Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ignatieff reinforces he’s not a Canada-first kind of guy

In typical Michael Ignatieff fashion, the chief Grit tells voters in Quebec that he really doesn’t care if they do not owe their loyalties first to Canada. He told a largely-Quebec audience in last night’s French-language debate [here I’m quoting Ignatieff from a piece in the National Post by Graeme Hamilton], “you can be a Quebecer or a Canadian in the order you prefer.”

Many like the National Post’s Kelly McParland finds fault with this sort of sentiment, and so do I. But Ignatieff wouldn’t understand that: he’s an international-man who has voted in a British election and once claimed (however falsely) that he planned to vote in an American election. Ignatieff’s probably voted more times in a foreign country than he has in Canada.

A person, who’s spent as much of his adult life abroad as Ignatieff has, cannot be expected to have the same gut feeling for Canada as we do. For most of us, it’s Canada first, last and always; it’s Canada right or wrong.

Yes, there are those Canadians who find patriotism old fashioned and there are Canadians whose first loyalty lies elsewhere, but, for the most part, Canadians put their country before their region or non-Canadian/international affiliations, and strongly believe their leaders should also feel the same way. Many Canadians were not at all happy that the previous Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion, held French citizenship while running to be our prime minister.

Canadians may not show their patriotism quite so openly as, say, Americans, but nevertheless they feel every bit as deeply about Canada. Look around during the playing of the national anthem at a hockey game against another country and you’ll see what I mean. Or sit in a bar and watch a Canada-against-any-other-country game of any kind and you’ll see what I mean. Ask one of our many soldiers from Quebec who they fight for, and they’ll tell you what I mean.

Had Ignatieff been around all those years, he’d know this.


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. Did the Prime Minister challenge him on that? I get the sense that most federal leaders agree with that statement.

  2. Great comments. Thanks. I'd like to see more on this in the mainstream media. It risks irritating some in Quebec, but I hope most folks there are Canadians first.

  3. I was born in Manitoba and raised in Alberta but I am a CANADIAN.... not an Albertan. My Canada includes Quebec but I wish they'd stop their games.

    This latest remark from Iggy confirms that he's in it for himself- not Canada. That remark is just bulls#!* pandering to the seppies.

  4. Time for Quebecers to choose or get off the pot....sure a lot of Quebec snowbirds here in Florida!

  5. Another great post, short and sweet. I don't think Ignatieff actually believes what he's saying here, however, as he has previously made statements that indicate he believes Quebec nationalism to be largely superficial and founded on overexaggerated differences between Quebecers and other Canadians. Beyond that, however, I completely agree with your perspective that Ignatieff doesn't have that "gut" patriotism for Canada. I bet he views patriotism as an emotive expression of the simple people, and that he is too educated and too sophisticated to feel that nationalistic sentiment. I view Ignatieff as more of an internationalist who doesn't feel or understand the "Canada-first" mentality that real Canadians want him to express.