Thank you GOV for pointing this article out to me. For anyone wishing to understand where Mr. Ignatieff is coming from, I ask you to spend twelve minutes of your time watching this superb PJTV video. Think of it as, Ignatieff unplugged. Or perhaps better put, unmasked.
It appears Hedy Fry was telling the truth when she claimed she had nothing to do with a demeaning flyer sent out by the Liberal Party, which suggested Canada is no longer a country worth being proud of. Badmouthing Canada and its place in the world appears, bizarrely enough, to be a new Liberal party strategy.
That became evident in an insulting, offensive speech delivered by party leader Michael Ignatieff to a lunchtime gathering of the Canadian Club of Ottawa today, the day of Parliament’s return. If you were wondering what Mr. Ignatieff did all summer, now you know: drinking deeply at the well of Liberal arrogance, filling himself with huge draughts of the conceit and self-importance so central to the party’s existence, to the point he is now capable of casually writing off whole sections of the country’s history and millions of Canadians because they don’t comply with the one essential element of true Canadianism: they aren’t Liberals.
The essence of the flyer sent out under Fry’s name is that Canadians can no longer be proud of their country, because it is run by Conservatives. That message was reinforced again and again by a sneering, dismissive Ignatieff. Never mind the democratic system, never mind that true Canadians love and respect their country no matter who occupies 24 Sussex or has the most seats in Parliament. To Ignatieff, as to so many Liberals before him, Canada only counts when it’s run by Liberals.
Listen to this hogwash:
“After the last four years, it’s hard to remember how much Canada once mattered,” Ignatieff claimed nonsensically, writing off the risks, sacrifices and achievements of Canada’s troops in Afghanistan as nothing. Canadians may care deeply about the men and women who have sacrificed their lives there — they line the highway in honour every time another body comes home — but to Ignatieff and his Liberals this is nothing to be proud of, not enough to make us “matter”.
Or this drivel:
“For the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, the international scene exists only to score points on the domestic scene. And our credibility on the international scene has suffered in consequence. The Conservatives are giving up Canada’s place in the world.”
So the Conservatives’ principled stand against China based on its human rights abuses is dismissed as a cheap grab for votes. From who, the huge Canadian Taiwanese community? Ignatieff is far more upset that we’re not angling for more trade with Beijing, as the Chretien government did so vociferously, because human rights can always be ignored when money’s on the line. Harper’s strong line on the Middle East — which Mr. Ignatieff happens to share, though he neglected to mention it — is forgotten. Far better to pander to fashionable assaults on Israel by leftwing cranks who think the only democracy in the Middle East is the equivalent of apartheid.No, Mr. Ignatieff, in the unctuous, condescending tone he gets when he’s angling to establish his innate superiority, has concluded that Canada’s voice has gone mute: “They note our silence in international councils and ask: Where is Canada?” — a notion that might come as a surprise to President Barack Obama Wednesday when he sits down for his latest face-to-face discussion with the Prime Minister.
Mr. Ignatieff is all trite talk and happy history. He hauls out all the hoary old Liberal icons — blue helmets, peacekeeping, multilateralism, Lester Pearson. In what can only be classified as a direct accusation of racism, he asserted that Conservatives only care about white Canadians, charging that “if their name is Souad Mohammed, our government abandons them.” Ottawa may have mishandled the case of Suaad Hagi Mohamud — Mr. Ignatieff’s deep concern apparently doesn’t entail spelling her name properly — but deliberately mistaking bureaucratic bungling for deliberate government bigotry is beneath contempt.
Mr. Ignatieff declared that under Liberal plans for a “Big Canada” (because Canada under any other party is small, weak and unimportant) we would stay in Afghanistan beyond 2011, a position that ignores the fact the Liberals had to be dragged kicking and screaming into endorsing the Conservatives’ desire to keep them there even that long.
“Our Canada will champion an agenda of international governance reform … and to ensure a truly inclusive global forum, we would offer to host and fund a permanent G-20 secretariat in Canada.” Oh boy, a new building full of civil servants in Ottawa. Now THAT will make us important.
Best of all, he pledges: “Our Canada will renew our relationship with the U.S. At a time when Europe is tearing down its borders, North America is raising fences between friends. The number of visitors to Canada from the United States has fallen to its lowest level in a generation. The impact on cross border trade will hurt the United States as much as it hurts us.”
So after Liberals spent eight years mocking, lampooning and insulting the U.S., when Liberal MPs stomped on replicas of the President and paraded around self-righteously denouncing a war in which American troops were giving their lives, after all that Mr. Ignatieff will now sail in and “renew our relationship.” Well gee, I bet they can hardly wait.
If this is the “new” Michael Ignatieff, the one who’s been in the development stages for the nine months since he assumed the Liberal leadership, they should stuff him in a crate and ship him back to Harvard. Canadians don’t need to be insulted by a man who thinks we’re small and unimportant and can only be made suitable for the world stage through the leadership of him and his insufferable party. Canadians took their measure of the Liberal party over decades of exposure, an experience Mr. Ignatieff didn’t share while he was living and working elsewhere. The party lost the last two elections as a direct result, and I can’t believe this kind of imperious sermonizing from a visiting professor is going to win back any of that lost respect.