07.03.2011 08:59 AM

In today’s Sun: Teacher, taught

The Canada Day long weekend is as good a time as any, one supposes, to sit down and write an essay about what it means to be Canadian.

So, that’s what former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff did in another newspaper this past week. For 650 words, give or take, Ignatieff laboured to define Canadian-ness — and along the way hae gave us a rare glimpse into what he is feeling these days.

Among other things, he’s still grappling with the May 2 election result. The first couple paragraphs of Ignatieff’s essay are about an Asia Pacific Foundation report, which found nearly three million Canadians — “nine per cent of our population,” Ignatieff writes, to ensure the point is not missed — toil hither and yon around the globe.


  1. Bill M. says:

    “Except when the $4 million “Just Visiting” campaign commenced, Ignatieff wasn’t nearly as concerned as me or Davey or Zed. If anything, he was initially bemused by it all.”


    Good for Ignatieff. He mistakenly thought he was there to put forth ideas to help Canadians achieve a better standard of living. He didn’t know it’s just about tossing grenades.

  2. just call me Rick says:

    It always struck me as odd that the Liberals never fired back that Harper was an American wannabe. I waited for it, but it never came.

    The Conservative smear wasn’t much different than the attacks that the right-wingers launched on Obama, the so-called “birthers”, that tried to convince Americans that Obama wasn’t American.

  3. W.B. says:

    What has happened to Angelo Persechilli today? Doesn’t he have TV? Rae will never go for the real leadership. He’s TOO old. He looks old; he acts old; he moves old; he talks old. Others may be the same age or older, but they don’t LOOk so old. I admire Rae greatly, but his time is past and he knows it. What is Angelo trying to stir up?

  4. A. Cynic says:

    Mr. WK: Is there anybody on earth who does not know “…They brought me in to run their “war room”…”?
    Could it be that Michael Ignatieff thought Canadians would think for themselves. Sadly, that was not the case & the MSM including your beloved NDP joined the chorus chanting “Just Visiting” & all the other crap put out by the Cons.
    This may be politics 101 to experts like you, but it says a lot about Canadians who are so easily manipulated.

  5. Anne Peterson says:

    He ran against the sleaziest leader of the sleaziest government I have ever seen in this country and I am a pretty old girl and have seen a lot. They got in with 24% of the eligible vote. It’s not Ignatieff’s problem that Canadians were lazy and apathetic and have a terrible electoral system. One of his problems was that he ran as a decent person behaving with some honour. He probably would have made a fairly good leader. Our loss. He should stop worrying about it and get on with his life.

    • Africon says:

      More “sleazy” than Adscam ?

      How about some examples ?

    • Paul says:

      You know, if there is one thing that really grinds my gears it’s the whole sore loser argument that: “well, 60% of Canadians did not vote for this government.” Well, guess what? That has pretty much been the case for every majority government since we started having multi-party elections. In a two-party system there will always be a majority vote winner (of those who bother to vote, that is,) but we have many parties and FTPP and until that changes the party that wins the most seats forms the government. The 60% argument is completely invalid in that context, and that’s a fact.

      We saw the same sort of thing when Gore lost to G.W. Bush. The left could simply not grasp that fact that their guy lost and that the voters were “stupid” enough to elect Dubya so they had to pull out every legal maneuver in the book, and then resort to attacking “the system” that refused to anoint their guy king.

  6. Anne Peterson says:

    Am I the only person who has reviewed the characteristics of cults and thinks we have one in charge in this country?

    • MF says:

      No. I’m sure there are a few other hyper-partisans who would make the same outrageous comments.

    • Lance says:


    • MCBellecourt says:

      Nope. However, the party’s problems should be kept out of the media. People do read this stuff, and the more they read about “problems” with the Liberal Party, the less likely people will have their faith restored in them. And, dredging up stuff that is now history won’t help.

    • Wannabeapiper says:

      Anne a destrucitve cult has a self appointed charasmatic leader who demands and gets complete obedience from members using the 27 known forms of mind abuse in combination. I know this because I was a deprogrammer/educator. By definition a political party ( in Canada) is not a destructive cult but is a cult given it has its own culture.

  7. Sean says:

    The tories had the “just visiting” ads in the can in late 2006, in case Ignatieff won the Montreal Leadership. This was revealed in a Macleans piece – I believe in Dec 06 / Jan 07. By 2008 / 2009, everyone knew this was coming. His entire team should have been thinking about how to handle the attacks the moment he announced his second bid for the leadership. As Machiavelli tells us, a leader must always be preparing for war.

  8. Rick T. says:

    I had already had forgotten about this guy. Way to ruin my moring coffee Warren.

  9. Randy says:

    I think Mr Ignatieff is a decent guy and everything. An obviously smart man, with a wealth of international experience. I found him to be a far better choice as leader than Stephane Dion. I actually warmed up to him, once I got to see what he was about (though I am not a “capital L” Liberal). I don’t think people trusted that he was in it for the long haul. I know the Liberals got trounced and he had to go, but it kind of confirmed what the CPC were saying. People felt that he was only brought in to get the Liberals back in power, and would not stick around if the Liberals lost, regardless of how well/poorly they did at the polls. He has too much to offer, elsewhere. Though I never bought into the “just visiting” slogan because Mr Ignatieff lived abroad (lots of great Canadians live abroad), I felt in my gut that he wasn’t going to stick around if the Liberals lost, so it was a tie-in with the “just visiting” theme. Your party needs a leader that has been around, and will stick around “long term”. People need to get to know him/her. If Mr Ignatieff had stuck around 4 more years, had smart people behind him, and rebuilt the party based on ideas, then we might have seen a different story. As it is now, the Liberals are in a worse spot than they have ever been.

  10. Anne Peterson says:

    Oh, please, everybody knows the conservatives are the hyper partisan ones and they get out the vote. And I don’t have time in my life to list all the sleazy things they have done. They have been in the newspapers. Start with Tony Clements riding for one. Two small things are the ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ glassed in swimming pool given to the PRIVATELY owned Glenora Club in Edmonton. Laurie Hawn got votes there I’m sure. And the MP from Calgary who baled out his own company with some of the funds. The media just didn’t follow up on the small stuff and not much on the big stuff either. The only way not to notice the sleaze is to have a lobotomy which seems to be what happens to conservatives. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  11. allegra fortissima says:

    Lesson number one: “Watch Your Back!”

    Sometimes it’s not your enemy that gets you, Mr. Ignatieff. It’s your own people.

    Right, Mr. Kinsella? Nice column, by the way…

  12. Pseudonym Lib says:

    Ignatieff may have been done wrong by the ads, but he didn’t live up to his part of the bargain. His disastrous debate performance, detonated any momentum he had, and was followed by a particularly egregious stretch run. Any hard-working Liberal campaigner who attended that dreadful “Rise Up Rally” (other than his slavish, scurrying, kool-aid-drinking OLO staffers) will tell you that Ignatieff had lost it. At one point of the rally, Ignatieff spiralled into demagoguery shouting things like “use that rage you are feeling” and “get angry.” It was a pathetic display, brightened only by the rabble-rousing appearance of the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien. Regardless of one’s loyalty to the party, Iggy’s live train wreck was enough to make people walk out of the banquet hall, and they did, including this reader.

  13. Rocky says:

    Randy…Ignatieff had to leave…he lost his riding.

  14. Cath says:

    I’m still trying to understand why Ignatieff is still “news” worthy…..’cause kids, he’s just not. It’s almost right up there with the dumbest question I’ve heard from a person awaiting THE ROYALS to show up at the Canada Day celebrations, wondering what they smelled like up close. Seriously? Seriously right up there with the Ignatieff piece.

    • allegra fortissima says:

      It’s not meant to be “news”. Remember the sentence “I have no relationship with Mr. Kinsella”?
      “As of May 2, it means if you leave home, you bloody well better not take 30 years to find your way back” is the late reply, a stab with the dagger, literally, Machiavellian style, never do an enemy a small injury… Stefano Infessura with his sharp pen couldn’t have written it in a more revengeful way.

      Buona Notte

  15. Anne Peterson says:

    Yes, I have become hyper-partisan. In my fairly long life I have never even been very partisan, but now I am hyper-partisan. I see destructive, counter productive things being done to and by my country and it does not please me. Hyper-partisanship was introduced in Canadian politics to steam roller a win, so it should not be a source of great surprise that is has spawned a hyper-partisan reaction.

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