Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ignatieff chooses wealthy Rosedale Gang as backroom power brokers

Ignatieff inner circle choices raise questions [source]

After 'Rosedale gang' appointments, Liberals wait on decisions about roles for Rae, LeBlanc. Liberals are waiting to see if newly minted party leader Michael Ignatieff will give leadership rivals Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc prominent posts on his team or leave them in limbo as ordinary parliamentary backbenchers...After cleaning house in the Opposition leader's office, Ignatieff is expected to put so many of his former Toronto faithful in prominent backroom jobs that some are already calling it the Rosedale gang [end of excerpt]
Now we'll be faced with weeks and months of spin, speculating on Iggy as Prime Minister. Pearls of wisdom will drip from his lips. Battles will be fought on designing just the right sound-bites to include in news broadcasts. He's the new Liberal golden boy (you remember the Liberals, the ones who got us into the mess we're in and so mired the political landscape that we haven't had a majority giovernment in Ottawa since. And correct me if I'm wrong, but Ignatieff has never won a Liberal leadership race. Oh, it's been close - but nope, no win. Liberals want so desparately to remove themselves from the Dion era, that they're ready to concede the next leadership convention vote to Iggy, who they are sure will lead them to Canadian electoral nirvana. Talk about counting your eggs before they're hatched. Or is that Golden eggs? Ignatieff is an elitist out of touch with ordinary Canadians, coaxed from his American, Harvard ivory tower position by hustling political strategists seeking to rebuild the Liberals' fortunes.

Ignatieff's career, far from being involved in helping Candians or serving them in the public sphere, has been one spent outside of Canada as a revier, reporter, essayist and commentator. One reviewer in 2006 said of him, " As the '90s progressed, the main character in more and more of Michael Ignatieff's work became Michael Ignatieff". Removed from daily cultural realities in Canada, immersed in the American "worldview" theatre of academia and media (as a writer for the leftist New Republic for instance), how can he understand what is crucial to the Canadian electorate? He knows how to turn a political phrase - but does he know how to turn a country around?

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  1. Hrmmmm, Ignatieff an elitist you say? Isn't that the same tag American Conservatives tried to stick on Obama?

    Of course Conservatives are unhappy with Iggy's installment as leader...but the move is supported by 69% of Liberal supporters according to polling numbers, so its certainly legitimate. I'm sure Tories would have prefered for Dion to stick around, and for their chief opponents to go through a costly and potentially divisive leadership campaign. Ahe don't get everything you wish for, like majority rule. 38% isn't quite enough for that.

  2. Thanks Gordie, and from one canayjun to a canuk ;) I'm sure the conservatives are unhappy with Ignatieff's choice as he is bound to be more popular than Dion. But I think if we added up some of the popular vote numbers "69% of liberal supporters" wouldn't give us a majority either. Recent polls show Liberals and Conservatives tied in the popularity contests - hrmmmm, tied with a minority mandate.... That just won't cut it in an election. As for comparing Iggy with Obama (???), man I hope the Canadian electorate can rise above the antics of the American presidential circus and the Liberals better have a more substantial strategy that riding a popular vote on Barack Obama's coat-tail. Barack Obama has the potential to become a great American, he has already achieved great acclaim by his election win alone. But Canada is not America, (thank goodness) and Democrats are not Liberals. This is one canayjun who demands better than the Harper Conservatives or Iggy's Liberals' promises. I'll wait and see if Iggy blindly props up Flaherty's budget next week.