06.26.2014 09:20 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: at least one guy knew he was “just visiting”

What I want to know is this: when he told Harvard University that he was indeed returning to a full-time teaching position in Boston – when he signed on the dotted line, and finally confirmed that he was indeed “just visiting” – could Michael Ignatieff hear a cock crow, somewhere, for the third time?

If he didn’t, the rest of us sure did. Now that he has fulfilled the political prophesy about him, what more is there to say about Michael Ignatieff?

Not much. The Conservative Party alleged that he was “just visiting,” Ignatieff denied that he was “just visiting,” and – as we all learned this week – he was indeed “just visiting.” That’s his footnote in history, now.

Unlike 2011, when all of the Liberal Party was highly indignant about the Conservatives’ multi-million-dollar “just visiting” attack ad campaign, no one jumped to defend Ignatieff’s integrity and patriotism this time. Just a few lonely voices online, mostly saying everyone should just leave him alone. The popular reaction was one of disdain, not anger.

Conspicuously absent from this puny chorus, rallying to defend the former Liberal Party leader, was the rather distinctive voice of current Liberal Party leader. Not a peep was heard from him. The silence was deafening, in fact.

It’s not like the two men don’t know each other. Back in 2010-2011, Trudeau was regularly spotted in 409-S, the Opposition Leader’s offices (now occupied, thanks to Ignatieff and his adroit campaign staff, by one Thomas Mulcair). He would attend meetings with Ignatieff and other senior caucus Liberals in the boardroom, winking merrily at staff along the way.

In those days, Trudeau was nominally part of the Ignatieff circle of advisors, but he also sort of wasn’t. He was there, but he wasn’t there. When a big decision was being discussed, no one ever said: “We should check this out with Justin first.” Ever.

In retrospect, it appears that Justin Trudeau was shrewdly playing the long game. The previous leader, Stephane Dion, barely disguised his lack of enthusiasm for Pierre Trudeau’s eldest son. He made Justin’s life difficult.

Ignatieff didn’t do likewise, but it was clear he relied on his old nemesis/bestie Bob Rae far more than he ever relied on Justin Trudeau. He regarded Trudeau as “young.” Trudeau, for his part, looked quite content with that.

It is possible that Trudeau knew the train-wreck that lay ahead, and wanted to be far from the wreckage when it happened. It is possible – even likely – that he knew that Ignatieff did not connect with everyday people in the way that he did. After all: even in those days, Justin Trudeau was far more of a fundraising draw than Michael Ignatieff.

So, he bided his time. When the Liberal Party of Canada was reduced to its worst showing in history, and Ignatieff lost his own seat, Justin Trudeau was the first name on every Liberal’s lips. Not Bob Rae. When Rae finally accepted this – bitterly, reluctantly – the table was set for Justin. The leadership race was a mere formality.

Justin Trudeau – as the increasingly-frustrated Conservatives are learning, with their attack ads that barely register on voters – does politics the way he boxes: he plays the long game. He undersells, and then he overpowers.

Evidence of Trudeau’s long-game strategy found in this week’s sad return of Michael Ignatieff to Harvard.

It is not a case of Michael, we hardly knew ye. It is more a case of: Michael, Justin Trudeau knew you better than you knew yourself.



  1. Reg says:

    Justin may “connect” with people, but surely he is totally incompetent to lead the nation – nationally and internationally!
    Why don’t Liberals reject Justin for the fraud that he most certainly is? He is not a political leader, he is an actor pretending to be a politician.
    He has shown he can raise money for the Liberals, but to entrust him with the leadership of the party is a bad joke — and a bad dream.

  2. Yukon Cornelius says:

    I think you a give Trudeau too much credit – I can’t see him putting that much thought being put into it (or, for that matter, into anything else he’s done). Ignatieff, while obviously an intelligent man, always struck me as a dilettante and he’s probably better suited to a life in academia.

    • Yukon Cornelius says:

      what, there’s no edit function! proof-reading was never my strength.

    • Lance says:

      In retrospect, it appears that Justin Trudeau was shrewdly playing the long game.

      It is possible that Trudeau knew the train-wreck that lay ahead, and wanted to be far from the wreckage when it happened.

      So, he bided his time.

      WK, Yukon, is right – way, WAY too much credit. Substitute “Trudeau” for “Liberal party apparatchiks and handlers”, though, and that would be bang-on.

  3. que sera sera says:

    It’s interesting to see what lengths people will go to flog a dead horse.

    Flogging the dead horse rather than those who actually put him in harness in the first place – horses, however willing or smart, cannot harness themselves.

    Just flogging, eh.

    Can’t get much more passive/aggressive than that.

  4. Scotian says:

    “Justin Trudeau – as the increasingly-frustrated Conservatives are learning, with their attack ads that barely register on voters – does politics the way he boxes: he plays the long game. He undersells, and then he overpowers.” WK

    I’ve been maintaining pretty much since that boxing match that I thought Trudeau would act in much the same strategic manner as he did in that match running against the Harper CPC and Mulcair NDP. I think he has been getting massively underrated by the political chattering classes of all parts of the spectrum, I am far less convinced that he has been opening his mouth to change feet as so many of his detractors would have one believe (if anything I think he comes off sounding like a real person and unrehearsed at a time where such is not available elsewhere, since Layton died the NDP lost that quality and the Harper CPC never had it, May has it but her media presence is so minimal most don’t really get much exposure to it). I also think the policy positions on marijuana and abortion and the furour both triggered did a lot to help redefine the Liberal brand into being about something aside from pure lust for power, an image problem it has been having since Martin’s day.

    The more I watch Trudeau the more impressed I am becoming with him. While yes he is still young and relatively inexperienced as a leader he hasn’t been making as many mistakes as newbies usually do, and the areas of the job he has been doing right he has been doing very right indeed with, things like fundraising, recruiting candidates, rebuilding electoral machinery on the ground. From all I’ve been seeing he has been doing a remarkable job of regenerating the lost Lib capacity that weakened over the last decade and finally just ran away with Ignatief as leader.

    I think the amount of time he spends out in the country on the party infrastructure an the glad-handling of Canadians is another example of his long game thinking in action, and given how distant for most people Harper and Mulcair feel from day to day llife Canadians that is a very clever move. We know hope sells, Obama managed to win on it twice, the first time with pretty much nothing but wonderful speechifying from my observations, indeed the lack of substance drove me nuts at the time and I was saying so. Yet it worked, in no small part because of how tired Americans were of the intense negativity and abusive government they got from the Bush/Cheney Presidency.

    Well, Harper has governed for most of the decade now, and he clearly has fostered more negativity in the country than any prior PM in our history, and while usually Conservative voters are seen as the most motivated voters, I suspect that this next election there may be a sea change in that, and if so it is almost a certainty that it will more favour the Liberals and Trudeau than Mulcair and the NDP. They may be the second place party at the moment, but they have been the third place party all the rest of the time, while the Libs have either been government or Official Opposition throughout their history and therefore have the much deeper pool in the electorate and voter pool to draw from. Trudeau excites the Libs who fled Ignatief on both sides, both the ones that went to the CPC and the ones that went to Layton and the NDP, plus he appears to inspire new people to enter or re-enter after a long lapse the political arena/milieu, and that is a very powerful factor indeed, and I think Trudeau is well aware of it.

    So it would not surprise me if as WK speculates Trudeau saw the Ignatief train-wreck coming and was fine not being tagged with it any more than possible, and positioned himself for the aftermath. If so, then he showed yet again that he is far more capable of leadership and long term strategic political thinking than his opponents are willing to give him credit for. I also believe that part of the reason why the inexperience branding has been failing the CPC is as much due to a second factor aside from the way they have tried to market it.

    That second element being that we all know he grew up watching his father deal with the rough and tumble of political leadership including being on the brunt of some fairly nasty personal smear jobs (I well remember the whisper campaign about his flagrant homosexuality, the gay orgies he had at 24 Sussex Dr and that being why Margaret let him, all of this while he was the PM), and the idea that he did not learn from watching this from so close on the inside, from seeing what most people consider the greatest Canadian PM in living memory if not in our history just doesn’t work. IOW, he got a unique education in power politics and leadership from a master the likes this country rarely if ever sees, and just because he isn’t all that he father was (but then how many people are, his father was a rare bird period) does not mean he is incompetent or inadequate for the job, no not at all.

    I suspect both the Harper CPC and Mulcair NDP strategists are having trouble dealing with Trudeau because unlike the usual leaders and the last few leaders of the Libs what we see is what we get feels true, and that makes redefining hard enough as it is. Add in the fact that many Canadians feel they already know what he is like from watching him grow up and so forth only adds to that difficulty. However, the thing I think will really drive them nuts trying to cope with is how real, how natural, how genuine Trudeau feels as both a person and politician, he may not be the most polished, but real and easy to relate to, now that he scores well in I would suggest.

    So go ahead folks, watch that boxing match with Brazeau again, because in it you almost certainly see the path Trudeau is on now and is going to walk, and quite possibly walk to 24 Sussex Drive with in the next election. I would not even rule out the possibility of his gaining a majority first time out, it all depends on just how motivated the voting public is about removing the Harper CPC from power, and which choice they feel is the more able and one they can more easily live with even as a majority (because you can never assure a minority when you vote eve/especially with strategic voting as Ontario just showed, so to game/consider only for it is a fools game even if that is what you want). The NDP can say that they are better positioned because they are the LOO and the Libs the third party, but this is not the normal place for either and everyone in this country knows it.

    If the NDP were still led by Layton, or had elected Nathan Cullen then I would believe they might be able to swing it, but Mulcair? Nope. While I respect his competence and ability, he reads too much like just another lawyer politician, and he has not just the “angry Tom” vulnerability which has already been exploited, but in some ways more problematic he also tends towards a certain degree of arrogance/condescension as we saw come out during the media and Commons committee hearing regarding the Montreal offices and partisan mailers issue. That aspect, also seen in the “Do you know who I am?” remark incident with the Mountie some time back is in many ways the one I think is the more damaging for him and the NDP, especially given the traditional image and position of the NDP, if this were a PCPC/Lib?CPC leader with such it might even be seen as a possible asset by some, but for an NDP leader who is supposed to be the voice of the common citizen, the working man, that sort of thing can be political poison.

    Trudeau has a potential we rarely see in our federal politics, and the timing of his leadership and the national environment is also potentially loading in his favour to create a very possible wave election next time out for him. Is it what I would call highly probable or near certain at this point? Of course not, there are still things that could significantly change this, but so far since he became leader of the Libs the trends do seem to be working that way from my observations. Ironically enough all the attention the CPC give him over Mulcair also makes the case that he is the actual PM in waiting, and the real threat to them, because why else worry so much about a third party first time leader who publicly they say is entirely unfit because of inexperience to be taken seriously? Not to mention how much more media attention Trudeau draws over Mulcair, showing that the national media also see him as the de facto LOO/PM in waiting. This does get noticed by voters and citizens, even if only at the subconscious level, and enough of that for long enough also adds up to significant impact/influence over how those who are not partisans who vote regularly may choose next time out.

    It is clear to me that Trudeau is the best chance of defeating the Harper CPC, or even a CPC with a different leader if Harper chooses to go before the next election. For I do not see the new leader being from outside the current caucus and therefore owning the Harper legacy by virtue of enabling it, especially if they were cabinet Ministers under Harper. I suspect that will be true for a major chunk of the unaligned centrist vote which is the single largest unaligned voting block to there, and they are the ones that usually are the real deciding factor in who win the election and who governs and with how much. While the Trudeau magic Justin has is not that of his father Pierre, it is still powerful and in some ways even more connective than his father, and better suited for the current political environment of the internet age than his his fathers would have been, just as for Pierre’s time his was better than Justin’s would have been back then. Context matters after all.

    Justin Trudeau, underestimate him at your peril, Brazeau and all his cheerleaders did before the fight, remember how the “pretty pony” was going to be all roughed up (Ezra Levant in particular seemed fixated on this motif, but he was forced to call Trudeau the Stallion after the fight ended, a warning CPCers in particular should take to heart, but I rather doubt will given the track record to date) and broken/gelded by the big and powerful CPC Senator? Trudeau won for many reasons, one of which his far better understanding of the rules of the kind of fight arena he was in, as well as his ability to both take punches and counter-punch and when not to, know when to jab, and when to throw the haymakers. The sole reason there was not a knock-out was the Ref stopped it beforehand, the writing was clearly on the wall that Brazeau had lost and was going down. 20 years ago we would have seen it.

    Justin Trudeau and an iceberg have far more in common than his opponents appear to believe possible, which is one of his strongest cards to play. The blind spot it creates gives him a powerful edge, and so long as he doesn’t majorly screw it in something like an election debate then I don’t see it failing to stay to his advantage. Trudeau is a fascinating person at an interesting time in Canadian history, and he may prove to be almost as pivotal as his father in the end, although that last has a long ways to go before it can be fairly said, but to deny the possibility, the potential, is to blind oneself from the reality in front of us.

    BTW, at this time I am not a Liberal, nor am I a partisan of theirs nor Trudeau despite all the positives I just laid out about him. I normally do not join parties or go all in supporting any party or leader in elections. I will admit though that this time out if Trudeau keeps on showing what he has through to the next election by then that may change, I am becoming a fan despite my preference of staying unaligned, and I did not expect to, which is one of the ways I judge just how powerful his attraction can be. I will promise this though, if I do go that far I will also make sure I include the disclaimer in my writings at such time, I believe in being honest about such things. Thank for your time to anyone who actually read through this analysis.

    • Jeff J says:

      What you conveniently or ignorantly ignore is the reality that Canadians in the RoC will not vote for another PM from the nation of Québéc. In the 2011 election, Harper won a majority government solely based on the vote in the RoC, and the Québéc MPs were only icing on the cake. Canadians will not blindly vote Liberal or NDP to have by default a PM Trudeau or PM Mulcair. Ain’t gonna happen…..

      • smelter rat says:

        Wow. You speak for Canadians in the ROC? I’m impressed.

      • Scotian says:

        Jeff J:

        I love how this is claim always asserted without any actual evidence to support it by those who think Trudeau can’t win, as if it is some sort of incontrovertible rule, this despite the fact that many PMs have come from the PROVINCE of Quebec. Now, the idea that Quebec should always be where they come from doesn’t work for the ROC, or that the ROC tends to be resistant to having one Quebec PM followed by another, now that has something to it, but then for the past 8 years the PM is not from there, but from Alberta last I checked. Also, one of the problems with Quebec leaders in the past few decades was it was seen by many in the ROC as needing to support them to keep the separatists in check which led an element of coercion to it that rankled many in the ROC. However, that factor is clearly not in play next time out. You can say it “ain’t gonna happen” all you want, but you are basing this solely on faith, you have offered no supporting evidence, no reasoning based in fact, just feel, faith, and opinion, which is your right of course, but a proof of reality it most clearly does not make.

        Incidentally, who said anything about people voting Liberal blindly and Trudeau being just the accidental beneficiary because he is the current leader? It is more than a little arrogant and condescending of you to assert either that this is what I think will happen, or that this is something so many voters do, I’ve never been one to subscribe to that level of contempt for those who vote, even when they vote for those I oppose utterly. Rather disrespectful of you to make such an assumption of me or the voting public. I believe and just finished offering many arguments showing Trudeau is rehabbing the Lib brand and is getting people to vote Lib because of him, not that Trudeau could/would win and become PM because he is leading the Libs. Didn’t you understand that rather basic point from everything I was writing in the comment you replied to? I would have thought that was rather obvious.

        I may be long winded in what I say and in expressing what I think , but I do that to show where I am getting those views from, you fail that standard miserably in your reply to me. You are asserting as “reality” that Canadians outside Quebec will not vote for a leader from there, then how do explain the consistent polling support Trudeau has had ahead of Harper most of the time since he became Lib leader? If your premise was rooted in reality then it would be clear that he did not have that level of support, yet the proof of not just one poll but ALL polls shows your “reality” to be nothing but a faith based illusion you either believe in because you need to or worse are throwing out there because you can’t rebut reality as it currently sits. Either way though, what you call reality and what objective evidence calls reality on this point clearly diverge sharply, and not in your favour.

        So with respect, it is you who is doing the “conveniently or ignorantly ignore ” reality as shown by actual evidence beyond your opinion, which the poll information I cited clearly is, when all polls for over a year since he became Lib leader (which means it is not merely a post convention/election bump but something more substantial) show Trudeau either leading or just behind Harper, and more leading than not for next PM your argument falls completely apart regarding the Quebec factor as a significant stumbling block for Trudeau. Not to mention it was the sole rebuttal you had for the rather detailed set of arguments I cited showing what advantages he either clearly had or appeared to have and/or was building on. A rather weak rebuttal indeed, and one that to be honest smacks more than a little of playing to regionalism, factionalism, and intolerance. If this is the best you have, and what you are pinning your hopes on that is a slender reed indeed to be holding on to.

        Well, if you decide you want to continue playing, I’ll try to get back to you over the weekend, but I have commitments that will be keeping me away from the online world much of the time. Thanks for playing though, but next time could you please try something with some difficulty to rebut and refute? This felt a little too much like outwitting someone in jr high for me in terms of difficulty and ability, surely you can do better than that, can’t you? That btw is not so much meant to be insulting (though I won’t pretend it isn’t at all, but then I was insulted that your reply was all you had to what I had thoughtfully laid out, whether you agree with it or not if you are going to reply to it at least do so with something with more substance to it please…*sigh*) so much as to show just how flimsy your reply and reasoning was, most high school students could have put something stronger than that forward, and this site is one where I expect better than that from. I’m used to Kinsella generally attracting a higher grade of commentator than that whatever their partisan leanings or political flavour.

        Have a good Canada Day.

        • RonO'N says:

          Since JeffJ hasn’t, let me comment seriatim on each pedantic and convoluted paragraph of your rather specious arguments.

          ¶ 1 — PET, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin… all RC lawyers from Quebec and all favoured Quebec when they were PMs. The current optics of voting Liberal or NDP and by default you will get another PM from Quebec is problematic because Quebec is now viewed as a “nation” and slowly separating itself from the ROC on language, schooling, signage and even on civil law SCOC appointments.
          The next election will sensitize voters in the ROC and a vote for the Liberals or NDP will by default install a PM from Quebec and with all the powers of that office. Quebec is a perpetual have-not province, and before the ROC turns over the levers of power to another Quebec PM, they will first have to resolve their economic miasma. Also, Trudeau will be eviscerated on his Quebec supremacist comments given on French TV.

          ¶ 2 — Yes, the initial flush and blush of Justin’s leadership has invigorated the Liberal party, but I expect a lot of them will be turned off once the CPC and NDP truth attack ads expose Justin for the intellectual and political fraud that he is. It’s all there but you and besotted Liberals don’t want to condemn the boy while he is trying so hard in his leadership apprenticeship.
          Because he is so macho cute, people give him the initial benefit of the doubt and are willing to listen and support him financially just for entertainment value. This leads to the frivolous conclusion– since the polls reflect his popularity it’s okay to again vote Liberal without thinking about the consequences.. another PM from Quebec. You and the poll voting public are just being polite and giving Justin a hearing.. and he looks good on stage spouting his scripted lines, just like the good thespian that he is, but not much of an intellectual nor politically authentic.

          ¶ 3 — The current polls reflect Justin’s popularity, but that is not indicative of how Canadians will vote once they have all the facts. Justin is an academic and career failure, but that is overlooked because of his celebrity heartthrob effect on a segment of population.
          Justin abandoned teaching in B.C. and fled back to Montreal in 2002 and launched a total career change to be a Professional Engineer enrolling at Ecole Polytechnique and then flunking out in his second year. He got an acting gig in a CBC miniseries and when that gig ended, he enrolled in a McGill post-graduate program for ‘environmental geography’ but abandoned that after one year and in 2008 the threw his chapeau into the federal election and won the MP Jackpot… his first full time job at the age of 36.
          A failed teacher, failed engineer, failed geographer but a winning politician in Papineau riding! Then he treated his MP duties as a part time job and pulled in big $$$ as a motivational speaker; which disgraced his MP position. He apologized and the media forgave him. When he is held fully accountable for his speckled past by the NDP and CPC during an election campaign, Canadians will be able to judge in a fully informed manner.

          ¶ 4 — You depend on current popularity polls supporting the new kid on the block Justin Trudeau who has rocketed to political fame because of his pedigree and wonderful ability to deliver his scripted and rehearsed talking points. Without the guidance of his backroom strategists, Justin would be lost and shown to be in way over his head.
          Justin is is a fad, a flash, a fraud who will be exposed in due course by the NDP and CPC in the election campaign arena. Meanwhile Justin is riding high in popularity polling because Canadians are polite people who don’t want to condemn him outright while he is apprenticing. Once they are fully informed the reality will be just as brutal as it was for Ignatieff.

          ¶ 5 — Okay, rebut this reality from the 2011 election. The CPC won 39% of the vote but if you back out the Quebec vote you will see that the CPC won 47% of the vote in the ROC. This is how the CPC won a majority government without the Quebec vote.
          In the 2015 election, the NDP and LPC will be fighting for the Quebec vote while the CPC will again be bystanders. In the ROC, the CPC will most certainly campaign that a vote for the Liberals or NDP is by default a vote for another PM from the nation of Quebec. I believe that will sink into the minds of voters in the ROC, and they will not deliver the nation and Treasury into the hands of another Quebec PM. Justin is a nice boy, but PM of all of Canada?… NON!!!

          Hope that helps you.

          • Scotian says:


            1) You are the one making a multitude of assumptions without offering any supporting evidence beyond that Mulcair and Trudeau are from Quebec, which is stating the obvious. This notion you have about how did you put it…”Quebec is a perpetual have-not province, and before the ROC turns over the levers of power to another Quebec PM, they will first have to resolve their economic miasma.”, exactly what prior example of this dynamic existing are you basing this on again? Your last sentence in this election is the only element which I think has any connection to reality and even there I suspect you are seriously overestimating the potential of the comments to cause him much grief (aside from his hardcore foes it has never caught on as an issue despite those foes trying their damndest to make it), indeed I suspect in the end they may do more to harm those using them to attack Trudeau than him, but that is by no means a certainty yet. Still though you give a lot of weight to something that has never caught on with anyone outside of the hard core Trudeau haters/CPC partisans.

            2) Again, you are citing a massive amount of unproven assumptions and quite honestly character smears as truth/reality already proven, specifically that Trudeau is not only inexperienced but a total moron, a puppet/figurehead, again a belief of those who either hate him or are Harper/CPC or Mulcair/NDP partisans. You are already convinced he is a true empty vessel and total empty suit combined and so see everything about him pre-shaped by that belief, the problem with that is the evidence does not actually support that. He has shown repeatedly that he is more than that, but a lot of the ways he does so is in things like restructuring the Lib fundraising machinery, the ground electoral machinery, the riding machinery, which is something the Lib party was badly needing.

            He has been careful to pick his political policy battles so far, and many of the so called “bozo eruptions” have not appeared to be seen as such beyond the political chattering classes and his political foes, the wider public seems to have a different take on it, and they are the ones who will be doing the voting in numbers that count. Also, you again go to this premise about Quebec being such a profound political liability for him as a Province of origin/representation for him, something that is unfounded and not consistent with Canadian political history seeing as it has been a decade since a Quebec PM existed in this country, again as I already dealt with in the prior comment to JeffJ that you it took upon yourself to respond to.

            3) Almost everything you claim the public has yet to learn about Trudeau is actually already known about him and has not had the effect you claim it will (not to mention your spin on what these events mean and should be interpreted is clearly partisan and not objective, which means you ascribe a much more negative impact to it based on your prejudices than appears to be the more typical reaction of those not so partisan and/or unaligned voters. You seem to believe that Trudeau needs to be held fully accountable for being the Trudeau you imagine as opposed to the Trudeau that actually is, and I rather doubt it is going to work out that way this time. The Harper CPC were able to do that perceptual re-framing to Martin, Dion, and Ignatief (although that last was so easy a target it doesn’t really count as a challenge at all in my books), Trudeau has clearly proven himself to be far more difficult to do this with since he was already a well known person to most Canadians, and one that was highly regarded by most to start with.

            Combine that with Harper and the CPC having a near decade record as a government and having negatively defined themselves for the tools they use campaigning and the utterly opaque way they govern without any concern for public opinion or even the basic rule of law, and your belief that Trudeau will be the one who suffers the most by comparison in the next election campaign lacks any foundation. It is very clear that the view of Trudeau foes and the partisans of his political opponents has not been matched within the public for almost a year and a half now since he became Lib leader/was seen as the inevitable winner of the Lib leadership race, and to cling so strongly to the assumption that suddenly in an election campaign there will suddenly be a massive change about this is based far more in faith than fact.

            4) Again you assume facts not in evidence, you argue a contradictory position of that for almost a year and a half Trudeau is on a honeymoon and being forgiven by all these polite Canadians but will suddenly be turned on by these same polite Canadians in an election campaign because he is so awful a leadership choice. That smells far more of faith than reason/logic. My point about the polls is that he has been either ahead of all others or just behind Harper in ALL polls of ALL polling companies for well over a year now. This is far longer than a typical honeymoon period even when your opposition isn’t running negative character ads against you, which Harper and the CPC has been since even before Trudeau officially won the leadership campaign.

            As to your claim that he is a flash in the pan, a fraud, well problem with that is his actual actions and work within his party tends to disprove this, and his sustained popularity despite everything his political foes have tried against him to date for such a lengthy sustained period tends to indicate that your are living in a fantasy land of your own faith, not one rooted in objective reality. Now, I’m not saying Trudeau can’t or won’t take some damage over time, or that the election campaign won’t be challenging for hims as a first time out leader, but that he will be so much more vulnerable than one would expect from any first-timer, now that is where I think calling your views on this wishful thinking understates it.

            5) The reason the CPC won so much of the vote in 2011 in the ROC was because Ignatief was quite possibly the worst leader of any federal political party across the board in my lifetime. He drove away his party’s base, the left went to Layton’s NDP and the right side and the centrist side went to Harper’s CPC because they did not trust Layton and/or his party to provide stable government even more than they may have distrusted Harper and his CPC to do. These conditions are not in 2015, not even close. Trudeau is far from Ignatief in terms of appeal to not just his base and the core Lib voters but well beyond it as well. Also, the NDP will not have as easy a go in Quebec because that win was more about Layton than it was about the party, and without him there will be rollback, how much I can’t say, but it could be fairly significant. Not to mention the separatist vote appears to be severely diminished politically at the current time, and what little of it is already aimed at the NDP given their willingness to tolerate soft nationalists within their ranks. Trudeau and the Libs are the only federalist alternative with anything coming close to the social values of the typical Quebec voter, Harper and his CPC have proven that they have little to no interest in Quebec and the views of Quebecois, indeed, they show massive contempt, just as you have throughout your “considered” reply to my comments to JeffJ.

            As to your final premise, you give far more weight to this anti-Quebec sentiment than is clearly out there in the wider public (this would be that contempt I just mentioned). This might be something that has traction within the hard core CPC base, but for most Canadians what issues there are with Quebec and potential PMs from Quebec is far less a major factor in choosing who to support than you clearly believe to be the case, and you have provided ZERO evidence to support this argument beyond your declaiming it so, and it has been a major part of several of your points, indeed almost all of them, so you should have offered something beyond simply saying makes it so. Indeed, you comments come far closer to intolerance/xenophobia than I think most Canadians would find comfortable to be associated with whatever their own issues with some Quebecois politicians and the disproportionate impact Quebec politics has had nationally over the last several decades thanks to the separatist movement within it.

            In closing, you failed miserably, you exemplified the old adage about if your can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with male bovine excrement. Worse, the quality of your male bovine excrement was not very good at all, making it not only a failed tactic used by those without actual substance on their side, it was done in a very weak manner showing itself to be just that.

            Hope that helps you, but somehow I doubt it will, because if this was the best you could come up with to supposedly teach me and dissect the points I was making earlier, well then I have to wonder if there is any help at all for you. Still though, thanks for playing.

          • RonO'N says:

            @Scotian… Stop being such an asshat pedant who just piles on worthless words to cover up your own conundrums and inability to grapple with reality. I have provided you with facts which you in your desperation call “assumptions” so you can avoid confronting the inconvenient truths about Justin and Quebec. Your ridiculous rejections of my valid points only reveals your pusillanimous pedantic pissy existence! Stuffit…!!!

      • ottlib says:

        Jeff’s statement is what my wife, who is a mental health professional, would call projection.

        • Scotian says:


          Sorry for my using your reply for this purpose, but I am unwilling to leave RonO’N’s comment as the last word and it lacks reply button, likely because the chain reached the software limit. I don’t like leaving the impression that I ran away from someone who chooses to attack in personalities as he did instead of reply to the actual arguments made to counter his that he tried to counter my original ones with. It sits poorly with me. BTW though, I’d agree with your wife on your comment though, but I am used to running into that.


          No, you listed assumptions without showing what you were basing them on, that is what we in the real world call unsupported assumption, aka fantasy land. This clear obsession you have with Quebec is unhealthy, and the “facts” you so emphatically declaim as such are not proven facts, they remind me of something from an old TV series called Babylon5 in their fourth season closer, where they dealt with different slices in in universe history going forward, and in one of them there was a clear attempt to rewrite history to suit needs of the day, where the new facts were called “good facts” as opposed to “real facts”. You sir offered lots of good facts, not so many real facts especially regarding your Quebec/Trudeau premises/assumptions but not limited to them, and when you were exposed instead of calmly rebutting them you went on a tirade. By going on that tirade you undercut what credibility you had left with anyone not a member of your faith about these things.

          My rejection of your so called valid points were based on real world realities, not on the way I wished the world was as yours appear to have been. Therefore the rejection was not only not ridiculous, it was inevitable given their disconnect to anything a non-partisan could call reality. I will admit you showed a brief glimpse of actual intellect in your insults at the end, but alliteration I have always seen as the sign of someone more concerned with form than substance, and given that I squarely met the challenges put to me by both you and JeffJ I submit “pusillanimous” was yet more evidence of your life in fantasy land, “pissy” was just empty personal smear (and even if you typoed “prissy” that is also a personal attack and one which does not actually fit, one can be a long winded bore without being prissy, the meanings are far from the same), “existence”, well I do have that…more than you possibly, I leave that to others to decide, and the one insult which might actually have some connection to reality, “pedantic”, well hardly that much of an insult to me.

          As to “stuff it”, in a nutshell you showed that you could not meet honest critique with honest critique, and therefore conceded your loss by your actions. So to use your own words in the end, “stuff it”. You revealed yourself unarmed in a battle of wits you chose to enter, and that is your shame, never mine. As well, the first side forced to the juvenile personal attacks instead of attacking the ideas put forward is the one who shows their weakness RonO’N, this is a standard hundreds if not thousands of years old. You chose to enter this field of battle with me, and at the first sign of serious resistance you went screaming into the night whining about how unfair it all was. Tell me again which person is avoiding confronting the inconvenient truths again? Serious projectionism going on there I’d say.

          This is my last word to you in this thread, you have shown you are not worth continuing on with, and I have met and replied to your personal attacks. If you feel you must have the last word so be it, but I have said all I plan to here, and I find it very difficult to believe you could respond now with anything I would choose to, your dishonesty has already been made clear for all to see.

  5. smelter rat says:

    Other political parties underestimate JT at their own peril.

  6. pc says:

    I was going to suggest that you quit punching down, but I’ll say instead that it’s nice to see you chose to stand on that dead horse, to discuss current affairs rather than simply rehash history’s dustbin.

    On another note, please let me know if you need me to slaughter any more metaphors.

    Have a great weekend, WK.

  7. davie says:

    Oh, I don’t know…could be a wee bit of 20/20 hindsight going on here.

  8. Ryan Spinney says:

    Waaaayyyy to much credit to Justin, no one could have seen the train wreck that was iggy, because it wasn’t just his leadership, it was the soft seepage of the Tories attack ads that that weakened his foundation without disburbing his poll numbers, laying in effect a landmine that did not go off until Jack Layton pushed Iggy on top of it with his if you don’t show up to work comment, only then did Iggy’s poll numbers go down.

    Same with Dion. His poll numbers where fine up till the election. The ads just layed the landmine. Then the embarrassing moment with Duffy during the election and bang the landmine went off and so Dion was done.

    The attack ads don’t appear to be working against Justin right now, unless you believe Ipsos, and guess what they’re not supposed right now. It will be in the middle of the election, when for some reason Justin acts like the putz the tories have made him out to be, and bang the Landmine goes off. Justin needs to make it through the campaign without embarrassing himself to aviod the mine.

    Actually if Justin keeps making mistakes its possible the landmine could go off early in which case we’ll have an early election.

    If one looks at history its Harper who plays the long game not Trudeau, who has impulse issues.

    And Jack Layton would built up the NDPs Quebec machine over years waiting for the right opportunity…

    And Mulcair, it’d he foolish to underestimate him, he shredded Harper, has shown he can take a hit and fight back, and honestly is far smarter then Trudeau and Harper.


  9. Joe says:

    I do wish the good professor all the best in academe. I always thought that he was simply a place holder until Trudeau had polished his resume a bit. I’m sure that the LPC would have loved to have Ignatieff win the last election and let him sit out a term or two as PM at which time Trudeau could assume his manifest destiny in due time. Kinda like the Queen handing the reigns to Charles in the hope that he doesn’t last too long so William can take over. Nobody wants Charles to keel over tomorrow but on the other hand who wouldn’t prefer William.

  10. ottlib says:

    Mr. Ignatieff is not stupid. The man has a natural intelligence and he acquired more life experience in the first decade out of university than Stephen Harper has acquired in his whole lifetime.

    When he came to Canada to become an MP and eventually the leader of the Liberal Party he left a really good gig at one of the most prestigious universities on the planet. As well, he did this knowing that there was a great deal of uncertainty in his future. There was no guarantee he would win a seat, no guarantee he would win the leadership (he missed the first time) and no guarantee that he would win an election as leader. Considering what he left behind what possible motivation could he have had in letting go of a cushy secure job to embrace that kind of uncertainty? Maybe he is a masochist or maybe he actually wanted to serve. As well, don’t condemn him for wanting to occupy 24 Sussex. If I am him and I am leaving Harvard it is not just to be some mindless backbench MP, one of the most difficult and thankless jobs one can get. (And as Stephen Harper has demonstrated one that requires all of the intelligence of a trained seal to be good at.)

    The “Just Visiting” theme was all Conservative bullshit. If he would have won in 2011 he would be our PM and he would have remained as such as long as Canadians and his health allowed him to be there. What kind of PM he would have been we will never know.

    He did not win of course but in repudiating him Canadians figuratively kicked him in the nuts, pissed on him while he was down and then shoved two middle fingers into his face while repeatedly screaming “Fuck You”. I am amazed that he hung around Canada as long as he did after that.

    The usual suspects will point to his taking back his old job at Harvard and say “I told you so.” but considering the reception Canadians gave him he does not owe us anything and I for one do not blame him for putting as much distance between him and Canada as possible. I am only amazed that he took so long to do it.

  11. Lee Baker says:

    Propaganda – Industrial – Complex

    Warren Kinsella writes, “could Michael Ignatieff hear a cock crow, somewhere, for the third time?” alluding to Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ. Tragically, Michael Ignatieff shows no sign of echoing a penitent Peter saying, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” In this vein, Reader’s Digest, April 2013, “The Emptiest Vessel Wins,” features a well-photoshopped image of Justin Trudeau, “The Second Coming of Trudeau” – the obvious allusion being the Second Coming of Christ. The article states: “Team Trudeau have bet everything on their man’s charisma. If you’re a skeptic, they’re utterly certain seeing him in person will make you a believer…” (not to be confused with a Belieber). The article concludes that, “In politics, you underestimate the empty vessel at your own peril.”

    If one enters “The Second Coming” into an adequate periodical database for cross-referencing, it will also return: New African July 2013 (ISSN 0142-9345/”Published on Behalf of the Ministry of Information”), the title in large point bold, “The Second Coming” beside a full cover of a smiling Robert Mugabe in blue pinstripes – released three months after the Reader’s Digest – evidently, Robert Mugabe is plagiarizing Team Trudeau’s propaganda initiatives. The theme of the magazine is “We Had To Indigenise!” and is expressed by constantly alluding to the Apocalyptic: e.g. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, is being persecuted by Archbishops Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu under the heading, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Heady stuff.

    Propagandist Jonathan Kay wrote: “Four years ago, I got an assignment from Reader’s Digest Canada on the question of who is Canada’s “most trusted” public figure” – David Suzuki it turns out. Kay goes on to propagandist Ezra Levant’s “brilliant trick with Suzuki has been to turn the Cult of Suzuki on its head. Cults after all, are creepy, because their social dynamic typically consists of an all-knowing father figure exercising moral suasion over legions of younger followers. Witness the episode at John Abott College in Montreal, in which Suzuki’s team suggested that their boss be surrounded on campus by an all-female bodyguard corps. Cults also usually reek of hypocrisy – because cult leaders, being human, never have the discipline to live by their own precepts.”

    Alexandre Trudeau, senior party strategists, is a skilled propagandist; he penned of Marxist-Leninist dictator Fidel Castro: “like my father, in private, Fidel is not a politician. He is more in the vein of a great adventurer or a great scientific mind. Fidel doesn’t really do politics. He is a revolutionary.” This is key: we’re not doing politics – this is revolution! Mind, Marxist-Leninist Cuba was a client supported by the Soviet regime that was responsible for liquidating 70 million people, and incarcerating, torturing, and terrorizing many fold more – in the context of the historical record, Team Trudeau is romanticizing the Soviet Gulag.

    The hyper-promotion of ideological unsound operatives combined with low levels of due diligence invariably leads to disaster: Jim Jones was named one of “The 100 Outstanding Clergymen in America” by the Foundation for Religion in American Life. In 1976, he was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. San Francisco Mayor George Moscone appointed Jones Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority as well as nominating him for the Human Rights Commission. The Peoples Temple also operated drug treatment centers, daycare and seniors centers. Harvey Milk wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter, in defense of Jones, saying that Jones was a man of “the highest character”. Milk gushed: “Rev Jim, it may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave.” Now KGB-backed Jim Jones’ bizarre Marxist-Christian “socialist paradise” seemed unstoppable and triumphant. November 18, 1978, strung out on amphetamines and highly paranoid, Jones ordered his congregation to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid as a final, defiant act of revolutionary suicide. Total death count: 918 including 270 children – the greatest single loss of civilian Americans in a non-natural disaster until 9/11.

    Is Canada becoming a national Jonestown?

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      This almost needs to be put to music and recited by a guy dressed as Napoleon

    • Scotian says:

      Before I even attempt to consider a reply to this, I’ve got to make sure I am understanding your core position. Are you arguing that Justin Trudeau is equal to Rev Jim Jones, that supporting him and the Libs in the next federal election is the political equivalent of drinking cyanide for Canada and Canadians? That Trudeau wants to turn Canada into a replica of the Soviet State of the Cold War era? Because that is what your comment appears to me to be saying, and if so, well then your first sentence would be ironic indeed.

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