There is a relatively new Web site, Republicans for Ignatieff, that purports to be supported by American Republicans who want to see Michael Ignatieff become PM of Canada. It’s a bit of silliness, of course, but it has drawn comments from David Aiken, Kady O’Malley, Warren Kinsella and, apparently, many more. How curious it is that what should be a transparent bit of political flimflam should draw any interest at all from serious political pundits.
I think this speaks volumes about the power and influence of the Internet. Someone can anonymously publish a Web site in the United States and quickly provoke interest and blog posts from some of the most astute political watchers in Canada—even if that interest is but passing. Thinking about it though, perhaps it says more about the lack of news to feed the voracious 24/7 news gathering and distribution networks in place in this country—there just does not seem to be enough real news product to go around.
That’s why, I suppose, the CBC has expended so much effort trying to generate a controversy over PM Stephen Harper having received communion in a Roman Catholic church or being a couple of minutes later than other world leaders for a photo op.
But back to Republicans for Ignatieff. Whoever’s behind the Web site does seem to have something. Given Michael Ignatieff’s own words, one must conclude he is, in fact, among the most pro-American political leaders in the past 50 years or so—perhaps ever—and he certainly is more pro-American than Stephen Harper. Which leader of the opposition has Canada ever had who was on a first name basis with more senior members of the U.S. administration? None that I can think of.
A joke though the Web site may be, there must be many across the political spectrum in the United States who would see Michael Ignatieff as an American “asset” if he were to become PM. He is after all a known quantity who, at least in the recent past, has considered himself one of them.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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