Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paper tiger visits Waterloo

After calling the Dippers’ bluff and turning the tables on them so that they would have to support the Tories, Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Party safely abandoned their support for the Conservatives in the House of Commons and voted against them in a vote of confidence. Now Mr. Ignatieff has taken his act on the road.

For those not tuned in to the chief Grit’s rhetoric, he believes Stephen Harper’s Tories are running the country into the ground. A minority view, of course, since most economists both inside and outside the country believe Canada’s doing quite well considering the circumstances.

He also is taking issue with Tory ads that question his three decades of living and working in Britain and the United States, reminding us that almost 20 per cent of Canadians were born elsewhere in the world. He said:

“I want a country where everyone sets their sights on going overseas at some point in their lives.”

Of course many Canadians were born outside the country, but then chose to live in Canada—we are, after all, a nation of immigrants. Mr. Ignatieff, on the other hand, was born in Canada and chose to live and work in Britain and the United States for most of his adult life. What sort of a country would we have if every native born Canadian lived and paid their taxes abroad for most of their adult life? A very peculiar one I would think.

As to his contention that “… two million Canadians are currently working in other countries.” So what? That statistic only is relevant for the Canadians who have been working in other countries for thirty years or so and then return to Canada to seek the office of prime minister.

Now it’s expected that I, as a Tory supporter, might question Michael Ignatieff’s qualifications to be our prime minister. But I’m not alone.

Back on December 2, 2006 in Montreal, 70 per cent of the Liberal delegates who voted for their new party leader voted against Ignatieff on the first ballot. And the day got worse for him:

  • Martha Hall Findlay was eliminated and she endorsed Stéphane Dion.
  • Scott Brison and Joe Volpe voluntarily dropped out of the race, and both endorsed Bob Rae.
  • Ken Dryden was eliminated, and he endorsed Bob Rae.
  • Gerard Kennedy dropped out of the race and endorsed Stéphane Dion.
  • Bob Rae was eliminated on the third ballot and then freed his delegates and did not indicate whom he supported on the final ballot.

Telling, is it not, that none of the opposing leadership contenders openly supported Ignatieff for leader back then. Except for Bob Rae, they all chose someone else to run their party, and even the pathetic Stéphane Dion was considered a better choice.

Fast forward to 2008. Ignatieff gains the leadership of the Liberal Party not by popular vote, not by majority vote of delegates at a convention, but by backroom maneuvering followed up by a non-voting leadership convention.

Most Liberals knew instinctively that someone who chooses to spend most of his adult live in other countries is not really fit to be our PM. That’s just common sense, eh?

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. Wonderful news! Ignatieff is now a cruise ship consultant! Canadians just need a little travel bronze to bring them up to speed. Does travel to the US count or do we really have to go overseas? I have to admit that when my family travelled to Spain, my dear husband was really good at asking for the cheque in Spanish! Does that count as positive? Ignatieff epitomizes European snobbery at its worst.

  2. So here's the big question... Where has Iggy paid his taxes for the last 40 years?

  3. Where does his figure of 2 million Canadians work outside of Canada come from.