09.26.2013 07:15 AM

Succinct review of Ignatieff’s new book

From the Star’s Bob Hepburn, who can’t exactly be accused of being a Conservative Party shill:

But despite claims the book is “deeply self-critical,” it is in fact nothing of the sort.

Sounds about right.  It wasn’t sent to me, and I won’t be buying it.


  1. AP says:

    Michael Bliss had Iggy’s number in 2006

    “[Ignatieff] is a classic example of the irresponsible intellectual who advocates what seem like good ideas, and only afterwards comes to understand and regret the unintended consequences of the positions he has taken. He did not learn the lessons of his ghastly Iraq folly. After making mistakes that would have humbled and silenced most thoughtful men, Mr. Ignatieff instead chose to bring his carpet bag of ideas back to Canada. Millions pay the price of the Ignatieff ego.”

    The problem with Ignatieff wasn’t that he “had to unlearn being clever, being rhetorical, being fluent” but rather his problem was that he never stopped being too clever and too rhetorical i.e. full of shit.

    Fundamentally Bob Rae and the Harper attack ads asked the one fundamental question that Ignatieff was never able to answer: “Just who the fuck do you think you are?”

    • Bobulous says:

      Well put, especially the last sentence.

    • Tiger says:

      Politicians need to be clever.

      But it’s cleverer to be simpler — you need clarity of thought for that. We always got exactly what Chretien was saying, even when some joked that he didn’t speak either official language.

  2. steve says:

    Another review with a similar conclusion. I still think if Ken Dryden had been picked instead of Dion the Liberals would never have lost power.

    • Lance says:

      I still think if Ken Dryden had been picked instead of Dion the Liberals would never have lost power.

      The Liberals were never in power during the time that Dryden could have been in Dion’s place.

      Now could they have WON an election if Dryden were leader at the time instead of Dion? Well, that is an entirely different question.

  3. Lance says:

    Rather, the book is a revisionist look at his leadership, revealing a man who accepts little blame for his party’s shocking demise…..

    “Demise”? LOL Really? Last I looked the Liberal Party is still here.

    • Warren says:

      That is certainly the dictionary definition of demise, you are right. Perhaps he should have written Ignatieff’s demise.

      • Simon says:

        Try “disintegration”…… and it looks like it’s getting sucked down into it’s Quebec cesspool where Justin will meet his Waterloo as the BQ is federally revived by PQ Marois.

    • Sean says:

      Lance’s comment causes to think of the Ignatieff mess in an interesting way. Is the resiliency of the once great Liberal Party so strong that it can even survive Ignatieff? Apparently it is!

    • Elizabeth says:

      They did have 32 seats left, which isn’t bad when you consider what happened to the PCs.

      I always felt something crashed with him and Rae, who I don’t dislike so much as I just wished he’d go away, and I suspected Ignatieff had been scuttled from the back rooms in the LPC. I thought he had good ideas, but gradually started to think I could have managed the campaign better myself. He’s a bit too protected, methinks, and has been his whole life. High opinion of himself based on his looks, his family background, and his education.
      When I saw him in HoC calling the Tories “grease spots”, I thought YAY we have a fighter here – but I was profoundly disappointed. Couldn’t believe how Jack Layton rabbit-snared him with the vote thing in the debate. He was speechless. Honestly – even I would have snapped back at him.

      I’m a Liberal, mainly because I just don’t fit anywhere else.

  4. .. mmph .. the net result was a Harper Government majority.. and look at the cost to Canada and Canadians of that so called election. Iggy’s book does not interest me, nor will I buy it. Harper’s hockey book inflames me.. and I won’t buy it either.

    Both men belong on the scrap heap for failed political animals, egoists or electoral cheaters .. The saving grace for Iggy is that he just lost an election.. It is Stephan Harper who has lost sight of his own nation .. The two failures cannot be compared.

    Will Stephen Harper someday write a book ‘explaining’ his actions ?
    An apology of some sort ? No .. I don’t think so ..
    Canadians aren’t so interested in excuses or liars

  5. Mike in Toronto says:

    I remember reading an article that Ignatieff wrote in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. It was almost embarassing to read. He seemed to think that the more complex and dense the sentence, and the more obscure words he used, the better. I’m a pretty well read guy, and I had trouble understanding what he was saying. He seemed sounded like a pompous, cold intellectual — not the kind of person that could likeable or attract votes.

    He seemed like that throughout the campaign.

  6. J.W. says:

    I put this little comment on Wells’ review.

    What drew many to this “loser” was hope. Hope that Canada could have stature abroad, compassion at home, justice, civil discourse, fair elections, honest communication.

    His defeat was a turning point, and now we hear we can’t get much better than cheaper phone calls , airlines running on time, secret political bribes, and vicious, hateful electoral manipulation and outright cheating.

    A sad, narrow, mean spirited, nasty pointless, little country.

    • Warren says:

      At this point, someone is going to start wondering why you choose to live here, no?

      • J.W. says:

        My love of Canada is not in question. I can chose not to support what it is becoming without being asked to leave I hope.

        • Warren says:

          Dude, your condemnation of Canada was way over the top.

          • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

            Thank you for that, Warren.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Since the CPC have come into power and I’ve become more aware of citizenship laws; I’ve examined mine (momentary panic since my mother was a Bermuda war bride, but its ok, Dad was born in Canada); I appreciate being Canadian more than ever.

            We’ve got problems, but if Harper has done any favours for the country it was in waking us up to the fact that we could lose the Canada we love. And it seems to me that the examination of our institutions (and corruption) has never been so public and so thorough – or at least they’re trying.

  7. Greg Vezina says:

    Does anyone remember when during the 2011 election the liberal party really started it slide to the bottom? It was a week before, when Iggy started surrounding himself with Bob Rea who appeared with him at all press conferences and answered most of the questions for him. Iggy was not in Canada when in the 1985 Ontario election won by then new P.C. Leader Frank Miller, who won a minority, and was removed from office by a simple written deal (accord) between then NDP leader Bob Rae and Liberal party leader David Peterson that promised unconditional NDP support for a Liberal government for two years. Fast forward 20+ years and here we have Iggy saying a similar arrangement to remove a Harper minority was not legitimate. Brings to mind the immortal words of Conservative pundit William F. Buckley who said, “I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.” Iggy should have stayed at Harvard and saved both Canada and the Liberal party, because in my opinion, Harper was right about Iggy not being up to the job and just visiting. He is still visiting and does not have a clue how a parliamentary democracy works. Go back to school professor, you should be getting better at learning now that you have been schooled by both Harper and the late Jack Layton.

  8. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Can I ask you this Mr. Ignatieff…….why in his short tenure as Leader, Bob Rae was able to turn the party around?……with fundraising, with party morale, with our stature in Parliament?……maybe he didn’t bring us to the heights of Justin Trudeau…..but he laid a good foundation for Justin…….and it is he who I appreciate……not some self indulgent intellectual who didn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to connecting to people……

    Jean Chretien, Bob Rae…….could walk with kings AND commoners…….you obviously prefer the company of kings…..

  9. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    In 2005, anti-Harper Conservatives coined “This dog won’t hunt.” In 2013, move over and kick that dog that is already down, again.

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