The view I had of Michael Ignatieff’s path to the leader of the Liberal party was that, after more than three decades in the United Kingdom and the United States, Ignatieff decided to return to live in Canada before he decided to run as a Liberal candidate and contest the leadership of the party.
But, apparently, if a report in the Globe and Mail can be believed, he was recruited to run as a Liberal candidate before his return to Canada, and to do so he obviously had to live here. That is to say, his return to Canada was even more opportunistic than I had thought.
According to the newspaper:
“Mr. [Ian] Davey and Mr. [deputy chief of staff Dan] Brock were instrumental in bringing Mr. Ignatieff back from his Harvard career as an academic and pundit to run for Parliament, and then the leadership.
“Mr. Brock, working in the early 1990s as a producer for CBC radio host Peter Gzowski, met Mr. Ignatieff when he was an on-air guest and was impressed. He and Mr. Davey, son of legendary Liberal strategist Keith Davey, had worked briefly on the short-lived 2003 leadership campaign of former deputy prime minister John Manley, and joined forces to persuade him to return to Canada.”
How do these people look themselves in the mirror every morning?
With a population of about 33 million people, wouldn’t you think the Grits could have found (would have wanted to find) a committed Canadian to lead their party. Instead, two of their operatives fly off to a foreign land to convince a man who had been living broad for virtually all his adult life to return to Canada so he could join their elected caucus and run for leader of the party.
Well, the Grits got what they wished for: an out of touch academic who is unable to connect with the Canadian public, people with whom he barely can identify other than through his birth certificate.
Ignatieff wrote a book talking up his Canadian roots, but few Canadians have been fooled. For years he saw himself British then American and only became Canadian once again when the lure of becoming prime minister was dangled before him.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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