand why he is the frontrunner in the Liberal race despite those outlier opinions of his.

  3. Tuesday, 5 December 2006 at 11:11 am

    […] What a difference a day makes. Drunk on two leadership conventions and a quarter bottle of gin, Gnomes is basking in political overload. A proud two-minute-tory, I cast my vote for Ed Stelmach (or rather, against Ted Morton), and directed my goodwill towards Stéphan Dion. In the former case, it seems that I was part of a rather significant and perhaps decisive movement, while the latter effort remains purely a matter of faith. My earlier infatuation with Ignatieff, and predictions of his success, were but youthful indiscretions. I am older now, and, I hope, a little wiser. […]

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