Sunday, December 12, 2010

The problem with Michael Ignatieff

The British know Michael Ignatieff as an engaging liberal academic and TV pundit, so Canadian disenchantment with him as Liberal leader must be puzzling.

This article by Ottawa journalist Susan Riley takes a cool look at Ignatieff's strengths and weaknesses.

For my part, the biggest disappointment about Ignatieff is his complete implausibility on climate change, something he shares with the leaders of the other two parties.  It is a huge volte face from the Liberals under St├ęphane Dion.

The other off-putting thing about Ignatieff (which as a recent migrant from the UK, I'm probably more sensitive to than most) is that in his public appearances and statements he always seems to be trying to do a Tony Blair impression.  If Blair is his model, it is not surprising that he is so often in agreement with the bushy Stephen Harper. Between the two of them they give Canadian politics a dated, cheesily stale air, which makes the Globe and Mail's current slogan: "Canada: Our Time to Lead" singularly inapt.

2 comments:

James said...

I think he supported the Iraq invasion, so he obviously holds Blair/Bush in high regard!! Do you think he has a hope of winning the next election in Canada?

Jane said...

Unlikely. An election is forecast for next spring. Here is one current prediction:

http://www.electionprediction.org/2009_fed/index.php

The Conservatives currently hold 124 seats, the Liberals have 103, NDP 29