12.08.2008

does ignatieff as liberal leader spell the end of our hopes?

I never blog about partisan political maneuverings. It's just not my thing.

But privately, I have been hoping against hope that Bob Rae would be chosen as the next leader of the Liberal party. I worry about his baggage, sure, but I'm betting - or hoping - that most people so bothered by The Baggage Factor would be voting Conservative anyway.

However, Michael Ignatieff as Liberal leader would seem to spell the death of the Liberal-NDP Coalition.

Speaking strictly from an NDP perspective, how can the New Democrats ask us to support someone who laboured for years to promote destructive US foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq and torture of anyone declared a terrorism suspect?

Although Ignatieff backed away from his stance on Iraq, his writing, especially his frequent features in the New York Times, show his true colours very clearly. I used to read his work - or try to, repulsed as I was by his war-mongering - before I knew he was Canadian, and before I knew I was moving to Canada. I expressed my thoughts on Michael Ignatieff two years ago, and nothing has changed.

We could have lived with St├ęphane Dion until May. We could have lived with Bob Rae. But Ignatieff as Liberal leader and the end of the coalition would be a crushing defeat to our hopes for change. I hope I am wrong.

31 comments:

James Bowie said...

Thanks for keeping the race positive!

Devo said...

L-Girl:

I don't disagree with you that an Ignatieff led Liberal Party is unlikely to move to the left and form any kind of meaningful alliance with the NDP, but the facts you rely on to come to that conclusion are deeply flawed.

On what basis do you find that Ignatieff "laboured for years to promote destructive US foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq and torture of anyone declared a terrorism suspect?"? A minimal amount of research will prove this statement completely false.

West End Bob said...

Totally agree with you on this one, L-girl. The prospect can't be good for a coalition opportunity in Canada. harper's gotta be jumping for joy on the prospect of Iggy as Lib leader.

Is it possible that he was clever enough to have had this as his plan from the beginning? He's more cunning than even I had guessed if so . . . .

L-girl said...

Thanks for keeping the race positive!

Not sure what that means. Are there some kind of marching orders that I missed?

These are my thoughts and feelings. So I'm blogging about them.

I'm not a Liberal partisan. I'm not even a Liberal. I don't have to "keep the race" anything.

L-girl said...

On what basis do you find that Ignatieff "laboured for years to promote destructive US foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq and torture of anyone declared a terrorism suspect?"? A minimal amount of research will prove this statement completely false.

As I said, I read his writing for many years, before I even knew he was Canadian. It's actually quite a bit of research. That's how I arrived at these conclusions.

What do you have that says otherwise? I'd be very interested to see.

L-girl said...

Is it possible that he was clever enough to have had this as his plan from the beginning? He's more cunning than even I had guessed if so . . . .

I doubt it. The Liberals can make their own mistakes.

redsock said...

Are there some kind of marching orders that I missed?

Yes.

Memo: "Support the Liberals -- 100% -- no matter what."

redsock said...

I propose that Ignatieff is never referred to as "Iggy" on this blog.

There is but one Iggy!

L-girl said...

I propose that Ignatieff is never referred to as "Iggy" on this blog.

OK, I'll second that. But please do not take it upon yourself to enforce the rule. :)

L-girl said...

but the facts you rely on to come to that conclusion are deeply flawed.

I was just thinking. Can facts be flawed? They might be used in ways that are flawed, by people whose conclusions are flawed, but facts are facts.

pg said...

Since Chretien left, the Libs have been searching for a Messiah. Paul Martin was supposed to fill the position but even Martin, with his canny organizational skills and studied sincerity couldn't blot out the stench of the Sponsorship Scandal.

That baggage is much bigger than any Bob Rae has to carry for having the bad luck to govern Ontario through a recession.

If the Libs pick Iggy they will be making the same mistake they made with Martin: counting on the cult of the Leader to compensate for their well-earned reputation for corruption.

It will be a mistake. Iggy has baggage of his own, as you've noted. And in a campaign that will undoubtedly stress personality, Iggy is at least as cold in his presentation as Harper.

Fact is, the Libs won't be able to win a majority for some time to come; they haven't lived down their deservedly crooked reputation.

They need a coalition as much as the NDP does, more perhaps.

If they pick Iggy, the coalition is probably toast; the NDP will not have to worry about being part of a coalition led by a guy who only recently figured out that torture should be put on a no-fly list.

redsock said...

Punishment = "You're banned!"

redsock said...

On what basis do you find that Ignatieff "laboured for years to promote destructive US foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq and torture of anyone declared a terrorism suspect?"

Devo likely will not return with any evidence of his claim that the above is false. He is (as is Bowie, I suspect) a hit-and-run blogger.

However:

In "The Lesser Evil", Ignatieff stated: "Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress."

First, he uses Cheneyesque euphemisms like "permissable duress". Second, several studies have found that use of hoods can induce psychosis in less than 48 hours. That is mental harm. That is torture.

Also: "I still think the President is right when he says that Iraq and the world will be better off with Saddam disarmed, even, if necessary, through force." - Michael Ignatieff, New York Times, March 31, 2003

That was the original reason for invading. When that came and went -- and spreading freedom became the new excuse -- Ignatieff was on board for that as well. One year into the invasion, he claimed "there is more real freedom in Iraq than at any time in its history".

Once public opinion turned so far against the invasion, once he saw that continuing to support the murderous invasion and occupation would hurt his political chances in Canada, he said he had changed his mind.

He wrote: "The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president. But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion." He also admitted he had been "influenced by the passions of people I admire".

I'm sure if I did more than the 15 minutes of research it took to get the above, I would find a lot more. Ignatieff has made no secret of his support of US foreign policies.

L-girl said...

*sigh*

PG's comments remind me why I don't blog about partisan bullshit.

I could care less about the Liberals' corruption. Show me a party without corruption and I'll show you a party who has never had the opportunity to be corrupt. The sponsorship scandal was blown out of all proportion. It involved very little money, and was squeaky clean living compared to the gang running Ottawa now.

They need a coalition as much as the NDP does, more perhaps.

WE need the coalition. WE, the people. To defeat Harper, to get the country moving, to work on the many things that need doing.

L-girl said...

I'm sure if I did more than the 15 minutes of research it took to get the above, I would find a lot more. Ignatieff has made no secret of his support of US foreign policies.

Thank you, Allan.

As I said in this post, I read Ignatieff's writing, both when I lived in the US and since moving to Canada. My opinion of him was formed through reading his own words. Can't get much clearer than that.

redsock said...

It's official: Dion has stepped down.

penlan said...

L-girl wrote"

"I was just thinking. Can facts be flawed? They might be used in ways that are flawed, by people whose conclusions are flawed, but facts are facts."

Well said!

L-girl said...

Thank you, Penlan!

No word from Devo or James Bowie, I see. No surprise there.

Nikolas said...

I think you're right, this is the chance for the Liberals to introduce a more moderate face to the electorate and basically throw Dion and the coalition under the bus. Sigh.

I like Bob Rae too, and would love to see him in power, but the Liberals will be petrified of having him up there (former NDP) with Jack (NDP) and trying to govern during an economic crisis with his term in Ontario not that distant of a memory. People who lived here then that I know, while quite progressive on their issues have a total hate-on for Rae.

We need proportional representation now, that has got to be our push.

mister anchovy said...

I think there was a brief moment in time when a coalition was a real possibility, but I suspect it is now ancient Canadian history. Perhaps there is a silver lining, and that is that Harper has alienated Quebec.

Even if a coalition unfolds, it will surely be a stopgap measure until the Liberals regroup.

L-girl said...

People who lived here then that I know, while quite progressive on their issues have a total hate-on for Rae.

But would they actually vote Conservative rather than a Liberal-NDP coalition w/ Bob Rae as Liberal leader?

And would they vote Liberal with Ignatieff at the helm?

If the answer is yes to either, they are not as progressive as they say.

We need proportional representation now, that has got to be our push.

I agree that pro-rep is the most important thing, but that won't be coming in time to get rid of Harper, if at all.

Even if a coalition unfolds, it will surely be a stopgap measure until the Liberals regroup.

Of course. I agree. But it would be the most useful tool to get what we all need right now.

impudent strumpet said...

Why exactly is a coalition less likely now? News sources keep acting as a given that it is, but I somehow missed why exactly. What's stopping them from just keeping the coalition papers on file and pulling them out again in January when/if they become necessary?

L-girl said...

Why exactly is a coalition less likely now? News sources keep acting as a given that it is, but I somehow missed why exactly. What's stopping them from just keeping the coalition papers on file and pulling them out again in January when/if they become necessary?

Damned if I know. It's like everyone keeps repeating something, so therefore it becomes true.

All the opposition parties stand to benefit from it. So why not?

I'm about to post the latest from the Coalition folks.

impudent strumpet said...

It's like everyone keeps repeating something, so therefore it becomes true.

That's exactly what seemed to have happened to Dion from where I'm sitting. Everyone started saying one day that no one likes him, and I didn't see anything that could possibly have made him as unlikeable as people were saying he is. Like even taking into account if people didn't like Green Shift. It seemed really disproportionate.

Also, this is from way earlier in the thread, but it occurs to me that people who dislike Rae because of his time as Premier of Ontario may well dislike the NDP for the same reason. So even if they don't mind the Libs, they might see a Rae-led Lib coalition with the NDP as too much, and vote Con to stop it. (Disclaimer: I wasn't politically aware enough when Rae was Premier of Ontario and I'm basing this solely on the reaction of my grownups.)

There might be a segment to which an Ignatieff-led Lib party might be appealing, even if Rae or Dion isn't, and his not-necessarily-coalition approach might prevent driving anti-coalition voters to the Cons. But then there's the problem that if he's party leader he may well become PM, and I don't know about you guys but I wouldn't feel safe walking around in the world when there's a book in print by my country's PM saying that torture is sometimes justified. Even if he recanted, the book is still out there.

JakeNCC said...

two things. iggy doesn't seem to want a coalition but the biggest hurdle is that the tories are saying now that if the government does fall that they will ask the GG to call an election rather than let the coalition form government and what confidence should any of us, after last week, have that the GG will do anything but what Harper tells her to do.

L-girl said...

JakeNCC, I think it's almost a given (as much as anything can be) that when the government falls in January, there'll be an election. That does not preclude having a coalition. In fact it would give the coalition a lot more legitimacy (even though it doesn't need any, it is already legitimate).

L-girl said...

Also, this is from way earlier in the thread, but it occurs to me that people who dislike Rae because of his time as Premier of Ontario may well dislike the NDP for the same reason. So even if they don't mind the Libs, they might see a Rae-led Lib coalition with the NDP as too much, and vote Con to stop it.

Yes, that's what Nick was saying, and I can see that.

But then there's the problem that if he's party leader he may well become PM, and I don't know about you guys but I wouldn't feel safe walking around in the world when there's a book in print by my country's PM saying that torture is sometimes justified. Even if he recanted, the book is still out there.

To my knowledge, he only recanted about the invasion of Iraq. I don't believe he's re-thought his views on methods of so-called fighting terrorism.

L-girl said...

I see this morning the Liberals are making the interim leader selection process more inclusive. So there's a better shot for Rae.

Tom said...

I just wanted to say thank you L-Girl and Red Sock for posting the actualy words from Ignatief. I am still learning about all these players in the political game and reading that idiocy puts him into perspective for me.

L-girl said...

Well, now it's moot. Rae is out.

Fuck.

L-girl said...

Devo: go away and don't come back. We don't speak to each other like that here.

Besides your sarcastic, nasty tone, your comments are repeating the same thing over and over. You are not even bothering to read what I've written.

Please take your snotty comments elsewhere. Thank you.