Saturday, April 08, 2006

Under the Microscope

Apres the launch, le deluge.

Lots of critical scrutiny of Michael Ignatieff on the day after his announcement that he will indeed be a candidate. Jeffrey Simpson hits on his most apparent and difficult-to-rebut thesis - the man has been absent from the country and its core political debates for a long time (the Tiger has excerpted some key paragraphs here). This Star piece also has some comments about Ignatieff's "American identity" that have raised the eyebrows of Warren Kinsella et al. That, along with the glee shown by the NDP at the prospect of facing an Ignatieff-led party on the left, will be serious weaknesses to overcome in a brokered race.

Harper's keeness for a majority means one thing - whoever wins has no real margin of error. They will face the prospect of an imminent general election with pretty large stakes. Ignatieff is certainly impressive, but you wonder how long his inexperience (both in government and in the country) will cause delegates to pause before making him their second or third choice. But that's why the leadership campaign will be so critical, of course.

Ignatieff's presence does ensure that a vigorous, intellectual debate over the course of the Liberal Party and the country will be at the heart of the race. On that note, I should point out Ignatieff's new website. It's teeming with substance. A friend of mine in the Ignatieff campaign asked if I would contribute a piece on the "role of the federal government" as part of the launch of its policy forum, and you can read and debate that effort and others here. The commenting section can be a bit unwieldy, but I'm sure the kinks will be ironed out in time. Go have your say.


Blogger Liam O'Brien said...

I was expecting more from Ignatieff. The "substance" on his website comes largely in the forum section. I look forward to seeing where Michael Stands on basic priority policy issues. . . taxes, health, education, justice, etc . . .

His opener read too much like Bill Graham on cruise control with the expected Martinesque punctuation of every other sentence with words like "rights" "charter" "the Conservatives' Canada."

It might seem stylish for Michael to rag on about the Conservatives' view of Canada, the problem is they're in government with the vast majority of Canadians expecting them to get at leats 1-2 years to define that vision.

the rest seemed to be a schizoid back and forth between "we gotta win seats in Alberta" and "I love Kyoto." . . .topped off with a little plug for R&D.

I like Ignatieff as compared to many other hopefuls, but I epxected a lot more from him.

11:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home